In my explorations of healing modalities and nutritional approaches, I have come across a wide variety of therapies, supplements, tinctures and mindsets all designed to have a beneficial effect on the body, mind and soul. Clearly, I am not alone in this exploration, as indicated by the tens of billions spent globally each year on natural and alternative healing products and therapies. While many of these approaches can be quite effective, finding the right one for each individual can prove to be time consuming and costly. But does getting and staying healthy have to require spending a lot of time and money? No, not at all. All we have to do is come back to basics to support the power of the body’s own mechanisms to function optimally from the inside out, which is the most natural form of healing there is.
One approach that stands head and shoulders above the rest is a healthy, internal alkaline-acidity (or pH) balance. Simply put, pH is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline a solution is, measured on a scale from 0 – 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, below 7 is acidic, and above 7 is alkaline. Our bodies are solutions made up of 98% water that function optimally in a pH range of 7.36 to 7.45. When the solutions that feed the cells, tissues, and organs of our bodies fall outside this range; the body begins to struggle with processes needed to maintain health and well-being. The most common pH imbalance is over acidity, also known as Low Grade Metabolic Acidosis. Acidosis develops when the food we eat is predominantly acid-forming; when our water contains acid forming compounds (e.g. chlorine); and when lifestyle factors stress the body and mind. Over time, this condition can become chronic and significantly impact our body’s natural ability to perform essential duties to keep us in balance. This sets the foundation for conditions such as fatigue, diminished immune function, inflammation, osteoporosis, premature aging, digestive imbalance, parasitic infestations, mineral loss, low thyroid function and even cancer. When our physical systems are not functioning optimally, our emotional and energetic beings are also affected which can lead to emotional distress and decreased vitality.
So, what can we do on a daily basis to support our bodies in maintaining a healthy acid-alkaline balance? Since our internal pH is mainly determined by what we eat, the simplest way is to adjust our diets to include a majority of alkalizing foods and minimize the taking in of acid forming foods. One important point here is that the effects foods have on our body pH are not related to the pH of the food in pure form, but instead by the by-products of their metabolism within the body. For example, citrus fruits, which are acidic in whole form, contain potassium citrate which breaks down into potassium bicarbonate and has an alkalizing effect on the body. Alternatively, high-protein foods are metabolized to produce a residue of sulphuric acid and are thus acid-forming.
The general rule is anything with a high protein, sugar or fat content will be acid-forming while fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds will be alkalizing. Examples of alkalizing foods are: fruits (citrus, melons, berries, apples, etc.), green vegetables, carrots, potatoes, garlic, almonds, quinoa, wild rice, herbal teas, sunflower and sesame seeds, cashews, olive and flaxseed oils. Examples of acid forming foods include: alcohol, coffee, milk (cow, rice, soy), bread (white flour, rye, whole wheat, corn, bran), rice, red meat, fish, poultry, eggs, butter, cheese, pasta and sugar.
Paying attention to the foods we eat and how they stack up on the acid-alkaline scale can go a long way in helping you obtain and maintain a healthy acid-alkaline balance. The benefits I have observed include emotional equilibrium, weight loss, increased energy, mental clarity and disappearance of dis-ease states. A few small changes can make a world of difference when we bring awareness to the basics of eating well, drinking pure water and breathing fresh air. Come back to basics and support the body from the inside out.