pHresh & Clean

pH, Why it’s Important

First, a little chemistry

Basically speaking, acid to alkaline is measured on a scale from 0 to 14 with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline substances.
Since the body works hard at maintaining a slightly alkaline state of 7.36 and the body is pretty good at regulating what it needs to regulate, you would think that the western medical and scientific communities would be correct in saying that diet does not play into the body’s ability to keep an alkaline state. Unfortunately this is not always the case.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is acid forming. I’m sorry, I didn’t make the rules! With acidity comes obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, infertility, cancer and the list goes on…. If you’re living in acidic state you may feel low on energy, experience chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, headaches, mucous buildup, inflammation and countless other health issues both slight and serious.
Some doctors may not want to acknowledge the fact but cancer cannot live in an alkaline state. I am not suggesting that baking soda is the ultimate cure for cancer (maybe it is, who knows?) but I am suggesting that eating a healthy cleansing diet can dramatically reduce your risk of cancer so perhaps there is something to be said there. Just something to ponder…

 

So let me break it down for you into the simplest terms

Vegetables are the most alkaline foods on the planet. Fruits, some more than others will keep the body in an alkaline state as well.
You can visit greenopedia for a complete list of Acid/Alkaline foods. I’m sure you are scratching your heads about now wondering if you should avoid all foods on the acid side of the list. Before your head explodes with the various fruits and vegetables on different sides of the acid/alkaline fence, listen to me carefully. If you are eating a variety of vegetables and fruits and not only eating bananas for a week, you have nothing to fear. So long as you are eating a myriad of vegetables and fruits in all the colors of the rainbow you will be absolutely in an alkaline state. Vegetables and fruits are also high in enzymes digesting quickly and efficiently and helping everything you eat metabolize and get where it’s going.
Fermented veggies like Sauerkraut or Beet Kvass are also incredibly alkalizing and with lots of gut friendly life giving enzymes.

To maintain health, the diet should consist of 60% alkaline forming foods and 40% acid forming foods. To restore health, the diet should consist of 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods.

Now onto grains

Quinoa and millet are two very alkalizing grains. Check out my Citrusy Quinoa Salad with Avo, Fennel & Kale for a super tasty, alkalizing veggie & quinoa salad! Whole grains are sometimes alkalizing and sometimes acidifying. Refined grains are always acid forming. With the genetic modification and hybridization, the rich complex nutrient profile of heirloom wheat that would make it more alkaline is gone making wheat mostly acid forming. Glutinous grains, in general, are more acid forming than gluten-free grains. Bottom line, eat grains, in moderation and when choosing which grains to eat, choose traditional heirloom grains like quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, and heirloom wheat and again, in the tiniest amounts and not every day. Sprouting grains makes them more alkaline. When baking, using sprouted flours are a good alternative to refined flours.

Next up, nuts

Nuts contain healthy fats. Some nuts, such as pistachios, and cashews are acid forming. Cashews, however, contain minerals that fight depression. Eat them, but in moderation. In conjunction with a healthy plant based diet they aren’t going to throw you over to the dark side. Choosing almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and brazil nuts while eating others in more moderation will ensure you aren’t over acidifying your body.
Bottom line; don’t sit down to an entire bag of cashews. Conversely, an entire bag of almonds may not be the best idea either!

Meats?

Well, let me just say, though I am more of a careful omnivore, eating more veggies than anything, I do eat top quality seafood and animal protein in moderation. Grass-fed steak and free range chicken works for me. Before you all start rioting in the streets let me tell you, it is not my belief that every single person on the planet must be a vegan to be healthy. Our ancestors hunted and they did just fine. Wild and free range animals have a higher Omega-3 profile and even some trace minerals and necessary Vitamin B-12. They are acid forming but if you are not eating an entire chicken in one seating or a 16 oz grass-fed steak, your body isn’t going to be thrown over to the acidic side forever.
Commercially farmed animals are acid baths. Sorry, it’s true. They are fed acid forming grains that many of these animals can’t even metabolize so their bodies {and consequently meat} are acidic. If you are going to eat meat, don’t eat commercially farmed animals. Choose grass-fed, organic, or wild meat & game, preferably from sources you know are reliable. Get to know your food!

Milk & Dairy

Generally speaking they are acidic. Pasteurized and/or processed milk and dairy products make acid a certainty. If you must drink or eat dairy, raw, unpasteurized is the only way to go and then, only in moderation.
Fermented products like kefir and yogurt are only mildly acidic and are good for digestion. If you are using dairy, fermented products are a better choice and choose raw, if possible. I’m personally a huge fan of goats’ dairy! For more on goat dairy, see this great article written by Dr. Axe on how Goat Milk Benefits Are Superior to Cow Milk.

Almond milk is a great alternative and it’s alkaline. It’s super easy to make and SO delicious! If you’re feeling adventurous, check out my Homemade Almond Milk recipe! Once you make it you will never want store bought again!!

Although butter and ghee are considered acidic, grass-fed, raw, organic is less acid forming for the same reason wild, free range, grass fed meat is less so. Use these in moderation. There are also lots of tasty spreads that use coconut oil – which is pH neutral.

Oils

Use olive, avocado, coconut, flax, or walnut oils, as close to raw as possible. Don’t cook with olive oil, it makes it acidic. Coconut and avocado oils have high smoke points and do not turn acid forming as quickly so if you must cook with oil, these are the best choices. My favorite oils to sauté with when I cook my veggies {I eat them mostly raw} are coconut and ghee. Veggies are alkaline and ghee is a little acidic so it makes them neutral… and delicious!

Lastly. Coffee, Sugar & Alcohol

These are all acid forming. It’s an unmitigated fact. If you must have coffee try cold brewing your coffee for less acid.
Refined sugar is acid forming. Coconut sugar, blackstrap molasses, raw honey, and, to a lesser extent, raw evaporated cane juice are less acid forming. Sweeteners should always be used in moderation.

As for alcohol…
It is common knowledge that alcohol is not healthy for our bodies. Aside from its mind-affecting properties, alcohol can make you gain weight and also cause serious damage to your liver.
Despite the dangers of over-drinking, it is fine to drink alcohol in moderation. Many people enjoy drinking a glass of wine with an evening meal or sipping on a beer when socializing with friends. These types of alcoholic beverages, though moderately acidic, are less acidic than ‘hard’ liquors. The smarter choice, ultimately, is organic wine because of the organic fertilizer and lack of pesticides used. In fact, organic wine may be the overall healthiest choice among alcoholic beverages.

Hall-Pass Hack! I love taking an alkaline booster on nights that I enjoy alcoholic beverages. It’s made by Sevenpoint2 and I purchase it from Sage Breslin at the Healing Heart Center in Del Mar, California.
“Affectionately nicknamed “The Hall Pass”, the 7.2 Alkaline Booster is perfect after having an acidic meal and/or beverage(s), or before bed. This product works instantly to bring you from acidic pH levels to alkaline. The 7.2 Alkaline Booster allows you to live the lifestyle you are accustomed to, while staying on track with your goal of being pH balanced.”

Bottom line?

Drink your wheat grass and green juices, eat your veggies, and choose the rest wisely. Don’t get hung up on charts. They are guidelines. Ditch the SAD diet, eat a rainbow every day and be more pHabulous than ever with your pHresh & Clean lifestyle!