The efficiency of the body's immune and cardiovascular systems, as well as bone health, are dependent on the delicate alkaline and acid balance of blood and cell fluids in the body. Metabolism may also hinge on this balance, which is measured on a scale known as pH. The pH for optimal health falls between 6.8 and 7.1., and the acid-alkaline balance can be affected by your dietary and lifestyle choices.
While the idea that increasing the body's alkalinity to promote weight loss is not yet accepted by mainstream medicine, alternative health experts claim that the typical American diet of acidity-inducing foods--such as processed flour, white sugar, trans and saturated fats, as well as snacks riddled with artificial preservatives--leads to weight gain.
According to Dr. George M. Wolverton, M.D., a longtime practitioner of integrative medicine who specializes in holistic therapies, consuming acid-forming foods in combination with the stresses of modern day life tips your body's pH balance unfavorably toward acidity. The resulting state of "acidosis" may cause your body to burn muscle and store fat--a stubborn problem in the battle to lose weight. Wolverton's claim is echoed by other alternative health experts, such as Dr. Robert O. Young and Professor Loren Cordain, creators of the pH Miracle Living approach and The Paleo Diet series respectively. They suggest increasing your alkalinity to help your body function more efficiently in general, which may ultimately lead to weight loss specifically. You can do this by following a few steps, ranging from the simple and quick to the more involved.
Things You'll Need
- Kombucha tea
- Organic black strap molasses
Drink 3 to 4 liters of filtered water per day. Proper hydration helps remove acidosis-inducing toxins from your body.
In a blender, mix 1 cup of kombucha tea with 1 cup of organic black strap molasses. Store the mixture in a glass jar (refrigeration is not necessary). Take 2 to 4 tbsp. per day. You can find kombucha tea at most health and natural food stores, as well as online.
Eliminate foods that severely raise your pH level's acidity: all flours, most grains, white bread, white sugar, white rice, soy noodles, soy bread, pastas, oatmeal, dried beans, corn, beets, cheese, homogenized milk, peanuts, pork, shellfish, chocolate, sweetened fruit juice and cranberries.
Also eliminate alcohol, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, tobacco and unnecessary OTC drugs.
Reduce foods that moderately raise your pH level's acidity: butter, cream, margarine, lard, brown rice, buttermilk, eggs, liver and other organ meats, fish, fowl, plums, prunes, brown sugar, honey, coconut, jellies and jams, pecans and hazelnuts, grapes, ketchup, sour cream and tofu. Also, keep in mind that some B vitamin supplements raise your body's acidity level.
Remember that the foods you should reduce or eliminate are not necessarily acidic themselves, but cause an acidic reaction once they are ingested, as your body attempts to recalibrate its pH level. A balanced diet consists of only 35 percent acid-forming foods.
Eat more foods that increase your body's alkalinity: string and green beans, moderately ripe bananas, dandelion in the form of greens or tea, dates, figs, prunes, raisins, dried peaches, plums, pomegranates, apples, melons, lemons, limes, grapefruit, berries, avocado, Swiss chard, spinach, carrots, chives, endive, kale, zucchini, sweet potatoes, maple syrup, stevia, most herbs, garlic, onion, herbal teas, almonds, olive oil, flax seed oil, canola oil and yogurt containing acidophilus.
Most fruits and vegetables have an alkalizing effect on the body. Choose organic foods whenever possible.
Counter the daily assault of stress and its negative effect on your body's pH balance by exercising every day. The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise (equivalent to brisk walking/modest jogging) a day, most days of the week. Increase this time to 60 to 90 minutes per day to aid in weight loss and to reduce the risk of disease. Also include resistance exercise (weightlifting) in your routine, as well as mind/body exercise, such as yoga and meditation, which promotes relaxation. Other stress-reducing activities and habits include learning and implementing time-management and organizational skills and creating and maintaining supportive relationships.
Contact a qualified practitioner who provides chelation therapy (pronounced "ke-LA'shun), which is treatment for any aluminum, arsenic, iron, lead and mercury poisoning you may have experienced due to unavoidable exposure to certain environmental factors--such as air and water pollutants, cleaning agents, food preservatives and pesticides. The practitioner administers to you a chelating agent, which binds and removes toxins, intravenously or orally. One treatment usually costs between $50 and $100 (as of June 2009) and lasts from two to four hours. Your practitioner will determine how many treatments you need depending on the level of poisoning.
Self-monitor your pH levels daily or weekly by purchasing a pH test strip home kit, which is available at some drugstores and most alternative health stores and websites.