Bringing your pH (acid/alkaline) levels into balance is so important to your overall health and well-being. For optimum health, your body should always be slightly more alkaline than acidic.
A more alkaline reading represents a higher presence of oxygen (which of course is vital for our health and survival), where as a more acidic reading represents a lower presence of oxygen.
pH levels are measured on scale range of 0-14. A neutral reading would be 7, anything above 7 is slightly more alkaline and anything below 7 becomes more acidic. The range is narrow and an optimal reading would be around 7.365.
Urine gives a very accurate reading of your pH levels, which means you can test yourself at home (using litmus paper). The first urination of the day is bound to be loaded with toxins due to the recovery and elimination work your body performs during sleep. So test the second one of the day for a more accurate reading. If you test it over a couple of weeks and keep a record you should have a good sense of your pH levels and the actions you need to take.
While our bodies can deal with too much acid, why force them to? We can make life easier on ourselves and dramatically reduce stress simply by making better, more informed eating choices.
How to reduce Acid in the body:
- Eat a diet rich in whole foods – Fruit and vegetables (especially raw) contain vast amounts of oxygen which is exactly what you need to tip the pH scale into alkaline.
- Introduce green juices to your diet – the juices are easily absorbed by the body and the nutrients and oxygen present will quickly reach (and revive!) the cells. Oxygen rich cells will result in increased energy and a more vibrant appearance.
- Eliminate processed sugars, refined starches, animal products high in saturated fats, stimulants and too much cooked food to switch your body from acidic to alkaline (oxygen drenched) environment. Acidic foods and substances will decrease your oxygen levels and have a negative effect on your health and appearance.
- Aim to eat as much food as possible from natural sources. It doesn’t all have to be raw, vegetarian or vegan. Lightly steamed and sautéed food is great (and if you are not used to eating a diet rich in raw food, it can have quite stressful effects on your body – so make changes gradually).
- Aim to eat a 60/40 or 80/20 alkaline/acid based diet.
- Acid Forming and Alkaline Forming Foods (Follow this link for a detailed list of acid/alkaline foods to help get you started).
What are the benefits of reducing acid in the diet
- Reduced stress – physical, mental and emotional. A highly acidic diet creates stress in the body. When we become over or chronically stressed the release of hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) become imbalanced and create all kinds of chaos. An alkaline rich diet will help restore balance and harmony.
- Reduced inflammation
- Increased immunity, vitality and energy – an alkaline diet increases your bodies’ ability to fight off nasty germs and infections.
- Increased healing and repair – when you feed your body foods that are easily digested it has more energy to spend on the regeneration (and toxic release) of unhealthy cells.
- The increased oxygen in your cells will; make your eyes brighter, your hair shiner, bring your sex drive to life, radiate through your skin and increase your energy levels!
Cleansing at a cellular level is extremely powerful and will produce amazing effects.
Remember, the food you eat and the lifestyle you lead will always affect your health in either a positive or a negative way. Be aware of what you are feeding your mind, body and soul. It is not just about the food – everything you take into your life counts.
Adjusting your food consumption is an easy and effective place to start because as you start to feel better physically, you will find it easier to make good choices in other areas of life.
Originally published on Holistic Stress Management November 2013