Over the past few decades, thousands of man-made toxins have been introduced into our environment, changing it dramatically. The long-term effects of toxic chemicals can be found in the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, and in the products we use. In addition, there are plenty of internal toxins that have become more prevalent as a result of modern diets, unhealthy lifestyles, prescription drugs, and other medical treatments. Our bodies are not designed to deal with all these toxins accumulated in our tissues faster than our bodies can get rid of them. Add stress, allergic reactions, and other sources to the mix, and it can cause more malfunctions that lead to disease.
The human body is amazing in that it can tolerate some chemicals and naturally wants to eliminate harmful substances; however, it cannot remove all the chemicals. The type, amount, and length of time you are exposed to harmful chemicals or substances will determine if you are at risk for negative side effects to your health. You must do all you can to limit exposure to toxins and give your body what it needs to detoxify itself daily to prevent or reverse deterioration and premature aging.
The first step is to understand that your body needs foods that do not harm it, and that means eliminating most processed foods that contain unnatural additives. Healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables will help do the following:
- Cleanse and balance the body by making it more alkaline (as opposed to acidic)
- Provide healthy nutrients
- Stabilize blood sugar levels
Making changes in your diet if you are used to eating highly processed foods may leave you feeling deprived, overwhelmed, and still craving sugar, for example. You may initially experience some withdrawal symptoms when eliminating addicting foods from your eating plan. A more practical approach would be to gradually eliminate them as you incorporate healthier, whole food options. You should notice that you feel better and have more energy while naturally eliminating those old cravings. Over time, you will find that your tastes change, and the foods you used to love are no longer appealing. When you have more energy, you are more apt to exercise, and as a result, will continue to make more positive changes.
It is important to pay attention to acidic foods that can cause or promote illness in the body. The normal pH of blood should be around 7.4, and the way to keep it at that level is by eating alkaline foods. Measuring pH is done on a scale that ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 representing the highest level of acidity and 14 representing the highest alkaline level. Your body works hard to maintain that pH level of 7.4, but when it becomes too acidic, it will leach calcium from the bones to maintain that proper level for your internal organs, body fluids, and tissues, which can result in osteoporosis.
What is Acidosis?
Many people end up living years with systemic, toxic health conditions because mentally, they cannot process the simplicity of how to heal the body. You don’t ever want to label yourself with something that can easily be fixed when you learn how to restore and regenerate your body.
If we eat the foods that are designed for us, the body can heal itself. Fruits and vegetables, both fresh and raw, will provide the body what it needs to start the healing process. Unfortunately, many ‘diets’ recommended for diseased conditions include foods that caused the condition in the first place. You will often hear a medical doctor, holistic doctor, and even a naturopath recommending a high-protein diet to help manage the symptoms. However, you can’t manage the symptoms on a high-protein diet. All you are doing is creating acid in the body, also known as acidosis.
When you consume a lot of acidic foods, the body has to work twice as hard to remove excess acidic waste. If you don’t pay attention to the foods that you eat, it can lead to the following symptoms of acidosis.
Symptoms of Acidosis
- Compromised immune system
- Osteoporosis – fractures, tenderness, and bone pain
- Muscle weakness
- Acid reflux
- Fluctuating weight loss
- Rapid breathing
- Yeast/Candida overgrowth
- Severe anxiety or stress
- Abdominal or Chest pain
- Low blood pressure
- No energy
Eat More Alkaline Foods
Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet (SAD) consists of a lot of acidic foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, soft drinks, coffee, and sugar. You can reduce the acid in your body by reducing or eliminating these foods and increasing your alkaline food intake. You can actually fight off disease and strengthen your immune system by eating more alkaline foods. Build your meals around fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains. These plant-based foods contain plenty of protein to support a healthy lifestyle.
For example, nuts and legumes contain more vegetable protein than other alkaline food sources and support a healthy lifestyle.
Other Factors to Consider
A diet that includes too many acid-producing foods, such as protein or sugar, can cause acidity in your urine as well as other negative health effects. Other contributing factors include an unhealthy lifestyle, sitting for long hours, lack of exercise, and negative emotions such as depression, stress, anger, and anxiety. Your blood’s pH is controlled by your built-in buffering system that includes your lungs, kidneys, and bones to keep it at the ideal range of 7.35 to 7.45.
Take a look at the chart below: any pH reading below 7.0 is considered acidic, with 1.0 being the highest acidity level. Conversely, any pH reading above 7.0 is considered basic or alkaline, with 14.0 as the highest level of alkalinity or basicity. The pH balances of all our bodily fluids (especially blood) are all measurable.
Eating a diet high in acidic foods is often why a pH level might be high. It can also be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, sitting for long hours, lack of exercise, and negative emotions such as depression, stress, anger, and anxiety. Your blood’s pH is controlled by your built-in buffering system that includes your lungs, kidneys, and bones to keep it at the ideal range of 7.35 to 7.45.
When acid accumulates in the body, your buffering system works hard to bring it back into a healthy range. However, you make this process more difficult with an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Your lungs, kidneys, and bones rely on the minerals you get from what you eat, and when they don’t get enough, this stresses them out.
Guess what? For your body to maintain your body’s pH, your ‘buffering’ system robs those alkalizing minerals from your internal organs and tissues to neutralize that acidic waste. Your bones, tissues, joints, and other parts of your body will be deprived of these minerals. As a result, your body will be at an increased risk for free radicals (toxins, chemicals, and pollutants) to attack your healthy cells.
The problem comes about when these free radicals destroy your cells’ integrity that can attack your bones, joints, arteries, and digestive system. When you eat a diet made up of grains, meat, and dairy, you will develop a deficiency of the minerals that can keep your body alkaline to heal your body naturally. Alkalizing minerals from your bones and kidneys are used to neutralize any excess acid from your diet. Without these important alkalizing minerals, your immune system will be compromised.
First Step – Alkalize Yourself
The first step is to alkalize yourself by including more alkalizing and natural superfoods in your diet every single day. It is the best way to boost your immune system and protect your body from illness and disease. Take a look at the alkaline food chart below and classify the foods you currently are eating.
Record it in a food journal and make a note of how you feel after a meal. Were there too many acidic foods? Start eating more alkaline foods today.
All viruses need an acidic environment to survive. It all goes back to acidosis. Drink hot water and lemon first thing in the morning because it will alkalize the body and help the liver detox throughout the night. When you wake up and go to the bathroom to eliminate, the minute you eat something high in fat or highly processed, the liver stops detoxing and has to go back to work instead of having time to rest and relax. Eating a big breakfast first thing in the morning can be taxing on the liver. Instead, enjoy some hot water with lemon for maximum absorption and benefits.
Here are some more helpful tips:
- Drink hot water with lemon first thing in the morning
- Sip on dandelion root tea throughout the day
- Eat broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts for their liver supporting properties
- Let dinner be your lightest meal of the day and before 7 pm.
- Turn off your phone, computer, or iPad at least one hour before bedtime.
- Charge your cell phone and/or iPad in the kitchen.
- Enjoy a good book, journal, or meditate before bed
- Avoid caffeine after 3 pm.
You must understand that disease thrives in an acidic environment and is less likely to survive in an alkaline body. If you are eating predominantly acidic foods, you run the risk of developing acidosis. Your body becomes too acidic and is forced to use alkaline minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium from the bones to maintain proper pH levels. As a result, your body has to strip away these minerals from itself to neutralize the large quantities of acid and safely eliminate them from the body.
A build-up of acid in the cells decreases energy production in those cells resulting in acidosis. Decreased energy production makes it more difficult for your body to repair damaged cells and detoxify heavy metals, making you more susceptible to chronic fatigue and increased disease incidence.
For example, if you drink one can of soft drink, it takes 32 (8-ounce) glasses of water to neutralize the acid that one soft drink creates in your body. Think about what happens if you don’t drink enough water; your body has to neutralize that soft drink. How does it do that? Since calcium is high in pH levels, it will pull that calcium from your bones if you do not eat enough mineral-rich, alkaline foods. This is what leads to a decrease in bone density, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Think of your body like your car; if you don’t put the right fuel in it, it won’t run properly. The same is true for your body. Nix the soft drinks.