The preferred, or necessary, pH of the human body is 7.35 – 7.45 leaving slightly alkaline, a subtle shift to a pH of 6.9 can in fact result in death. This point is becoming more and more important when we look at assessing the health of our body – chronic disease is at its highest point in history, and the underlying catalyst to a majority of chronic disease is ‘inflammation’, and what greatly encourages inflammation? – Acidity.
While a small level of inflammation is essential to our survival, such as in the immune response, chronic inflammation stemming from acidity is extremely problematic. Poor nutrition, stress, environmental toxins, drugs, medications and excessive exercise all encourage inflammation and acidity within our body.
Signs that you may be tipping towards the acidic end of the scale include: chronic aches, pains and joint inflammation. Weakening of the bones, joints, teeth, hair, nails and muscles. Heat conditions such as heat rashes and even psoriasis and eczema. Digestive complaints such as reflux and bad breath.
Follow these tips to achieve a cool, calm and alkaline environment:
1. Green zone: 50% of your plate at your main meals should consist of a variety of types and colours of vegetables or fruit. Always ensure some of the vegetable intake is raw throughout the day. A practical example is salad at lunch, cooked veg for dinner.
2. Be a food detective: packaged foods are traps for sugar and salt, two ingredients that increase acidity. Sugar should be less than 10 grams per 100 grams, and salt should be no more than 400mg per 100 grams.
3. Regulate fluids: occasional caffeine is ok, but no more than once caffeinated beverage per day. Utilise herbal tea and freshly made fruit and vegetable juices or smoothies alongside adequate water intake. If you are showing signs of acidity and inflammation adding greens powders such as spirulina, chlorella, barley grass or wheat grass to your daily nutrition will be greatly beneficial.
4. Assess your lifestyle: as mentioned stress and excessive high intensity exercise also encourage acidity as they use up our precious alkaline minerals; magnesium and potassium. If your working day entails unavoidable stress, utilising calming exercise at the end of your day such as walking, yoga, pilates and swimming will be more suitable to your situation.
5. Minimise acid forming foods- worse offenders being refined sugar including that found in soft drinks and confectionary. Alcohol, caffeine, white flour, table salt, excess red meat and dairy are also acidic when consumed out of balance.