Once the body is cleansed properly, and elimination organs are clear, you can better absorb the food you eat. Healthy foods are now much more palatable. At this time, your diet can be consciously examined and fine-tuned. Remember, the foods you put in your body can act as the BEST medicine or the WORST poison. When you consume the highest quality, cleanest, most nutrient-dense food possible, in the proper balance, it makes all the difference in your overall health. High nutrient optimization allows you to perform at peak levels!
Structuring your diet is like building a house. If you do not have a strong foundation, or use poor quality materials, the house will be subject to increased risk of damage, require constant repairs, and just won’t last as long. Just like you want an earthquake resistant foundation for your home, you want a disease resistant foundation for your body!
Everything you put in your mouth can have either a positive or a negative effect on the body!
Diet is one aspect of your health equation, that for the most part, YOU have absolute control over. The food and beverages you CHOOSE to regularly consume become one of the most important factors when it comes to balancing your pH levels and staying disease free.
With today’s ever-increasing exposure to toxins and lack of sleep, along with hard to avoid stress from over-crowded schedules, toxic thoughts, childcare, multi-tasking, and other added responsibilities, it becomes VITAL to implement a pH balanced anti-inflammatory diet if you are looking to prevent disease.
It is scientifically recognized that an acid forming diet leads to various levels of acidosis and brings along deleterious consequences for the body!
In their scientific review, researchers highlighted that modern western diets high in animal products and deficient in vegetables and fruit generate acidosis. Acid forming diets induce cell resistance to insulin and many other metabolic disturbances, increasing the chances of cardiovascular issues, diabetes, kidney damage, and obesity. (1)
In this 2001 study researchers reported that a high acidic load from poor diet increases acidity, resulting in muscle and bone loss, and an increased chance for kidney stones, fractures and a variety of other painful debilitating conditions. The degree of acidosis also increases with age due to the natural decline in renal functioning and growth hormone, along with other factors. (2)
BALANCE IS EVERYTHING!
Fortunately, controlling the acidic load and introducing an alkalizing rich-plant-based diet can ameliorate those conditions and prevent premature aging! Link to more proof of pH balancing here.
When attempting to balance the pH of bodily fluids and tissues, while maintaining a healthy, clean internal environment, your dietary ratio should be around 70/80 to 30/20 alkaline/acidic, or at least 2/3 of diet being on the neutral-alkaline forming side (depending on the individual). This can be challenging to many at first, but certainly not too difficult to accomplish with proper conditioning, focusing on a whole foods diet and high-end supplementation.
To simplify somewhat, you want a large part of your diet to be full of alkaline rich hydrating vegetables, greens, superfood powders, and some fruits to neutralize the more acidic foods like animal protein, grains and dairy products.
For example, you can have a 5oz. piece of salmon, some sprouted quinoa or a sweet potato, and a large salad with lots of raw greens and veggies, and you are in BALANCE! So, it’s not at all about avoiding acidic forming foods, but the amount of acidic foods consumed has to be balanced out with enough neutral to alkaline forming foods. Although certain highly acidic foods and beverages should be avoided or extremely limited for various health reasons.
A pH balanced diet IS an anti-inflammatory diet. They are one and the same!
The following is a detailed guide that can assist you in maintaining balanced pH levels:
- Eat 70% – 80% neutral-alkaline forming foods to 20% – 30% acidic forming foods depending on metabolism. This ratio can go temporarily higher when super acidic, treating disease, or during a cleanse. That means consuming copious amounts of whole-foods rich in blood cleansing chlorophyll and powerful anti-oxidants (like raw and cooked veggies, leafy greens, and some fruits), which are hydrating and alkaline forming to the body, as well as high end whole food supplements.
- Consume a diet with a balanced level of macro-nutrients: Consume between 25-35 percent of daily calories from protein sources, 20-40 percent from carbohydrates, and 25-50 percent of daily calories from fats. Ranges are broad to account for body type, type of activity and intensity level, lean body mass, and lifestyle program. No matter what macro breakdown you choose, pH balance is the objective. At the moment, my personal macro breakdown is 30/30/40 carb/protein/fat. These macro breakdowns are not set in stone, and can fluctuate if you are attempting to reverse diabetes, obesity, cancer, or other metabolic dysfunctions. pH balanced or GREEN Keto diets will also be higher in fats and lower in carbs. Remember it’s all about balance!
- To assure balanced pH levels the majority of carbohydrates should be sourced from lower calorie nutrient dense vegetables, greens, and some fruits.
- The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of fruits and vegetables is five to nine servings a day. This amount is the bare minimum, and therapeutic doses need to be higher to promote healing and a homeostatic environment in the body! I personally consume over 50 servings of vegetables and fruit daily, including red and green powders. I’m not saying you need to consume as many fruits and veggies as I do, but I certainly would not equate the RDA recommendation to superior health.
- Other good sources of carbohydrates are legumes (black beans, garbanzos, lentils, peas, etc.). Try eating raw sprouted legumes to increase nutrients, reduce anti-nutrients, and promote optimal digestibility. Lentils for example are a great source of protein and B-vitamins. If you decide to go Paleo and cut these foods out, pH levels MUST still be in balance!
- Yet another good source of carbohydrates is non-refined grains (preferably sprouted or fermented) like quinoa, brown rice, barley, buckwheat, oatmeal, etc., depending on your tolerance to gluten. Even if you do not have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity issues, limit the consumption of gluten since it is a hard-to-digest protein composite and can cause intestinal irritation at the very least, especially in conventional, highly hybridized, pesticide laden, modern wheat products which should be avoided. I personally rarely eat glutenous grains because I do experience fatigue most of the time.
- Protein sources (from animals) should come mostly from fish with low mercury levels (krill, sardines, smelt, anchovies, herring, catfish, salmon, and sole), organic free-range poultry, and grass-fed organic red meats in lesser amounts since they are much harder to digest and more acidic forming. Organ meats are especially healthy due to their nutrient dense profile.
- If you choose to consume meat, its not advised to consume it at every meal. Maybe even take one or two days out of the week where you do not consume meat at all to maintain optimal pH levels being that meat is highly acid forming, and have a positive impact on the environment at the same time!
- Keep in mind that legumes, non-refined whole grains, and cage-free pastured organic eggs also contain sufficient protein. High quality raw or undenatured, grass-fed sprouted, protein powders like whey, pea, hemp, etc. are also great sources of protein, especially on the run, or pre and post workout!
- If you consume dairy, purchasing raw enzyme, probiotic rich dairy from a clean organic source would be the best option if available. However, if you are consuming commercial dairy products, organic kefir is a better option since it goes through a longer fermentation process, containing more beneficial bacteria. No-sugar added, organic, grass fed yogurt would be the next best option. Processed pasteurized-homogenized milk or cheese is never the best option due to lack of enzymes,nutrients, and damaged proteins which can spark an immune reaction or allergenic response, compromising digestion, and potential disease manifestation. Raw cheeses aged 6 plus months are available in many supermarkets.
- Consume a healthy balance of essential fatty acids, found in a well-balanced whole food diet along with proper supplementation of Omega-3 fatty acids from clean sources of fish, krill, or algae to balance out omega 6’s and 9’s. Flax and chia seeds are also great sources of omega-3 fatty acids! Besides any animal products you may consume, most fats should come from plant sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive, flax seed, hemp and coconut (healthy saturated fat) oils. Always use cold-pressed or raw, non-refined oils. When cooking, use oils like coconut or macadamia that remain stable under high temperatures.
- Other fat sources can come from cage-free organic eggs, grass-fed wild (buffalo, elk, venison), and lean meats and fatty fish, especially those low on the food chain and high in omega 3’s like sardines and wild Salmon.
- Regarding cooked foods-less is best being that the higher the temperature and the longer the cooking time, the more damage that can be caused to certain foods. Cooking in general destroys enzymes and can create more work for the body to digest, depleting metabolic enzymes. Mushrooms are an exception as well as cruciferous vegetables which can be a challenge to digest raw and contain goitrogens in raw form which can inhibit thyroid function in certain people. Overcooked and over-processed foods are a major concern. These foods can contain damaged proteins, vegetable oils and other nutrients, create highly toxic carcinogenic substances like AGE’s, leave foods partially digested, and over-tax the immune system.
When cooking, it is best to lightly steam, bake, stew, stir fry or use a slow crock cooker. Note that vegetables cooked in water lose a lot of nutrients, unless that water is consumed – like with vegetable and chicken soups which are highly nutritious. Steaming lean meats like chicken and fish retains the most nutrients. As far as red meat goes, always choose organic grass-fed sources so it is safe to eat them rare or medium-rare, preserving heat sensitive nutrients and protecting the proteins from damage. When eating grilled, roasted or fried foods, try cutting off the burned or browned outer layer part which is known to contain carcinogenic properties like AGE’s.
- AVOID microwaving unless you like radiated food with very little nutrients left!
- Remember, many of the vitamins and nutrients in most fruits and vegetables are found in the skin and outer leaves. Leave the skin on and make sure to rinse well with filtered water or vegetable wash, preferably organic as pesticide residues can be fairly-high on conventional produce, and even more-so in meat.
- Eat fermented products regularly like fermented vegetables, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, kombucha, (naturally aged cheeses -less often) or supplement with high quality probiotics to balance gut ecology.
- Add anti-inflammatory herbs and spices to your diet like black pepper, basil, cayenne, chamomile, chives, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, parsley, turmeric, and others (many of which can be taken in supplement form).
- Consume sea vegetables like seaweed, and brown algae, including kombu, kelp, wakame, arame, dulce, hijiki, Irish moss, alaria esculenta and nori high in iodine to help protect the thyroid and prevent many cysts, and estrogen induced cancers like breast and prostate. They can also be supplemented.
- Consume green powder superfoods like chlorella, spirulina, barley grass, wheatgrass, and sprouts of all kinds, etc. These are all highly alkalizing, enhance detoxification, control inflammation and help to maintain optimal pH levels.
- You can substitute green tea for coffee, which is far less acidic in most cases, has more fat burning benefits, and contains powerful gene modulating antioxidants.
- Drink ½ oz. to 1 oz of water per pound of lean body mass daily, and even more depending on activity level. This may seem like a lot, but proper hydration is one of THE most important things you can do for your body! Keep in mind that water can be in the form of fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, water with powdered greens, alkaline forming lemon-lime water, etc. In fact, unless you are consuming a higher alkaline mineral saturated water, it is best to add mineral rich greens, lemons, and even a pinch of Himalayan or sea salt to much better hydrate the cells. These are some of the best ways to structure the water for optimal absorption.
- AVOID altogether (or work towards avoiding) highly acidic foods like fried foods, sugary drinks, processed and refined products like grains, white flour/sugar/salt and vegetable oils (soy, canola-rapeseed, corn), partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans-fats), excessive caffeine, artificial sweeteners, soy products (specifically conventional GMO form). Organic sprouted or better yet fermented soy can be beneficial.
- Limit the consumption of alcohol, and limit or eliminate non-prescription, as well as prescription drugs, under a doctor’s supervision of course.
- Maintain a regime of about 4 small meals (including shakes, smoothies, healthy bars-especially raw) per day to maintain a speedy metabolism and keep blood sugar levels balanced.
- Enjoy fruit smoothies, fresh squeezed or blended vegetable juices, and healthy protein shakes between solid food meals, which can bump up fruit and vegetable counts significantly, while helping to get those 4 small meals in per day to regulate blood sugar levels and metabolism.
- Do not forget to be aware of proper portion control. In order to maintain a healthy weight, daily calorie consumption should be based on body fat percentage, activity level, and lean body mass. Maintaining a healthy weight is a big part of staying pH balanced. When focusing on a pH balanced anti-inflammatory whole foods diet and lifestyle the body will maintain its normal weight and aesthetics will be a byproduct of your efforts!
- Choose ORGANIC whenever possible!
- LOW quality food= lower energy= POOR quality health; while HIGHER quality food= high energy=OPTIMAL health!
1- Adeva, M. M., & Souto, G. (2011). Diet-induced metabolic acidosis. Clinical Nutrition, 30(4), 416-421.
2- Frassetto, L., Morris Jr, R. C., Sellmeyer, D. E., Todd, K., & Sebastian, A. (2001). Diet, evolution and aging. European journal of nutrition, 40(5), 200-213.