What Does pH Have to DO with My Food?

Our bodies are slightly alkaline.  Our blood must maintain a very tight range of 7.35-7.45 depending on where it is in the body, it either oxygen rich or oxygen poor.  When our blood is on the more acidic side, we have systems in place to buffer it.  There are calcium and other mineral stores in our bones for easy access.  We think of our bones as these hard things like a rock, but they are constantly changing depending on which minerals and nutrients we need and which can be stored for later.  Hopefully we are eating these foods in a whole food form, so we don’t have to extract them from the bones.

We need alkalinizing foods to protect our heart, blood vessels and veins, brain, bones, kidneys, and more.  

When we consume acidic or acid-forming foods, our blood becomes more acidic, and the body quickly goes into action to extract the minerals needed to bring it back into balance.  Removing these minerals from the bones not only weakens the bones but can harm other systems as well.  A few examples are when cholesterol is high in the blood, these minerals can get stuck and form plagues, and if bile is thick from years of poor food choices, it traps minerals as it gets recycled and forms gall stones.

The most acidic forming foods are sugar, processed flours, alcohol, and fried foods.  Foods that are heated in oils like chips, crackers, and pastries, and that really greasy but crispy pizza crust.  Even glutenfree flours are very acid forming in the body.

Someone may say, “Well, I take supplements every day,”  or, “This food says it has calcium and magnesium.”  The supplements found in our pills/capsules, and that are added to refined foods are not easily assimilated in the body. Dr. Christopher called these inorganic minerals.  These minerals are stored in other places like joints. They do not come in the same form as those found in our plants.  The minerals that are naturally in our whole foods are already in an absorbable form; whereas, supplements come with other chemicals, fillers and/or capsules that must be broken down and transformed before they can be absorbed.  This breaking down process is also acid forming.

Now, not all minerals in whole foods are easily absorbable and not all are alkaline.  And…our health also affects how well we absorb nutrients.  If you are under a lot of stress, have gut issues, have leaky gut from an autoimmune condition, … you do not absorb nutrients as well as someone who doesn’t have those conditions. Oftentimes, we take multiple supplements at the same time that counteract each other or bind to the same receptors, so your body is only going to receive one not both. And, you absorb some more easily if you are deficient. Pregnant women usually absorb more easily due to their increased need.

Some foods are confusing.  Dairy is high in calcium, magnesium, and potassium which should buffer the acid from its amino acids; however, we pasteurize it here in the U.S.   When the diary is heated the proteins coagulate.  To digest those proteins, we create a lot of acid, more than the calcium, magnesium, and potassium in the dairy can buffer.  We end up more acidic after consuming dairy and must use calcium from the bones to counteract it; we end up in a deficit. When someone says I must have milk, or I eat cheese or ice cream for the calcium, they would be much better off NOT eating it.

There are loads of nutrient-dense foods that are actually alkalinizing. 

Most of our rainbow foods are alkalinizing.  All of our greens, lettuces, cabbages, kale, romaine, …, most vegetables are alkaline.

Most fruits tastes acidic, but they are alkalinizing to the body.

Seeds like hemp, chia, and flax are not only alkalizing, but they are also high in minerals and other wonderful anti-inflammatory agents, too.

A few nuts like almonds and cashews are alkaline.

Lentils, quinoa, wild rice, and oats are alkaline where other beans and grains are not.

Focus on a diet that is nutrient-dense and alkalinizing to help with blood vessels and arteries, heart health, brain health, and the health of your bones. An alkaline diet is necessary for efficient digestion, and more.  Aim for a mostly alkaline-rich diet.

Do you need help creating meals and eating an alkaline-rich diet?  Schedule a call with me to see if we should work together.

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