It may be a trend in Hollywood to follow an alkaline diet now, but I was the poster child for why you should have in my twenties. My skin was dull, my hair was dry, I was constantly fatigued, I was always catching a cold, I had leg cramps, and I had a proponency for disease – diagnosed with cancer in my early 30’s. These symptoms were from my highly acidic diet.
With so many diet related health issues, I know there is a common cause. Your pH imbalance may be one of the largest culprits.
High School Chemistry Refresher: The pH scale of course ranges from 0 -14; where a pH of 7 is neutral, a pH below 7 is acidic, and a pH above 7 is basic (alkaline). The ideal pH reading for optimal functioning is 7.36-7.44, which is slightly alkaline.
Understanding Alkaline Imbalance
Alkalinity is key for vitality, because it keeps your tissues supple and reduces inflammation. Since inflammation is the infamous culprit regarding diseases like arthritis, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel disorders, and cancer, understanding how your body’s pH affects your health is very important.
The acid-alkaline balance within your body, refers to the balance of both acids and non-acids (alkalis), which are found in body fluid and tissues. When this ratio is balanced, you tend to achieve optimal health. However, when there is an imbalance, you experience a greater risk of disease and health complications.
Although it is possible to suffer from an illness when your blood pH is overly alkaline, majority of those who suffer from chronic illness, suffer from an imbalance that is far too acidic. This is especially true for those who suffer from cancer, as a highly acidic environment supports cancer cells and tumor growth.
How Alkaline Imbalance Affects Your Health
When you suffer from prolonged imbalance, to the point where your body can no longer neutralize the acid, this is when issues arise. A pH imbalance is what leads to potential illness and serious diseases. Here are some of the most common issues associated with over-acidity.
1. Premature Aging
There are various reasons why you may experience premature aging, as environmental toxins, stress and lack of nutrients all play a role. These factors also affect your pH, which makes your body more susceptible to illness and disease. Your cells begin to weaken, as their structure is altered. Basically, cells deteriorate, which increases the chances that they will decrease in terms of functionality. Over time, this cause healthy cells to turn into cancerous cells.
2. Loss of Bone Density
When your body is too acidic, it tries to buffer the low pH through mineral stores. Since minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium are stored in various tissues, the loss of these minerals can negatively affect your organs. With that being said, your bones and teeth are most highly affected in terms of demineralization.
3. Chronic Fatigue
When your body is too acidic, fatigue tends to take over. Basically, an overly-acidic environment is not optimal in terms of energy production. When less oxygen reach your cells and tissues, you experience fatigue. Since oxygen levels tend to decrease, this also creates an ideal environment for toxins and other harmful microorganisms.
4. Poor Digestion and Repair of the Body
Enzymes are the sparks that start the essential chemical reactions our bodies need to live. They are necessary for digesting food, for stimulating the brain, for providing cellular energy, and for repairing all tissues, organs, and cells.
If imbalances are not corrected, this can lead to inflammation, as well as lesions and the hardening of organ tissues. The kidneys and skin tend to be particularly affected, which can cause hives, eczema, itching, painful urination, or UTIs.
What You Can Do to Support Alkalinity
The best way to target and reduce over-acidity, is through your diet. The current American lifestyle introduces acidity through the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the medications we take, and even the water we drink. Some of the worst culprits include:
– Saturated fats
– Vegetable oil/Sunflower oil
– Fast foods/microwave meals
– Peanuts, cashews, pistachios
– Artificial sweeteners
– Breads and pastas
– Flesh meats
– Dairy products
– Soda (10,000 times more acidic than water!)
The good news is, in one year from now, cell by cell, 98% of your body will be rebuilt. By swapping acidic foods for an alkaline diet, you can support your cells and overall health. The following foods should make up at least 75-80% of your diet.
|Vegetables||Fruits||Seeds, Nuts, Legumes & Grains||Fats & Oils||Beverages|
|Asparagus||Avocado||Almonds||Avocado||Green drinks (wheat grass, spirulina, kelp, chlorella, moringa)|
|Beetroot||Grapefruit||Gluten-free buckwheat||Borage oil||Fresh vegetable juice|
|Broccoli||Lemon||Millet||Evening primrose oil||Pure water (distilled, reverse osmosis, ionized)|
|Brussels sprouts||Lime||Flax seeds||Flax||Fresh lemon water|
|Cabbage||Rhubarb||Chia seeds||Hemp oil||Herb tea|
|Carrot||Tomato||Lentils||Olive oil||Vegetable broth|
|Cauliflower||Watermelon||Pumpkin seeds||Non-sweetened, nonGMO soy|
|Zucchini||Apples||Sprouts/Sprouted seeds||Hemp milk|
|Green beans/peas||Hummus (chickpeas and tahini)|
|Lettuce||Non GMO soy|
Check out my blog for more acid-reducing recipes. If you’d like more information to promote alkalinity, or you’d like to know more about the best water to drink, please ask!