Ph Balance and Inflammation

By Sam Botica, Naturopath – Everything is affected by PH, which is a measure of how acid or alkaline something is. The cells in your body are affected by PH. The soil we grow food in, the oceans we fish from. Balance is the key. In our bodies PH does vary, for example the gut is more acidic so that we can break down our food. But many of us have diets which are too acidic and this can lead to inflammation.

Our bodies get rid of acid build up through our kidneys [urea] and lungs [CO2]. Our blood has a slightly alkaline PH of 7.35 and has a protective buffer to sort out any changes to its PH, maintaining a balance. However there’s a lot of extra acid in our bodies due to our modern lifestyle, so that’s a lot of extra work that our organs have to cope with. For example, poor diet, stress, negative thought and emotions, shallow breathing, excess alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and coffee, all take a toll.

Antioxidant nutrients from the food we eat, help mop up excess acid so it’s important to have a diet rich in alkaline forming antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to help keep a good PH and keep inflammation down.

Diets too high in acid forming foods like meat, sugar, dairy and processed foods are associated with arthritis, gout, kidney stones, allergies and inflammation generally. Some yeast, bacteria and viruses LOVE acidic diets and thrive!

So …we need more alkaline forming foods ….

  1. Eat lots of greens, eg spinach, kale, broccoli, cucumber, celery, avocado and sprouts. Seaweeds, wheatgrass and green juices can be added to your diet.
  1. Reduce sugar, meat, grains, burgers, fries, fizzy drinks, coffee and alcohol.
  1. Swap cows milk for almond milk [avoid brands using sugar or artificial sweeteners]. Coconut water can be used [again look for brands which don’t use sugar or artificial flavours]
  1. Drink freshly squeezed lemon in a large glass of water on rising every day. Although lemons taste acidic, diluted in water they’re alkaline forming.
  1. Try meditation, mindfulness, yoga, exercise and avoid negative people and situations. Get out into natur

It’s not possible to be 100% alkaline with our diets. We do need some acid forming foods but the trick is to minimise the highly acidic forming foods and increase the alkaline forming ones. It’s all about what you do most of the time, not about being perfect. So if two of your meals each day include plenty of greens, you’re off to a great start!