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Balance Your Body Chemistry for Great Health
by Michelle Schoffro Cook, DNM, DAc, CNC

We've all heard about the ravages of acid rain. Resulting from the release of toxic emissions into the environment, acid rain damages a tree's leaves and needles, reduces its ability to withstand cold, drought, disease and pests, and inhibits or prevents plant reproduction. To combat the acidity, tree roots pull important alkalizing nutrients like calcium and magnesium from the soil.

An acid-forming diet and lifestyle are like acid rain in our bodies. We are essentially microcosms of the same problems our planet faces. The difference is that while most of us are aware that we are polluting the planet, few realize that we are subjecting our bodies to similar acid waste.

But by making a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, you'll not only balance your body's pH, but experience incredible healing results like increased energy, improved immunity, the reduction or elimination of pain, and a powerful return of your body's ability to heal itself. Many who return balance to their body chemistry help avoid heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer.

Imagine that acid and alkaline are two teams in a tug-of-war contest, each one holding the end of a long rope and trying to shift the balance to its side, and you'll get a good sense of what happens every single second in your body. The pH spectrum ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral, 0 to 6.9 being acidic, and 7.1 to 14 being alkaline. Average human blood pH is roughly 7.365. When your pH balance tips toward either the acidic or the alkaline side of the spectrum, you are vulnerable to a variety of health problems. Because of the current eating habits of most in North America, it is rare for anyone to become excessively alkaline for an ongoing basis. Excessive acidity is much more common, even among health-conscious eaters. Your blood must stay at 7.365. If your diet and lifestyle choices consistently acidify the blood, they will deplete alkaline minerals from your bones and muscles, as well as tax the detoxification organs just to maintain the balance, which can result in many harmful health effects.

The Impact of Acid
  • The rate at which you age is determined by how acidic your body is. Graying hair, wrinkling and sagging skin are all worsened by an acid-forming diet and lifestyle.
  • Cholesterol levels soar to repair the damage caused by acidic blood, which scours your arterial walls like an S.O.S. pad.
  • Research shows that cancer cells require acidity to survive. They thrive in an acid environment, but are unable to survive in an alkaline one.
  • Most people experience significantly less pain, whether it's from arthritis, migraines, and fibromyalgia, when their pH is balanced.
Acid-forming Foods

One of the worst acidifying offenders is cola. At 2.5 to 2.6, depending on the brand, this so-called "beverage" is extremely acidic. It takes 32 cups of neutral water (most municipal drinking water is acidic) to neutralize a single cup of cola!

Other acid-forming foods include anything sugary (natural or refined); white or wheat pastas, breads, and pastries; dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, etc.); chicken; eggs; fish; beef; lamb; and even most fruit. Yes, even fruit has an acidifying effect on the body. The myth that fruit becomes alkaline once you eat it has been around for decades. Unfortunately, due to its high sugar content, it creates an acidic environment in your body. That doesn't mean you need to swear off all acid foods. I call healthy but acid-forming foods like fruit "Wise Acid" foods in my book, The Ultimate pH Solution. But, the bulk of your diet should be made up with alkalizing foods, such as leafy greens (dandelion, kale), round vegetables (onions, cabbage), and legumes (edamame, lentils). Remember: it doesn't matter whether a food itself is acidic or alkaline; it is more important how it affects your body. Strive for a diet consisting of at least 70% alkaline-forming foods.

Kick Acid Quick Tips

To help get you started on reducing acidity:
  • Drink water with the juice of half a fresh lemon (once in the body, it has an alkalizing effect) squeezed into it to start your day.
  • Drink "green drinks" throughout the day to help give you a boost of energy and balanced body chemistry. The highly alkalizing green food supplements are helpful in restoring pH levels quickly.
  • Minerals, particularly coral calcium, help alkalize.
  • Eat a large green salad with lunch and/or dinner.
Check out The Ultimate pH Solution to learn many other simple ways to "kick acid" and over 50 recipes to get your body chemistry back on track.

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