The easiest way to test whether your body is too acidic or sufficiently alkaline is by testing your saliva pH. When your saliva pH is alkaline, then the transit time for food through your digestive tract is at a slower more normal pace. This allows your body to better absorb the nutrients from the food you are eating and so your blood and lymph will also be alkaline. When your body is alkaline your blood is more highly oxygenated and therefore an unfriendly environment for the growth of most viruses and bacteria and your energy levels will be higher.
Acidic saliva pH is an indication of acidic blood and lymph systems and is associated with two conditions:
1. Toxins and waste matter from your cells that are not being eliminated from your body
2. Failure to properly absorb essential fatty acids, proteins and minerals from the food you are eating.
When you are acidic, food will move too quickly through your digestive tract so you can’t absorb the nutrients you need. The acid environment within your body is also conducive to the growth of viruses and bacteria and will be oxygen deficient so you are likely to fatigue more easily. Toxicity within can cause mental depression, nausea, and lowered output of digestive acids and enzymes.
Two great ways to alkalise your acidic body are by starting your day with big glass of apple cider vinegar drink or a delicious lemon drink.
Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
For daily maintenance, weight loss and pH balancing try 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar in 1 glass of water once to twice per day. Use room temperature water when the weather is warm and warm water when the weather is cold. If you drink a lot of water throughout the day, consider adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to your glass/drink bottle each time you fill it up. You will be keeping your pH in a constant, alkalised state by sipping this more diluted dose.
Whole Lemon Drink
Lemons are one of the most alkaline forming foods and when consumed on a daily basis (especially with the rind and seeds), cause pH levels in your body to rise and become more alkaline. This is because they have a high alkaline mineral content and almost no sugar – so they have an alkaline effect on your body after they are consumed.
Whole lemon drink can be made by placing 1/2 of a whole organic lemon (rind, seed and pulp), roughly chopped, in a blender with one cup of water. Use room temperature water when the weather is warm and warm water when the weather is cold. Blend at high speed for one minute, and then pass through a strainer to remove the pulp. This drink will restore the pH of your saliva, which in turn helps you to better absorb the nutrients from the food you eat.
Adding some Organic blackstrap molasses to either of these drinks can speed up the process of alkalising your system and is a great way to get plenty of magnesium & potassium into your diet.
The best alkalising foods to build your immunity are dark and brightly coloured vegetables, fresh nuts and seeds, a little free range animal protein or legumes.
It might come as a surprise that fruits are considered to be acid-forming. This is purely because of their high sugar content, and so I advise that you keep fruit to a minimum, 1 piece per day as part of a balanced diet is fine.
Bread is a tough one for many people who rely upon it as a quick, filling part of lunch and breakfast. Try sprouted breads, which are mildly alkaline. Generally speaking sourdough bread is kinder to your digestion than yeast breads even if it is a little acidic. If these are hard to find go for wraps instead of sandwiches.
Tea & coffee are, of course, acid-forming. Most herbal teas are alkaline (except for the very fruity ones and green tea, which contains nearly as much caffeine as coffee). Rooibos (Redbush) tea or Yerba Mate tea are fantastic, anti-oxidant rich alternatives to coffee and tea.
Staying properly hydrated is probably the most important element of the alkaline diet and not just any water will do! Tap water is actually mildly acidic in most areas with a low pH and traces of pesticides, heavy metals, fluoride and other nasties. Spring water is often the better option and Zazen have a great alkalizing water system.
This post was originally published 25/5/11. Since then Dilvin Yasa, a freelance journalist, stumbled upon it and after asking me for further information wrote an article for Marie Claire Australia, so I have decided to repost my original article with just a little tidying up. I will follow this up shortly with a great Christmas detox so stay tuned!
For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Tania Grasseschi (Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Wholefood counselling). Tania is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (AHPRA registered) in Katoomba and Botany and is a Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Sydney campus.