Eat and Drink Alkaline.
Huh? Alkaline is the opposite to Acid in terms of pH* levels; pH is a factor which has a large influence on how fast things grow (i.e. protein, bacteria, even cancerous tumors) in nature. Keep with me here, needs a little science to explain..
So, what’s the point in bothering to eat more alkaline/alkalising foods?
Our blood generally ranges between pH 7.34 and 7.45 (slightly alkaline), this is the optimum conditions for our bodies to synthesise proteins, remove waste, and assist all the chemical reactions essential to our life.
Digestive juices however, are between pH 1.5 and 3.5, due their need to break down food stuffs. Urine is around pH 6, depending on what you eat; and it’s the mechanism with the kidneys (blood filtering organs which filter toxins out of our blood and into our urine), which helps to keep our blood pH steady; hence you drink a lot of coffee, acidic, you get darker urine.
Why bother? This is the role of our kidneys??
Yes, our kidneys do help but like us, they’re not infallible; the kidneys/urine excretory system isn’t instantaneous. The kidneys help to level out the blood as it passes through them for filtering; but if you eat or drink things which are acidic this will also effect your blood pH for a time** (and thus the whole of your body). This can create an environment where disease thrives and normal chemical and biological processes may suffer; some say then potentially leading to things like weight gain, kidney stones, weaker bones and muscles, arthritis, lower brain function, lower back pain, headaches, colon cancer and type II diabetes!
The good news – Alkaline diets are really easy to work with, the principles are simple: eat things you know are good for your body’s functioning and minimise/moderate the acidic bits. e.g.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, Lemon/Lime water excellent morning tonic
Soya bean (edemame), tofu
Almonds, chestnuts (most seeds and other nuts are slightly acidic so good in moderation considering their other benefits)
Olive, flax and canola oils
Green and herbal teas
Coffee, black tea (caffeine generally, which also can cause mood swings)
Processed foods, refined flours, refined sugars, and stuff that has a way long best before date!
Alcohol and soft drinks
Peanuts, most beans except soya
Potatoes, most grains (especially white wheat)
Meat, cold water fish and chicken are better varieties
Try it for 2 weeks and see if you notice the difference, simples!
*If you know me, you’ll know I’m a scientist at heart, hence my appreciation of yoga. Thus, if you would like a little more info about what pH actually is:
‘pH’ is representative of ‘power/potential of Hydrogen’, which looks at the H or Hydrogen ion activity within an aqueous/water based solution
Neutral pH is about 7, this is equivalent to pure (non carbonated) water; totally acid is pH 0 and totally alkaline is pH 14.
**After food has been worked on by digestive enzymes in the stomach and passes into the small intestine (ileum) where you have villi which provide a rich link to the blood for absorption of nutrients from the digested foods. Its between here and however long and many passes through the kidneys that the blood pH can be effected by what you eat; thus the non-instantaneous pH balancing act.