Is your health affected by acidity?Do you wake in the morning with aching joints – not wanting to get out of bed – not enough energy or enthusiasm for life – Need coffee, colas, salty or sweet snacks to keep going, Can’t bounce back from stress or illness? If the answer is yes to any or all of these then it is more than likely that your body is acidic. The definition of pH (acidity) I think it is important to understand what this symbol means before going any further and the implications of an imbalance. pH = potential of Hydrogen – Hydrogen is the fuel of life. Oxygen burns hydrogen in the living system, releasing the energy that runs our bodies – the pH adjusts according to the food and liquids we put in our system and the stress load in our lives. Hopefully you have already started to see an important link to pH balance and health. Hydrogen is one of the big four chemicals in the human body and plays a role as a component of water and most organic molecules, and an electron carrier (involved with ATP our body energy). Hydrogen and Oxygen ( H2O) play a major role on this planet in the makeup of water generally, and the body composition – water makes up to <78%> of our body – that means it’s pretty important don’t you think? Correct pH in the body
A pH of 7.0 is neutral. A pH below 7.0 is acidic. A pH above 7.0 is alkaline.The human blood pH should be slightly alkaline ( 7.35 – 7.45 ). Below or above this range means homeostasis (balance) of the body is compromised and various symptoms and diseases will be evident. An acidic pH can occur from, an acid forming diet, emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions, or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients. The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals i.e. calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron and potassium from the body stores (the major store of calcium is the skeletal frame). If the diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, a build-up of acids in the cells will occur and the body stores and systems become compromised.
Outcome of an acid/alkaline imbalanceAnother issue right now is that our lives are so fast and this is resulting in an acidic body and damaging the vital organs such as adrenals, liver and kidney. Stress of any kind influences the adrenal glands ultimately sending us into a high gear catabolic state; breaking down more tissue and reserve energy and producing an excess of acid – this is our fight and flight response. This condition is so exhausting that we look for a quick fix solution – normally coffee, tea, alcohol or fast food and sugar intake. All of these will cause a rise in acidity in the body. The link here is that when we get stressed the adrenals produce higher amounts of cortisol to increase blood sugar levels, it also suppresses the immune system and aids the metabolism of fats carbohydrates and proteins. If we look at what is happening here – the body is going into hyper vigilance but no real physical energy is being used – it is all internal. The pancreas has to now work harder to produce insulin -adding to the body stress – to get the extra glucose out of the blood. Because the glucose is not being used physically, the body will convert it to a triglyceride and store it in the fat cells. Now it gets interesting here, because some bodies are so hyper vigilant that the metabolism used to keep them in that state will use all the extra energy created, and therefore does not need to store it in the fat cells – but when the body is forced to slow down due to dis-ease it converts the extra energy to fat, hence the weight fluctuation that people experience.
The effects on the digestive systemThe digestive system is affected by cortisol elevation resulting in slowing of digestive action (peristalsis). This causes food to take longer to transit through the gut causing putrification and damage to the ultra-sensitive epithelial tissue (villi) in the small intestine (ilium). The affect here is a lack of absorption of major nutrients causing ACIDITY levels to rise. So we see here the old adage – YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT – is not correct, it should read – YOU ARE WHAT YOU ABSORB. An acidic imbalance will decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease energy production in the cells and its ability to repair damaged cells and decrease its ability to detoxify heavy metals. Therefore an acidic body can make tumour cells thrive because of the lack of oxygen, and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness. A blood pH of 6.9, which is only slightly acidic, can induce coma and death. The reason acidosis is more common in our society is mostly due to the typical diet, which is far too high in acid producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, and far too low in alkaline producing foods like fresh vegetables. Additionally, we eat acid producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink acid producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks. We use too many drugs, which are acid forming; and we use artificial chemical sweeteners, which are extremely acid forming. One of the best things we can do to correct an overly acid body is to change our diet and lifestyle.
The adrenal connectionAnother issue right now is that our lives are so fast and this is resulting in an acidic body and damaging the vital organs such as adrenals, liver and kidney. Stress of any kind influences the adrenal glands ultimately sending us into a high gear catabolic state, breaking down more tissue and reserve energy and producing an excess of acid – this is our fight and flight response. This condition is so exhausting that we look for a quick fix solution – normally coffee, tea, alcohol or fast food and sugar intake. All of these will cause a rise in acidity in the body.
What can we do to balance acidity/alkalinityWe need to take a step back and start to understand the whole reason that the body needs food; it is to gain the nutrients to run this highly complex and sensitive machine (body), and that not only means putting in the right ingredients, but to make sure that the food is broken down into its component parts – that means to eat peacefully and to chew the food slowly and completely so that the digestion system can disperse the nutrients into the blood and lymph system via the gut wall. see enzyme blog
There is a Buddhist saying – “drink your food and eat your drinks”What does “drink our food” mean? We should chew our food 32 times to make it into a liquid chyme and to drink it. That would ensure that the carbohydrates are absorbed sublingually before moving down to the stomach, where the stomach acid and enzymes can break down the protein element of the food, it is then on to the ilium for the final stage of breakdown before absorption. The other part “to eat our drinks” means to take water slowly; drinking water too fast can wash many vital nutrients through the gut too quickly limiting absorption. To maintain health, the diet should consist of 60% alkaline forming foods and 40% acid forming foods. To restore health, the diet should consist of 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods. Generally, alkaline forming foods include: most fruits, green vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, spices, herbs and seasonings, and seeds and nuts. On the other hand, acid forming foods include: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, grains, and legumes. The other important ingredient is clean water – we need to drink approximately 1.5 to 2 litres a day. Tap water comes complete with Fluoride and chlorine so it is best to filter these out before drinking. I have given a link to a site I found interesting, it will certainly make you think about the importance of water in the quest of balancing acid/alkalinity of the body. Conclusion
Here are some ideas to balance the acidity/alkalinity
- Chewing food well, especially carbohydrates, since their digestion is aided by saliva which begins in the mouth.
- Choosing food raw – juicing is excellent
- Not cooking food too much – steaming is best
- Calmness (anger makes us acidic)
- Minimising adrenaline – reduce the stress in your life
- Drinking water with a negative polarity
- Drinking water with alkaline-forming minerals in it
- Eating most fruits and vegetables, especially those low in sugar
- Having less sugar, candy bars, white rice and white flour (which are acid-producing)
- Using less fats (which are acid-producing, due to fatty acids)
- Consuming less protein (which is acid-producing, although plant protein is less so)
- Avoiding most legal and illegal drugs (which are mostly acid-producing)
- Avoiding stress and anger (these are extremely acid-producing)
- Body manipulation, such as acupressure (deep massage can be acidifying when acids are released so lots of water must be consumed after each session)
- Limiting very strenuous exercise (which can produce large amounts of lactic acid)
- Harmonious music
- Most alternative healing methods