Why Being Alkaline Is Important For Your Health
Hi everyone. Dr. Connie here.
We’ve all heard of “alkaline” as it’s referenced as a health benefit. From “alkalizing” water and diets, to the concept of alkalinity. While most people nod in agreement, it’s actually a difficult concept to understand.
Why pH is Important for Health
pH stands for “potential of Hydrogen.” It’s a measure of acidity or alkalinity of our body’s fluids and tissues. pH is measured on a scale from 0-14.
pH of 7 is considered perfectly neutral. pH of less than 7 is considered acidic, and lower pH = more acidic. pH of more than 7 is considered alkaline, and higher pH = more alkaline.
Our pH fluctuates throughout the day and can range from 6-7.5. An optimal pH value is between 7.30-7.45.
What Affects the pH in the Body?
Our kidneys maintain our electrolyte levels, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium levels. But when we consume acidic foods, such electrolytes are used to balance our acidity.
When we become too acidic, we use resources from our bones, cells, organs, and tissues to neutralize the acidity. But the problem is that most of us over time become nutrient deficient, and we don’t have enough nutrient reserves in our bodies to pull from, which results in our body maintaining an acidic environment.
The Alkaline Method ™ for Optimal pH
The Alkaline Method focuses on 3 pillars of health:
The acidic environment in the body is then perpetuated by gut permeability (leaky gut), inviting more toxins and pathogens into our bodies. And since toxins thrive in an acidic environment, they become stronger within our bodies while our own cells struggle.
It’s true that there are many acidifying toxins and pathogens in the environments around us, but the biggest contributing factor to our pH is our diet.
We need an ample amount of vitamins and minerals to buffer the acidity in our body. Fruits and vegetables contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to help us to not only shift our pH level to more “alkaline”, but also support our detox pathways to get rid of accumulated toxins and pathogens.
So the aim is to:
- Remove: toxins, pathogens, and stressors that are acidic to our body
- Replace: supportive enzymes for proper digestion
- Replenish: nutrients, pre/probiotics, fiber
- Restore: support body with overall lifestyle choices, healthy diet, sleep habits, exercise, and stress management.
We talked a lot about dietary effects on our pH, but our musculo-skeletal and respiratory systems also play a big role.
If we don’t have enough oxygenated blood in our bodies, then we become acidic. We lack oxygen in our muscles, brain, and lungs because we are sedentary.
We also know that stagnation in the body causes acids to form near and around the joints, causing degeneration and inflammation.
Aim is to:
- Improve posture: Posture can change our brain chemistry in such a way to shift the body from acidic to alkaline
- Achieve proper alignment: When all our joints and bones are in optimal alignment, we have an easier time moving. When we move easier, we become much more efficient and require less energy, which shifts our body from acidic to alkaline
- Create better muscle memory: We all have dysfunctional habits, especially when it comes to our body. We sit hunched over, cross our legs, or sink into our bones rather than “actively” using our muscles to stand and move against gravity. When we begin to create efficient muscle memory, our healthy movement patterns become a habit, a good habit to keep us functioning at our best, shifting us from acidic to alkaline
All of us are wired but tired. It’s a strange dichotomy and it’s becoming a huge problem. We are over stimulated and overwhelmed but we’re also becoming addicted to this constant stimulation.
As a result we’ve become highly functioning zombies. We live in our heads and fail to extend attention to our bodies.
Aim is to:
- Tune into our bodies and be present: Bring awareness to your body and pay attention to the daily miracles happening around you, the sunrise, sunset, smell the flowers, and begin to cultivate gratitude
- Learn to breathe: When we take mindful slow breaths in and out, we are taking the opportunity to allow for our stress signals to subside and our calm signals to create “zen” in our cells. This shift from stress to zen creates a biochemical transaction to shift our body from acidic to alkaline
So deliberate breathing and learning ways to lower your blood pressure and heart rate are all good ways to have an impact on your alkalinity.
So What Causes Acidity?
Processed foods in general contain tons of sodium chloride, which can constrict blood vessels, resulting in acidity.
Eating too much animal proteins can cause sulfuric acid to build up in the blood, which in turn creates acidity.
Most grains, whole grain or not tend to cause acidity in our bodies.
Consuming too much dairy products can cause osteoporosis. This is because when our blood becomes too acidic, it will draw calcium from bones to buffer the pH level to keep it from getting dangerously acidic.
Our problem isn’t so much the acidic foods. It’s that we don’t consume enough alkalizing foods like fruits and vegetables.
It’s all about balance. If you like protein, dairy, and grains, then make sure to add plenty of vegetables to offset and buffer the acidity from those foods.
Remember, lack of movement will cause acidity in the body. We don’t have to sweat bullets in the gym for hours to get the benefit. All we have to do is to master the fundamentals for core stabilization, posture, and alignment.
Stress also causes acidity. Toxic relationships, stress at your job, life transitions, divorce, moving, etc. and just about everything.
Life is stressful, but try to be present and live in the evolution of going from chaos to order and distress to bliss, ultimately learning to dance with the uncertainties of life and reconciling. This is what will shift your body from acidic to alkaline.
It’s all about balance.
Key is in knowing you’re a miraculous being and we can shift our state with simple things that we can do everyday.
If you like what we shared, please visit us at alkalinewellness.com, where we share how to get started.
We also love hearing from you, so please comment any questions.
I’ll see you next week.
About the Author
Dr. Connie has suffered from Lupus for the last 16 years. As a result, she discovered that a holistic minded approach to health was most beneficial for herself in battling Lupus and for her patients, who battle everything from Autoimmune Disease to Weight Loss. Dr. Connie holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and a Masters in Public Health (Nutrition) from the renowned Loma Linda University School of Allied Health Professions. She is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian in the State of Georgia. Additionally, Dr. Connie is a Functional Medicine Practitioner (Certification Pending 2017), a Registered RYT-200 Yoga Teacher & School (Yoga Alliance) and Certified Pilates Teacher (Pilates Method Alliance).