The other day I mentioned the negative effects of an acidic environment in the body. This is something I had never really thought much about until recently when I read Brendan Braizer’s book, Thrive. Since then, pH info has been popping up everywhere! The more I read, the more intrigued I am by this acid/alkaline stuff. At first I kind of thought, “Whew! This is getting way too complicated!” But then I realized that our entire food system has become quite complicated and I’ve got to stay on top of things! I’m going to try to make this as simple as possible.
The balance of acid and alkaline in the body is referred to as pH (potential of hydrogen) and is measured on a scale from pH 1 (most acidic) to pH 14 (most alkaline). A neutral pH balance of 7.35 is desirable for optimal health. An acidic environment in the body negatively affects the body on a cellular level. High acid levels are a form of stress, which leads to high cortisol levels in the body. As I mentioned in my rant about coffee (how I hate to love it), high cortisol levels puts strain on the body and as other systems seek to buffer this strain, they become exhausted, causing immune function to falter—and in walks disease. Blah.
We can fight it though! To prevent this nasty acid takeover of the body, we must be proactive in feeding it more alkaline-forming foods and fewer acid forming ones. This is where my friend, chlorophyll comes in. Chlorophyll is considered the “blood of the plant”. Chlorophyll synthesizes energy and converts the suns energy into carbohydrate. Sound familiar? Yes, Photosynthesis—we learned about in grade school.
Chlorophyll does some amazing acrobatics in our bodies. It cleanses our blood by removing toxins we’ve acquired through our diets and other environmental sources. It is also linked to the body’s production of red blood cells—which makes it important for cell regeneration and improving oxygen transport to the body. This equals more energy.
Here are the pH effects of some common foods we consume in North America.
|Highly Alkaline Forming (THESE WILL MAKE YOUR BODY HAPPY!)||AlkalineForming||Neutral||Slightly Acid Forming||Highly Acid Forming|
All leafy greens
Green tea (WOOHOO!)
Yerba mate (South American Tea—awesome)
Pumpkin seed oil
Apple cider vinegar
|Adzuki beansBlack beans
Refined wheat flour
You can buy pH strips at the store. Urine is the best way to test it, but I’ve been advised not to use your first wee of the day because your acid levels are higher than normal. I have no idea how to come by this in Korea and acting it out isn’t an option (I had to act out pregnancy test at the pharmacy in front of a big crowd–as if I don’t get enough attention as a foreigner in Korea) so I’m excited to get back to the states and check it out. Your best bet is to eat lots of Chlorophyl containing foods (GREEN!) and limit the amount of processed foods and animal products in your diet.
Get your Chlorophyll on!