Before getting into our diet, let’s look at our body. our bodies like to maintain the blood PH levels between 7.365-7.4, as you can see this is very tight and there is not much room to wiggle.
So what is PH?
PH is the concentration of Hydrogen ions in a solution. The higher the concentration of H+ ions the lower the PH. In our body we use PH to measure the alkalinity or acidity of our body’s fluid and tissues. It is measured in a scale of 0-14 with 0 being the most acidic, 14 the most basic, and 7 neutral. With body’s optimal PH of 7.365-7.4, you can see that our body likes to be alkaline. Please note that the PH levels vary through out the body. For example stomach has the most acidic PH levels 1.5- 3.5.
The importance of having a balanced PH:
The first line of defense against disease is to maintain a proper PH balance. an acidic environment in our body, makes situations favorable for Bacteria, yeast, fungus, mold, viruses and any other unwanted organism. It has been shown that balancing body’s PH through an alkaline diet, can reduce mortality and morbidity from various chronic diseases such as low bone density, hypertension, and Vitamin D deficiency, just to name a few.
So is your diet Alkaline or acidic?
with that little bit of information, lets get to the main question. Is your diet alkaline or acidic?
Foods that contribute mostly to acidity include:
- Foods high in sodium: Such as processed foods
- certain dairy products (like calcium-rich milk)
- high protein foods and supplements
- meats fresh and processed
- sodas and other sweetened beverages
To add to this list, there are certain behaviors that make your body more acidic as well. those behaviors include:
- Lack of exercise, or too much exercise
- Chronic Stress
- Drug and alcohol use
- use of artificial sweeteners
- declining nutrient levels in food due to industrial farming
- antibiotic overuse
- excess hormones from foods, health and beauty products
- exposure to chemicals and radiations from house hold cleaning materials, microwaves, computer, cell phones, etc.
- pesticides, herbicides, and pollution
- poor chewing and eating habits
- Shallow breating
If you are freaking out because you are eating all of these foods and your have most of these habits, don’t worry you are not alone. Majority of us consume high levels of above mentioned foods. Remember your goal is to stay balanced. Our bodies love Homeostasis. So lets look at the foods that are alkaline, and will bring the balance back to our body.
Best Alkaline foods:
- Fresh Fruits and vegetables: Please note it would be best if you can get their Organic sources that are grown with out use of pesticides or herbicides and are not grown in an industrial farms, since those are depleted form minerals and can cause acidosis. Some of the top picks include mushrooms, citrus, dates, raisins, spinach, grapefruit, tomatoes, avocado, summer black radish, alfalfa grass, barley grass, cucumber, kale, wheat grass, broccoli, oregano, garlic, ginger, green beans, endive, cabbage, celery, red beet, watermelon, figs and ripe bananas.
- Raw foods: cooking foods deplete their alkalizing minerals. Eat your fruits and vegetables raw or slightly steamed.
- Consume more plant proteins: Almonds, Lima beans, navy beans and most beans are good sources
- Water: Drink plenty of water, please note tap water or purified bottle waters are not good sources for alkaline water. Add lemon or lime juice to your water to make it more alkaline or drink. my Ginger, lemon, cider water (click here to get the recipe). Please note that Raw Apple cider vinegar, is acidic in nature, but it has alkaline effects in our bodies.
- Green drinks: drinks made from green vegetables. it is the best to juice your greens your self, since majority of green juices available in the market are processed and loaded with preservatives and sugar. Please note there are green powders in the market that you can purchase, just be aware of their sugar content.
To see the complete list of Alkaline and acidic foods, please download the PDF here:
Unfortunately our diet is mostly acidic. We start our days with couple cups of coffee which is highly acidic, to make the situation even worse, we add cream or milk another highly acidic food to it and if this is not enough to make it even more acidic we add sugar or worst of all some sort of artificial sweetener like Splenda to it. Yikes!
Don’t get me wrong I am not saying don’t drink coffee at all, I love my coffee. Limit your coffee consumption. Drink more water and add lemon to your water. make your own alkaline water by adding simple ingredients like raw apple cider vinegar, ginger and lemon to it. see my recipe here.
Eat more raw fruits and vegetables. Take a look at list of alkaline and acidic foods, provided here, and see how you can swipe them in your diet.
Exercise, but in moderation ( Most professionals recommend between 30 min-1 hr a day).
Try to keep your stress under control, by keeping track of what is causing your stress, how to eliminate that, meditate and pray, talk to a professional and ask for help.
As always, please let me know if you have any question or concern and mean while:
Stay happy and healthy