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Are You Too Acidic?

Many people who come to visit us in our clinic are surprised to hear that ill health can be caused by the body being in an overly acidic state. The stress of our modern lifestyles combined with poor dietary choices, means that many people in Australia and indeed most other industrialised countries, are suffering from problems caused by what naturopaths term "acidification." But what does it mean for our health if we are too acidic?

PH stands for "potential of hydrogen" and is measured on a scale of 0 to 14. 0-6 indicates the presence of acid and 8-14 indicates alkalinity. Water, which is considered to be neutral (neither acidic nor alkaline), has a pH of 7. Just as life can be endangered when the body temperature rises or falls too rapidly, the pH balance of the blood must be kept within a very narrow range. The body will go to great lengths to make sure that blood pH stays within these acceptable boundaries. Problems occur when the blood becomes too acidic and to rectify the balance, the body must draw on mineral reserves stored in the tissues and bones. If this continues over a prolonged period of time, ill health inevitably ensues. Signs of acidification are numerous, but may include symptoms such as lethargy and prolonged tiredness, an inability to lose weight, and poor functioning of the immune system.

All our clients are offered a health assessment on their first visit to the clinic. This includes a pH check which is then discussed with a naturopath or nutritional biochemist. We believe that being pH balanced is vital to good health, and so we offer all our clients advice about alkalising and which nutritional supplements to take for immediate and long lasting benefits to health.

So, what is alkalising?

Most people's diet consists mainly of what naturopaths consider to be acid forming foods. This includes white bread and pasta, dairy products, red meat and sugar. Stimulants such as tobacco, caffeine and alcohol are also acid forming. As alkaline foods such as fruit and vegetables tend to make up a smaller portion of the diet, the alkaline content consumed by the average person is generally insufficient to neutralise any excess acids.

Our goal at the clinic is to help you change this ratio so that 80% of the foods you eat are alkalising and only 20% acidic. Our trained practitioners will work with you to design a tailor made food plan so you can eat nutritious meals you can enjoy every day.

Here are a few tips to get you started right now;

1. When planning a meal, at least three quarters of your plate should be made up of a variety of vegetables and one quarter protein. Try eating green leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and kale as an accompaniment to fish.

2. Wherever possible use lemon juice in place of vinegar or salad dressings. A glass of water with lemon juice taken first thing in the morning in place of your regular cup of tea or coffee is also very cleansing.

3. Avoid eating canned and processed food and opt for fresh wherever possible. Keep fresh salad to hand for when you're feeling peckish. There are so many tasty ingredients you can include, and this can be eaten in wraps for a quick, easy and tasty snack.

4. Stress contributes significantly to acidity, so try to find at least one time during the day to take time out to relax. Our Naturopaths can help you find ways to reduce and manage your stress levels.

Here at Gold Coast Integrative Wellness, we believe that naturopathy can put you back on the road to good health. Click here for more information about how we can help.

10 July 2013