Alkaline Vs. Acidic…
What’s the Big Fuss and How does that Affect My Comfort and Function??
-Dr. Renee N. Thompson
Our bodies are a “hotbed of activity” for all kinds of living organisms from bacteria on our skin and in our gut, to viruses in our noses and ears, not to mention our own trillions of cells!! All of these want to thrive and grow and develop, and some of them are even helpful to us. It is the ones that are harmful to us that we want to keep under check, even cells of our own…
All these critters like to grow and reproduce in a certain range of pH. If you think back to grade school, you may recall learning about the pH scale from 1-14. Anything under 7 is acidic and are things like vinegar, lemons, and even cow’s milk. Anything over 7 is basic (or alkaline) like mineral water, most fruits and veggies, and high on the scale like bleach. A pH of 7 is neutral and about the pH of distilled water.
Our own personal body cells like a pH that is slightly alkaline, about 7.4, and divide and reproduce well in this state. If we become slightly acidic cells can reproduce with abnormalities. When a cell reproduces the wrong way, it is generally killed by our own body before it can reproduce again making more “bad cells”. In an acidic state getting rid of the “bad cells” is less effective and we can make more abnormal cells. This is what happens with cancer cells, they divide unchecked and are not killed off. Cancer cells have actually been shown to grown faster at an acidic pH, and slower or regress in a basic pH.
We have both “good” and “bad” bacteria in our body. The good bacteria is largely in our gut and helps us digest food breaking down nutrients we can’t. This helps in our overall nutrient absorption and health, as well as helping eliminate toxins. It also inhibits the growth of the bad bacteria further helping our immune system. The good bacteria that works with our bodies in this symbiotic relationship, also prefer a slightly more alkaline pH like our own cells. The bad bacteria?? You guessed it, they like it more acidic. The more acidic our body is, the more they thrive and start to kill off good bacteria, not only affecting our gut, but overall health. This leads to inflammation throughout the body due to nutrient deficiencies, decreased immune function, and our own cells suffering from a poor pH level. This inflammation affects all tissue in the body including joints leading to pain, stiffness, achiness, fatigue and mental fog, just to name a few.
So how do we keep our bodies in this healthier pH range of slightly alkaline??
Eat alkalizing foods!!! We’ve all heard, “You are what you eat”. This is a thought to hold onto each time we make a choice during the day to put something into our mouths! What we eat is broken down in our bodies to rebuild and restore us. We are living things, and have to eat living food to rebuild accordingly! The more processed something is, and the more it has been changed since coming out of the ground, the less likely our body recognizes it and the more likely it will be processed by our bodies leading to a more acidic pH. If you remember above, most fruits and veggies are processed by our bodies to become alkaline, even LEMONS which start as acidic. Lemons actually have great alkalizing power in your body along with high levels of vitamin C and B vitamins!! This is an easy way to add alkalizing properties to your daily routine, just pop some fresh lemon in your water. Add some fresh fruit to your breakfast or snacks, grab a handful of almonds or pecans for a snack of healthy alkalizing fats, eat some greens with lunch, always have a 1-2 veggies with dinner, and cook with more alkalizing healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil or sesame oil.
And Of Course, add WATER to your daily routine. We are made mostly of water, and we NEED IT!! Adding a few more living foods with water to your daily routine is an easy way to increase the alkaline state our own bodies prefer and also increase the friendly “good bacteria” while helping reduce inflammation in the body, reducing mental fog and fatigue, and help keep us POWERED UP throughout the day!!!