Combat Acid/Alkaline Imbalance and Inflammation
By now, most doctors (conventional and complementary alike) agree that chronic inflammation is the root cause of countless diseases. Not to be confused with the healthy, natural, temporary inflammation that occurs as the result of an injury, chronic inflammation has been linked to cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, to name just a few.
But why does chronic inflammation develop in the first place? There are many reasons, but one of the biggest culprits is acidosis. This condition is triggered by an imbalance in the body’s pH levels. Acidosis paralyzes every cell, preventing the absorption of oxygen and essential nutrients.
You may have acidosis and not even know it. The symptoms are often mild or nondescript…and in some people, nonexistent! Nevertheless, it wreaks havoc in your body, setting the stage for inflammation and a multitude of health problems.
It Starts at the Cellular Level
Every single cell in your body contains alkaline substances—calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and oxygen, to name a few. The combination of all these elements creates a slightly alkaline pH within your cells. Your body functions most effectively in this environment.
Unfortunately, everyday life exposes you to a variety of things that disturb this pH balance. Environmental toxins and pollutants, the standard American diet, illness or injury, and stress all have an acidifying effect.
To neutralize the acidity caused by these daily offenders, your body has a complex buffering system that works around the clock.
The quickest way for your body to balance acidosis is with adequate alkaline minerals in your food and supplements. If those don’t provide enough of a buffer, the next stop is your bones, which have robust reserves of alkalinizing minerals.
This approach works…but over time, the continuous depletion of nutrients can weaken your bones and lead to osteoporosis.
Furthermore, as you age, your ability to alkalinize becomes less efficient. That’s why it’s much easier to fall victim to acidosis, inflammation, and inflammatory diseases at the age of 50 than it is at 20.
But there are safe, simple natural ways to reduce acidosis and inflammation.
It’s pretty simple to measure your pH levels using litmus paper and a sample of urine or saliva taken when you wakeup before you eat or drink in the morning. Preferably, your pH should fall in the slightly alkaline range of 7.2 to 7.4. If it’s lower than 7.2, you’re in a state of acidosis.
But even if your pH is ideal, I still recommend following a preventive program—especially if you’re in your 40s or older. As you age, your body’s overtaxed buffering system needs all the help it can get.
Fortunately, reducing and preventing acidosis and dousing inflammation isn’t really all that hard. It can be accomplished in four steps:
Step 1: Reduce Stress
Exercise is a great way to lessen the stress in your life—even if it’s just a 10-15 minute walk around the block. It also cuts acidity by infusing your cells and tissues with acid-neutralizing oxygen.
Step 2: Alkalinize Your Diet
Most of the foods in the standard American diet are highly acidic or acid-forming. The most problematic items include sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, excess salt, caffeine, alcohol, and processed and fast foods. Soda are a perfect storm of acidizing ingredients, and you need to drink a lot of water to counteract them. Minimize or eliminate these substances as much as you can.
In general, you should eat a diet rich in organic produce. Almost all fruits and vegetables (except for tomatoes, cranberries, and blueberries) are alkalinizing. Surprisingly, even most citrus fruits (with the exception of oranges) have an alkalinizing effect. So you can enjoy grapefruit or lemon water without worrying about the repercussions. Particularly helpful are greens, including cucumbers, celery, and green juices or powders.
Step 3: Restore Your Mineral Reserve
You want to have a rich store of minerals so your body can freely liberate what it needs to counteract acidity without harming your bones. This starts with your diet, but supplementation provides an additional safeguard.
As a preventive measure, take a multivitamin and mineral supplement every day. However, if you have acidosis, you should take additional minerals along with your multi. A high-quality bone product would be a good option. These usually contain a wide range of alkalinizing minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese.
Step 4: Take Inflammation-Dousing Supplements
To lower inflammation, I recommend taking curcumin, the medicinal extract found in the Indian spice turmeric. Curcumin has an impressive resume of treating and preventing various inflammatory conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and autoimmune diseases.
Another excellent anti-inflammatory you should add to your daily regimen is omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3s protect the heart and brain, both of which can easily fall prey to the effects of chronic inflammation.
These four simple pH-balancing changes can have powerful and dramatic effects. I encourage you to adopt them and get one step closer to experiencing truly vibrant health.