What is pH balance?
When looking at our bodies, there are many factors that make cells and tissues work properly, such as hydration, temperature, availability of nutrients, and pH. The pH stands for “potential of hydrogen” and is a measurement of hydrogen ions in a particular solution – the more ions, the more acidic the solution, and vice versa.
But why is this so important? Our bodies are designed to operate within a very narrow pH range, which is around 7.365, which is slightly alkaline. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14.
A pH of higher than 7 is alkalizing, a pH less than 7 is acidic, and a pH of 7 is considered neutral.
If you want to know whether you’re more on the alkaline or acidic side, you can easily test that at home. Simply get some test stripes, which you can use, for either your saliva or urine to show you the results.
When we eat too many acid-forming foods, the kidneys can’t always keep up with the acid waste and they start accumulating it in our tissues. Therefore, for optimal detoxification, an alkaline state is preferred!
An acidic state in our body is very damaging and impairs the body’s ability to repair or detoxify and will cause a person to be more susceptible to disease and illness.
The most common signs of acidosis are:
- Fatigue or chronic fatigue
- Feeling tired, low energy
- Brittle nails and hair
- Low bone density, osteoporosis
- Heavy breathing
- Gaining weight or being underweight
- Digestive issues
- Arthritis, diabetes
- Headaches, acne
- Bad immune system
- Infections, allergies, candida
- Heart problems, cancer
Acidic foods to cut out:
- Meat, fish, shellfish
- Milk, eggs, butter, cheese
- Coffee, soda, alcohol
- Processed and refined food
- Sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined grains
- Tobacco, preservatives
- MSG, canned food
Benefits of an alkaline diet:
- Deeper more restful sleep
- Reduction of candida overgrowth
- Increased mental acuity or alertness
- Enhanced memory and cognition
- Easier weight loss
- Increased energy
- Better bone health
- Reduced muscle wasting
- Proper cell functioning
- Healthy tissues
- Mitigation of chronic diseases
- Improved cardiovascular health
How to start eating alkaline today
Drink a lot of water to flush your system and support natural detoxification. Extra points if you add lemon to it – remember that acid-tasting food doesn’t automatically mean it’s also acid forming! After waking up, drink a huge glass of water. For more alkaline effects, add some apple cider vinegar to it.
- Choose fresh, organic, GMO-free food whenever possible.
- Stay as close to the natural state of a food as possible, meaning eat it raw or steamed as opposed to frying it.
- Make salads a staple in your meal plan. Leafy greens are the most alkaline foods and also rich in vital micronutrients. Use spinach or kale for best results, the darker the better.
- Limit animal protein to smaller portions and choose only organic.
- Incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet by snacking on them, making fresh smoothies or green juices.
- Try to eat some carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, cucumber, potatoes, or celery every day.
- Soak and sprout your nuts and grains for more alkalinity.
Whether a food is alkalizing or acidifying is based on the amount of acid waste that is produced when it’s digested.
Though there is still no clear scientific consensus, we could find an overall tendency of plant-based foods being more or even highly alkalizing, while meat and dairy as well as processed foods are a lot more acidic.
How to Alkalize your Body
This doesn’t mean that all we should eat are alkalizing foods.
It’s very commonly advised to opt for a balance of 80% alkaline-forming food and 20% acidic-forming food.
Alkalizing foods to eat abundantly:
- All Vegetables, especially when Green and Raw
- All Fruits like Melon, Apple, Berries, Grapes, Lemon. Some are slightly acidic, like Blueberries, Cranberries, and Plums.
- Leafy Greens like Spinach or Lettuce, Cruciferous Vegetables like Broccoli, Kale
- Pumpkin, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Beets
- Mushrooms, Sprouts, Legumes
- Nuts & Seeds like Coconut, Almonds, Chia, Sesame
- Onions, Garlic, Leek and Herbs/Spices like Parsley, Ginger
- Wheat Grass, Algae like Spirulina and Chlorella
Other ways to alkalize your body:
- Like mentioned above, our food choices are not be-all and end-all. Just like there are other factors that can cause acidosis, there are also other ways of shifting yourself back towards alkalinity.
- So if you want to further support this process, here’s what you can do:
- Eat slowly and chew every bite around 30-40 times. Be careful not to overeat and overload your system.
- Make meditation a habit & do some deep breathing exercises to reduce stress.
- Throw away your chemical-filled shampoos, cleaning products, or air fresheners. Try to find and use natural products instead with only minimal ingredients.
- Go for a walk or work out, since it helps to move acidic waste products in order for your body to better eliminate them. Extra points for getting some sunshine.
- Baking soda can also help neutralize the acid and help the body to maintain pH balance in the urine and bloodstream. It is also very useful for relieving heartburn or acid indigestion.