Anyone who gardens or has a fish tank probably knows all about acids and alkalines. This is basic chemistry stuff, but don’t worry – for the purposes of this discussion, all we need to know is that acids and alkalines cancel each other out when combined. This process is called neutralization and results in an average pH level: around 7.0 since the pH scale ranges from 0 to 14.
The pH levels are important for human bodies, too. The more acidic a solution (like blood) is, the lower its pH value. The more alkaline it is, the higher the pH number is:
• 0-7 is acidic
• 7 is neutral
• 7–14 is alkaline
Dr. Axe indicates that the optimum pH level for humans is between 7.365 to 7.45 – slightly more alkaline than acidic. Our pH levels go up and down during the course of a day, “but the normal range is between 6 and 7.5.”
The trouble is when we stop eating a well-balanced diet of proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. Too much highly processed “fast” or “junk” food tips our bodies into an acidic range.
Prolonged excess acidity in our bodies brings on a slew of disorders and diseases, including cancer, obesity, physical pain – just to name a few.
Quite often, our bodies become overly acidic over a long period of time. Slowly, we feel less energetic and, well, listless. The good news is that we can regain all that lost vitality by simply rebalancing our own body’s pH level.
Here are ten ways to alkalize your body and say goodbye to the Acidity Blues:
1. Start your day with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon in plain water or your favorite tea. Oddly enough, the citric acid in lemons has the opposite effect inside the body because of the alkaline byproducts released after digestion.
If you simply can’t stand lemons, the same pH neutralizing effect can be achieved by mixing one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in eight ounces of water. Drink one to two glasses daily.
2. Like your mother also told you, eat your greens. A fresh salad tossed in lemon juice and virgin olive oil delivers calcium and other alkaline minerals.
During the day, enjoy other fruits and vegetables to sustain your body’s pH on a daily basis and maintain balance in your body.
3. Snack on raw, unsalted almonds. The natural alkaline minerals like magnesium and calcium in almonds also help balance blood sugar – good news for diabetics.
4. Speaking of almonds, have you ever tried drinking almond milk? It’s delicious as well as alkaline, and a great substitute for cow’s milk.
Berry blender drinks are also great for neutralizing the body’s acid content. Add bright green, vibrant spirulina, kelp, or seaweed to the mix for an even more basic (another chemical term for alkaline) smoothie.
5. Exercise! Take a walk. Move around. Even 15-20 minutes spent circulating your blood clears out acidic products for natural elimination.
If nothing else, stand up and sit down during TV commercials. Add leg lifts to increase blood flow.
6. If you live in a smoggy city, make time to go out into fresh, oxygen-rich air on a regular basis. Deep breathing, yoga, and meditation all flush your system of acidity and help you balance your inner and outer beings.
7. Eat less meat because it produces an acidic residue after digestion. According to the British Daily Mail:
“The foods that produce acids are meats, hard cheese, bread and pasta, while the foods that create alkali are fruit and vegetables (surprisingly, even citrus fruits have an alkaline effect on the body).”
8. Cut ‘way back on the sugar. Drinks, dessert – even sliced bread and so many other seemingly innocent foods are jam-packed with sugars like glucose (dextrose), fructose (from fruits), and sucrose (table sugar, a combination of glucose and fructose).
Water is pH neutral. It takes more than 30 glasses of water to neutralize the acidity contained in a single can of soda pop!
9. Eat more vegetables, and more kinds of vegetables. It might surprise you to know which ones are the most basic, represented by a negative (-) value:
Spinach = -14.0 (!!!)
Black currants = -6.5
Celery = -5.2
Carrots = -4.9
Apricots = -4.8
Foods on the opposite of the scale, with high positive pH values which promote acidity in the body include:
Cheddar cheese (reduced fat) = 26.4 (!!!)
Brown rice = 12.5
Salami = 11.6
Trout = 10.8
Turkey = 9.9
Peanuts (a legume) = 8.3
10. Saving the best for last, and this might also surprise you: eat more SPROUTS on a regular basis. Rich in nutrients and energy-boosting enzymes, any kind of sprout is extremely alkalizing.
Stay healthy by keeping your body’s pH balanced through diet and exercise. You’ll feel better while preventing future medical problems.