The human body – at birth – is a perfectly alkaline pH of 7.4. In this state, the body is able to perform its necessary functions: cells receive the oxygen they need, nutrients are delivered efficiently throughout the system, energy is converted smoothly and the immune system effectively fights off disease.
Why is pH Important?
An acidic pH – which is anything lower than a 7.0 – can lead to a host of health problems. The body is designed to thrive in an alkaline state; in an acidic one, tissues don’t repair and regenerate as well (leading to things like signs of premature aging), elimination from the system is not conducted as efficiently (causing a backup of toxins throughout the body, which further impairs functioning) and cells don’t receive the oxygen they need. A cell without oxygen is like a fish without water… and we know what that means. Excess acid has also been linked to insulin sensitivity (read: weight gain and its related issues) and excess cholesterol accumulation in the arteries.
How Does The Body Become Acidic?
Over time, the introduction of outside substances changes the body’s pH. It’s no surprise that food – and the quality of it – will have a substantial impact on the body’s acidity. A diet of fast food, meat, dairy and excessive sugar and alcohol can increase the body’s acidity exponentially. Because the body seeks its ideal pH, it will pull alkalizing minerals from organs and tissues to buffer and remove acid from the system. If this carries on, cells and structures start to corrode and fall apart.
The Good News
Choosing a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle not only protects you from a host of other ailments, thanks to the plethora of powerful disease-fighting compounds, but plant foods tend to be the most alkalizing of anything we can consume. Reducing meat and dairy intake and increasing the amount of alkaline plant foods you eat each day has been shown to decrease risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. The reason for this is two-fold: disease cells require an acidic environment to proliferate, and an alkaline body has more robust immune defenses.
An alkaline body is a thriving one, so read on for some delicious plant-based foods to work into your life today!