Today’s modern diet reads like a recipe for imbalance and illness.
Heavy on food-lot raised animal proteins—and highly-processed, grain-based carbs with nearly zero nutritional value—the Standard American Diet, as it’s known, couldn’t have a more fitting acronym than SAD.
But wait, it gets worse.
Meats packed with drugs and produce laden with pesticides are just the beginning. These highly processed foods are full of toxic chemicals, estrogen mimickers, heavy metals and artificial ingredients.
It’s really no wonder so many of us are suffering from chronic inflammation and an overly acidic pH. Or that we’re being struck down in record numbers by related devastating chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome, heart disease, obesity, cancer and dementia.
Regain pH balance and regain your health
The abbreviation pH stands for “potential of hydrogen” and is a measurement of acidity. Your continued good health is dependent on the right pH balance.
Hydrogen ions contribute acidity to tissues or organs. For example hydrochloric acid contributes to stomach acid.
The scale that we use to measure pH is called a logarithmic scale. There’s a tenfold difference between each of the numbers on this scale… 1 to 14.
- The lowest numbers… 1 – 6.99… represent the acid (or H+ donating) range.
- Neutral is 7.0.
- And the highest numbers 7.01 – 14… represent the alkaline (or H+ accepting) range.
Some systems in your body have a more tightly regulated range such as blood at 7.35 to 7.45. Others, such as urine have a much broader range from 4.5 to 8.0. This is what makes urine the perfect fluid for tracking how your dietary changes affect your overall pH levels.
As mentioned earlier, being too acidic compromises your health and contributes to a number of chronic degenerative conditions, including gastrointestinal issues, suppressed immunity, osteoporosis, kidney disease and muscle wasting.
Case in point, your body uses bone tissue to buffer acidity. In other words, your bones can become weak when the alkaline minerals calcium and magnesium are pulled out of them in an effort to put your body in the proper alkaline balance. The calcium leached from your bones can also increase your risk for painful kidney stones.
Maintain proper pH with food
The good news is with some diet changes you can help restore and maintain the right pH levels in your body. But by the same token eating too many of either alkalizing or acidic foods can upset the balance.
Most fruits, for example, are acid forming, with the exception of a few such as lemons and limes. Lemons and limes certainly have acidic properties, but they’re actually alkalizing once digested. That is why lemons and limes are so highly recommended during a seasonal cleanse or detoxification program.
To neutralize an overly acidic system you can eat lots of mostly alkalizing vegetables. This can positively influence your bone metabolism and strengthen your skeleton by increasing the retention of phosphates and calcium and reducing bone depletion.
The following food lists will help you determine which common foods are more acid forming and which are more alkaline.
|Highly Alkalizing Foods|
|sprouts (soy, alfalfa etc.)|
|Moderately Alkalizing Foods|
|white haricot beans|
|Mildly Alkalizing Foods|
|new red potatoes|
|most herbs and spices|
|freshwater wild fish|
|brazil, pecan and hazelnuts|
|over-the-counter and prescription drugs|
|sugar and sweeteners|
|most dairy (except raw dairy which can be slightly alkalizing)|
Easily check your own pH at home
You can buy pH test strips at your local pharmacy or online, so you can experiment with testing your urine and saliva to see what your results are after eating certain foods.
Go ahead and experiment with different foods and testing times. Studies have shown that urine pH can show modifications in as little as two hours after a meal.
Your goal is to be in the green or slightly alkaline range, which should be fairly easily accomplished with a diet high in green leafy vegetables (alkalinizing foods) and lower in proteins and carbohydrates (acidifying foods).
Focus on potassium, magnesium and calcium
The best way to increase your alkalinity is to balance your diet. Emphasize nutrient-dense, complex carbohydrates, along with smaller portions of organic and grass-fed meats and high-quality plant protein sources such as sprouted, fermented grains and legumes.
Alkalizing minerals, such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, are best obtained from organic food sources. Try more red potatoes, avocados, Brussels sprouts, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, sea veggies and green drink powders.
While sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is often recommended for alkalinizing, studies show that potassium bicarbonate and potassium citrate have a much more protective alkalizing effect. Potassium chloride on the other hand, which is commonly found in processed foods, doesn’t have the same alkalinizing ability as potassium citrate.
Studies conducted on postmenopausal women show that potassium chloride can weaken bones, while potassium citrate increases bone density and is more effective in reducing calcium excretion in the urine.
Products like Alkala provide a combination of potassium and sodium bicarbonates, and can be used to help maintain alkaline urine and promote better detoxification. Always check with your healthcare provider before using any concentrated mineral supplement such as this. Some conditions or drugs can cause an accumulation of potassium or sodium in the body, which can be dangerous for certain individuals.
We also recommend comprehensive men’s and women’s multinutrient formulas with synergistic blends of minerals, vitamins, nutrients and botanicals. Such formulas can help support optimal nutrition, bone strength, hormone balance, detoxification and other targeted areas of health for men and women.
To achieve and maintain optimal long term health, it all comes down to balance. Our bodies work hard to maintain very precise levels of balance and homeostasis within our complex systems. When things are in harmony, we feel our best, with radiant vitality, clarity and well-being.
Dr. Isaac Eliaz, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine since the early 1980's, is a respected author, lecturer, researcher, product formulator and clinical practitioner.
Since 1991 Dr. Eliaz has maintained a busy private practice in northern California that focuses primarily on integrative, holistic protocols for cancer patients. He leads an integrative medical team at Amitabha Clinic in Sebastopol, California with focus on cancer and other chronic ailments.
To learn more, please visit www.dreliaz.org.
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