Managing your acid / alkaline (pH) balance will help increase your energy, immunity and longevity. It’ll help keep you younger, longer!
Acidity creates inflammation, puffiness and contraction of tissues – all elements that affect our youthfulness.
How do you know if you are in balance or not?
Western civilisation’s diet is intrinsically acidic. Sure signs of acidity are a coffee habit; the desire to smoke cigarettes; abuse of alcohol; tense muscles; short temper; itchy skin; acne; water retention; stress headaches. Do you relate to any of these?
In the New York Times Bestseller, Skinny Bitch, authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin identify the acid-creating vices and encourage you (in no uncertain terms and very rough ‘n ready language) to get these triggers for aging under control.
Habitual drinking: Raises the level of hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Increases your blood-sugar levels. Is full of chemicals. Your best choice is an organic red wine produced without sulfites.
Smoking: Disrupts your body chemistry. Ruins your taste buds.
Soda: Increases calcium loss through its high levels of phosphorus, sodium and caffeine. Increases propensity to put on weight from excess sugar.
Diet-soda: Diet-soda is even worse – Aspartame (commonly found in diet sodas and other sugar-free foods) contains methyl alcohol, which turns into the toxic formaldehyde when it enters the body.
Caffeine: Affects all organ systems and causes headaches, digestive problems, irritation of the stomach and bladder… the list goes on. It raises stress hormone levels, inhibits important enzyme systems and sensitizes nerve reception sites. Decaf is also highly acidic. Most coffee beans are grown with chemical pesticides. Aim to choose a caffeine-free, organic, herbal tea.
Lack of exercise: Exercise burns fat and calories, improves circulation, regulates the body’s elimination, defines muscles, builds strength and detoxifies the body through sweating.
The primary determinant of whether a food is acidic or alkaline is the mineral content of the food – the higher the concentration of minerals, the better. Wild foods on average contain the most minerals and home grown and organic foods also contain a significant quality of minerals.
David Wolfe, one of America’s foremost nutritional experts
Whilst there seems to be varying opinions of exactly which foods are alkaline and which foods are acidic, the chart derived from David Wolfe’s book, Eating for Beauty, gives you a guide to work with.
Green leaves: Green leaves are the best source of alkaline minerals. They contain fibre, chlorophyll (a blood-builder) and have calming, anti-stress properties. The greener the leaf (ie. more chlorophyll) the better.
Milk products: Unpasteurized goat’s / sheep’s milk and cheese are better dairy products (since cow’s products are not generally easy to digest) as they are easier to digest, and contain a high quality of alkaline minerals.
Bone: Bone marrow is an alkaline fat source – a rare occurrence in nature (olives are one of the only plant-based alkaline fat sources). For many reasons it is difficult to eat bones with meat, another good reason to eat leafy greens with meat.
Stems: Alkaline minerals are found in the stems of plants.
Alkaline fruits & flowers: Olives, figs, papaya, pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, lime, oranges, tangerines, grapes (with seeds), cherries, pomegranate, hot chillies, blackberries, raspberries, passionfruit, cranberry, kiwi etc.
Neutral fruits & flowers: Watermelons, cantaloupe, honeydew, apples, bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, mango, strawberries, blueberries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, guava, persimmon (with seeds), pumpkin etc.
Slightly acidic fruits & flowers: Banana, avocado, plums, dates, mulberry, persimmons (without seeds), grapes (without seeds), prunes, dried fruits (except figs), cacao etc.
Root vegetables: They vary from neutral to acidic in nature. Radishes and onions are closest to neutral while potatoes and carrots are more acidic.
Nuts & seeds: Soaking nuts and seeds in water makes them more alkaline but they are not classified as alkaline until they sprout and grow green leaves.
Eggs: Eggs from chickens (or other animals) fit in to the classification of “seeds”, they are acid-forming.
Meat: The muscle of an animal including fish, pork, steak, chicken, beef, duck, lamb etc is acid-forming.
For an excellent overview on the body’s acid and alkaline balance, refer to Annemarie Colbin at http://www.foodandhealing.com/articles/article-acid_and_alkaline.htm.
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