Thursday, January 26, 2012

I knew I should have paid attention in high school

I never thought that I would ever use the public school education I received in high school. We read all this "classical" literature BS... which I never enjoyed. We had to interpret what authors meant by their Old English gibberish... over my head. I learned about shale... still have yet to use my knowledge about that particular rock. We dissected frogs... definitely NEVER going to use that!

The one thing I just started researching that I know I definitely learned about in high school is pH balance and the acid/alkaline scale. Vinegar is acidic and milk is alkaline, but as it turns out it is far more complicated than that because a naturally acidic food can have an alkalizing effect in the body (i.e. citrus fruit). Apparently, this is pretty important when it comes to understanding how well your body can fight off infection/cancer/disease, etc, etc.

Here are the basics from The Body Ecology Diet :
  • Just as our normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees F, there are other measures of a normal condition or homeostasis within the body. The levels of sugar, oxygen, and carbon dioxide in the blood must all be stable; and the pH (the balance between acid and alkaline) of the body fluids, including the blood, should be 7.4, slightly alkaline.
  • An imbalance toward too much acidity allows yeast, viruses, rebellious (cancer) cells, and various other parasites to thrive. Acidity also leads to conditions such as chronic fatigue, arthritis, and allergies. 
  • If you have an acidic condition from eating an acid-forming diet, your body is constantly trying to return to a more balanced state by calling on your stored reserves of alkaline minerals: sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. If you continue eating foods that are highly acid forming, over time it can create a mineral deficiency. 
  • The typical American diet is high in foods that cause our bodies to become acidic- sugar, candy, sodas, white flour products, beans, soybean products & tofu, wine, beer, saccharin, NutraSweet, alcohol, commercially refined vinegar, all processed foods containing preservatives and chemicals (ingredients you cannot pronounce)
  • There are acid forming foods that we should be eating- animal foods such as beef, poultry, eggs, fish, and shellfish, buckwheat, organic, unrefined oils, and Stevia. 
I bought some pH test strips a few months ago and I have been testing my urine (I know I'm weird, don't judge). I definitely noticed a pattern:
  • When I eat a mainly whole food diet (whole grains, vegetables, fruit, with a small amount of animal fat & protein) my urine is pretty alkaline.
  • When I feel stressed no matter what I eat I am acidic
  • When I drink coffee it immediately makes my pee acidic but then goes back up rather fast
  • When I go out and drink on the weekends, on Monday I will be almost off the charts acidic. It takes me about 2 full days to get back to alkaline. By Friday evening my pH is in the optimal range and I am ready to destroy it all over again- old habits are hard to break.
The moral of my story is that by monitoring your pH you can get a glimpse of what is going on inside your body. It is really amazing to monitor what goes in your mouth and what comes out the other end (#1 not #2). Your body is a machine far more complex and intelligent than any computer on the face of this Earth, and it responds 100% of the time to what you feed it. It is not necessary to know the ins and outs of all these complex processes that take place when you put food in your mouth. It is important thought to understand that the quality of the food you put in your mouth makes a measurable difference.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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