Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Balance Your Acid/Alkaline Levels

Eating the right foods for you can lead to a more balanced life where your intuition and instincts become clear. To achieve balance when eating you need to understand and apply the acid/alkaline balance in your diet. Maintaining a balance of acidity and alkalinity, which is referred to as pH, in our body is a primary role of nutrition. pH ranges from totally acid at 0.0 to totally alkaline at 14.0. 7.0 is neutral. Our ideal pH range is from 7.35 to 7.4. People who eat a standard American diet (SAD) become unbalanced and have an acidic pH of 6.3 or lower.

Acidity creates inflammation in the body and leads to an unhealthy appearance outside. It creates puffiness, asymmetry, contraction of tissues, stiffness, tissue degeneration, water retention, itchy skin and more. To correct this imbalance you need to eat a ratio of foods that are more alkaline than acidic and drink alkaline water.

What determines if a food is alkaline or acidic? The primary determinant is the mineral content of the food. Foods rich in alkaline minerals create alkalinity. Alkaline minerals include calcium, magnesium, silicon, iron, sodium and manganese. Foods rich in acidic minerals create acidity in the body. Acidic minerals include phosphorus, chlorine, iodine, nitrogen and sulfer.

We need both alkaline and acidic foods to create vibrant health and balance. Acidic foods are not bad, we just need to be sure we are eating a balance of both acid and alkaline foods. If you eat something acidic then you should eat something alkaline. For example if you eat brown rice, which is acidic, then you should eat something alkaline such as greens. Most people are too acidic due to eating an abundance of acid-forming foods including meat, eggs, nuts, seeds and grains. People who are too acidic need to reverse this condition. To reverse an acidic condition the best foods to eat are greens- chlorophyll-rich green-leafy vegetables. Eat 2 salads a day, drink a green vegetable juice and/or use a green superfood powder. After you are balanced then you have to maintain the balance by eating a balance of acid and alkaline foods.

There is controversy in regards to what percentage alkaline foods to acid foods we should eat to maintain optimal health. Most say that when healing you should eat 80-90% alkaline and to maintain a proper balance you should eat 60-70% alkaline. I believe that due to our bio-individuality we all need to experiment with what works best for each of us.

If you have any of the following symptoms of being too acidic increase your alkaline foods and notice the change: tense muscles, stress headaches, anger, short temper, chronic negative thoughts, addictions to coffee, cigarettes, smoking marijuana, cocaine or other legal or illegal drugs.

If you have any of the following symptoms of being too alkaline increase your acid foods and notice the change: laziness, spaciness, lack of drive, excessively passive, feelings of being too cold.

The following are some foods to help guide you in making the right food choices to adjust your acid/alkaline or pH levels:

Chlorophyll-rich green-leafy veggies are the best source of alkaline minerals.

Fruits vary in alkalinity and acidity.

Alkaline fruits: olives, figs, papaya, pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, lime, oranges, citrus fruits, grapes with seeds, pomegranate, blackberry, raspberries, kiwi.

Neutral fruits; melons, apples, bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, mango, mangosteen, strawberries, blueberries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, pumpkin, noni.

Acidic fruits: banana, avocado, plums, dates, mulberry, grapes without seeds, prunes, dried fruit.

Root vegetables- vary from neutral to acidic.

Radishes, onion, and burdock root are neutral.

Potatoes and carrots are acidic.

Nuts and seeds (grain and rice products are in the category of nuts and seeds)

All nuts and seeds are acidic. Almonds are the least acidic.

Soaked nuts and seeds are more alkaline. Soak nuts and seeds in water to deactivate acids and enzyme inhibitors. They are alkaline when they sprout and grow green leaves.

Meat is acidic.

Dairy products are alkaline if you can digest them well. Most people do not have the enzymes needed to digest dairy products well.

Unpasteurized goat’s milk, cheese and kefir are easier to digest and contain high quality alkaline minerals.

Eggs are acidic.

Other factors that potentially make us more acid include:

Hearing or saying harsh words

Loud music and noise

Being in a traffic jam

Feeling jealousy or wanting revenge

Hearing a baby crying

Overworking and Over-exercising

Watching a stressful movie

General stress and worry

Other factors that potentially make us more alkaline:

Giving and receiving a smile or hug

Laughter and jokes

Classical or quiet music

Hearing a compliment or blessing

Receiving a relaxing massage

Staying in a cozy and clean environment

Being in nature

Watching children laugh and play

Sincere friendly conversation

To measure your pH level at various times during the day use litmus paper. You can measure your saliva and/or urine. Read more to learn when to test your urine and saliva and what the results mean.

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