Your body needs to be balanced as far as its acid/alkaline ratio goes. This is very important for your good health. Balancing your pH levels can really set you on a path for robust health and a long, productive life.
Potential of hydrogen (pH) is a tool scientists use to measure the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. It is measured on a scale of zero to 14. The closer the number to zero, the more acidic a solution is, while the higher the number, the more alkaline. If a number rests right in the middle at seven, it is said to be pH neutral.
Your body has a carefully controlled pH balance. It needs this pH balance to survive. The acid/alkaline ratio inside your body is, in scientific terms, the balance between positively charged ions (which are acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (which are alkaline-forming). You need to maintain a precise acid pH balance in your blood, your cells and your organs in order for them to function properly. Every time you breathe, or your brain thinks, or your heart beats, you are relying on the pH balance. For this reason, your body is always working hard to maintain the proper ratio between acidity and alkalinity.
When your body is too acidic—which is often the case for those living in the U.S. and Canada—your body is weakened. Many foods that have pervaded our diets are acidic. Fast food, processed food, and red meat are all acidic, for example. These foods raise acid levels and trigger a corresponding drop in oxygen levels. It just so happens that pathogenic organisms love this kind of environment. Both molds and fungi thrive when your pH drops below seven.
Meanwhile, there is a shortage of alkaline fluids that are needed to saturate acids in your stomach. Now you have a situation where your pancreatic enzymes can’t effectively do their job of digesting food. In order for pancreatic enzymes to go to work, your pH level needs to be above seven. Once digestion is impaired, you aren’t getting the nutrients you need to maintain the health of your body.
In order to help you keep a proper pH level, here are 10 of the top alkaline foods to add to your weekly diet.
With the exception of a few vegetables (corn, winter squash, and olives) most are alkalizing in effect. Add liberal amounts of broccoli, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, dandelion greens, green peas, garlic, eggplant, kale, mushrooms, mustard greens, spinach, tomatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, and lettuce to your weekly meals.
Here are some of the top alkalizing fruits: apples, apricots, avocadoes, berries, bananas, dates, cantaloupe, peaches, pears, nectarines, grapes, lemons, pineapples, and grapefruits.
The following spices can help to keep your pH levels at or above seven: cinnamon, curry, ginger, herbs, mustard, sea salt, chili pepper, miso and tamari.
It’s time to try incorporating stevia into your diet as this sweetener possesses alkalizing properties. You can also add blackstrap molasses to your meals for a little sweetness.
5. Probiotic Cultures and Soured Dairy Products
Yogurt, enhanced with added probiotics, can help to alkalize your body.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is great for boosting your pH levels.
- “The top alkaline foods that should be included in your diet,” Natural News web site, Nov. 13, 2013; http://www.naturalnews.com/042859_alkaline_foods_healthy_diet_pH_balance.html, last accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- “A List of Acid/Alkaline Forming Foods,” Essence of Life web site;http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm, last accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
Victor Marchione, MD received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The Food Doctor newsletter. Dr. Marchione has also served as Principal Investigator in at least a dozen clinical research projects relating to serious ailments such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).