By Dr. Graham Taylor
Have you ever heard a friend say they are trying to become more alkaline? What does that really mean? And is this yet another new fashion in diets? Well when I look at the foods recommended I find elements of the Mediterranean diet and perhaps Paleo but also common sense. In a nutshell, it is not fad-full to be saying “Eat more veggies and fish but less red meat”.
When referring to pH, which parts of our body are we talking about? Well, all that can be a bit mystifying so I want to encourage a discussion because it is a relevant part of keeping great health.
And using pH as a reference point essentially means as indicated above, we are just eating pretty healthily.
Here are some benefits of being less acid/more alkaline: I noticed since doing this I have more energy and less mood swings; able to be more patient and tolerant. I am happy about that – so is my wife 🙂 .Oh also no tightness in my tummy. Phew what a relief that is!
How it works
As we know there are endless chemical transactions continually in our body. The thing is, any particular chemical process will occur best in an environment ideal for that reaction. For example, our blood needs to stay very close to the pH 7.365 so it can absorb and deliver oxygen and nutrients. This level of blood pH is therefore critical to our survival. The controlling mechanisms in our body will ensure blood stays at this pH and will draw minerals and other factors from other parts of our body (that also need them for our long term health) in order for us to stay alive. Are you seeing the picture here? I think this is called “Robbing Peter to pay Paul….”
It is thought that strong acidity over long periods contributes to painful conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. This is because minerals are the most effective way to neutralize acid. If we are eating a lot of acid forming foods, our body will respond using a priority system to take minerals from anywhere it can get it – to maintain that all important blood at 7.365. Saliva is one of the first places our body goes to for the minerals, therefore the saliva a useful and accessible substance to monitor. But in the process, important minerals that should have gone to bone building have been used to maintain the blood pH.
What I take from the experts is the importance of not being too acid elsewhere in my body so I have plenty of “alkalinity reserves”. How do we do this?
1. Buy some pH test strips
2. Test saliva and mid-stream urine pH first thing in the morning
3. Write the daily results somewhere you can track the pH over 30 days
4. At the end of each day rate your energy levels 1-10, 10 being the best energy ever
5. Research the foods that will bring up your pH to better operating levels and maintain them.
6. Buy those foods (eg. broccoli, parsley, mangoes)– stock you pantry with them – eat them, notice the benefits and how some of acid forming (eg. coffe, sugar, alcohol) foods perhaps now hopefully become redundant, because you have more energy and crave them a lot less.
Some examples of ideal pH
Urine 7.2 -7.4
Saliva 7.2 – 7.4
Stomach 1 – 2
There are many information resources in bookshops and online. Two I can suggest are, “Alkamind. How to correctly test your pH levels. And a book, “The Alkaline Cure”, by Dr Stephan Domenig; Medical Director at the Original F.X. Mayr Health Centre.
Also, talk to Graham, Annika or Naturopath Bek Walker. A consultation with Bek will put you right in the picture about this important health issue and give you ways to problem solve.