**this blog was originally published February 28, 2013 but was updated March 9, 2016**
Alkaline vs Acidic – Why You Should Care?
WHAT IS THIS – HIGH SCHOOL CHEMISTRY CLASS? Back to High School we go to refresh on alkaline vs acidic! It’s a lesson in pH, and how important the pH of your food is to maintaining a balanced system and a healthy diet.
So what does “pH” really refer to?
Have you ever had a doctor tell you that a particular ailment or sickness is due to your pH being out of whack? Well pH is the level of acidity or alkalinity in a substance at any given time, and there’s an acidic/alkaline balance that has to exist for certain metabolic processes to take place, especially in our own bodies.
Your body’s blood pH should be between 7.365 and 7.45, but that balance certainly changes given a diet based too heavily in predominantly acidic or predominantly alkaline foods. It also changes due to stress, immune reactions, and any other process that deprives cells of oxygen.
To put it in perspective, the pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Actually, pure water has a pH of 7. Foods above 7 are alkaline, and foods below 7 are acidic – where do you think a majority of your diet sits on the pH scale?
Acidic forming foods
Acidic foods (which often may create symptoms that mimic acid reflux) include refined sugar, chocolate, peanuts, wheat flour, white flour, beef, shell fish, cheese and dairy, processed foods, beer, and soft drinks. Basically the majority of the typical American diet!
What happens when we consume an acidic diet?
First and foremost, disease THRIVES in an acidic state and are less likely to live in an alkaline state. When we consume a predominantly acidic diet, we run the risk of acidosis. The body becomes too acidic and as a result, is forced to utilize its own alkaline mineral resources to maintain livable pH levels.
These minerals include sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium – your body is literally stripping itself of these minerals just to establish balance, neutralize the over-abundance of acid, and safely remove it from the body! As a result of acidosis, you may start to experience a build-up of acid in the cells, which then decreases energy production in those cells.
Decreased energy production leads to an inability of the body to repair damaged cells and detoxify heavy metals, and you become more susceptible to both chronic fatigue as well as an increased incidence of disease (cancer tumors thrive in an acidic environment).
To make it simple, if you drink one can of soda it takes 32 8oz. glasses of water to neutralize it. So just imagine what happens if you don’t drink enough water! Now your body has to neutralize the soda so what does it do?
Well, since calcium is high in pH, its pulls it from your bones if you aren’t eating enough mineral rich food. This may lead to decreased bone density, osteoporosis, and/or arthritis.
Think of your body as a car; if you don’t use the right fuel in your car, it isn’t going to run very well. The SAME goes for your body!
NJFit TWEETit: If you have 1 can of soda, it takes 32 8oz glasses of H20 to neutralize it! @NatalieJillFit
Eeeeeeks. OK, what should I do about it?
First, don’t panic! It’s not too late to change our ways and establish the consistent homeostasis that keeps us healthy! We need to focus on maintaining a proper balance, and to do that, it’s suggested that at least 60% of your diet be of alkaline-producing foods.
However if you’re already in the midst of experiencing acidosis, a corrective diet will consist of 80% alkaline foods until a better balance is achieved. In addition to healthy eating consider adding a greens supplement as that will greatly improve your alkalinity.
The menus in my nutrition programs provide you with a clean nutrition plan that absolutely focuses on establishing the right balance. Focus on a plan clear of processed foods, sugars, and white flour but that is heavier in fruits, vegetables and less acidic forming proteins and fats (whey and almonds for example) – it’s a definite start in the right direction.
Not sure where you stand on the charts? These pHresh strips make it SUPER easy to test your pH levels and see if your body is in a balanced or an acidic state!
Alkaline Forming Foods
Some examples of alkaline forming fruits are lemons, oranges, cherries, dates, figs, nectarines, pears, watermelon, apples, bananas, and avocados.
Some examples of alkaline forming vegetables are jicama, kale, sweet potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, bell peppers, beets, eggplant, cucumber, lettuces, mushrooms, squashes (including pumpkin), greens, and most herbs and spices.
Instead of frozen vegetables (more acidic), get to the grocery store or your local farmers market for fresh, organic options! Eliminate anything out of a can or a box, including most of the options in the freezer aisle. Do that, and you’ll be eliminating a lot of acidic forming foods from your diet.
My goal here is to help you recognize how certain foods affect your body and contribute to the way you feel every day. Of course we all know that junk food and processed food is a big no-no, but it’s also important to recognize that the balance you establish internally plays a direct role in basic metabolic processes – I’m talking hair and skin and nails and basic bodily functions people!
The acidic/alkaline balance has a HUGE influence in the choices I make every day. I like knowing which foods are acidic (there are a million lists online, some better than others), and therefore knowing that I need to make a concerted effort to make sure I eat alkaline-producing options alongside them. Take the time to make this knowledge a priority, and your body will certainly thank you for it, especially in the long run!
Have you been taught how to test it? Just as we test the pH in a pool, fish tank or soil, now you can do it for your body easily and effectively. pHresh strips™ pH test is the solution to determine if your body is in either balanced or an acidic state. pHresh strips™ pH test is based on a two test color system which is more effective than litmus paper and does not bleed while testing either your urine or saliva. pHresh strips™ pH test is the most convenient way to test your pH!
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