Maintaining a healthy ph balance January 07 2016

Maintaining a Healthy PH Balance 
 

Everywhere you look, there are promotions for foods, drinks, and devices all meant to get your body to a more “alkaline” state. But what does this mean? And what can an alkaline body do for your health?

The good news is that most of your body already is naturally alkaline! Your blood likes to remain at a pH of around 7.4. If you remember from chemistry class, any number above 7 on the pH scale is alkaline. Any number below 7 is considered acidic. Pure water is neutral at pH 7.0. A healthy acid/alkaline balance can be the key to robust vitality and beautiful skin.

Even though your blood pH isn’t easily influenced by diet, the rest of your body tissues can be. When your internal terrain tips towards a more acidic state, conditions like eczema, allergies, or osteoporosis can occur. Research has shown that inflammatory diseases, including cancer, thrive in an acidic environment.  All the more reason to balance your diet and lifestyle with mineral-rich foods and stress-reducing activities (yes, stress can increase acidity!).

Acidic foods include meat, dairy, sugar and alcohol. While these foods (excluding alcohol) do provide nutrients, they lack enough minerals to successfully buffer themselves. Without proper balance, the body turns to releasing stored minerals in order to compensate, which can create a cascade of mineral deficiencies and inflammation. And as you have probably witnessed, am improperly balanced internal environment reflects in your complexion as well. Therefore, try to eat more foods naturally rich in a variety of alkalizing minerals (like calcium, potassium, and magnesium). We want to compose our diet to include about 80% rich alkalizing foods, and 20% acid-forming foods.

Top 5 Alkaline Foods

  1. Green Vegetables – all green vegetables contain chlorophyll, a pigment rich in vitamins and minerals. When strapped for time, greens powders (sold in your local health food store) provide a quick hit of convenient veggies that can be added into juices or smoothies.
  2. Natural Spring Water with lemon – spring water contains a variety of minerals derived from the earth. And even though lemons taste sour, a compound called ‘citrate’ in the juice is ironically a very strong buffer to neutralize internal acids!
  3. Alfalfa sprouts – alfalfa is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and a load of other great building blocks for your tissues. Try alfalfa sprouts on your next salad or sandwich.
  4. Seaweed – kelp, dulse, arame, wakame....pick your favourite! Brimming with delicious minerals, they also provide a savoury salty flavour to compliment any dish
  5. Fruit – vibrantly coloured berries are low in sugar and high in antioxidants, great for neutralizing any acidic free radicals scavenging your body. Other naturally alkalizing sweet treats include pure maple syrup and raw honey.

Tips for Balancing your Body

  • Reduce Stress – too much stress can lead to an acidic internal environment. Take walks, meet with friends, practice aromatherapy, and devote time to self-care every day. A therapeutic facial is a great way to unwind!
  • Deep Breathing – a deep breath of oxygen into the body immediately alkalizes your tissues. Notice which events in your life cause your breath to become shallow, then take a moment to re-focus with a 5-second inhale and 5-second exhale.
  • Clean your Cosmetics – what you put on your body has just as much impact as what you put in your body! Scrap cosmetics and lotions riddled with chemicals and preservatives that wreak havoc on your delicate acid/alkaline balance. Switch to plant-based, mineral-rich formulas designed to balance and nourish your body from the outside in.

    Guest contributor: Emily KielbiskiR.H.N., B.A.Sc.

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