pH - What's Your Number? Part 4 of the Series
To summarize my last few articles, I spoke about the significance of our body’s pH and how important it is to maintain a balanced pH that is slightly alkaline (about 7.0 – 7.5). This balanced pH is essential in order to enjoy a healthier and longer life. The easiest way to measure your pH is by your saliva or urine with litmus paper. I’ve received numerous emails from my readers, asking me…where to find litmus paper? Well, I personally purchase the litmus paper rolls through the nutritional company “Chiropractor’s Blend”. It is very inexpensive and it works well.
Keep in mind, having a chronically acidic pH creates a breeding ground for all illness and disease. In last month’s article I listed numerous alkalizing foods to increase in your diet and many acidic foods to limit or avoid. Due to popular demand, I will expand on some of these foods in this article.
To restore your health, it is important for you to follow the 80/20 Rule. That is, eat 80% of the alkalizing foods listed and 20% of the moderately acidic foods listed. You must avoid the extremely acidic foods I’ve pointed out. If this dietary lifestyle is too difficult for you to follow regularly, you must supplement with a high quality “greens” drink and the main alkalizing minerals…calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. As mentioned in my prior article, I’ve been most pleased with “Natural Greens” made by Chiropractor’s Blend.
An overly acidic body has a very dangerous domino effect. It is interesting to note that as your body’s pH becomes acidic, calcium is drawn out of your blood, bones and tissues as a safety mechanism. When this occurs, your body’s oxygen levels also decline, leaving you feeling tired and fatigued with a compromised immune system in addition to allowing bad bacteria, fungus, mold, parasites and viral infections to invade your internal environment. Most shocking is the fact that cancer thrives in acidic tissue that is pH and oxygen deficient!
Now, why and how exactly do foods “become” acid-forming or alkaline-forming? As I listed in last month’s article, Goji berries, lemon juice and watermelon are all “extremely” alkaline-forming foods. But wait, how can lemon juice, which is itself highly acidic, be alkaline-forming?
The answer is simple although the biochemistry behind it is complex. As I discussed in my first article, every time you ingest any food, your body “burns” it for fuel and nutrition, oxidizing it and leaving a residue behind which is called ash. Foods which are alkaline-forming are designated if the residue contains primarily the minerals sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Acidic-forming foods are those which, when oxidized, leave behind an ash where sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine, and non-combusted organic acids primarily remain.
So, in the case of the lemon, while it is indeed essentially acidic, its acids are well-combusted by the body, and the remaining minerals it leaves behind are a high residue of alkaline salts, mainly potash, which is inorganic potassium carbonate. Lemon juice contains nine grains of these alkalizing minerals to the pint, while, for instance, seedless grapes contain seven grains. So now you can see how something like a lemon, due to the overall chemical makeup of it, can dissolve into the body and leave behind wonderful alkalizing agents.
We went into detail in our last issue on all of the foods and their alkaline or acid effect on the body, but let’s do a brief review. You can think generally that almost all fresh fruits and vegetables, some nuts, a few seeds and a few grains metabolize alkaline, while most meats, breads, grains, rice, and sugars all metabolize acidic.
Here’s just a little more detailed reminder of these:
Foods Leaving an Alkaline Ash : Lemons, limes, almonds, melons, apples, milk, apricots, onions, banana (ripe), oranges, beets, parsley, cabbage, peaches, carrots, pears, cauliflower, pineapple, celery, potatoes, coconuts, pumpkins, cottage cheese, radishes, cucumbers, raisins, dates, spinach, figs (fresh and dry), sea salt, soybeans, grapes, tomatoes, turnips, lettuce.
Foods Leaving an Acid Ash: Barley (rye), eggs, bananas (unripe), grain foods, beans, lentils, bread, meats, cereals, nuts except almonds, cakes, oatmeal, chicken, confections, rice, corn, sugar, chocolate, sea foods, coffee, tea, wine, pasta, pastries, fruit juices with sugar, table salt (refined and iodized).
So have you paid attention to what categories you were eating from since last month? Were most of your choices in the 80% alkaline category, while only 20% were in the acidic? If not, can you think of places to substitute an alkaline meal for one or two of your acidic choices? Have you opted to add a “greens drink” to your diet?
Well, let’s add some more options to your alkalinizing. This past month I came across an internet talk show “Voice America” featuring Dr. John Gray. For those of you who don’t know who Dr. Gray is, he is the author of the best selling book “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”. Dr. Gray spoke about the affect pH has on our overall health and how cancer cells grow in an overly acidic body. He said if you bring oxygen into your cells, cancer can not grow. A balanced pH helps to bring oxygen into the cells. He continued to tell the listeners about a cheap and easy way to make the body more alkaline…that is, organic apple cider vinegar. Two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in water every morning helps make your body more alkaline. It may not have the same benefits, but you could do 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in half a glass of water instead.
And remember, whenever you are trying to balance your pH, drink lots of water with each meal.
So you need some help with ideas on how to make healthy, tasty foods that are alkalinizing all by themselves? Here are some ideas:
Salads are one great way to create variety and add lots of greens and lots of alkaline to your diet. Let’s start with the dressing. First, as a base, you can always use olive oil, which tastes great anyway, plus apple cider vinegar or lemon, pineapple or orange juice.
Spicy curry with lemon water and stevia tastes good as well. If you need a little extra sweetener use raw honey. Then you can add any sort of leafy green herbs such as basil, celery, chicory, chives, coriander, dill, ginger, savory, tarragon and lemon thyme. You can add a little thickener by using arrow root or lecithin. Any leafy green lettuce will do, then top it with avocado, tofu, chestnuts, coconut, sesame seeds, fresh fruit, watercress, grapes, raisins, garlic, bell peppers, cabbage, mushrooms, onions or tomatoes. You can see that you can make a rich, varied salad into a whole meal that can be different every day and be very satisfying.
There are also plenty of creative entrées and side-dishes you can make using alkaline ingredients. How about skin-on potatoes with soy cheese and sea salt, or a ratatouille with tomato, zucchini, eggplant, artichokes and onions with plenty of garlic, or perhaps a nice vegetarian (soy) meatless-meatloaf topped with natural mushroom gravy? All of those things sound delicious to me, and there are really a wide array of meals you can make to satisfy even the most discerning palate.
So, remember, despite our current stressful times, you can prevent a health care crisis by embracing your new found knowledge about the amazing alkaline-acid connection. Practice making better lifestyle choices to create a body that is more alkaline and therefore functions at a higher level of health today and into the future!
“The countless names of illnesses do not really matter. What does matter is that they all come from the same root cause…TOO MUCH ACID IN THE BODY!”
Dr. Theodore A. Baroody
Author, “Alkalize or Die!”