Healthy Skin – A True Balancing Act
We’ve all heard a lot of hype about it, but what is an alkaline diet? To begin with, pH measures the amount of acid or alkaline present. Our blood pH is slightly alkaline at 7.35 to 7.45. Our body depends on a tightly controlled pH level to survive. Luckily, the human body maintains this level naturally. However we can make the body function more efficiently and with less stress by eating foods, which promote alkalinity in the body. When we maintain alkalinity, we detoxify naturally through our bowels and kidneys and we keep minerals in our blood and in our bones where we need them to sustain energy and vitality. Bodily functions are carried out optimally at a pH of 7.0 or higher, which is an alkaline pH. Studies show that a drop in pH in body tissues toward an acidic state leads to inflammation. An acidic state makes losing weight more difficult. We can help our body stay balanced by our food choices.
Skin issues that may benefit from an alkaline diet include yeast overgrowth, dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis), rosacea and other forms of skin inflammation such as psoriasis and eczema. Alkaline diets also decrease inflammation in the body and help improve chronic diseases.
Think plants! Fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, fermented soy products (miso, natto, tempeh), and other legumes, along with a lot of water are good options. Eat fruits in moderation because they are high in sugar. Berries are best! It is important to understand that alkaline promoting foods may actually be acidic —- but their effect in the body raises the pH. Try keeping fresh lemons and limes on hand to squeeze into every glass of water that you drink – this is the quickest ticket to a more alkaline diet!
The typical Western diet is comprised of foods, which lower the pH in the body (wrong direction!). Sugar, meat, coffee, tea and sodas sugar, alcohol, white flour, dairy, and packaged & processed foods can worsen inflammatory conditions of the skin as well as the joints, muscles and internal organs, promote yeast overgrowth and may even cause a bad mood. A more acidic pH causes minerals to leach out of our bones and speeds osteoporosis and mineral loss (which slows our cellular function). In the end, eating a diet that is mainly comprised of acidic foods can cause the body to work harder to stay balanced.
Part II: Measuring pH of the body at home and when to incorporate acidic foods to balance the diet