By Emily Sayes
There’s benefits in enhancing your pH.
By definition, to be alkaline means having a pH level greater than 7.
To fully comprehend the concept, We'll start by first explaining what pH is.
What is pH?
“pH” is an abbreviation for "power of hydrogen" or the hydrogen-ion concentration.
It sounds like an advanced level chemistry class, but the concept is simple: pH is the measure of the alkalinity or acidity.
- A pH of seven is neutral
- Anything below a pH of seven is acidic (with zero being the maximum acidity)
- Any pH above seven is alkaline (with 14 being the maximum)
It won’t shock anyone (hopefully), but our stomach is acidic: typically around a pH of 3.5. Less predictably, our blood is slightly alkaline, with an ideal pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Its the pH levels of the blood we're most interested in when it comes to our overall health.
How Does Diet Affect Our pH Levels?
Our bodies are marvelous machines, self-regulating our pH levels every second.
Our modern lifestyles expose us to increased acidity and toxicity. Processed foods, pollution, and contaminants are the culprits. Even standard bathroom products are slightly acidic, and we apply these directly to our skin! So, these days, it’s common for people to be overly acidic, a condition referred to as acidosis.
When we’re overly acidic our health becomes compromised, and we become susceptible to the growth of harmful bacteria and organisms. An acidic pH is associated with obesity, allergies, disease and even cancer.
Alarmingly, when our body is too acidic, it pulls alkaline rich minerals from our bones. This can cause fatigue and increases the risk of osteoporosis.
The Alkaline Diet
We can counteract this exposure to acidity and toxicity by eating an alkaline promoting diet. By eating a diet consisting of alkaline promoting food, we’re able to mitigate the risk of our body becoming too acidic and overburdening our systems.
Despite this, it’s a bad idea to eliminate all acidic foods. In fact, our body requires us to eat foods labeled as ‘acidic’: our diet should be 60-80% alkaline promoting foods and 20-40% acid promoting foods.
After all, there are still some key, healthy, plant-based whole foods that are acidic promoting including corn, oats, chickpeas, peanut butter. The goal, rather, is to simply shift our dietary gears in the direction of more alkaline promoting foods.
Remember, alkaline food can be any item that sits above seven on the pH linear scale. That means that we can rate alkaline foods in accordance with how alkalizing, or alkaline promoting, they are.
This is often represented on a “pH food chart” or the “acid alkaline food chart” which can vary when it comes to specifics. For instance, most experts believe that legumes are acid-producing foods, although the likes of soybeans and lima beans may be considered less acid-producing than their legume relatives.
Believe it or not, most alkalizing foods can generally be characterized as plant-based, whole foods. Herbs and spices are also generally more alkaline than acidic. The acidic promoting foods? Meat, dairy, processed foods, fried foods, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar, among other villains.
Quick Facts to Remember:
- Most vegetables are alkaline and do not generate acids when consumed
- Be wary of some canned, frozen, or pickled vegetables; acidic solutions like lemon juice, citric acid, or vinegar are sometimes adding for preservation
- The most alkalizing fruits and vegetables are raw
- Citrus fruit contains citric acid which means that it has an acidic pH level
- Citric acid, however, has an alkalinizing effect after it has been digested and assimilated into our system
- Likewise, while meat is alkaline prior to digestion, it actually leaves an acidic residue in the body - this is why we refer to foods as either alkaline or acidic "promoting"
SUMMARY: Stick to whole foods and plants, don’t overcook them, drink plenty of water and cut down on the less-than-good-for-you acidic promoting foods. Your body will thank you.
How to Get Your Body More Alkaline
Take Alkalizing Supplements
The most alkaline promoting foods tend to be grasses - think ‘wheatgrass’, sprouts, and seaweeds. Don’t feel like scouring your local grocery for these hard-to-find veggies? That’s alright: we did it for you.
Chronic stress can cause too much acidity (acidosis). Under chronic stress, the adrenal glands secrete stress hormones, known as cortisol and adrenalin, which can lead to an accelerated metabolic state. This ultimately creates acid as a by-product.
You can manage stress through meditation, yoga, breathing exercises and practicing being present. Once you’ve done all that, elevate your zen with Ora Organic Greens Powder containing Ayurvedic herbs. These adaptogens assist in the digestive process as well as support the body’s natural stress management mechanism.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Water helps to flush acid waste from the body. Opt for filtered water which removes unnecessary toxins.