Did you know that our blood pH must stay within a very narrow range or serious illness and death can result? This is so essential to being human that our bodies have a wonderful maintenance mechanism to keep our blood in balance. This mechanism protects our blood at all costs, sometimes at the expense of our tissues. When our tissues become acidic, that in turn can result in impaired function of some major systems, including organ, digestion, skin integrity, and repair from injury.
pH is so important, and there’s an easy way to check your pH, and if needed, an easy way to correct it.
Our body’s internal system needs a pH just above 7.0. We call this range alkaline. (As an example, dogs maintain an acid pH range, which is much lower on the scale.) Since we are human, our enzymatic, immunologic, and repair mechanisms all function their best in this alkaline range. However, our metabolic processes–the processes of living, tissue repair, and the metabolism of food–produce a great deal of acid. 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.
What is the Alkaline-Acid Balance
When foods are processed and burned down for energy, it leaves acidic or alkaline residues, also referred to as ashes. The standard American or Western diet is far too high in acid-forming foods. Luckily our body is an ingenious system that buffers, or neutralizes, these acidic residues with alkaline material so the pH of our blood stays within tight borders.
Many lifestyle and environment factors also influence acid-alkaline balance. Let’s look at stress as an example. See your pH level.
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.
And here’s the kicker… An underlying metabolic acidity (low pH) is a common denominator and likely contributing factor to all degenerative and autoimmune diseases.
Why? Because an acid environment, for us humans, has several adverse effects on cell metabolism including…
– impaired energy production
– fluid accumulation and edema, and
– a likely increase in free radical production.
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.
Alkaline eating tips and tricks
Although lemons may seem acidic to you, once they are processed or burned down they leave alkaline residues in the body. Lemon water in the morning kick-starts digestion and helps detoxify the liver, too. Before eating or drinking anything else, have a glass of lukewarm water with the juice of half a lemon or one lime.
Know which foods are acid-forming and which alkaline
For optimal health, 60-80 percent of what you eat should be alkaline forming and 20-40 percent should be acid forming. Here’s and helpful chart to get you started.
Transform your kitchen
If you set a goal to live a healthy, alkaline lifestyle it helps to clear out the fridge and cupboards, throw out all processed crap or other weight loss or health sabotaging foods and stock up on alkaline-forming whole foods instead.
Invest in a decent blender
Living an alkaline lifestyle means eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. The best way to do so is by incorporating at least 1 green smoothie in your diet a day. Investing in a decent blender will make things easier to blend (less chopping, and smoother texture), but will, in the long run, be cheaper too.
Instead of buying multiple blenders over a certain time frame, invest once in a decent blender.
Make sure to eat your greens at every meal
Make sure to include leafy greens in every meal because they are the most healthy ones. That’s where green smoothies come into play. If you are like most people a green salad or plate of spinach isn’t exactly the thing you are thinking off when you just woke up.
Green smoothies, however, are the perfect way to sneak leafy greens into your morning breakfast routine.
Plan your meals
It is very important to take the time to plan your meals and create a shopping list for the upcoming week. Making a plan makes it easier to stick to a healthy diet and it takes a lot of stress away during the week. Not only will you avoid indulging in comfort, processed, or takeout food, you’ll be able to relax, too.
Some studies claim that about 90 percent of people are chronically hydrated. As we consist mostly out of water, it is vitally important to get enough of it throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. And organic herbal teas and lemon water count as water, too.
One bite/step at a time
If you are currently nowhere near the 20/80 acid-alkaline rule. No worries and please do not force yourself to it at once. Most people in the past that forced themselves into a certain diet or way of living almost all failed. While, if taking baby steps and changing diet gradually most people have succeeded without experiencing any issues.
Take time to unwind
Stress makes the body acidic as well. Make sure to take time for yourself and do the things you like. Dee breathing or yoga can bring some peace too.