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It’s all about balance

acid alkaline balanceHow often do you eat quickly, on the run or late in the evening? How often do you feel tired with a bloated, gassy stomach and are lacking in energy? Do you suffer from osteoporosis or chronic muscle and joint pain?

These are some of the signs your body is suffering from too much acid. Your body is constantly trying to maintain balance by keeping your blood pressure within a certain safe range. The same applies to your blood sugar levels, hormone levels, temperature and pH levels. 

What are pH levels?

Acidity is measured by pH. Systems with a pH less than 7 are acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are alkaline or basic. The level of pH varies in the body. For example, blood requires a pH of around 7.4 which is slightly alkaline. The stomach acid however needs to be a very corrosive 2 to 3 in order to start the digestion of protein and kill bacteria and parasites as part of our defence mechanism.

Why are pH levels important?

Impaired pH levels can be one of the contributing factors of many health conditions. For example, osteoporosis can be the result of a chronic intake of acid-forming foods at the cost of alkalising foods. Long term this leads to the bones being constantly forced to give up their alkalising minerals (calcium and magnesium) in order to neutralise the excess acid.

How to correct pH balance

Re-establishing proper pH balance can be achieved in several ways. Start off with making sure that you consume more alkaline- producing foods than acid-producing foods.  Alkaline-producing foods include vegetables, fruit and legumes whereas acid-producing foods include grains, meat, dairy and some nuts.

pH and citrus fruit

Many people start their day with half a lemon and luke warm water to cleanse their system. Interestingly enough, lemons taste acidic but actually have an alkalising effect on the body. What determines the acid/alkaline impact of food in the body is its metabolic end product. For example, the citric acid in citrus fruit is metabolised in the body to a citrate alkaline.

The 80/20 balance

Whilst it is recommended to focus on increasing alkalising foods in your diet, aiming for 80% of alkalising foods and 20% of acid-forming foods is the goal. The body constantly strives to maintain balance and some acid forming foods are required for optimal health. Like everything else in life – it is all about balance.

Keen to make some changes?

The foods below are categorised by the strength of their acidity. Remember, rather than cutting out all acid foods completely, reduce your intake of acid-forming foods and replace them with more alkaline foods.

Strongly acid-forming foods

  • Animal protein: pork, fish, chicken, lamb, beef
  • Aged dairy products: matured cheese
  • Refined oils and fats: margarine, corn oil
  • Industrially processed products, canned foods
  • Foods containing refined sugar and grains: preserves, fizzy drinks, cakes, sweets, chocolate, wheat, barley, rice, oats and corn
  • Coffee & Alcohol

Mildly acid-forming foods

  • Vegetable protein: chickpeas, beans, lentils
  • Fresh dairy: fresh cheese
  • Nuts: cashews, peanuts, pistachios

Alkaline-forming foods

  • All fruit and vegetables
  • Some grains: e.g. amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, rye
  • Fresh, aromatic herbs: basil, rosemary, thyme
  • Nuts: activated raw almonds
  • High-quality, cold-pressed ‘virgin’ vegetable nut and seed oils: flaxseed oil, olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, hempseed oil
  • Pure mineral water, herbal teas

Are you keen to get your pH back on track and enjoy improved vitality and energy levels, contact Anita on 0457584459 for more information.

References:

  • Beim, M. (2014). Natural Remedies: An A-Z of cures for health and wellbeing. RockpoolPublishing, Summer Hill.
  • Domenig, S. (2014). The alkaline cure. Penguin Group, London.

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