Great health can be as simple as balancing your body chemistry. Don’t let the word “chemistry” scare you. To balance your body chemistry, consider your pH levels. The pH scale is a measure of acidity and alkalinity in your body. Acid is on one side of the spectrum, starting at 0; alkaline is on the other side of the spectrum up to 14. Neutral is 7.0. Anything less than 7 is acid and anything higher than 7 is alkaline. You’re probably more familiar with the pH scale than you think. If you’ve ever cleaned with baking soda and vinegar you’re familiar with concept. Vinegar is acidic and baking soda is alkaline. When you put the two together (perhaps as a natural drain cleaner) the two bubble and fizz until they neutralize each other.
Your body works to maintain your blood’s pH at slightly alkaline (7.365). Most people eat an acid-forming diet of meat, dairy products, sugar and other sweets, wheat, processed white flour pastas and bakery items, coffee, tea, trans fats, and food additives that acidify their body.
Maintaining a stable blood pH is critical to life so the body has numerous mechanisms to help keep the balance: excretion from the kidneys, leaching calcium from the bones or magnesium from the muscles, among others. Over time, the burden on the kidneys and the elimination of alkaline minerals from critical areas of the body can lead to health issues.
Here are 4 easy ways to start alkalizing your body for better health:
Bittersweet pH Balancing
Start every morning with a large glass of water with the juice of half a lemon. Wait 20 minutes to half an hour before eating to give the lemon water a chance to start working. Be sure to drink a chaser of plain water afterward and swish it around in your mouth to prevent tooth enamel erosion.
Water, Water Everywhere
Drink at least 8 more cups of water throughout the day, preferably on an empty stomach. Add more lemon juice, powerfully alkalizing “green” powders (like barley grass or wheat grass powders), or alkalizing liquid drops found in most health food stores to each glass of water.
Lose the Caffeine
While there are some health benefits of coffee or tea, both are acid-forming. Even worse, cola and other soda creates a tremendous amount of acidity in your body. One soda requires over 30 glasses of water to neutralize it and obviously not recommended. Instead, cut out the soda and reduce your coffee and tea consumption. Reach for peppermint tea instead, which is naturally caffeine-free and a gentle energizer.
Take Mom’s Advice
Okay, who wants to admit that mom was right when she commanded, “eat your vegetables!” But she was. Make vegetables the focal point of your lunch and dinner meals. Enjoy some delicious mashed sweet potatoes or rich dairy-free guacamole. I share the easiest and fastest recipe for yummy guac in my book, The Ultimate pH Solution and even my chocolate mousse recipe features the highly healthy avocado–which technically is a fruit—but still highly alkalizing.
By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com