Do you get tired easily? Have you been gaining weight? Are you feeling foggy? Your body might be losing the balance between acids and bases. Chronic exposure to pH imbalance (when the body’s pH level becomes too acidic or too alkaline) may lead to weight gain, digestive disturbances, foggy thinking, and chronic fatigue. Once the imbalance remains untreated, it can lead to more serious conditions such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Looking into Acid Imbalance
In order for the body to function normally, the pH must be maintained at around 7.2 to 7.4. If the scale tips off by only 0.2, the body will experience an acid imbalance. Usually, when the scales tip off at this level, the body tries to balance it by neutralizing the excess acids with alkaline minerals. Minerals such as magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium are taken from the food we eat and are carried through the blood.
Unfortunately, most of the diets we know do not offer this neutralizing effect. The American diet, for example is oversaturated with foods that form acids. Even healthy diets composed of chicken breasts, low fat cheese, and whole wheat bread can form more acids than alkaline.
How to Strike Balance?
If you suspect your pH scale might be tipping towards the acidic side, you can get yourself checked first. You can do this by simply examining your urine for pH. Start measuring urine pH first thing in the morning and then every time you go to the bathroom. Record your results and calculate the average for everyday and then at the end of the week. If the results show a pH below 6, then you might want to start kicking the acid off. You can do so by following these steps:
Don’t Go For Fast Food
Fast food is the primary culprit for acid imbalance. Fast food is often composed of saturated flour, potatoes, dairy, sodas, sugar, and fatty meat, which are considered acidic. Processed foods also share the same story. Food preparation is also a big factor that contributes to the acidity of fast foods. Because the foods are fried, made instantly or cooked with flour, sugar and dairy, the food becomes more acidic.
Limit the Sweets
Sweets are also known to be acidic. Honey and most fruits (except watermelon, coconut and sour cherries) have high acid contents. If your body is already experiencing an acid imbalance, try to limit these. Tomatoes, lemons and sweet fruits also contain some amounts of acids, but these acids are weak and it is possible that they can become alkaline when processed by the body. So try to search for diet recipes or Middle Eastern recipes that limit the sweets.
Eat more Veggies
Generally, vegetables are more alkaline than meat and other animal products. Green ones such as collards, spinach and kale are very much alkaline they should be a staple for every meal. Others such as grains and nuts usually fall in the middle of the pH scale, and beans have lower acid protein levels compared to meat. If we want the acid levels to scale down, every meal should incorporate veggies.
Live Clean and Healthy
Limit tobacco, alcohol, wine, hard liquor and caffeine as these forms of so-called “pleasure” are high acid formers. Take note that pharmaceutical drugs as well as recreational drugs are acid formers too, so try to avoid those. Instead of coffee, swap it with green tea, and instead of drinking and smoking sessions, do exercise that increase respiration and oxygenation, making the body alkaline.
This post is written by Dr. Amarendra. He is a part time blogger and he likes to write on diet and recipes.