We’ve all heard about the ravages of acid rain. Resulting from toxic emissions in the environment, acid rain damages the leaves and needles on trees, reduces a tree’s ability to withstand cold, drought, disease and pests, and even inhibits or prevents plant reproduction. In an effort to stay alive and combat the acidity, tree roots pull important nutrients such as calcium and magnesium from the soil. These alkaline nutrients help to balance the effects of acid rain, but as they become depleted from the soil, the trees’ ability to survive is further strained.
What if I told you that you might unknowingly be doing similar things to your body? A highly acidic diet and lifestyle is like acid rain in our bloodstreams. While the body has mechanisms in place to ensure that the blood stays slightly alkaline (7.365 pH), the depletion of alkaline minerals from your bones, muscles and other parts of your body may leave you vulnerable to health issues and disease. The pH is the measure of acid or alkaline on a scale from 0 to 14. The lower the number the higher the acidity.
An acidic pH is not the same thing as acid reflux—a condition in which stomach acids needed for digestion flow back up the digestive tract, causing an acidic, burning sensation. That’s not what I’m talking about here.
Acidity has been linked to pain, excess weight and many other health issues. Fortunately making your body more alkaline (the opposite of acidic) is easy. Here are 15 ways to alkalize your body for more energy and vitality:
1. Start your day with a large glass of water with the juice of a whole, freshly-squeezed lemon. While lemons may seem acidic, they have the opposite effect on your body as it metabolizes them.
2. Better yet, invest in a water filtration system that alkalinizes the water. Pure water found in nature, which is hard to come by now thanks to pollution, is quite alkaline. If you’re already drinking purified water, you can also purchase water alkalinizing sticks to add to your water bottle. They are quite inexpensive and work well.
3. Eat a large green salad tossed in lemon juice and olive oil. Greens are among the best sources of alkaline minerals like calcium.
4. Snack on raw, unsalted almonds. Almonds are packed with natural alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium which help to balance out acidity while balancing blood sugar.
5. Drink an almond milk and berry smoothie. Choose almond milk over cow’s milk since the latter is acid-forming.
6. Add green powder like spirulina, chlorella or other greens to your daily diet since these foods are highly alkaline. It’s easy to throw a teaspoon into your almond milk-based fruit smoothies.
7. Go for a brisk walk or some other exercise. Exercise helps move acidic waste products so your body can better eliminate them.
8. Breathe deeply. Ideally, choose a spot that has fresh, oxygen-rich air. And, sorry, air filled with Febreze, Glade and all the other so-called “air fresheners,” is not what I’m talking about here.
9. Go for Meatless Mondays. Better yet, opt for meat-free Tuesdays, Wednesdays and other days throughout the week. During the metabolism of meat, acid residue like uric acid and other acidic residues are left behind for the body to address.
10. Skip the sugar-laden soda. Sugar is one of the most acidic foods we consume. You need over 30 glasses of neutral water just to neutralize the acidity of ONE can of soda.
11. Skip the artificially-sweetened diet beverages and other diet products. They contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame (now known as NeoTame), sucralose (also known as Splenda) or saccharin (also known as SugarTwin).
12. Add more veggies to your diet. No, fried potatoes don’t count. But sweet potatoes are a good choice (provided you’re not slathering them in sweeteners or butter). Asparagus, squash, peppers and other vegetables are also excellent choices.
13. Instead of slathering your vegetables in acid-forming butter, drizzle alkaline flaxseed oil over them.
14. Sprout it out. Add more sprouts to your daily diet. They are extremely alkalizing and supercharged with nutrients and energy-boosting enzymes.
15. Skip the desserts or reserve them as occasional treats instead of daily habits. Sugar consumption has been linked to a whole host of health problems and is best minimized or avoided.