Balancing your bodies ph levels is no easy task, especially if you indulge in the 3 P’s. These would be Processed, Packaged, and Pre-cooked foods. Ughhh yuck, that’s almost every meal I once ate, I know you're guilty of it too! Everything that we eat or drink will affect our ph levels and some foods are highly acidic while others remain alkaline. Although there is a balance that needs to be kept between the two, environmental factors and industrialized foods have brought many of us into a more acidic like state. Foods such as meat, dairy, and alcohol are acidic. I know, it’s always the good stuff that’s bad for you. Instead, you’ll want to consume plant based foods such as leafy greens, fruits and other veggies. I promise these foods taste better in time.
But what the heck is ph anyway?
Ph stands for potential of hydrogen. It’s basically the measurement of our bodily fluids such as your blood and urine according to acids and alkalis. It’s measured on a scale of 0-14, with a lower ph being more acidic and a higher ph being more alkaline. A healthy ph would be slightly more alkaline with the average ph being 7.4.
There are many contributors in everyday life that lead your body into an acidic state. The biggest offenders are listed below.
Alcohol and drug abuse
The 3 p’s (Processed, packaged, and pre-cooked foods)
Nutrient or Vitamin Deficiency
Lack of Exercise or Overexertion
Excess hormones from food or beauty products
Exposure to chemical and toxins
Environmental factors such as pollution
Although you may not be able to avoid all of these factors or you many not want to, you should. I do enjoy a glass of red wine at dinner, and although alcohol is considered acidic, some spirits do have health benefits and are encouraged in moderation as being good for you. I follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of my food being alkaline and 20% acidic. For the days only a hot fudge sundae can cure. My approach to healthy eating is
“You Cannot Thrive if you Deprive”
Indulging every once in awhile is fine, as long as you keep a healthy balance. It’s exactly what your body was designed to do. Disease occurs when your body is not at ease and disease cannot thrive in an alkaline state. Many diseases and chronic illnesses are attributed to inflammation and acidity in the body. Below is a list of side effects that can develop when your body becomes too acidic.
Muscle and Joint pain
In more extreme cases diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer can occur.
Although there are many ways for your body to become acidic there are also many ways you can help aide your body to remain alkaline too. Most of these ways are directly related to your diet and lifestyle. The list below is a helpful guide to introducing alkaline inducing foods, drinks, and practices into your daily routines.
Drink Alkalizing water- Believe it or not some water can be highly acidic, tap water being the worst offender and reverse osmosis being next in line. You can purchase alkaline water which should have a range anywhere from 9-11 ph. You could also boost your filtered water by adding lemon, lime, or baking soda. Although citrus fruits seem acidic they have an alkalizing effect in the body when consumed. Adding these citrus fruits can also help to promote weight loss and may have a detoxifying effect on your body.
Exercise- Exercise releases feel good hormones and reduces stress and stress is the silent killer. It deprives your body of all that’s good. Exercise also promotes sweating which is a great way to release toxins from the blood. When you exercise your bodies ph level will actually drop (due to higher levels of lactic acid and other factors) but regular workouts can actually help your body’s ability to adapt and handle the reduction in ph. Just be sure to exercise regularly and not overdo it, as overexertion can raise acidity in the body as well. Are you starting to notice a trend?
“It’s all about balance”
Eat Alkalizing Foods- In my next post I’ll talk about the top 10 Alkalizing foods but for now let's stick to the basic rules. Avoid the 3 p’s, Processed, Packaged, and Pre-cooked foods as well as meat, dairy, wheat, alcohol, and caffeine. Consume plenty of Leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, raw foods, beans, and nuts. I cannot stress enough how important your diet is to your health. You truly are what you eat and it shows.
Stress Management- There are many natural cures for stress relief all of which I use on a daily basis. I’ve talked about my history of depression and anxiety and have cured my daily panic attacks by implementing these simple techniques. Meditation is the practice of controlling one's thoughts. We normally become anxious when we are thinking too much about our problems and not focusing on the present moment. Meditation is a practice that helps take us away from our thoughts and into a relaxed state of consciousness. When you couple meditation along with mindfulness and deep breathing you create a peaceful environment for both your mind and your body. Another great addition to mindfulness and breathing is yoga. When you engage in a physical activity you are able to focus on the activity and ignore whatever is causing you stress. Of course ignoring the problem only makes it worse so what yoga and meditation do is help you work through releasing whatever it is that is contributing to your levels of stress.
Reduce Toxins- Chemicals and toxins are everywhere, and unless you live in a bubble, you are bound to be exposed to them one way or another. However, there are many ways to reduce your intake of toxins by making simple changes to the way you eat and the products you use. The first step is to eat Whole nutritious and Organic foods. Organic foods are foods that are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. These chemicals sprayed on foods can wreak havoc on your body over time. By eating organic you will lower your exposure and your body will thank you in return. The next step is to replace your household products and beauty tools with environmentally friendly and chemical free natural products. Everything that I use is plant based, from the cleaning pray I use on my counters to the moisturizer I use on my face. The bigger the demand becomes for these products the more supply we will receive which means lower costs for you and me.
Drink Green Drinks- Vegetables help alkalize and stabilize the body but many of us are not eating enough servings in a day for optimal health and nutrition. Drinking green smoothies and juices is a great way to get many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants into one glass. They also taste great. I love the taste of vegetables but not many people do and smoothies are a great alternative to eating your greens. I have great recipes for green drinks to help promote weight loss and alkalize your body as well.
Use Herbs and Superfoods- I have a great respect for herbs and realize their potential for detoxifying the body. I love herbs so much that I try to incorporate them in my diet as much as possible. Whether I’m adding a handful of cilantro to my smoothie or soup I try to maximize the benefits as much as I can. The best herbs for detoxing your body are dandelion, cilantro, and oregano. Along with herbs I love to use superfoods. Common superfoods such as chlorella, spirulina, and wheatgrass are often mislabeled as herbs but are really in a class of their own. Spirulina and chlorella are a type of algae that have many health benefits when consumed such as detoxification, weight loss, and prevention of many diseases. Wheatgrass is another green superfood full of chlorophyll, antioxidants, electrolytes and vitamins. All things your body needs and all things that are really really good for you.
Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks- Organic Raw apple cider vinegar is one of my favorite natural healing agents. I drink warm water with acv, honey, and lemon every day. The benefits of acv come from its ability to kill bad bacteria while promoting the growth of good bacteria. It’s an amazing elixir to establish and promote a healthy gut, and has health benefits ranging from detoxification to relieving acid reflux to lowering blood pressure. Have you heard the phrase an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Where do you think Apple cider Vinegar originates from, apples of course.
Combine Foods- As I stated earlier I try to keep a healthy balance and although my diet is highly alkaline I like to indulge in some acidic choices too. This is where food combination comes in handy. If I am going to enjoy a food that is more acidic I try to balance it by eating foods that are more alkaline along with it. I guess I could describe this as a buffering tool. Not that the more alkaline foods cancel out the acidic ones but it will help with digestion and absorption
Eat Sprouts- Sprouts are the healthiest and most nutritious foods. They are essentially baby plants in their prime and have the highest concentration of proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, bioflavonoids, etc than at any other given time. Sprouts are actually quite easy to grow and cost pennies on the dollar to maintain. All you need is a few simple tools and 10 minutes a day to grow these nutritious and delicious foods.
I hope this post has helped you realize why it is so important to incorporate alkalizing foods in your diet. Alkalizing foods will help maintain a healthy weight, gut, and body. In my next post I’ll go over the top 10 foods for an alkaline diet and why these foods are good for you. No, hot fudge sundaes are not on the list but it doesn’t mean you can’t have one. Life is better covered in whipped cream and sprinkles
Stay Sprouted & Stay Grounded
*All content on the stay sprouted website is meant for informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. Products and or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking medication, please consult your physician.
*In order to support the stay sprouted blog so that we are able to continue providing you with the best information in regards to health and wellness we may receive monetary compensation for links to products. These products have been tested and used by us and approved for your use.