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There has been much in the press and the diet world lately on the subject of alkalinity. Until recently no one knew anything about the acidity or alkalinity of the body, now it is the latest craze and if you haven’t yet used a pH strip to test your own body’s acid/alkaline balance then you may be a bit behind the times.
The balance of acid/alkaline in the body measures the pH (or potential Hydrogen). The scale ranges from one to fourteen. One is highly acidic and fourteen is highly alkaline with the ideal being somewhere around 7.35. An overly acidic body, which plagues most Americans, leads to a variety of illnesses, sickness, and obesity whereas an alkaline system makes it nearly impossible for sickness or disease to survive.
Moving towards a more alkaline environment within the body results in improved energy, health, and weight. Here are five easy steps to increasing your alkalinity.
1. Eat fewer acid-forming foods. Food is the most direct and most profound tool for creating a more alkaline environment. The most acid-forming foods are sugars, processed food products like pasta, bread, and cereals, meats, dairy, coffee, soft drinks, and artificial sweeteners.
2. Eat more alkaline-forming foods. Alkaline forming foods are nearly all vegetables, particularly green leafy ones, whole grains like quinoa, wild rice, millet and amaranth, ginger, green tea, fruits – especially citrus, mangoes, and most melons and Stevia (as a sweetener)
3. Do something fun. Stress creates more acid in the body. The alternative to reducing stress is increasing fun. Take ten minutes out of your day to just have fun. Listen to some great music, call a friend, take a short walk, play with your kids. The more fun you have the less acid your body will be.
4. Calm yourself down. Since stress creates acid, consciously calming yourself down will create a more alkaline environment. Take one minute to breathe deeply, do some light stretching or yoga, set a timer for five minutes, and do a short meditation. Anything that slows down the sympathetic nervous system (the fight-or-flight one) and activates the parasympathetic nervous system will reduce the acid levels in your body.
5. Smile. It’s probably the simplest thing you can do anywhere, anytime, and anyplace. When you smile your body releases feel-good hormones into your system. Your smile tells your brain that life is good, there is no need to panic. The more you smile the better you feel. The better you feel the more alkaline your body.
High levels of acid in the body lead to weight gain, exhaustion, poor bone health, and eventually sickness and disease. Our diet and stress levels contribute greatly to our acid/alkaline balance within our bodies. The more we take care of ourselves by engaging in fun activities, consciously relaxing, and eating whole, unprocessed fruits, grains, and vegetables, the healthier, happier, and more alkaline we will be.