One of the simplest ways you can make serious strides in your overall health and well-being is to balance your pH according to the author of the pH Miracle and a recent study performed at Washington University. The typical American diet is full of processed foods, chemicals and nutritionally depleted meals that affect the body’s acid-base balance. When this poor eating habit is paired with lack of exercise the result is often a case of acidosis causing havoc on your body, digestion and overall health.
Some foods are acidifying when consumed and others are alkalizing. So what you eat on a daily basis will change the pH levels of your entire system. The pH scale ranges from 0-14 (with acidic substances falling below 7 and basic substances falling above 7). Foods can either raise or lower your pH level, and this is based on the mineral content of the food not the actual pH of the food itself. Some are a bit tricky as in lemon juice which has a low pH, but has an alkalizing effect on the body when consumed. There are helpful charts that show you some basic pH levels for common foods.
Why is this important to know? Evidence is mounting that suggests lower, acidic pH levels is associated with greater risk for conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. And higher alkaline pH levels are linked to better memory and brain function, reduced pain and reduced incidence of hypertension and stroke. Additional benefits from alkaline pH levels include shedding excess fat, improving your libido and creating a general sense of well-being.
8 Simple Steps to Alkaline Living
- Eat more produce. Sorry if this is not new information but mom was right and you should eat your veggies. Many fruits and most vegetables are alkaline in their natural, raw state. Great choices are lemons, white potatoes, ripe bananas, raisins, pears, cantaloupe, oranges and ripe berries. Avoid pomegranates, pineapples and raspberries as these are acidic. For vegetables, almost all are alkaline unless they are pickled, frozen or canned.
- Go grainless or reduce grain consumption. On the acid-alkaline scale, most grains fall into the acidic range. Alfalfa sprouts are a great substitute.
- Hold the Mayo. Most of the condiments we smear on our sandwiches (which we just gave up in Step 2!) are highly acidic. This includes ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and even miso. Consider a great sprinkle on spice to keep your food yummy. Add apple cider vinegar to your salads or other dishes.
- Add plenty of beans and seeds. Soy, navy and lima beans are all highly alkaline, while caraway, cumin, fennel and sesame seeds are good for raising pH, too.
- Sweeten wisely. Popular sugar alternatives like honey, xylitol and beet sugar are all highly acidic, but stevia is alkaline.
- Reduce alcohol, dairy and coffee. So basically I just ruined your happy life with this step. Notice it doesn’t say chuck it totally, but reduce it. If you are consuming an adult beverage counter it with extra alkaline foods such as veggies. Another great tip is to add a pinch of baking soda (aluminum free) to your coffee. This doesn’t affect the taste at all but will neutralize the acidic properties. Herbal teas are also a great alkaline choice.
- Add Baking Soda. Baking soda is highly alkaline and can assist in balancing your body’s pH. Consider drinking an 8 oz. glass of water mixed with 1/2 tsp. baking soda several times a day for a quick adjustment in pH levels. Caution: Baking soda can raise your blood pressure, so if you take medicines for hypertension or have untreated high blood pressure, avoid consuming baking soda unless you are under medical supervision.
- Digestive Enzymes. Adding digestive enzymes may help balance the body’s pH. Adding enzymes to your meals should help support your digestion, allowing you to get the most nutrients from what you eat.
The pH Miracle by Shelley Redford Young and Robert O. Young
Dr. Theodore Baroody: Alkalize or Die
The Acid Alkaline Balance
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