The pH factor
To prevent disease, you must keep your body in balance. pH level is one of the best ways to measure that balance. pH stands for power of hydrogen, which is a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration in the body. It is an indication of how acid or how alkaline the body is.
You can test your acid alkaline pH balance regularly by drenching a piece of litmus paper in your saliva or urine first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything.
Morning readings will be slightly higher than usual daytime pH levels because the body has just spent the night detoxing. Mornings readings, however, are a good indication of general pH range.
Ideally, the body should be balanced between acid and alkaline at a blood pH level of 7.365, which is slightly alkaline. The acid- alkaline scale goes from 0 to 14, with zero being pure acid (think of battery acid) and 2 being the acidity level of lemons. On the other side, 11 is the alkalinity level of ammonia. All fluids and cells in the body have an acid alkaline balance, but none are as important as blood pH, which must be kept from 7.3 to 7.4 to survive. The goal is to maintain this neutral pH range for optimum health and disease prevention.
While neutral pH is linked to health and vitality, acidic urine and saliva pH make you more vulnerable to diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and heartburn. Acidity is also the ideal environment for viral, bacterial and fungal infections to thrive. Less serious complaints are associated with acidity (also called acidosis) such as migraines, constipation and allergies.
Nobel prize winner Dr. Otto H Warburg found that the root cause of cancer is oxygen deficiency. Oxygen deficiency leads to an acidic state in the body. Conversely, high levels of oxygen, as found in an alkaline state, create an environment where cancer cells can’t survive.
Dr. Warburg found that cancer cells are anaerobic, which mean they don’t breathe oxygen and thrive in a low-oxygen, acid state. On the contrary normal cells need oxygen to survive. He also found that if normal cells are deprived of only 35 percent of their normal oxygen supply, for only 48 hours, it could turn them cancerous.
Another major determinant of acid alkaline balance is diet. Eating a diet of toxic, acid-forming foods like processed, refined grains and sugars or genetically modified organisms leads to acidic pH. The body compensates to balance blood pH by pulling salts and mineral such as calcium, potassium and magnesium from other areas of the body, like the bones, to neutralize the acid. This can result in mineral deficiencies.
Here’s an easy home remedy for balancing acidity that, in conjunction with an alkalinizing diet, will bring your body back into pH balance.
Ingredients: 1/3 tsp. baking soda and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or organic apple cider vinegar.
Method: Mix everything together. The acid/base combination will immediately begin to fizz. Keep adding baking soda until the fizz stops and then fill the glass with 8 oz. water. Drink all at once. This home remedy will neutralize the pH and create an alkaline-forming environment in your body. It will help with stomach acid and reduce acidosis.
An alkalinizing diet is one that is full of fresh fruits and veggies, organic or pastured meat/eggs, gluten-free grains and raw nuts and seeds. Dairy, refined sugar, processed foods, vegetable oils (except for coconut, avocado and olive) commercially raised meat, sodas, coffee, black tea, alcohol and chocolate all create acidity in the body.
Stress and negative emotions also contribute acidity to the body. Stress reduction and pleasurable activities are just as important in balancing pH as food. Exercise also adds more oxygen to the body, making it a pH balancing activity.
Detoxification is vital to maintaining pH balance. Most detox diets focus on eating alkalinizing foods, exercise and stress reduction. Detoxing not only helps bring the blood and body back into pH balance but also gets rid of stored toxins that affect the body’s ability to function, balance and detoxify.
The 21-Day Body Makeover will help bring the body back into pH balance, increasing energy, clarity, and creating a balanced environment in your body to naturally fight disease.
Effects processed meat has on our bodies
One of the best ways to promote health and longevity is through the food we eat. Food can be medicine or it can be toxic, requiring us to seek medication down the line.
There are ways to measure the effects that certain foods have on our body’s aging process. They are called telomeres. Telomeres are the caps on the end of chromosomes that protect DNA from damage. These telomere caps work much like the plastic tips on the end of shoelaces, to keep them from unraveling.
Telomeres can shorten and lengthen in response to the foods we eat and the stress we experience. When telomeres shorten it can trigger cells to malfunction and die. Shorter telomeres have been linked to conditions like cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Telomeres slowly and gradually shorten as we age, but the speed of their shortening can be controlled by lifestyle factors and diet. So though you can’t stop aging, you can definitely put he brakes on the aging process.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the effect of multiple food groups on telomere length. They found that eating the following foods can speed up your aging clock by shortening your telomeres prematurely. These popular foods and beverages are soda, processed meat, industrially-raised meat and alcohol.
Processed meat includes products like pepperoni, hot dogs and bologna. Researchers found that people who consumed one or more servings of processed meat each week had shorter telomeres that those you didn’t eat any processed meat. Not only is processed meat made from low quality meat, it also typically contains preservatives and other chemicals.
The topic of meat, red meat in particular, is controversial. But consuming high quality red meat from pasture-raised, grass fed animals can be extremely beneficial to some people. It can bolster the immune system with zinc and fortify the blood with iron. The trick to healthy meat consumption is to avoid commercially-raised meat pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. And of course, moderation is key with red meat, consuming it only a few times a week and not every day.
Red meat can be hard to digest for some people. Taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or bitters before you eat meat will boost stomach acid and help the digestion process. Consuming resistant starch when eating red meat is also recommended. Resistant starch is they type of good carb that helps burn fat and weakens the effect red meat has on telomeres. Foods that contain resistant starch include green bananas, green plantains, yuca and lentils.
Lastly alcohol can greatly influence telomeres. A study presented at the 2010 meeting of the American Association of Cancer research found alcohol to have a profound effect on telomere shortening. And of course, the more you drink the more they shorten. People who had 4 drinks a week or more had dramatically shorter telomeres than those who drank occasionally or moderately. In some cases the telomeres of people who drank heavily were half as short as non-abusers. But even in the case of moderate drinkers, alcohol may speed up aging.
While having a glass or two of red wine with dinner may provide stress relief and antioxidants, it doesn’t have a positive effect on telomeres. Taking a walk after dinner and eating organic red grapes several times a week can have the same beneficial effects on health as drinking wine without the aging side effects.
Detoxification is also very important for reversing the effect of aging and telomere shortening. While the body detoxes naturally, it is always a good idea to do a cleanse or two each year to help unclog sluggish detox channels. One detox a year can boost the body’s detox ability throughout the year. The 21 Day Body Makeover can help open detox channels, clear built up toxins from the body and break the sugar addiction so you aren’t a slave to soda.
The right foods and detox routine can have you looking and feeling younger than your chronological age.