Building Balance...Whaddaya Mean?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Life really is centered on balance. It seems we all wrangle with the issue of balance. Whether it be balancing our time, relationships, families, or diets; there are ever-increasing challenges that must be overcome to build a healthy balance in our lives. Balance What? What are we talking about? The answer to the first question is easy; answering the next involves a little more explanation.

Balancing body pH levels seems simple, right? Eat a salad once in a while, get up off the couch and move a little, see the doctor once a year, and we’ll call it good. This pervasive attitude is crippling our nation (as well as many others) by creating an environment for chronic illness in epidemic proportions. America is losing a wellness war right now, a war that is slowly eroding our very way of living. Our primary care doctors are besieged by patients whose symptoms are related to chronic inflammatory complaints of unknown origin. These patients are suffering from ailments with no direct tie to a disease. Could it be that the root cause of all this suffering is directly attributable to something we’re doing to ourselves? Or more likely, could it be something we’re not doing in balance?

Our natural health in America is not thriving right now, nor has it for some time. We are living in convenient times, where our next meal is only a quick trip to the fast food joint down the street. We guzzle soft drinks by the gallon. Environmental toxins are present all around us, and often in us, both natural and man-made. The larger truth to be accepted here is that we are writing checks our bodies can’t cash, by consuming a huge array of acid-producing, foods and beverage that are REALLY BAD FOR US. We’re living entirely unbalanced. It doesn’t have to be this way.

You may or may not be aware that our bodies have systems in place to deal with all of the acidic substances that we put into our bodies. This is due to the fact that humans are designed to remain in a fairly narrow window of pH levels. The optimum blood level (the most crucial!) is slightly alkaline, between 7.35 and 7.45 on the pH scale. Other body fluids fluctuate due to their purpose, but suffice it to say that other than urine and sometimes saliva, our intracellular fluids are healthiest when alkaline. Through respiration we release carbonic acid. Our kidneys release bicarbonate to regulate acid balance, and we release acids when we urinate. When we perspire, acids are eliminated in our sweat.

Pretty awesome, huh? Yes, but due to the day-in-day-out intake of acid-producing foods and beverages...our checks and balances can become overwhelmed. What happens next is pure treachery! I won’t bore you with a chemistry lesson here, but essentially what happens is our bodies go into defense mode; “stealing” needed alkaline minerals from their largest storage system...our bones. That’s right, as we continue to suck down coffees, 32 ounce sodas, ½ pound cheeseburgers, potato chips, and all the other junk food that Americans can’t live without, chronic levels of acids are building up in our bodies. Our systems kick into balance overdrive, taking minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium from our bones to neutralize this daily acid onslaught. Given that the bones are the storehouse for alkalizing minerals, and that the body has to drain the storage to offset acid overload in the digestive tract, the net result can be loss of bone density, which can lead to osteopenia and ultimately osteoporosis. But bone loss is not the only health issue that stems from overdrawing our account at the bones mineral bank.

When your body constantly battles to maintain its tightly controlled pH balance in the blood, the result can sometimes be inflammation. You should know that inflammation has been tied to many insidious diseases. As a direct example, this chronic inflammation often times leads to a steady rise of the pro-inflammatory acid homocysteine in your blood. Studies have shown that high levels of homocysteine in the blood, double the risk of osteoporosis–related fractures, along with other inflammatory conditions like heart attack, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine explains how elevated homocysteine levels inhibit new bone formation by interrupting the cross-linking of collagen fibers in bone tissue. That’s the bad news, in a nutshell. So what do we do to build balance in our pH Health?

The mission begins with a little personal “housekeeping.” Take a look at the biggest constituent of your daily diet. Is it junk food? We’re not just talking about candy bars here...are you eating fast food more often than not? Is the most prevalent liquid you put down your throat brown and fizzy? It’s time to be honest with yourself. If the majority of your dietary intake causes your body to fight an internal battle with itself, you are losing. Start making small changes, like adding a side salad with your burger instead of fries. It’s dark, leafy greens and vegetables that have the most natural impact on your pH balance. Stop drinking soda with every meal! It takes 32 glasses of water to balance the acids in one can of soda. Wow! Think about adding alkaline mineral water into your daily habits. The biggest key is to do something, before your acidic ways catch up to you. You deserve to be healthy, but you have to create the action to make yourself Thrive!

Learn more about body pH at
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