“Becoming alkaline” – sounds kind of like a bad B Movie title doesn’t it? :-) But “becoming alkaline” is actually one of the easiest things you can do to improve your overall health! Allow me to explain. To look and feel our best, our blood and our body needs to contain more alkaline than acid. A simple way to test this is to buy pH balance test strips at your local drug store. Your body is alkaline when your pH is above 7.0, though the ideal number is thought to be 7.4.
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The typical American diet is full of foods, like meat, sugar, grains & dairy products, that tend to increase the acidity of our blood. Recent research suggests that too much acidity plays a role in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain and inflammation, autoimmune disease, and other chronic conditions.
Fortunately, we can help negate acid’s negative effects on the body by balancing our diet with foods that promote an alkaline environment.
One easy way to help alkalize your body is to replace your morning cup of coffee (which is highly acidic!) with a large glass of water and the juice of a whole, freshly-squeezed lemon (I add some all-natural stevia to make it a little more palatable.) While lemons are acidic in their natural form, lemon water is alkaline-forming in the body. (Similarly, milk is alkaline outside the body, but acidic upon digestion.)
This simple morning routine also helps to cleanse your digestive system and ignite your metabolism, in addition to neutralizing excess acids.
Other ways to become more alkaline:
- Add 1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to an 8 oz glass of water and drink. The bicarbonate is highly alkaline. Drink only one glass daily.
- Eat a large green salad. Greens are among the best sources of alkaline minerals, like calcium.
- Snack on raw, unsalted almonds. Almonds are packed with natural alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium, which help to balance out acidity while balancing blood sugar.
- Go for a brisk walk or do some other exercise. Exercise helps move acidic waste products so your body can better eliminate them.
- Go meat-free for a day… or longer. During the metabolism of meat, there is an acid residue left behind.
- Skip the sugar-laden desserts and sodas. Sugar is one of the most acidic foods we consume.
- Add more veggies to your diet. Sweet potatoes are a good choice (provided you’re not slathering them in butter.) Spinach, celery, asparagus, squash, peppers, and other vegetables are also good choices. Here is a list of 25 Alkaline-Promoting Foods.
- Avoid stressful situations. Anger, fear, resentment, jealousy and other “negative” emotions have been shown to decrease alkaline levels.
- Stay away from tobacco, coffee, tea and alcohol, which produce higher levels of acid in the body, lowering the alkaline level.
A final note about “becoming alkaline”…….don’t eliminate everything in your diet that has been classified as “acid-forming.” You don’t want to end up with the opposite problem. As always, we are aiming for balance.