I’ve talked about how important an alkaline pH is for optimal energy and proper body functioning. And now you know how crucial a deficiency in alkaline foods can affect your health. You even know there are tools to use to monitor your pH levels to make sure you are in an optimal alkaline state (urine and saliva pH) of 7.2 – 7.4 and how to test yourself.
This week I’m going to address your food choices and how they affect your pH levels. I’m also going to give you some tips on how to successfully make the change from an acidic diet so you can Get off Your Acid™ and keep your body’s naturally alkaline state balanced on a daily basis.
There’s a whole host of acidic foods our bodies are forced to deal with on a daily basis because of the SAD (Standard American Diet). The modern American diet consists of mostly acidic foods that are processed, packaged, and prepared for us. Combined with a sedentary lifestyle and high stress levels and it’s no wonder that the United States ranks a shocking 72nd in world health. I can’t even name 71 countries ahead of us!
So, what makes a food alkaline?
Alkaline foods are low in sugar and high in water and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorous. These are minerals necessary for your body to process all nutrients on a cellular level. Lots of people take vitamin and dietary supplements for deficiencies. But mineral deficiencies are rarely addressed and can cause as much, if not more damage to your health. For example, it’s been estimated that 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium, which interrupts our enzyme function causing muscle cramps, spasms, and muscle pain. As a chiropractor, this is most important to people dealing with back pain.
What makes a food acidic?
If a food is high in sugar or yeast, is fermented, contains fungi, or is refined, then it’s acidic. Most fruit is acidic because of the high sugar content. But there are some exceptions like avocados, tomatoes, lemons, limes, grapefruits, coconuts, and pomegranates.
So, what can you do make sure you are moving in the right direction to Get off Your Acid™?
Here are 7 tips to help you ease the transition from an acidic to alkaline nutrition lifestyle.
- Keep it simple! It doesn’t need to be complicated, and the days of counting calories are OVER. Use the 80/20 rule in favor of alkaline to acidic foods. Stay super hydrated. Eat more raw organic greens, healthy fats, nuts, seeds, green drinks, and minerals. Eat less sugar, trans-fats, dairy, meat, processed foods, soda, and coffee and you will be amazed at how quickly you can reclaim your health and energy.
- Don’t deprive but moderate. Deprivation never works. By slowly adding healthy foods and habits into your lifestyle, eventually the good will outweigh the bad and the body will sustain itself.
- Reduce (or eliminate!) the 3 P's—Packaged, Prepared, and Processed foods.
- Know your pH! Track the pH levels of your urine and saliva on a daily basis. This is how you can determine if you are acidic OR alkaline. And once you know, this is how you can determine if what you are doing is working (or not working).
- Don’t think of it as a diet. You are making a lifestyle change. Everything in moderation.
- Begin a daily exercise routine. Sweat excretes toxins from the body. As your blood is pumping oxygen at a greater rate with increased activity it’s carrying away toxins from your muscles and other areas of your body, too.
- Action is Power! There is a saying – knowledge isn’t power, its potential power. Action is power! Having a solid action plan is important, but it’s what you do with that information that will really change your life.
But here’s the bottom line, all the information, tips, tricks, and healthy recipes aren’t going to help you if you aren’t determined to be responsible for your own health and make decisions and choices toward a permanent change. I can equip you with the information and the tools. But YOU are going to have to choose to commit to this lifestyle each and every day when the barrage of tempting and temporary guilty pleasures comes crashing in around you.