Just a few more words about how to eat for optimal health. Swear.
Last week, I wrote about food-combining: one principle of how to eat our food that makes a huge difference in wellness. However, if what we’re combining isn’t the right stuff in the first place, well, proper food combining can’t make up for that.
So, what should we be eating? Well, for optimal health, the food we eat should be alkaline-forming. Why? Because generally speaking, the body needs to be slightly alkaline. The pH of both the blood and the small intestine need to be slightly alkaline. If what we eat is, on average, more acid-forming in the stomach, when that food passes out into the small intestine, the body has to excrete a major amount of alkaline buffer to return it to alkaline medium. Our body is a champ. It will do this for us. But how and at what cost? What does the body use to restore the small intestine to alkalininity? Well, calcium for one. Calcium can buffer the acid. Or magnesium. Magnesium’s good for that, too.
Great, right? All good? Well, no. Your body doesn’t create calcium or magnesium. So it has to find it somewhere.
Where does your body find calcium and magnesium? You’re way ahead of me. Right – your bones. And, by the way, the body is reaaaaaally smart. So, it knows to look for non-weight-bearing bones first. Hmm. Where are those? Think jaw bone. Think receding gums. Ask your dentist. “Receding gums” has many causes or related symptoms, but if you have receding gums, your dentist will find, in many if not most cases, less bone supporting your teeth. There are a host of illnesses that are related to acidosis.
If, on the other hand, you are eating a mostly alkaline-forming diet, the body is not taxed with this additional buffering process, and it doesn’t have to go looking for calcium. It doesn’t have to rob your bones.
So. What I am NOT saying is avoid all acid-forming foods. What I AM saying is to eat enough alkaline-forming foods so that you’re not taxing your body’s stores of calcium on an ongoing basis. Here’s a chart that shows alkaline-forming versus acid-forming foods. Here’s another. You’ll see some slight variations. It’s okay.
There’s lots of information on the web about it. In addition to the links associated with the charts, Michael Murray, “the alkaline diet guy,” is helpful. Here are some rules of thumb to get you started:
- stop drinking sodas. Stop. Drinking. Sodas. Stop. Drinking. Sodas. I could say more about phosphoric acid needing calcium to be processed by the bod, but I won’t.
- eat smaller portions of meats relative to your veggies
- eat more veggies
- stop eating white bread, except really good artisan bread (you know why I wrote that!)
- eat less white pasta – try subbing spaghetti squash for pasta. Pasta sauce over butternut squash is delicious!! Swear!!
- drink less coffee
- eat less sugar and even artificial sweetener; both are high acidifiers. Try agave nectar and brown rice syrup; they are low acid-forming.
You can do this.