KNOWING THE IMPORTANCE OF ALKALINE DIET FOR YOUR HEALTH
KNOWING THE IMPORTANCE OF ALKALINE DIET FOR YOUR HEALTH:
What we eat greatly affects our body pH levels and when we are within our ideal pH level, we feel healthier. The pH level of blood is about 7.4 (range 7.35-7.45) and the closer you are to the ideal range, the healthier you’ll be with better digestive, cardiovascular and mental functioning. pH is the measurement of acidity/alkalinity of a solution on a scale of 0-14.
The lower the pH, the more acidic the solution and the higher the pH, the more alkaline the solution. Your body’s ‘inner’ environment needs to be slightly alkaline and the ‘outer’ a little acidic. The outer environment refers to the outer skin and digestive tract. A healthy intestinal and bowel flora needs a slightly acidic nature to thrive. However when the pH level inside the human body is too acidic (blood, tissues, organs etc) it becomes an environment for the growth of bacteria, viruses and illness.
Health issues such as low energy, inflammation, unwanted weight gain and poor digestion can be the result of the body being too acidic. And When our tissues become acidic, that in turn can result in impaired function of some major systems, including organ, digestion, skin integrity, heart disease and cancer. In fact many medical studies have found that an imbalanced pH in the body can be correlated to almost all health conditions.
In order to maintain our internal alkaline state, we need a few tools. These tools are all around us: oxygen, water, and acid-buffering minerals.
Exercise – When we exercise or move around, we produce lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Lactic acid is by its nature acid and the carbon dioxide becomes acidic, turning into carbonic acid and water.
Digestion – Digestion of foods generates acids. For example, phosphoric acid and sulfuric acid are produced from the metabolism of the phosphorus and sulfur contained in many foods, such as, meats, grains, and beans.
Immune Responses – Immune system responses, such as allergies and hypersensitivities, directly and indirectly generate substantial amounts of acidic products.
Many lifestyle and environment factors also influence acid-alkaline balance. Let’s look at stress as an example.
When we are under tremendous stress, our acidity will likely increase because of the demands on our cells to become more active. Chronically hectic schedules (sound familiar?), inadequate sleep (any parents out there?), and rushed, imbalanced meals (anyone eating their To-Go meals on-the-run?) can all contribute to this unhealthful condition.
Since the correct pH is so essential to our daily lives (and to all the countless chemical reactions necessary for life), the body has many checks and balances to maintain the correct pH, within a perfect but narrow range.
Step 1: Know your pH
A good measure of average body pH is easily obtained by using pH paper to assess the pH of your first morning urine. Ideally, the first morning urine is between 6.4 (slightly acidic) and 6.8 (slightly alkaline), which indicates that the overall cellular pH is appropriately alkaline.
You can also test your urine pH later in the day, and this will indicate the impact of foods and supplements which you have taken earlier in the day.
Another way to check pH is through saliva (also using pH paper). You should check your morning saliva pH immediately after arising, before you think about or eat your breakfast, and while in a calm state of mind. (Even thinking about food changed your pH.) After a meal, your saliva should normally become alkaline. Checking saliva pH after a meal can indicate whether or not this normal mechanism is intact. Optimal range for first morning saliva pH is 6.8 to 7.2.
So, what do you do, when your pH is not perfect?
You take steps to re-establish your health-promoting alkaline state so that you can regenerate your immune system and improve your overall health.
Step 2: To regain the life-supporting alkaline state, acids from all sources must be buffered or neutralized through combination with alkaline minerals.
Alkaline minerals include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chromium, selenium, and iron. In fact, the most readily available pool of alkaline minerals is in the bone, and as the body works to maintain optimal blood pH, minerals are depleted from the bone, leading to increased risk of osteoporosis.
If you are in an acid state, it may be helpful to fortify your system with FOOD SUPPLEMENTS of some or all of these alkalinizing mineral compounds in order to turn the tide and restock your depleted stores.
An interesting note from Dr. Susan Brown, leading researcher in the area of osteoporosis, and author of the book “Better Bones, Better Body,” has found that the single most important factor in changing bone density and decreasing osteoporosis risk is maintaining optimal pH through an alkaline diet and lifestyle.
So let’s talk about an Alkaline Diet. Many organs and internal systems, especially the kidneys, adrenals and lungs, play important roles in maintaining proper pH. They require the right nutrients to do this. That’s why a diet that is predominantly alkaline-forming is essential to the maintenance of good health.
An Alkaline Diet is one in which the balance of foods is predominately alkaline. If what you put inside your body is Alkaline, your body will eventually have the resources it needs to rise to the appropriate Alkaline level for great health.
So, which foods are alkaline and which foods are acid-forming?
Foods that are high in protein, including milk, meat, and even whole grains, are acid-forming. Most fruits are alkaline-forming but some, like prunes, plums, and cranberries, are acid-forming because our bodies can’t break down the types of acids they contain. (It may seem odd, but oranges are alkaline. We’re not talking about citric acid or a tart taste when talking about alkaline and acidic in this context. We’re talking about what your body does with the food. How the food reacts in your system.)
You’re probably not surprised that highly refined foods, such as oils, sugars, soft drinks, and simple starches are acid forming. After all, you’ve heard they’re bad for other reasons as well. So as you can see, in our society we consume a very imbalanced diet high in acid-forming foods. This imbalanced diet pushes us towards an acid state. And now you can see that our body responds by removing calcium and other alkalinizing minerals from our blood, bone, and tissues.