The single most critical measurement of your health could very well be the pH of your blood.
Remember from science class — a pH level below seven is acidic and up to 14 is alkaline? Well the pH of your blood needs to be at 7.365 to maintain homeostasis (balance). Like the internal temperature, your body will go to great lengths to maintain its pH in this mildly alkaline state, including pulling critical nutrients from bone or tissues if necessary. Too acidic or too basic can be detrimental.
Typically in North American society, we are too acidic, consuming so much meat, cheese and bread.
You can have this checked by your naturopathic doctor.
Symptoms of over-acidity include poor skin complexion, mental fog, allergies, colds and flu, excess weight, aches and pains, as well as low energy, to name a few.
According to Dr. Robert Young, author of The pH Miracle, you can think of your blood like the water in the fish tank, your cells being the fish.
The wrong kind of food builds up toxic acid wastes in your blood. Too much toxicity leads to overloaded organs and an over-acidic blood pH, which leads to cells lacking oxygen and cellular metabolism will cease.
When this happens, cells die. And when cells die, you die. Excuse the bluntness.
This has been the basis of Antoine Bechamp’s research in the late 1800s, contradicting Louis Pasteur’s idea that disease originates from the invasion of germs from outside the body, which can be true to an extent. Bechamp’s studies showed that our own cells can produce harmful bacteria and other microforms in an acidic environment — creating sickness from within.
So if you have a sick fish, what do you do? Change the water!
Stop bathing your cells in toxic wastes and start flushing them with some cleansing, revitalizing goodness.
Young recommends filling your plate with 80 per cent alkaline foods to start. As your body becomes more balanced, this can be decreased slightly.
This includes avocados, tomatoes and green vegetables. Lemons are also considered alkalizing as we are looking at the pH of the ash residue after the food has been consumed versus the pH of the food itself.
I recognize the challenges that arise when it comes to changing your diet to incorporate more alkalizing foods. They are the ones that we’re not typically eating on a day-to-day basis, especially dark leafy greens.
How much change you put into your diet is up to you.
The key is to think about your own motivations.
You can certainly continue to complain about the poor skin complexion, the aching muscles, the improper digestion, the brain fog, the excess weight or the fatigue.
Or you can choose to do something about it.
Some of the simpler ways to incorporate more alkalizing foods are juicing, or adding greens powders to your water. Remember to juice green foods like cucumber, celery, and add some ginger or lemon.
When choosing a greens powder, make sure there are no sweeteners. You want the grasses like wheat grass, barley grass, etc.
And start with small amounts along with some lemon.
Have a side salad with every meal. And make it bigger and bigger as your body adjusts.
Remember to think of your body as a fish tank. Keeping your cells alive and well might just keep you feeling alive as well.
Kristin Fraser, BSc, is a registered holistic nutritionist and local freelance writer. Her column appears every second Wednesday. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.