What is the acid/alkaline balance? The pH spectrum measures how acidic or alkaline our body system is; the scale runs from 0-14. Neutral pH is 7.0. The higher the pH (greater than 7) the more alkaline, while a lower pH, (less than 7) is acidic. For good health, our bodies need to be slightly alkaline. Our immunity is directly related to how alkaline our diet is. An overly acidic diet eventually leads to a weakened state, and our bodies become susceptible to disease. The digestive system, liver and kidneys all begin to suffer. This causes a variety of issues, such as inflammation, allergies, arthritis, constipation and other bowel issues. Your body works very hard to create balance.
Why should we be concerned with “alkalizing” our bodies regularly? When you are stressed, make poor lifestyle choices or are exposed to a toxic environment, your body is constantly trying to bring you back to a more alkaline state. The body starts pulling minerals like magnesium and calcium from your bones, teeth, and organs to neutralize the acid. Unprocessed, plant-based foods are highly alkaline, meaning they clean the blood, oxygenate the body, and keep your cells in tip-top shape! This will give you energy, clear up your skin and reduce inflammation in the body.
Where should we start? It’s a good idea to start the day with daily lemon water, drink a fresh vegetable juice, and fill more than half your plate with veggies at every meal. Offset overly acidic foods like sugar, dairy, meat, caffeine and alcohol by loading up on greens, fresh veggies, fruits and alkaline water daily. Think 80/20: Make 80% of the foods you eat alkaline and 20% acidic.
Adequate water intake supports all body systems and clears out excess toxins. Drink half your body weight in ounces everyday to keep your body systems regulated. For instance, if you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 ounces of water daily. Carry a water bottle with you and fill it with filtered water all day vs. constantly drinking from plastic, which wreaks havoc on your hormones. For an extra boost in alkalinity – add lemon! Lemon water not only alkalizing, but it also contains high amounts of vitamin C and aids in digestion.
Green tea is highly alkaline. Try jasmine, sencha or matcha – or switch to a less processed, less acidic coffee, brands labeled ‘low acid.’
Use stevia, coconut sugar or small amounts of honey in place of sugar. Sugar is one of the most acidic foods and it pops up everywhere in our day-to-day lives. Try to balance the amount you are having by using alternative sweeteners as much as possible.
Eat a salad or add greens to every meal. Load up on leafy greens every day. Add a tablespoon of green powder to your smoothies or buy liquid chlorophyll and add it to your water once a day. Greens are highly alkaline and oxygen rich. Drink fresh green vegetable juices as often as possible. Again, greens contain high amounts of chlorophyll, which contain high amounts of oxygen and oxygen = alkalinity.
Exercise to create more oxygen and qi flow in the body and to avoid stagnation. Dance, hike, do yoga, play with your kids and have fun! Exercise also helps to relieve stress. Do your best to get moving whenever possible. Exercise = oxygen = alkalinity.
Meditate as often as possible, practice deep breathing, do yoga, get into nature, try earthing and get plenty of sleep. Take baths, drink tea, daydream, go for a walk after dinner – whatever makes you feel centered. Stress creates cellular acidity. Always work on bringing yourself back into balance by creating rituals that make you feel good and calm your mind and body.