We all have a pH in our body. It is said that sickness cannot survive in an alkaline environment. Moreover, acidity has been linked to chronic joint and muscle pain. We manage the pH in the body by what we eat and drink. A person’s lifestyle can greatly contribute to their health in this light. The best pH is slightly alkaline, you do not want to become too alkaline (it is very hard to do that so don’t worry). So what is alkaline and what is acidic? Green foods are alkaline forming. Kale, celery, cucumber, spinach, chlorella, spiraling, and green blends like Health Force’s Vitamineral Greens are all alkaline in their raw state. You can purchase Vitamineral Greens which is my favorite alkalizing product that I have everyday here www.healthforce.com. I mix this powder with organic frozen berries, organic banana, and purified water in a blender first thing in the morning. You can get creative with how to get your greens. I like to make flavorful salads and use simple dressing like olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper. Processed dressing like ranch dressing are also acidic.
A favorite teacher of mine once told me to think of the body like a washing machine and the raw greens like the detergent. Acidic foods include coffee, soda, sugar drinks, alcohol and processed foods which are what most people are used to eating. Cookies, candy, chips, fast food, pizza, and pasta are all examples of acid forming foods.
So how is alkalinity related to inflammation? When the body is highly acidic, it produces free radicals to neutralize itself. However, these free radicals are in an unstable state and must pull an electron from a healthy cell to stabilize. The body cannot keep up with all the free radicals that are produced because of this electron stealing, the result is the healthy tissues in the body are affected and the person experiences chronic inflammation and chronic muscle and joint pain, often in the back.
One of the best ways to alkalize your body is by drinking alkalized and mineralized water. Tap water and most bottled water is acidic. When you think you are helping yourself out by drinking water, you are actually contributing to your inflammation! Luckily alkaline water is much easier to find in grocery stores and there are alkaline water stores opening all over the place. For more information about alkaline water check out a book called ‘Water and Salt: The Essence of Life.’
How do you know what your body’s pH level is and how can you tell if it’s changing? Most health food stores will sell pH strips that allow you to test your saliva. You can also buy pH strips online at www.greensfirst.com. A great book about balancing your body’s pH and which foods are alkaline or acidic is called ‘Alkalize or Die’ by Dr. Robert Young.
We humans are social creatures. For me, I had to change my social life to bring my pH into balance. The BBQ’s, happy hours, and late night junk food was causing me back pain and I was sick all the time. I traded that lifestyle for yoga studios, juice bars, and raw food restaurants or cooking at home. I began to gain control over my health and got rid of my joint and muscle pain. It is important to be able to recognize how much we are affected by our environment. Take a step back and look at your decision making. Do you feel in control of your food decisions? This was a big obstacle for me. Often we do not realize how much our environment is contributing the our decision making. If the people around us are eating unhealthy, do we slack on our own health? Why not be an ambassador for good health and lead an example for the people you care about. You might feel like the odd-ball out but trust me it is worth it. Your decisions today affect your health tomorrow. Your habits create your life and you can prevent many health complications by eating an alkaline diet.