In my first blog, I showed five exotic foods that alkaline and have healing properties. Today I want to show you common foods that are alkalining and foods that are acid producing. Our bodies have an important regulatory mechanism to maintain the pH of the body at 7.365. If anything threatens to move that, the body will go to great lengths to keep it at 7.365. We have a very small “alkaline buffering system” in the body, as the body needs to maintain the slight alkaline pH. Some functions, like our metabolism, cause a small amount of acidity in the body and this is what the buffering system is there to neutralize. This alkaline buffering system is overworked even before we finish our breakfast. To maintain this alkaline pH, the body will sacrifice our medium and long-term health to keep this short-term goal of the perfect balanced pH level(homeostasis). The stress it puts our bodies under to try and neutralize these acids is incredible. It will over produce sodium bicarbonate to try and neutralize the acidity from the food and the excessive hydrochloric acid the stomach has to produce to digest these foods can cause reflux. It will also draw alkaline minerals from elsewhere in the body( such as calcium from bones and magnesium from vital organs) leading to inflammatory conditions. Any acidic toxin it cannot get rid of will be bound up in visceral fat to protect your organs from the acids and the toxic byproducts they produce. The goal of eating more alkaline foods is to give the body everything it needs to keep at the optimal pH level and relieve some of the stress it puts on our buffering systems. The old food pyramid most of us learned in school focused on 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, and pasta as the bulk of food we should eat each day. We now know these foods are acidic and the result of eating these types of foods cause weight gain and sickness. The new food pyramid focuses on vegetables and fruits as the bulk of food we should eat a day along with whole grains and legumes. These foods are less acidic and increase health.
When our body is in an acid state, we may experience oral signs like ulcers in mouth, throat or tonsil infections, inflamed gums, dry skin, loss of hair, cornea and eyelid irritations. You may experience mental and emotional signs like loss of motivation, nervousness, anxiousness, and depression. More signs like weight gain/loss, bladder and kidney concerns, arthritis, stressed liver function, hormonal, low energy, slow digestion/elimination, and yeast/fungal overgrowth cause us grief. Some serious signs may include diabetes, heart disease, immune deficiency, and tumor or cancer growths tell us we are in trouble. If you have any health problems, make an appointment with your doctor to talk about your concerns. You can immediately start changing your diet to help your body maintain optimal pH levels and decrease inflammation. It’s important to manage stress and write down any negative thoughts you may have about yourself or others. Stress and negative thinking depresses our immune system and make us physically sick.
A couple of times a week I check the pH of my urine level first in the morning. I have a link to the pH strips I use at the bottom of this blog. First thing each morning I drink 20 ounces or more of water with 1 lemon squeezed into it before I have my coffee. If you weigh less than 150, use 1/2 lemon. To make my morning coffee less acidic, I add a pinch of baking soda. You can’t taste it and it’s wonderful. I then make my liver cleansing juice by juicing 8 leaves of kale, 1 lemon, 1 small fresh beet, 3 carrots, 1 inch of ginger, and 1 green apple. I drink this because I’m trying to lose some weight so I need my liver in tip top shape. One of my future blogs is called How Your Liver Could Be Preventing You From Losing Weight. When you juice, try to keep it 80% vegetables and 20% fruits and especially if you are watching your weight. Throughout the day I drink water with fresh squeezed lemons in it. To figure out how much water you should be drinking a day, it’s half your weight in ounces. If you weight 150, you would drink 75 oz. of water each day. Why lemons? Lemons have a pH of 9.0. and are acidic outside the body but once ingested they metabolize and it’s minerals are dissociated into the blood stream and becomes alkaline. Lemons are rich in electrolytes and are an effective cure to relief cold, cough, and flu. In the Summer, I love to juice watermelon and drink 20 oz of it in the morning with some peppermint leaves. Watermelon’s pH is 9.0 and is rich in lycopene and beta-carotene. Melons, papaya, mango, limes, and parsley have a 8.5 pH. Asparagus, watercress, garlic, seaweeds, fresh vegetable and fruit juices, pineapple, kiwi, grapes, celery, apples, berries, bananas, and avocados have a pH of 8.0. These vitamin rich foods are very beneficial to your kidneys. Some other alkalining foods are string beans, soy, lima, green beans, and snap peas, potatoes, arrowroot flour, flax, millet, quinoa, amaranth grains, almonds, pignoli, fresh coconut, chestnuts, alfalfa, radish, chia, fresh unsalted butter, milk, cream, eggs, whey, plain yogurt, raw honey, dried sugar cane, brown rice syrup, herbal teas, miso, sea salt, most spices, vanilla extract, brewer’s yeast, gelatin, most herbs, and most unprocessed, cold-pressed oils. Eat these types of foods often to help your body maintain healthy pH levels.
You have to keep in mind that most of the following foods aren’t necessarily unhealthy since they are needed for optimum health but we need balance but are acid forming. If you are consuming a lot of the following foods, you may want to consider adding more of the high pH foods listed above to counter balance. All meats(beef, pork, lamb, and chicken), fish, cornmeal, oats, rye, spelt, wheat, bran, popcorn, pastas, breads, cereals, crackers, pastries, unless spouted-pinto, navy, lentils, garbanzo, black beans, cheese, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, walnuts, pecans, cashews, dried coconut, pistachios, macadamia, filberts, Brazil nuts, peanuts, colas, alcohol drinks, coffee, sweetened yogurt, most forms of sugar and artificial sugars, refined table salt, soy sauce, mustard ketchup, mayonnaise, white vinegar, nutmeg, tobacco, and practically all drugs. I have included a link to a clinical study by the British Journal of Nutrition on acidosis which is an excessively acid condition of the body fluids or tissues.
Tip- I follow the 2 to 1 rule which is eat two alkaline promoting foods to every one acid producing foods.
British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue08, April 2010, pp 1185-1194