Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Health Benefits of Alkaline Foods

When I was up in NY this past winter I noticed a gallon of alkaline water in my parent's refrigerator. I decided to drink some. It tasted really 'wet' but other than that it was just water. I asked my mother why she had this and her answer was quite simple, "Because its really healthy". Interesting. Apparently the water helps to make your blood more alkaline because many of the processed junk foods we include in our diet are very acidifying and can cause something called acidosis (where the pH of the blood is less than 7). Acidosis, if left untreated can be very serious and can deplete the immune system, leaving us vulnerable to all types of sickness, fatigue and even cancer. Acidic blood also contributes to osteoporosis and for women this is a big deal. I had no idea how the pH balance in our blood could be the root cause of health vs. sickness and I wanted to know more. Exactly how does one's blood really become acidic?

"Acidification in the body comes as a result of three primary things.

1. Eating too many acidifying foods, which create an acid ash in your body. This is where proper diet comes in. By eating a diet of 80% alkalizing foods, you'll eliminate the production of excess acid in your body.

2. Microforms like bacteria, yeast and fungi create acidic toxins in your body. Not only do they "show-up" in an acidic body, they also pollute and further acidify your body. For this reason, it is important to cleanse and detoxify your body in order to jumpstart the process of balancing your pH.

3. Being depleted of the necessary alkaline buffers such as minerals that neutralize acids, and ions that help to conduct energy and regulate fluid pH. By increasing your intake of alkaline supplements and alkaline, ionic water you will replenish your body's capacity to neutralize excess acids." - David Whelan, Christopher Vassey, author of The Acid - Aklaline Diet For Optimal Health 

Now, how do you know if your blood is acidic or alkaline? Its pretty simple to find out. There are pH strips that you can get at your local drugstore. Just urinate on them and you'll know if your are acidic or not. Blood tests are even more accurate but you would need your doctor to have one ordered for you.

Other ways of telling if you have acidosis are by the symptoms:

It is known that acid gets stored in fat cells. As a defense mechanism, your body may actually produce fat cells to protect you from your overly acidic condition. To protect itself from potentially serious damage, the body creates these fat cells to store the acids and carry them away from vital organs. Those fat cells and cellulite deposits may actually keep acid wastes at a safe distance from your vital organs. Many people have found that a return to a healthy alkaline inner biological terrain helps them losing excess fat.

Joint Pain and Arthritis
All substances left by the metabolizing process are acidic and toxic; therefore these have to be neutralized by alkalizing elements, e.g. calcium ions, sodium ions, and lithium ions, among which calcium is the most important. Calcium ions are positively charged ions which are constantly looking for acid, to form calcium carbonate in our body. Calcium carbonate is harmless and will be moved out of the body, providing our body fluid pH is alkaline. Otherwise, it is being deposited around body joints. If the calcium ion level is low in the blood and body, excess acid will remain in our body and will lead to numerous health problems, like Join Pain or Arthritis.

Many people think they can eliminate osteoporosis by increasing their consumption of milk and dairy products. But in fact the instances of osteoporosis are rare in countries where the consumption of dairy products is very low. So osteoporosis is an acidosis problem. As the body becomes more acidic, our body tries to remain healthy to protect us against heart attacks, illness, strokes or even cancer. In doing so, it takes calcium from the teeth, bones and tissues, making them weak and brittle.

Yeast and fungus produced in an acidic environment can feed on our nutrients and thus reduce the absorption of everything we eat by as much as 50%. Without protein the body can’t produce enzymes, hormones or other chemical components necessary for cell energy and organ activity. This causes people to become very thin, which is not healthier than being overweight. As alkalizing and oxygenating takes place, the body naturally begins to seek its own ideal weight.

Low Energy and Chronic Fatigue
When having our cells constantly exposed to an overly acidic environment our biological terrain's oxygen level drops, leaving us tired and fatigued. This will allow parasites, fungus, bacteria, mold and viral infections to flourish and gain a hold throughout the body.

Heart attack
If our internal biological terrain is exposed to excessive acidity, bacteria and/or fungi and/or viruses can attach themselves to the inner walls of arteries. This can attract white blood cells, causing proteins and cells to clot. In this way a plaque forms in the artery, thus narrowing the artery and restricting the flow of blood, nutrients and oxygen to the tissues supplied by that artery. Should that happen to the coronary artery, a heart attack can occur.

The toxins produced within an acidic, oxygen deprived environment as well as the absorption of undigested proteins is major cause of allergy conditions. When the digestive system is weakened, a wide range of allergic reactions can occur, e.g. food allergies, and the overall susceptibility to allergens is increased.

There are many different forms of acne, and not few are linked to an unhealthy diet. Especially foods that are highly acidic tend to cause acne.

Frequent Colds, Bronchitis, Infections, Headaches
Only when our pH level is fairly balanced, the binding of oxygen to the hemoglobin protein of our red blood cells in the lungs operates. If the pH is too acidic, microbes in our respiratory systems can grow much more easily, and in that way cause bronchitis, pneumonia and sinusitis, and invade our cell system. This can result in cough, bronchial spasms (asthma), colds, infections and headaches.

We can help our bodies overcome this state of acidification by changing our diets. Here is a list of foods that are alkaline and help to balance out the pH of the blood. Make note of this list and try to incorporate these foods into your diet.

Brussel Sprouts
Green Olives

All types of grasses that can be juiced - Wheatgrass is especially great

Most fruits. Although if you are acidic already, stay away from fruits until you can get your body back to an alkaline pH. This is due to the excess sugar that is contained in fruits.

Brown Rice

All RAW dairy is alkalizing, once its pasteurized it becomes acidifying

Raw sugarcane
Raw Honey

Alkaline Water
Fresh Juices (just squeezed not pasteurized)
Green, Herbal Tea

Acidic Foods - foods to stay away from or eat in moderation:
Black Olives

White Rice
All processed cookies and crackers

All Meat
All cakes and muffins
All artificial sweetners
Black Tea
Everything Pasteurized

So keep an eye on your blood pH. If you are acidic and can return your body to a natural alkaline state, you may just see many of your ailments go away. I had no idea about any of this and am thankful to my mother for uncovering such important knowledge!