The Benefits of Alkalizing and 10 Natural Strategies to Help You Do it
You probably already know that pH is an important factor in healthy organisms. It’s a scale ranging from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkaline, or basic), and how acidic or alkaline an environment is directly affects how happy its inhabitants are. Plants don’t thrive in soil that is too acidic, while animals need to maintain a proper balance between acid and alkaline.
Humans are no exception: If our bodies become too acidic or too alkaline, we suffer. The human body thrives at a pH level of about 7.5, which is just slightly alkaline. Unfortunately, most people eat tons of acidifying foods, including grains, meat and fruit. These foods disrupt the natural pH functioning of your body and make you feel sick, predispose you to disease and generally lessen your quality of life. In fact, acidosis (the state of being too acidic) can lead to a huge range of health problems, including:
- Generalized pain and fatigue
- Bladder and kidney problems
- Premature aging
- Weight gain and obesity
- Heart and respiratory problems
… and much more. Luckily, you’re not fated to remain in too acidic a state for your entire life. By carefully incorporating alkalizing strategies into your life, you can bring your pH balance much closer to normal. Here are 10 strategies that will help you do so, and give you back your quality of life at the same time.
- Lemon Water
Lemon water might seem like an odd choice since we associate citrus with acid, but lemons are actually very alkalizing, helping to bring your body back into balance. Squeeze a fresh lemon or lime half into a glass of water as an alkalizing way to start your day. If you like, you can drink another glass with the other half or, if it isn’t too tart, drink a whole lemon or lime in a glass.
- Cruciferous Veggies
Veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and mustard greens are all I the cruciferous vegetable group, and can make a huge impact on your health. Not only do they contain a raft of nutrients, they contain lots of alkalizing minerals, including calcium, iron and magnesium.
- Green Tea
In addition to providing potential cancer-fighting benefits, to giving your body a boost that lacks the jitters of caffeine and being delicious, green tea can also help you adjust the pH of your body. Plus, the catechins fight free radicals, reducing damage to your DNA and slowing aging and helping you live longer. Green tea is one of the simplest subs to make; simply swap out your first cup of coffee or other type of tea every morning for a steaming cup of green. For all you decaf drinkers, good news: Decaf works just as well.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil, like green tea, is an easy switch to make, because all you have to do is start cooking with it in place of butter or other fats. It is the most alkalizing olive oil, so you should reach for it whenever possible as an addition to soups, stews and salad dressings and as a base for sautéed veggies.
- Raw Almonds
Raw almonds contain lots of great nutrients, and studies have shown that people who eat nuts tend to weigh less and be healthier. You can also sub walnuts or hazelnuts into your diet for a satisfying crunch.
Exercise helps you get rid of acidic wastes that buildup in your body, effectively raising your overall pH and making it a tamer environment for beneficial bacteria.
- Less Meat
Meat is very acidic, so where possible, you should eat less of it. Try to view it as more of a side than a main course, sprinkling a bit of bacon on greens or eating a few slices of chicken breast with vegetables.
- Fresh Air
Real, fresh air contains alkalizing molecules that get into your system and perk the whole thing up. Unfortunately, the air in the hall of your office doesn’t count as “fresh,” so you should make the effort to really step outside once in a while.
Sprouts, like cruciferous veggies, are loaded with alkalizing nutrients. Plus, they contain fiber and lots of enzymes to help you boost energy. They may give you the oomph you need to exercise and smell the roses more often, which in turn also offer health-boosting alkalization!
- Ionized Water
This can be a good strategy used in moderation. Ionized water is water whose molecules have been separated into alkaline and acidic ions. Then you only drink the alkaline part, supposedly raising your body’s pH. There are a few things to note about this strategy, however. For one thing, the science behind whether or not this works is somewhat shaky. For another, researchers don’t really know enough about whether or not our bodies need the acidic ions, so it’s important to also get regular water too, ideally distilled. However, if it helps you switch from soda, it’s a win!
Living a better life might be easier than you think. Alkalizing your body can help you regain energy, lose weight faster, experience less junk food cravings, fight colds and more serious diseases, and generally feel better all the time. Try a few of these strategies, incorporating new habits until they stick, then adding a new one. Be wary of overwhelming yourself by trying all of these tricks at once, which may result in burnout and a return to old habits. Instead, take it slow. You have time … and if you treat your body well, you might have even longer.