When I tell clients to stay away from acidic foods for a certain period of time, the first thing they think is spicy or sour foods. If that is you, that’s not what I am referring to. Your body’s alkaline and acid balance, also known as pH, can affect your overall well being. All the food you eat has the ability to either change your body to acidic or alkaline. Because your body is always striving for balance, you should know that your body never truly stays in a state of “too acidic” or “too alkaline.” This means, you can always fix an acidic body!
The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is and ranges from 0 to 14. Seven is neutral. Below 7 becomes increasingly acidic, above 7 increasingly alkaline. A healthy pH varies throughout the body. An acidic pH in the stomach is normal while the beginning of the small intestine it is normal to be more alkaline. Your saliva is more alkaline and your urine is more acidic (to help fight off bacteria) especially in the morning.
A change from pH 6 to pH 5 may not seem like a lot, but to neutralize (bring closer to 7), it takes 10 times the alkalinity to neutralize 1 level – 100 times to neutralize 2 levels, 1,000 times to neutralize 3 levels and so on. It’s a lot of work! For example, in order to neutralize one glass of soda, that has a pH of 2, you would have to drink 32 cups of water with a pH of 10. So look at your plate and glass, what direction do you take your body in? Soda = 2. Coffee = 4. Cucumber = 7. Get the picture? Burger, fries? Acidity overload!
Inside your body, ALL foods produce acids once they are digested. The difference between foods like alcohol, processed/refined foods, dairy, sweets and meat vs foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables is that the first produces a much higher amount of acidity. On the other hand, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and whole foods come equipped with nutrients to neutralize the acidity they produce.
Accumulation of acids lowers the pH of the body and ultimately creates the PERFECT environment for damage to the digestive system and organs like the liver, kidney and pancreas. Diseases like high blood pressure, inflammation, arthritis, constipation, bloating, psoriasis, eczema, and mood disorders are ALL linked to an Acidic body.
To find out where your pH is, you can purchase a testing strip kit in your local pharmacy for less than $13. I encourage you to evaluate your health once you know your number and compare it to your diet. Are you more on the Acidic side? If so, know that illness is lurking around the corner and its time to make a change.
3 Ways to Support pH Balance
Diving your plate 4 to 1
Maintaining a balance of 75 percent alkaline foods and 25 percent acidic foods is ideal. An easy way to accomplish this is to make fruits and vegetables the main part of each meal. Look at the list at the end of this post for some ideas.
Start your day with a tall glass of lemon water and stay hydrated.
While lemons are acidic in their natural form, lemon water is alkaline-forming in the body. Plus, remember that water is neutral. In the morning on an empty stomach you tend to be generally more acidic. Start the neutralizing early!
Eat more raw foods
Raw green foods are not only alkaline, but they are also filled with oxygen. Unhealthy cells (like cancer cells) or viruses, bacteria and other nasty microorganisms hate oxygen. They prefer an acidic diet high in animal products, processed and refined foods, and synthetic chemicals. You can also take a look at the list below to get a better understanding of how certain foods effect your pH. Be sure to add more alkaline foods into your next meal!
Acid-forming foods include:
- Processed and refined food
- Dried fruits
- White and wheat breads
- Carbonated water
Alkaline-forming foods include:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Good fats
In Health & Happiness,
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