With tax day soon upon is, I want to use this opportunity as a reminder about just how taxing acid is on your body.
It’s easy to get lost in all of the noise out there about health and nutrition. One so-called expert tells you this, one diet guru tells you that, and then a new book comes out and contradicts everything. It gets confusing and you don’t know who or what to believe.
But there is one thing I can tell you is TRUE without a shadow of doubt – ACID causes INFLAMMATION, and inflammation KILLS!
But what separates the alkaline diet from every other fad diet out there is that it is based on a fundamental truth and science of the body which is this –
The pH of your blood, which is tightly regulated by your body’s elaborate buffering system at 7.4, is KING…and your body will do everything and anything in its power to keep it there.
It is THE MOST IMPORTANT NUMBER IN YOUR BODY…bar none!
Yet how many doctors do you hear talking about it (ping me and let me know if you ever had a conversation with YOUR doctor about its importance)?
Today we are going to talk about how ACIDITY (read TOXICITY), and all of the massive deficiencies it causes, is single-handedly most responsible for the inflammation in your body, and why your health may be at risk.
So let’s break down the basics of why acid is so bad, rooted in science of course, so that you can have the back story on why you may be trying everything under the sun to reset your health, but you just can’t seem to get to where you need to be.
- Acid is corrosive.
Let’s start with the basics. The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is and it ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral.
A pH greater than 7 is alkaline. Healthy pH for your blood is slightly alkaline at 7.4. And for your saliva, pH should be 7.2-7.4, and urine, pH between 6 and 7, dependent upon how acidic or alkaline you ate, and the amount of stress in your day (the healthier you are, the less acid your body needs to eliminate, so urine pH will test higher or lower accordingly).
You can measure this with a pH test strip, and it’s a very effective and objective way to measure if what you are doing is working…or not working.
A pH less than 7 is acidic all the way to 0, which will burn a hole through metal.
So think about that for a minute…ACID is so corrosive, it can burn a hole through metal, so imagine what that is doing inside your body, to your digestive system, your cardiovascular system, your muscles and joints?
If you put a can of soda in a bowl with some raw chicken bones, in a few days, guess what you will find?
Nothing! The bones will be gone because acid corrodes.
That’s crazy. If the acid in a can of soda can do that to raw chicken bones, do you really think you should be ingesting the foods that metabolize to ACID in your body, in the AMOUNT that you are doing?
For example, eating sugar will produce lactic acid. Perhaps the worst sugar of them all, fructose, will create uric acid (which contributes to gout and kidney issues, even type 2 diabetes).
Consuming grains, specifically wheat, will produce sulfuric acid.
Teas and coffee are high in tannic acid.
Unhealthy fats will produce acetic acid and lactic acid.
Colas are high in phosphoric acid, and carbonated water—a beverage I label as one of the most surprising acidic suspects—will create carbonic acid.
Eating steak produces sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, and nitric acid—dangerous acids that must be immediately excreted by your kidneys.
Now I am certainly not telling you to avoid these foods. I am questioning if you should be eating these in the AMOUNTS that you may be currently eating them.
- Acid wreaks havoc in nature and our bodies.
Everything in nature depends on a proper pH balance.
Oceans should have a pH of 8.2 but increasing levels of acidic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have lowered it in many parts of the ocean to 8.1. As a result, coral reefs like the Great Barrier Reef are dying at unprecedented rates.
There are lots of spots where all life is dying off in the ocean. And that’s from a change of just 0.1 on the pH scale!
The same goes for our soil, and any gardeners reading this will know it to be true. Your soil needs a proper pH and when a soil’s pH range is outside 6 to 7, your plants will die.
Much of our food comes from soil that is increasingly under stress and acidification from things like GMOs and acid rain, and the soil today doesn’t have the same minerals that it did 50 years ago.
You see, just like the ocean and the soil, your body reacts similarly to acid from stress and nutrient-poor foods and beverages.
- pH is another important health indicator.
In your body, there are certain numbers that are key to your health – your temperature, your blood pressure level, your cholesterol, and your pH.
As I mentioned earlier, the pH of your blood is just as important as or even more important than numbers like your blood pressure.
If the pH of your blood deviates by more than half of a point from 7.4, you will die. We all know that if our body temperature reaches 106 degrees, we’re in grave danger, but most people don’t pay as close attention to pH, even though it’s just as vital.
Now the good thing is that this number is ALWAYS regulating itself, much like your temperature does at 98.6. So the purpose of eating alkaline rich foods like dark green leafy vegetables and healthy fats, is NOT to make you more alkaline.
It is to take stress off of your body’s buffering system so your body doesn’t have to work so hard doing all the regulating on its own.
- Your body will sacrifice parts of itself to fight acid.
If you were to stand on an iceberg wearing nothing but shorts, what would happen?
Well, if you were there long enough, you would die. It goes back to that important number I was just talking about, your body temperature, right?
But before that happened, your body would start to shiver and would expend massive amounts of energy to generate enough heat to maintain that temperature.
Next, your body would start to move all the blood from the arms and legs to the vital organs. Why? To keep you alive. Your body would sacrifice its big toe to keep you alive… But you better get off the iceberg!
It’s no different with the pH of your blood. If you’re eating highly acidic foods like sugar, processed foods, meat, dairy, artificial sweeteners, MSG, or coffee, they are robbing your body of alkaline minerals needed to regulate its pH.
For example, if I eat a steak, it contains three potent acids, one being sulfuric acid. This acid is so potent, it would burn a hole in your kidneys if they were to try to eliminate it. So your body will bind it to an alkaline salt (calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium bicarb) to make it a WEAKER ACID SALT, and now, it can be safely eliminated.
Acid forming foods drain your body’s mineral resources and require energy to eliminate safely from your body, as opposed to having a salad or some veggies high in minerals and enzymes, make sense?
Your body will begin to deplete its own resources and pull minerals, which is your alkaline buffer system, from other parts of your body to neutralize all that acid in the food, just like that big toe on the iceberg.
- Acids need a buffer.
You might be wondering how your body could deplete its own resources to keep you alkaline. Well think about it this way…
Have you ever wondered why many toothpastes contain baking soda? Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as an alkaline mineral. It buffer acids from decaying your teeth.
It works the same way with the rest of your body. The problem with the Standard American Diet (SAD) is that it’s pumping up our bodies with all of these damaging acids every single day, and over time, this will have an effect on your blood pH.
Without alkaline mineral buffers regulating its pH, the body slows down, and starts to look for minerals in your body to neutralize all that acid.
It starts with the mouth, because there is a small reserve of minerals there. (This is why measuring your saliva can be an early warning sign that you are acidic and deficient in these alkaline minerals.)
Once these run out, your body will move to the big boys where you have more minerals reserves – calcium in your bones and magnesium in your muscles. This is why people often have symptoms like arthritis and muscle cramps from acidic lifestyles.
- When our bodies are acidic, we are drained of our energy.
Remember how I mentioned that the acid slows the body down? I mean that literally – you get tired and sluggish and depleted.
The problem is that it becomes a vicious cycle, because most Americans are combatting this lack of energy with caffeine, coffee, sugar, and energy drinks.
Then they wonder why they can’t sleep. So then they do it all over again with more chemicals to sleep better.
Can you see how this happens? It doesn’t work.
- Acid symptoms are telling you something.
Eventually, this downward spiral leads to health problems if you don’t do anything about it. And that’s when people come into my Wellness Center in NYC with what they think of as normal health complaints.
Here’s the thing, there are NO normal symptoms.
You wouldn’t say, ‘well, you know, I bleed a little bit’. You wouldn’t go, ‘well that’s ok’.
But patients say to me all the time, “I get normal headaches,” or, “I have normal digestive problems.” These symptoms are all common, I mean REALLY common because most people are consuming sugar in huge amounts, but that doesn’t mean they’re normal.
Again, there is no such thing as normal headaches, or normal digestive problems. The only thing that is normal is to be happy, alive, and energetic.
And it’s important you do something about these “normal” health concerns because if you don’t, they get more serious.
You might have heard about someone who died, and everyone said, “The guy was in perfect health, he had no symptoms, and then he dropped over from a massive heart attack.” Maybe no one saw the symptoms, but they were there.
You see, the body always warns you. The question isn’t are you being warned, the question is, “Are you listening to the warning?”
- Toxins in our world make it worse.
Now it’s important we address another factor that’s making all of the acid we’re consuming an even harder pill to swallow. We live in a toxic world.
We are literally surrounded by toxicity everywhere we go today. In our environment, in our homes, in the products we use, and in the food we eat.
All of that toxicity adds up in a bad way for our health, today and for the rest of our lives. Not only are our bodies desperately trying to fight all of these environmental toxins, but they also have to fight acid at the same time.
This is why your diet can either hurt your body and cause disease and pain, or it can help your body thrive.
The more you eat a diet filled with alkaline foods, the easier your body will be able to handle the toxic load.
- Some acids are worse than others.
So while there are all kinds of acids in the world, including…
- Shallow breathing
- Sedentary lifestyle/ lack of movement
- Processed foods and anything containing gluten
- Coffee, soda, fruit juice, carbonated water, and other beverages
- Dairy products
Not all acids are created equal!
The worst kind of acid you can consume is fructose, the sugar found in fruits and high fructose corn syrup.
Sugar in the form of glucose can be broken down anywhere in your body, but fructose cannot, and this is where the problem lies. Fructose is absorbed immediately, it then goes straight to the liver, where it turns directly into fat, in the form of LDL and triglycerides, so it’s bad for your heart health.
Fructose also tricks the body into gaining weight by turning off the appetite-control system. The result is that you eat more and you develop insulin resistance over time, which can lead to a whole host of degenerative health issues. And that leads us to the last, but not least, way acid is taxing to the body.
- Acid leads to inflammation, disease, and even cancer.
Without getting into a whole science lesson (you can read more about how acid causes cancer here), healthy cells need oxygen and unhealthy cells – especially cancer cells – thrive on sugar, which of course is an acid.
There is more and more scientific evidence coming forward every day that proves that acidic lifestyles lead to inflammation throughout the body, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
That’s why you can’t take any of this lightly. You’ve got to take care of yourself and get off your acid if you want to live a long, healthy life. Period.
One of the best ways you can start doing that quickly and easily is taking a scoop of Alkamind Daily Greens every morning.
It’s an easy way to get your daily dose of wheatgrass, cabbage, collard greens, parsley, romaine, dandelion, beets, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, and celery. So by taking your Alkamind Daily Greens first thing every morning, you’re getting a dose of the most powerful, alkaline food on the planet!