We are often bombarded by calories, sugar grams, sodium content and fat amounts but did you know that the pH-balance of your food could be helping – or harming your health? My own health was secretly suffering due to unhealthy and not-so-unhealthy choices. I will explain how I realized my food was affecting me and how I became healthier than I’ve ever been. I will also help you to find out if you are out of balance and how to get yourself in sync with true health.
What is the ph balance of food and why is it important if I am counting calories and fat grams? Well, all foods contain chemical compounds that make up its origin. Foods that contain more hydrogen are considered more acidic, while foods that contain more oxygen are deemed more alkaline. An equal balance of both hydrogen and oxygen is called neutral.
The ph scale below demonstrates the ph ranges in various products:
To maintain optimum health, we should eat 75% Alkaline-forming foods and 25% Acidic-forming foods, according to Sam Graci, the author of The Power of Superfoods. This is because blood and most body fluids, with the exception of stomach acid and urine, are utilized best under a slightly alkaline pH. To maintain this balanced pH, saliva helps us to dilute excess acidity or alkalinity in our bodies. Graci states that because of the alkaline nature of blood, Alkalizing foods help to maintain homeostasis and good health. Excess Acidifying foods decrease cellular metabolism, reducing our energy production and produce toxic byproducts that can lead to premature aging. Chronic acidosis compromises immunity and the body becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses and cancer.
From my own personal experience, decreasing my acidic food intake and increasing my alkaline food intake have saved my health. I was in a downward spiral with mood swings, acne, severe stomach pains, lethargy and bloat. I tried to hide my symptoms but knew that I could not live with physical and emotional pain anymore. I went to my doctor who half-heartedly told me to “eliminate it if it bothers you” in regards to what I realized were curious food issues. I began to isolate certain foods and found what was causing me distress. I also began to eliminate foods that I didn’t enjoy or made me feel sick physically or emotionally. I began to add other foods that made me feel calm, centered and revitalized.
The main culprits I found were diet pop, dairy and excess meat. To test my assumption, I would add a can of diet pop after lunch or one string cheese slice to my afternoon snack hoping stress was the main reason for my breakouts or gut issues. Within days, dots appeared on my face and shocks of pain exploded in my sides. Sadly, I knew I had to let go of my daily pop intake and cheese on my pizza. But I was forever grateful for clear skin, a less-anxious attitude and a pain-free tummy. I also began to eat more apples and bananas, dark greens, beans and quinoa, and I sipped on herbal tea. All of which helped fill me up so I no longer needed a majority of the other foods. To my surprise, I had pH-balanced my body.
An aesthetician once told me my breakouts were because I was eating too many acidic foods. I didn’t believe her – until nowOf course, I still have acidic foods, just in moderation. I will never have a perfect diet, nor would I want to – chocolate tastes too yummy. But I feel so much better than I ever have. I am in balance and grateful for it.
Do you know if you are pH-balanced? Please answer my questionnaire below with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to see if overly-acidic eating is possibly affecting your health.
ARE YOU pH-BALANCED?
1. I usually feel tired and/or sluggish.
2. I suffer from skin rashes, hives or acne on a regular basis.
3. My body is slow to digest food.
4. I regularly feel depressed and/or anxious.
5. I don’t feel satisfied after my meals and reach for junk food to compensate.
If you answered ‘yes’ to 3 or more questions, you may need to increase your alkaline food choices and decrease your acidic food choices. Take a look at the chart below to help get your pH in check now.
ACID AND ALKALINE FOOD CHART from The Power of Superfoods.
NOTE: Please check with your doctor before changing your diet. This is my personal experience. If ph-balancing your diet works for you, great! If not, at least you are making an informed choice to treat your body with respect and give it what it needs – healthy food.