Food is such a deep-rooted concept in our lives. When it comes to Indian food specifically, you’ll know that a traditional thali would contain a variety of nutritious at the same time delicious elements. Each important to satiate a bodily need and keep the fire burning. No wonder why a ton of lifestyle issues that are common today, were unheard of and even non-existent till 40-50 years ago. Cut to – today, our food habits are all over the place and there is a steep spike in our health issues. One of the reasons is imbalanced pH level in the body.
What is Body’s pH?
pH stands for ‘potential of hydrogen.’ It measures the hydrogen ions in the body’s fluids such as blood, urine, or saliva. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14 with zero being extremely acidic and 14 being extremely alkaline. For our bodies to function to their optimum, it needs to maintain a pH value of around 7.4, which is a bit on the alkaline side.
What Causes Your Body to Become Acidic?
The kind of food you eat and the food habits that you follow are the major reasons behind your body being alkaline or acidic. Along with these, your environment, shallow breathing, stress, and how much you exercise (or don’t) have the potential to negatively affect your body’s pH levels. They cause the tissues in your body to store excess acid. The more acid there is, the more the body finds it difficult to detox itself.
Although all the organs require thorough detoxification, the kidneys especially are the major pH balancers. When they become overly acidic, your bones and muscles start to deteriorate. But gradually, when the body is unable to neutralize itself, it will fail at eliminating the acid waste from the system, increasing the risk of diseases.
What Happens When Your Body’s pH Level is Imbalanced?
When acidity is climbing the ladder, your body will do everything to neutralize itself. It will start pulling out calcium from the bones into the urine. This leads to osteopetrosis and reduction of bone formation. An acidic pH level will also breakdown the body’s muscle mass and impair itself to the extent that it cannot repair itself. Along with this, the potassium and magnesium storehouses in the body are also meddled with, leading to roof high blood pressure.
On the other side of the spectrum, if your body becomes too alkaline, it enters a state of alkalosis. This can lead to you feeling light-headed, confusion, seizures and even coma.
These might sound scary, but it’s important to remember that these are the effects of way too much acidity in the body. Below are a few symptoms that you can early on to know if your body is turning acidic.
Common Early Signs of Acid-Alkaline Imbalance
- Breathing disorders
- Chronic cold and flu
- Muscle cramping
- Skin issues
- Hormonal imbalances
- Premature hair greying
- Weight problems
- Random body pain
- Chronic infections
- High cholesterol
Foods That Will Help Bring Back the Balance
Reduce Harmful Acidic Foods
- Sugar: Ironically, it does not comes as a sweetener for your health. It throws off body’s pH levels and causes spike in blood sugar levels.
- Refined Flour: They mess up the digestive system and push the body’s pH on the negative side.
- Table Salt: Swap your regular salt with sea salt or Himalayan or Celtic salt that are alkaline.
- Meats and Dairy: Animal products are acid-forming and cutting back will help bring the pH in balance rather effectively.
- Alcohol: Not only is it acid-forming but it also creates a toxic by-product which is harmful for the body.
- Certain Veggies & Fruits: Fruit syrups, canned fruits, white potatoes, mushrooms, jams, etc. are all acidic in nature.
Opt for Healthier Acidic Foods
Since it is all about balance, healthy acidic foods should constitute to about 30 percent of your diet.
- Fresh Fruits: Even though they are acidic, they tag along a wide variety of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that counts for a lot.
- Pulses: Black beans, kidney beans and chickpeas are great sources of protein.
- Oats & Millets: Even though grains are acidic, these are much nutritious as compared to refined flours.
- Honey & Date Sugar: These are healthier alternatives to regular sugar.
- Raw, Unsalted Nuts: They serve as a great source of energy.
- Cold-pressed or Virgin Oils: Opt for plant-based oils as they’re healthier than trans fat or butter.
Alkaline Foods You Must Consume
These foods should form a good 70 percent of your diet.
- All Veggies: Veggies, including root crops like yams, sweet potatoes, beets, and onions, that are fresh and preferably organic are quite alkalizing.
- Legumes: Organic dals are quite alkalizing and can substantially reduce acidity in the body.
- Certain Fruits: Fruits like avocados, tomatoes (yes, they are fruits) coconuts, grapefruits, and cherries are very healthy and can bring down acidity.
- Peppermint Tea, Lemon Water: These detox waters can help combat acidity in the body.
- Almonds, Pumpkin & Sesame Seeds: They protect the heart and their high fibre content keeps you full between meals.
Along with consuming these healthy foods, there are also few alkalizing lifestyle changes that you can incorporate.
Exercising & Deep Breathing
Moving your body helps eliminate toxins. It makes you sweat and improves your breathing patterns. Its proven that deep breathing can have a profound effect on the body’s acidity levels. Set aside some time during your day to practice deep breathing every day.
Stress makes the body acidic and what better way to manage stress than meditating? Even 20 minutes can put your body and mind in a state of relaxed slumber.
Try this meditation to cultivate body awareness.
Massages & Dry Brushing
Massages are great stress-busters, plus they also improve blood circulation. So does dry brushing! Both these techniques can stimulate lymphatic drainage and help remove acidic waste.
Remember, it all a balancing act. With the right foods and lifestyle choices your body will remain ever so healthy!
Read More: How Can Meditation Aid Problem Solving Skills Development?