Making optimal health one of your goals for the year will help you to thrive through 2010. This obviously involves committing to healthy eating, being active and having some fun. One of the most important aspects of maintaining long term health is actually maintaining a healthy acid/alkaline balance within your body. Optimal acid/alkaline balance is necessary for:
- Healthy stress responses
- Weight management
- Preventing chronic disease
What is pH?
Acid/alkaline balance is essential for maintaining wellbeing. Many factors can change your physiological acid/alkaline balance and lead to a number of health concerns. Acid/alkaline balance is measured on a scale called the pH scale. The pH scale ranges from 0-14 with anything below 7.0 being acidic and above 7 being alkaline. The healthy range of urinary pH is around neutral (i.e. around 7.0). That means you should aim for a urinary pH of about 6.5-7.5. This urinary pH reflects your body pH and is a good marker for your acid/alkaline balance.
Acid or Alkaline – Which Way Are You Leaning?
Unfortunately, over-acidity in the body is extremely common today. Many people have urinary pH readings of below 6.5, indicating they are acidic. Research suggests that if you stay in this acidic state you may be more susceptible to infections and a multitude of health concerns. The following conditions are commonly seen in people who have an acidic system:
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Muscle wasting
To help prevent these chronic diseases and keep healthier for longer, keeping your body in a neutral to slightly alkaline state is necessary.
Diets Have Changed From The Good Old Days
The diets of our ancestors were much more alkalising than the standard Western diet today. These historic diets were particularly high in alkalising fruits and vegetables. The standard Western diet today contains a higher proportion of more acid-producing animal foods and cereal grains. The typical alkalising diet we may recommend may include the following recommendations:
- Eat at least 6 serves of seasonal vegetables daily e.g. cruciferous, root and leafy green vegetables.
- Enjoy 2 to 3 serves of seasonal fruit daily e.g. a variety of coloured fruits including berries and citrus.
- Eat 3 to 5 serves of protein daily e.g. fresh lean fish, lean chicken, eggs, legumes and tofu.
- Add in 2 to 4 serves of nuts, seeds and oils daily e.g. raw and fresh nuts and seeds, cold pressed oils.
- Limit processed grains and dairy product intake as these are very acidifying foods.
- Drink at least 2 litres daily e.g. mainly water but also enjoy herbal/green teas, fruit and vegetable juices.
(Remember if you are on a weight loss diet, the above servings may not apply). If you think you or someone you know could benefit from a more alkaline diet, we can help by providing nutritional advice, alkaline mineral supplementation and simple urinary pH testing. Contact us for more information Michelle