Thursday, February 21, 2013

pH Balancing Act


It’s pretty simple. The body and its processes—including the immune, metabolic, enzymatic and restorative processes—do better in an alkaline environment instead of an acidic one. Unfortunately, the foods typically consumed by most Americans are overly acidic-forming foods, and that’s hurting our health and our inner terrain, including our cells.

Our modern diet is heavy on the acidic side due to processed grains, conventional meats, sugars and unhealthy fats—which lead to the body being more acidic. When the body’s more acidic, however, it directly and unhealthily affects the blood and bodily tissues, including the cells of the heart, blood, brain, nerves, muscles, bones, skin and hair. And when your cells—the building blocks of who we are—are unhealthy, then you’re inviting disastrous health consequences. The truth is that the body’s trillions of cells prefer a slightly alkaline state—and alkalizing foods such as apple cider vinegar and others are foods your body, including your cells, will love and respond favorably to.

Let’s back up the train a bit, though, and talk about pH. The body's internal environment is sustained at a pH level of nearly 7.0, which is more alkaline. It’s in a state of constant flux, however, and the body works continuously to keep it at its 7.0 alkaline pH. In so doing, the body must have oxygen, water and acid-buffering minerals—in addition to quickly getting rid of waste products—to maintain this pH level. In short, the body takes the nutrients you give it from your food, which will either alkalinize or acidify the blood. That, in turn, determines the overall health of your terrain.

Sometimes the body has to work extra hard, too, to keep this pH equilibrium. For example, the acid-forming metabolic effects of processed foods, excess stress and unhealthy inflammation levels all contribute to the acidity of the body. Therefore, the body must have a healthy store of mineral-buffering reserves to offset this acidity and to return the body to its healthy alkaline state.

If, however, there are not enough “reserves” to combat the acidic infiltration, then there can be problems. For example, if there aren't enough alkalinizing minerals from food, then the body will take it from bones and other areas to achieve the pH balance it needs. When those sources run out, then the body can really struggle systemically. That’s where the alkaline advantage of alkaline-forming foods comes in.

Unsurprisingly, most veggies, fruits, sprouts, seeds, roots and tubers are generally packed with alkaline-forming nutrition, while higher carb and unhealthy fat foods— including highly refined and processed foods full of unhealthy fats, sugars, simple starches, chemicals, additives and GMOs—increase acidic levels.
Some delicious alkaline-forming foods to enjoy, however, include raw, grassfed milk and dairy products; cultured whey; apple cider vinegar; sprouted foods; chia seeds; avocados; almonds; green, leafy veggies; cucumbers; fresh coconuts; and root veggies—to name a few.  

Of course, foods to avoid include processed or refined foods of any kind, including refined grains; conventional dairy; conventional meat; vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners and processed sugars.
So, if your pH is out of balance—and many people are pH imbalanced—go with the alkaline advantage.

It’s best for your body.