Too much acid in your body can cause weight gain, fatigue, pain, and a host of other health problems. However, it’s easy to balance your body chemistry to get your weight and health back on track.
The pH scale which measures the level of acid or alkalinity. Don’t worry you don’t need to be a biochemist to balance your body’s pH. The pH scale is like a tug-of-war in your body. On one side there is the acid team and on the other side is the alkaline team. The middle is neutral. Most of what we eat and our lifestyle choices tip the balance in favor of acidity. Meat, dairy products, sugary foods, soda, and many other foods are all extremely acidifying to the body.
The blood needs to remain stable at 7.365 (slightly alkaline) to maintain health and life. We cannot live if our body becomes acidic, so the body has mechanisms in place to ensure that the blood, which feeds our brain and all our organs, glands, and tissues, remains slightly alkaline. One of the ways the body deals with acidity is to store it in fat cells as a way to get it out of the blood quickly. Fat cells are your body’s natural buffer against acid since they have a natural affinity for acidic toxins and acidity. Fat is actually your body’s ally against acidic food choices. Reducing acid-forming foods in your diet while increasing alkalizing one gives your body a chance to restore balance at the cellular level, which allows it to start breaking down fat stores and ultimately rebalance your weight.
Acidity can also impair the proper functioning of our hormonal systems, sap our energy, and leave us prone to illness and pain.
Here are some simple ways that you can rebalance your body chemistry. For more information, consult my book, The Ultimate pH Solution.
Kick Acid by eliminating/reducing the harmful (acidic) foods from your diet:
- Reduce or eliminate sugar/sweets, cola and other carbonated beverages, and foods made with sugar or white flour.
- Eliminate unhealthy fats like margarine and foods containing trans fats.
- Reduce the 3 Ps—packaged, prepared, and processed foods. By doing so, you’ll reduce your consumption of the many food additives they contain (colors, preservatives, etc.)
- Reduce meat consumption. All types of meat are acid-forming.
- Reduce coffee intake.
Kick Acid by making 70 percent of your diet alkaline foods. Some excellent alkalizing options include:
- Eat more veggies. Most vegetables are alkalizing to your body. So eat your salad greens, beets, broccoli, celery, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, onions, garlic, spinach, sweet potatoes, and yams.
- Whole grains like quinoa, spelt, buckwheat groats, and millet since they are alkalizing. While there are many other healthy whole grain options, many are acid-forming.
- Drink lots of purified water with fresh lemon juice.
- Choose almond milk over dairy products.
- Enjoy the alkaline fruits: avocado, sour cherries, coconut (fresh), grapefruit, tomatoes, lemons, and limes. And, while it is tempting to believe the myth that all fruit is alkalizing to the body, it is just a myth, even if it is perpetuated by many well-intentioned people. But, they still have many health-boosting properties when eaten in moderation.
- Eat more beans, peas, lentils.
- Try to eat a large salad daily (with a healthy dressing option).
Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DNM