Health and Nutrition

Is your diet acidic or alkaline?

Is your diet acidic or alkaline?

Is your diet acidic or alkaline? 

You have probably heard that drinking a glass of water with some lemon juice in the morning will make you more alkaline. When naturally acidic foods like lemons are digested, they become alkaline-forming. This is because the actual pH (potential hydrogen) of food depends on whether acidic or alkaline byproducts are created once a food or drink has been digested and processed by your body.

Your pH balance is automatically maintained at around 7.36, which is slightly alkaline. The pH of stomach acid is much lower, usually at 3.5 or below. Lungs regulate acidity by removing carbon dioxide from your body, while your kidneys regulate pH by excreting acid into urine and by absorbing bicarbonate back into your body.  In order to help buffer excess acid buildup, it may also become necessary for your body to draw upon its mineral stores. Your bones are the largest storehouse of mineral reserves, but can also be found in various organs. Consistent mineral loss especially of calcium, magnesium, and potassium will impact your health, potentially resulting in moderate to severe health conditions over time.

 

The most common signs of acidosis are

  • Inflammation
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Weakened immunity
  • Premature ageing
  • Osteoporosis, weak or brittle bones
  • Joint pain and aching muscle
  • Muscle wastage
  • Low energy
  • Mood swings
  • Slow digestion
  • Yeast/fungal overgrowth
  • Headaches
  • Respiratory problems
  • Bladder and or kidney infections

Test your pH levels

You can test your pH by picking up a pack of pH test strips at your local health food shop or available to purchase at my clinic. Test your first urine in the morning as soon as you get up (before consuming any fluids). Briefly, place the pH strip in the urine mid-stream, shake the excess fluid and wait 15 seconds to read your pH. Note the colour change and write down the pH number. The first morning urine should be between 6.8 – 7.2. Because you are measuring all of the metabolic acids that have been stored in your body overnight, it will usually be slightly more acidic. If your pH is below 6.8, you are overly acidic and low in alkaline buffers.

What can you do if you are acidic?

An alkaline diet is based on making food choices that help your body maintain a balanced pH level so your body can function at its best.

  • Increase your intake of leafy green vegetables.
  • Add green smoothies to your diet.
  • Remove processed white bread, flour and sugar.
  • Reduce coffee and alcohol.
  • Remove soft drinks and energy drinks from your diet.
  • Drink plenty of filtered water and herbal teas.
  • Replace diary milk with coconut milk or almond milk.
  • Limit your intake of red meat.

It’s not just the food we eat that can cause an acidic environment, other factors that can contribute include stress, toxins, tobacco, lack of sleep and medications.

Alkaline green smoothie

1 cup almond, coconut or hemp milk
1 teaspoon B inspired green blend
1 cups firmly packed organic baby spinach
1/2  medium avocado, roughly chopped
1/2 cucumber, roughly chopped
A few mint leaves
A couple pitted dates for sweetness

Add everything into your blender and blend on high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and creamy.

Tips – Replace mint with ginger, banana instead of avocado and coconut water instead of milk.

For more information or to book a naturopathic consultation please contact me at beata@binspiredhealthylifestyle.com.au

References:

Diet induced acidosis (2014). Retrieved from URL: http://amazinghealth.com/AH-health-acidosis-food

Signs and symptoms acidosis. Retrieved from URL: http://www.signs-and-symptoms.org/acidosis/

 

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