Acid intake and why it’s so important to regulate
Angela Hodgkiss – Angelique Day Spa and Skin Clinic
I read an article last month that really resounded with me and got me thinking about my diet and the impact it has on my body and skin in a way I’ve never considered before. Acid…..There is not a pore or molecule in our body that isn’t corrupted by it. Our bodies were not designed to deal with the amount of acid that mass food production have brought us and ALL food EXEPT fruit and vegetable are acidic. WOW!!!
Acid leaches vital nitrogen from our muscles and calcium from our bones. An acid surplus compromises the function of insulin, one of our master hormones. Insulin gives us our energy but also oversees the brain centre that governs our emotional and mental faculties, as well as sleep function. Derailing insulin makes it harder to burn fat and affects our emotional stability.
Too much acid makes us more sensitive to pain because ion channels are opened up heightening our sensitivity. It increases inflammation, paving the way for osteoporosis, heart disease and dementia. Inflammation is also the number one cause for skin concerns such as advanced ageing, rosacea, dermatitis, eczema and simple rashes and sensitivity. There is even evidence that TIA proteins, some of the toxic substances associated with Alzheimer’s, multiply in a toxic acidic environment. Joints become stiffer leading to gout and arthritis. Back and joint pain, headaches, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, nausea, and confusion all point to acid overload. Cancer cells flourish in a non alkaline environment. Acidity decreases your body’s ability to absorb the vitamins and minerals from your food. It interferes with your ability to detoxify. It disrupts your metabolism and it makes you more prone to fatigue and mood changes. It can make our hormones go on the fritz. Cortisol is a hormone that gets us out of bed in the morning, but at night we need to reduce it to get a good night’s sleep. When acid is high cortisol goes into overdrive thus making sleep harder. Too much cortisol also leads to depression and anxiety. Our thyroid works the opposite way with too much acid. We need it for our energy but too much acid slows it down, making us sluggish, cold and flat. It also interferes with hormones like oestrogen and testosterone by disrupting menstrual cycles, drying out skin and triggering emotional turmoil. Men experience decreased libido and depression.
Do the acid test:
You can test your body fluids using litmus paper strips ( remember chemistry classes). Test your PH first thing in the morning.
• Saliva: before brushing, fill your mouth with saliva then swallow; repeat, then spit onto PH strip. Measure in same manner again later in day at least 2 hours before eating.
• Urine: wee in a jar first thing in the morning and dip PH strip into container.
• A healthy reading will be 7.2-7.4 for saliva (usually dark green or bluish depending on the brand of PH paper) and for urine 6 in the morning(because the body is eliminating waste) and 7 at night. Anything under this indicates acid build up.
• A further medical test can establish acidity with an estimation called the anion gap. This is calculated by using a blood test which calibrates kidney electrolytes and then adds sodium and potassium and subtracts chloride and bicarbonate. An elevated anion gap 13 or greater confirms acid levels are too high.
Reducing Acid Levels
To help rebalance your body’s pH levels you should:
• avoid acidic foods and opt for alkaline foods such as potato, Green vegetables, coloured vegetables (except tomatoes),Milk, Almonds, Brazil nuts, Bananas, millet, quinoa, soy, wild rice, avocado, and plenty of water
• Reduce high protein foods, processed cereals and flours, sugar, coffee, tea and alcohol which are all acidifying
• Upon rising, before bed and prior to meals, drink the juice of half a lemon and some ginger in warm water because lemon is naturally alkalinising.
• Choose fish and lamb over beef and chicken because they are less acidic.
• Choose olive oil over other oils
• Vit c powder (half a teaspoon per in day in water before bed to alkalinise your body)
• Or a teaspoon of bi carb soda in water before bed
• Finally as you would need 12 serves per day of green leafy veggies to counteract the acid invasion thankfully supplements of magnesium and citrate have been shown to also have significant alkalising effects. It has been used in trials to demonstrate they can help with weight loss, bone mineral density, reduce pain and turn on endorphins (the brains happy molecules).
Dr Micheal Elstein specialises in anti ageing medicine, Naturaltherapiespages.com, Natasha Turner N.D author of Hormone Diet