The evolution of our modern-day lifestyle continues to bring more challenges to our health and well-being. Most of our diets include so many refined, processed foods and sugar. Not to mention having to deal with the chemical pollutants in the air we breathe and the food we eat. I believe these factors and excessive stress, are the main reasons that the occurrence of disease continues to escalate.
The Evolution of Disease
Disease is our body’s way of telling us that something is out of balance. It is a cry for help. I believe that our bodies are capable of healing themselves when given the right tools, care and attention. The problem in our society is that we tend to address the symptoms of the imbalances, instead of treating the causes.
An example would be the overworked, stressed-out manager, plagued with afternoon fatigue (maybe due to depleted adrenal glands, hypoglycemia or candida), who rushes off for the “sugar fix” of a candy bar or coffee to keep going.
This is like putting a band-aid ? on a volcano. It may create a short-term remedy, but in the long run it makes matters worse. What started off as a small annoyance tends to escalate over time, requiring more drastic band-aids to quiet the uncomfortable symptoms. Eventually a small, annoying symptom can grow to become a chronic problem or disease.
So What Causes These Imbalances?
One of the major causes of an imbalanced system is the food in our pantries and refrigerators. The amount of processed and refined foods we consume has continued to increase over the last several decades? Including foods treated with preservatives, chemicals, pesticides and hormones. Not only are the chemicals creating havoc and toxicity in our systems, but the continual consumption of the processed and refined foods are also throwing off the delicate pH balance of our bodies.
What Is the pH Balance of the Body?
The pH level is one of the most important balance systems of the body. The pH level is a measure of acidity or alkalinity, on a scale of zero to fourteen, with zero being most acid, fourteen being most alkaline and seven being mid-range. You may have seen shampoos advertised as pH balanced. These are shampoos designed to match the pH level of the hair. The pH levels of our bodies vary from one organ or system to the next.
For example, the stomach pH is much more acid than the intestinal pH because the stomach needs an acid environment (hydrochloric acid) to break down food for digestion. Whereas, the flora (good bacteria) of the intestine need a more alkaline environment to assimilate and process the nutrients from the foods digested by the stomach.
The Difference Between Acidic and Alkaline
- All foods are classified into two categories, alkalizing or acidifying, based on the effect the food has on urine pH after consumption. If a food increases the acidity of urine after consumption, it is classified as an acidic food. Conversely, if a food increases the alkalinity of urine after consumption, it is classified as an alkalizing food. Alkalizing foods are extremely beneficial for the body and assist in fighting or preventing degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and tooth decay. On the other hand, many acidic foods are damaging to the body and may result in acidosis. Fifty to 80 percent of total dietary calories should come from alkalizing foods to prevent acidosis and maintain the body’s pH balance.
- Excessive stress and/or an acidic diet can lead to acidosis, which is increased acidity of the blood. Stress causes the endocrine system to release excess adrenaline and other hormones, which can lead to acidosis. Similarly, a diet high in acidic foods such as meat and low in alkalizing foods such as fruits and vegetables can also disrupt the pH balance in the body. When the body becomes too acidic, it will remove minerals from bones, tissues and bodily fluids in an attempt to regulate pH levels. Undetected, acidosis can cause severe health problems.
- Blueberries, cranberries, prunes, wheat, white bread, pasta, beef, pork, shellfish, cheese, ice cream, peanuts, walnuts, beer, alcohol, kidney beans, string beans, plums, store-bought juices, brown rice, rye bread, sprouted breads, organ meats, cold water fish, eggs, pumpkin, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, corn oil, fatty dairy products, margarine, honey, skinless potatoes, pinto beans, navy beans, lima beans, canned fruits, white rice, oats, pecans, cashews, pistachios, coffee, wine, chicken, turkey, lamb, raw dairy and most condiments are all acidic foods.
- Citrus fruits, watermelons, mango, papaya, asparagus, onions, vegetable juices, parsley, spinach, broccoli, garlic, barley, olive oil, grape seed oil, dried fruits, melons, grapes, apples, pears, kiwis, okra, squash, green beans, beets, celery, lettuce, zucchini, sweet potatoes, amaranth, quinoa , millet, lentils, wild rice, corn, bananas, cherries, pineapples, peaches, avocados, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, peas, cauliflower, turnips, olives, canola oil, raw sugar, coconuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, goat cheese, whey and soy products are all alkalizing foods.
Nonfood Sources that Affect pH
- Probiotics, commonly found in yogurts, create an acidic environment in the digestive tract. Likewise, soft water and distilled water tend to be acidic because the water has little to no minerals. On the other hand, mineral water and hard water, are alkalizing because of their mineral content. Additionally, antibiotics, mineral supplements, vitamins and antacids can affect the pH of urine.
Impertinence of electrolytes
Electrolyte minerals are vital to the metabolic functions of our body systems. When we have a sufficient reserve of electrolyte minerals, the buffering process (the cushioning and removing of unwanted acids from our systems), is not a problem. When we are young, we usually have sufficient reserves. Over time, the electrolyte mineral reserves can become depleted by ingesting too many processed and refined acid-forming foods, or from excessive mental or emotional stress. When we run short of electrolyte minerals, our body is no longer able to maintain an efficient homeostasis (a state of equilibrium).
The body has a hierarchy of priorities for survival. Second only to breathing and sustaining our heartbeat, the most important metabolic function that our bodies perform is maintaining a specific pH. The most important pH level that the body must regulate is the blood’s pH level. The body’s blood pH level must be maintained at 7.4 (slightly alkaline). If it varies more than a point, death can result from a coma or a seizure. In order to maintain the blood’s critical pH balance, the body will compromise less important functions. Once the electrolyte reserves become depleted, the body begins to rob these electrolytes from the various organs and systems of the body to maintain the blood’s pH level. This is where the imbalance begins. The following are examples of altered pH levels and the resulting imbalanced internal body system:
If the bowels and intestines are robbed of electrolyte minerals, the pH level becomes altered. This creates an imbalance in the bacterial environment, which can leave the bowels and intestines open to pathogens (including candida and parasites), irritations and disturbances. Have you ever heard of irritable bowel syndrome or leaky gut syndrome?
Also, when the body becomes depleted of organic sodium (an essential electrolyte mineral, not table salt), the body may not be able to manufacture enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This can create an imbalanced digestive system, where foods are not being digested properly.
These imbalances can be aggravated further because our body systems will generally deplete electrolytes from the weakest areas first. So if someone already has a weakened body system, the further depletion of electrolyte minerals will cause a greater imbalance and more dysfunction. When our bodies become too depleted, overall functioning becomes weakened, affecting the immune system and the body’s ability to fight off bacterial and viral infections.
In a nut shell
The ph balance of our bodies is crucial to maintain a healthy and disease fee body. We must include more alkaline food in our daily diet. Some simple way to do this include juicing or buying a dehydrated vegetable mix that you can sip on tough out the day. I realized last week that my ph balance had become compromised and I felt very tired and irritable, so for those who had to feel my wrath I apologize. I am balancing my ph as we speak and should be restored to normal come Wednesday. If anyone has any further questions on this please ask me I am looking to pick up a few books on an alkaline diet, but to be honest here is the basic recipes eat lots of leafy green veggies.