How to Maintain Your pH Balance in an Acidic Lifestyle
People are living longer today. The reason isn’t due to increased health, but more medical intervention. More than ever before, our bodies are under attack from a variety of cultural shifts, including highly processed foods, increased stress, fast-paced lifestyles, and pollutants. These threats are creating highly acidic environments within our bodies and killing the cells we need to survive.
The human body needs an oxygenated environment to remain healthy. The pH (potential of Hydrogen) measures the ratio of acidity or alkalinity in a solution. Balance occurs when the pH slightly favors the alkalis. Acid excess stresses the organs. Over-acidification, or acidosis, results when there is more acid than the body can neutralize and detoxify. The more acid we have, the harder the organs – like adrenals, thyroid, and liver – have to work, which stresses the systems.
Eating fast and processed foods – and eating them on the run – is a major contributor to excess acid. Diets that are heavy with red meats, caffeine, soda, snacks filled with carbohydrates and sugar, and artificial sweeteners and additives lead to acidosis.
The body is a healing machine by nature, so it fights back when high acidity occurs. To achieve balance, the blood takes alkaline minerals – calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium – from the tissues. When those reserves are depleted, alkalizers are taken from bones and muscles. Acid surplus is then directed into tissues and organs (heart, colon, liver, and/or pancreas) for storage and the overload is pumped back into the blood – creating a vicious cycle of “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.
With high acidity, the oxygen level drops and vital cells die. Imagine fish trying to survive in an acidic pond. They can’t breathe. The same happens to the cells in the human body, which are living in a liquid environment. As more cells die, the body becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, parasites, fungus, and virus. The immune system weakens and disease results. Relatively mild symptoms of pH imbalance include:
• Skin eruptions and acne
• Colds and flu
• Joint pain and stiffness
• Nasal drip
• Hot flashes
• Dizziness and weak spells
• Weight gain or loss
• Chronic fatigue
When the pH imbalance continues or worsens, the severity of the disease increases. Osteoporosis, arthritis, heart attack, and even cancer have been shown to occur.
Solutions for better balance
Patients can avoid the distress of harboring an acidic environment by first identifying the problem and then making lifestyle adjustments to bring their biological terrain back into a healthy mode. A diet rich with leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, legumes, unprocessed foods, healthy grains (oats, quinoa, wild rice, amaranth), and natural sweeteners (stevia, raw honey) is a great start. Limit highly acidic animal proteins – particularly red meats and shellfish – and beverages such as coffee, black tea, soda, wine, and liquor. Choose fresh (not processed) juices. Snack on hazelnuts, almonds, raisins, grapes, and apples instead of cookies, candy, and crackers. Add a squirt of lemon or lime juice to beverages and vegetables for both flavor and the alkalizing effect of these citrus fruit (yes, even though they are acidic fruits, they process as alkali in the body). Use sea salt, which is richer in minerals than common table salt.
Nutritional supplements are also helpful for maintaining pH balance, but patients need to remember the key word here: “supplement”. They are not substitutes to a healthy diet, nor are all vitamins created equal. Look for a natural supplement – without dyes, allergens, and artificial preservatives – that is bio-available, meaning that the contents are readily absorbed into the body.
PH imbalance presents an ongoing threat to the health of your patients. Educate them as to the importance of making the right lifestyle choices and give them the tools to manage their pH levels. It’s easy to ignore pH levels, but the consequences can be harsh, if not deadly.