Improving your pH balance – naturally
Want to improve your pH balance? Here are some ideas on how to restore pH balance to your diet, support healthy digestion, keep blood pH levels on track, and protect your bones and kidneys
Many people think that alkaline diets are the only step to good health. It’s true that our bodies know intuitively where the balance lies, and they can maintain balance on their own if provided what they need through healthy diet and nutritional supplements. But it’s important to understand that you can’t simply load up on alkalizing foods and supplements and presume they’ll offset any amount of acid you consume or create. To restore pH balance, you must address other sources of metabolic acidity as well, because, in most situations, no amount of alkalizing can balance a toxically acidic environment. And to cap it off, detoxification takes place more slowly in an overly acidic environment.
Here are some ideas on how to restore pH balance to your diet, support healthy digestion, keep blood pH levels on track, and protect your bones and kidneys, too.
- Take a high-quality daily multivitamin. This will offset any nutritional gaps and ensure that your body has the reserves it needs. Your supplement should contain essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and magnesium in their most bioavailable, alkalizing forms. In addition, an essential fatty acid supplement and a good probiotic, help the body absorb the minerals that are all-important to your bones.
- Fill your plate with fresh vegetables, particularly the dark green leafy kind. Add fresh lemon or lime juice to foods and beverages. Enjoy plenty of fruits, especially fruits with a low glycaemic index. Women in peri-menopause and menopause, particularly, benefit more from fruits that are lower in sugars, to avoid concerns about insulin resistance. Again, foods that are fresh, organic, and deeply pigmented or brightly coloured are the kinds that benefit you the most!
- Choose root vegetables as they are excellent sources of alkalizing mineral compounds. Eating foods such as slow-roasted sweet potatoes, onions, and leeks, which are also high in inulin, can optimize your body’s ability to fully absorb the calcium present in your food and thereby decrease your risk for osteoporosis. Inulin is a type of prebiotic — it is believed to serve as a welcoming “fuel” for friendly gut flora, paving the way for beneficial bacteria to thrive further down into the colon, where it lowers the pH and improves the absorption of calcium by the body.
- Consider boosting your diet with “green foods” or “green drinks,” which contain the pigment chlorophyll in abundance. The plant world’s equivalent of the haemoglobin in our blood, we can thank chlorophyll as the original source of all our food (except perhaps fungi!) It works in the body as a strong detoxifier and immunity–building agent. Foods that contain high levels of chlorophyll include the algae spirulina and chlorella and the juice of wheat grass and other sprouted grains. These foods offer high levels of other micronutrients as well, and their neat packaging can be especially helpful for those who lack time to prepare whole balanced meals or people recovering from illness.
- Eat plenty of vegetable protein, watch your red meat intake, and keep your servings of the acidifying animal proteins down to four ounces per meal (the size of a deck of cards). Avoid refined carbohydrates whenever you can, including sugar, and when you include grains, be sure to emphasize the “whole” in whole grains. Eliminate all processed foods, particularly those that contain partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats).
- Clear the digestive slate with a gentle detox plan, to get a better reading on how your diet — and pH — are affecting your sense of well-being. You may be surprised at how well you feel! If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, or regular heartburn, consider testing your pH. Remember that you may have too little acid in your stomach, not too much. Don’t just assume that an acid stomach means you’re too acidic.
What are the symptoms of unbalanced body pH caused by acidic bodily fluids?
Your body has natural buffer systems that strive to keep your pH level in the safe range. A constant intake of acid producing foods causes these natural systems to become overworked and buffering substances begin to run out. Now your body begins to break down your muscles for alkalizing glutamine and starts to heist alkalizing minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium from your bones, teeth and organs.
When acid levels rise, fermentation takes place, causing oxygen levels within cells to decrease. Improper fat metabolism clogs cell membranes which also has an effect on the amount of oxygen within each cell, by causing cell wall permeability issues. This means nutrients can neither enter nor exit cells properly.
Mild chronic acidosis manifests in symptoms such as inflammation, dry skin, bleeding gums, brittle nails, thinning hair, irritability, fatigue, energy loss, joint pain and weakness, decreased immunity, psoriasis, yeast infections, kidney stones, gallbladder and liver congestion and arterial damage. We all know that acid in our body contributes to cancer and other diseases like arthritis and inflammation.
How do you know if the pH of your body is out of balance? Pay attention to symptoms from your body. These are messages from the realm of optimum health. If you do not feel your normal self and suffer from one or more of the symptoms above, test your body pH to be sure, but it will not hurt to add more alkaline foods regardless.
Change your eating plan with 20% to 40% acid producing dairy, meat, fish and poultry and 60 to 80% alkaline producing fruits, vegetables, seeds, herbs and spices, with an emphasis on extremely alkalizing green leafy vegetables and root crops like burdock, radishes, turnips, carrots and parsnips.
Make a list of the pH scale in common foods (refer to the image we have provided on page 46 for your reference). Print it out and tape it to your refrigerator. Focus on the right-hand side of the scale as these are the foods that will pacify the acids in your body with their rich reservoir of alkaline minerals. They will give you energy, oxygen and nutrients. You will feel the difference as you become cleansed, nourished and protected. When making changes to your diet, the most important thing is to focus on what you are putting in your body and how you feel, before you eliminate or change anything.
Make mental note of any symptoms like joint pain or fatigue. Then after one or two days of really paying attention to what you are eating and how you feel, begin nurturing and healing yourself by adding more alkaline, fresh, raw foods from the right side of the chart. As you find foods and meals that suit your tastes, begin eliminating the foods that don’t serve you anymore, from the left side of the chart. Making positive changes to your diet takes time but as you begin to feel the results, you will be motivated to continue. Don’t forget to chew your food slowly and thoroughly. Enjoy every bite!
Here is a simple tip - drinking plenty of fresh non-chlorinated water helps your kidneys flush excess acids, and help to balance your body pH. To improve alkalinity further, drink lemon water on waking every day. Fresh, raw lemon juice makes a delicious, refreshing, cleansing and alkaline drink when paired with strongly alkaline mineral water. Use the juice of half a lemon to a large glass of water.
There is the beauty of balance. Pay attention to your pH and feel that positive change to preserve your long-term health. Listen to your body and help it find balance on all fronts, including your hormones, your emotions, and your lifestyle. Happy healing!