#7 How to Maintain Your Acid-Base Balance
Here’s the seventh topic of our article series, Food as Medicine. Today, I’m focusing on your blood pH levels and acid-base balance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MAINTAINING YOUR ACID-BASE BALANCE
Tissue acidity: here’s an expression that’s becoming more and more well-known, and rightly so. In fact, your body’s acid-base balance is vital for keeping you healthy, and especially for preventing osteoporosis, problems between your bones and tendons, inflammation and chronic fatigue.
The way the human body works is fascinating. As I mentioned earlier, one of the main rules in biology is homeostasis. Nature always tends to stay balanced. And maintaining your acid-base is no exception to this rule. Your body needs to maintain a blood pH level strictly between 7.38 and 7.42. Otherwise, you might even be at risk of putting your life in jeopardy. There’s little room for error! Luckily, your body uses effective methods to maintain your blood pH balance between these two figures at all costs and will even tap into its precious alkaline stores (mainly in your bone tissue) when your body is too acidic.
PROTECTING YOUR BONE STRUCTURE
When this persists, such a mechanism promotes bone demineralization or even osteoporosis and essential mineral deficiency (calcium, magnesium and potassium). There are many factors that cause high acidity: too little or too much physical activity, physical or psychological stress and, of course, your diet. A diet that’s high in table salt, salty foods (such as bread, cheese, sausage and premade meals, especially), soda, animal protein and, conversely, a diet that’s low in fruits and vegetables naturally containing alkaline-forming salt for your body, is sure to throw off your acid-base balance. This kind of diet is radically different from the one our hunter-gatherer ancestors had more than 10,000 years ago, while our genetics have changed very little (less than 0.01%). That’s why making room for raw (and not processed) food on your plate is critical, not for the purpose of turning into a hunter-gatherer, but getting back into a diet that respects your body.
PUT IT INTO PRACTICE
- Consume less sodium chloride by reducing your table salt and avoiding salty foods, such as bread, cheese, cold cuts and premade meals.
- Increase your intake fruit and vegetable intake, which are high in organic potassium (citrate and malate).
- In general, favor foods with a negative PRAL score.
- Steam your vegetables instead of boiling them, and eat them fresh instead of canned.
- Drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day. Mineral and soda water are best, but they should be low in sodium.
- Ban soda (both diet and regular).
- Balance out your gut bacteria.
- Protect your liver by limiting your exposure to pesticides, tobacco, alcohol, pollutants, etc.
- Balance out your gut bacteria.
- If you suffer from chronic acidity in your blood pH levels, try an alkaline mineral regimen (citrate, potassium bicarbonate, calcium and magnesium) in sufficient quantities.
Paying attention to what’s on your plate is the key to eating a diet that boosts and respects your body. The modern diet, which hasn’t changed much since the days of the hunter-gatherers, has a significant impact on your health. In the next article, you’ll learn a few little tricks to help you recover from your workout and reduce your risk of injury. Stay tuned!