Balancing Acid and Alkaline In The Body
The Fast Metabolism Diet discusses the importance of eating lots of alkalizing vegetables. But let’s dig a little deeper into the relationship of acid and alkaline in the body, and what it means.
It’s all about balance
Your well-being depends partly on your body’s pH (potential hydrogen) balance. It’s the interplay between acid and alkaline. This balance in the body can influence your risk of osteoporosis, muscle loss and kidney stones — even diabetes, heart disease, thyroid issues, and high blood pressure.
If your body’s fluids are too acidic, minerals are actually pulled from your body’s structure — your bones and tissues — to compensate. A body that is too acidic can suffer from thinning bones and muscle loss. If you’re too acidic, your body’s defenses may be lower, making you susceptible to inflammation and infection.
Clinically, it is much less common for my clients to become too alkaline. But if you do, your body has a hard time absorbing minerals, excreting them instead of using them, causing another form of demineralization.
Are you acid or alkaline?
The blood must stay at a stable, slightly alkaline range of 7.35 to 7.45. So when we talk about measuring pH, we are talking about measuring levels in your urine and/or saliva.
For most people, we find the urine and saliva are closer to acidic. That’s because the modern American diet is full of acidic foods: meat, sugar and processed flours. And the typical American lifestyle does not include enough oxygen-ig exnducinercise.
You can bring your body’s pH back into perfect balance by adjusting your diet and lifestyle. The Fast Metabolism Diet is designed to do just that, with its emphasis on vegetables, especially vegetables we call alkalizing veggies, and a variety of oxygenating exercises.
It’s easy to measure your body’s pH. All you need are little pH urine strips from any drugstore. (They look like this.) Using your urine is the easiest way to test. (You can also test with saliva, but don’t put the strips in your mouth — check the package instructions.) The strip will turn a color, and you use a chart on the box to match the color to a value. A perfect acid/alkaline balance is 7.0.
It’s normal for your morning urine to be on the acidic side. That’s because overnight, your body has been in mineral-storage mode. Your morning urine should be around 6.5 to 6.8. If it’s lower than that, you’re probably more acidic than you should be.
Finding pH balance
Here are some easy strategies for alkalizing the body.
- Bump up your veggies, especially those that are particularly alkalizing, like broccoli, cucumbers, spinach and cabbage.
- Add coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar. While these vinegars are acidic in themselves, they actually have a wonderful alkalizing effect in the body. Try two tablespoons of coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar in 8 oz. of water in the morning to help kick-start digestion.
- Try deep breathing. Practiced, deep breathing helps oxygenate the blood, which promotes alkalinity.
- Try a bath or scrub. A baking soda and sea-salt bath can help flush acids from the body. Add one cup sea salt and 1/2 cup baking soda to a warm bath. Or use a 2:1 ratio with a little water to create a body scrub.
- Add lemon to your diet. Although acidic itself, lemon promotes alkalinity in the body.
If you are too alkaline (which is more rare), with a pH reading over 8.0, you’re too alkaline, and your body may be excreting, rather than absorbing, minerals. In this case, you can try adding more animal proteins, eggs, whole grains, and fruit to your diet, and increasing the intensity of your exercise.
Remember to periodically monitor your pH to see when you have restored balance. Now, you can monitor your pH whenever you want! Get super-fast results with your own pH testing strips!
Talk to your doctor if your pH levels are consistently over 8.0, or under 6.0, to be sure there’s no underlying related issue.