Our energy levels affect every aspect of our lives. From our emotional growth to our physical and spiritual development, without a healthy body, many of us struggle to find balance.
What better way to find balance than through simple food?
Consciously choosing what you put into your body is one of the easiest ways to fuel yourself with passion, vitality and drive. Your skin, your energy levels, your weight and even your moods are all directly influenced by the food you eat each and every day.
Did you know that on the PH scale, your body is meant to be around 7.4 (slightly alkaline)? And yet most of the foods that we consume these days contribute to an acidic, and thus severely imbalanced body.
How many of the following acidic foods do you eat every day?
- Soft drinks
- Energy drinks
- Meat (beef, pork, etc.)
- Beer and wine
- White bread
- Artificial sweetener
- Legumes (kidney, pinto etc.)
- Ice cream
If you answered “yes” for most of the foods and drinks listed above, you’ve likely got an overly-acidic body.
For many years I suffered from chronic fatigue, IBS and persistent acne. I spent some time figuring out that the food I was eating (takeout, meat every night, pastry) was making me sick. Little did I know that cutting back on many of these acidifying foods would help restore my body back to its normal balance.
How to Make Your Body Alkaline
How can you tell that your body is suffering at the hands of too much internal acidity? Here are some common signs:
- Weight gain/poor metabolism
- Brain fog
- Acid reflux
- Hormonal imbalances
- Acne/ skin problems
- Sore muscles
Basically, the less our food resembles what is naturally found in nature and the more processed it is, the more physical issues we struggle with.
Also, eating a PH balanced diet isn’t about dieting per say. As a person who personally hates diets, I’ve found that intuitive eating is tantamount to supporting my body’s natural PH levels. In other words, I can still eat intuitively (what my body craves for) and be aligned with wholesome, PH friendly food.
Acidic diets decrease the body’s capacity to absorb nutrients, produce energy, repair damaged cells and detoxify heavy metals and other toxins. If you’d like to experiment with eating a more PH balanced diet, read some of the recommendations below:
1. Check your urine
When I first did the urine test early in the morning, my result was 8.4. The recommended average PH level is between 6.5 (slightly acidic) and 7.5 (alkaline). Doing this test was revealing, and honestly quite unsettling (but unsurprising).
You can easily buy PH test strips at your local pharmacy or at online retailers. Try to test your urine at the same time every morning. The goal is to get it between 6.5 and 7.5.
2. Increase your water intake
Water is vital for flushing out the toxins in our bodies and thus maintaining a balanced PH environment. The recommended water intake every day for men is 13 cups (3 litres) and 9 cups (2.2 litres) for women. Think about that for a moment. Is it possible that you’re not drinking enough water?
3. Eat more alkaline-forming foods
A great way to counteract the host of negative effects that acidic foods unleash on our bodies is to flood your diet with alkaline foods. These include:
- Oils like avocado, coconut, flax and olive oil
- Fruits such as coconut, tomato, pomegranate, lemon, lime and grapefruit (although some of these are acidic, they actually convert to alkaline in the stomach)
- Vegetables such as garlic, onion, ginger, pumpkin, broccoli, basil, carrot, cauliflower, lettuce, eggplant, radish, cucumber, kale, spinach, snow peas, sweet potato, cabbage, asparagus
- Sprouts such as alfalfa, mung bean, quinoa, amaranth, radish, soy
- Grains/beans such as lentils, buckwheat, millet, quinoa and chia
- Nuts and seeds such as sunflower, sesame, almonds, coconut, pumpkin, flax
- Herbal tea
- Sprouted, gluten free and yeast free breads
4. Disguise your food
If eating healthier sounds too difficult at this point, you’ll benefit from the art of disguising your food! It’s true: not all of us are health food junkies who love chomping on raw carrots and kale. If you find it hard to stomach fruits and vegetables, you may like to:
- Make a quick smoothie. There are thousands of smoothie recipes online. You can get your daily hit of vegetables and fruit in a single 2 minute blend. This is one of my absolute favorite ways to get nutrients and antioxidants.
- Chop up your veggies and put them in sauces, soups and stews. You won’t be able to taste anything provided that you use enough herbs and spices!
- Eat a daily salad. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, cabbage – there are so many types of salads out there bursting full of goodness. Just ensure that you have a strong dressing if you don’t like the taste of certain vegetables. My favorite homemade dressing includes lime, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and grounded garlic.
5. Aim for balance
Too much acidic food and your body suffers. The same can be said for too much alkaline food. Aim to include about 70-80% alkaline foods in your diet. Balance is essential to maintain your body’s homeostasis.
Obviously I am not a healthcare professional, so I encourage you to think for yourself and determine what is best for your body. On the other hand, I can guarantee that you’ll experience some kind of benefit from honoring the beautiful temple that is your body with whole, nature-sourced foods.
In what way have you healed your body with food (or plan to)? I’d love to hear your discoveries in the comments.