In two of my recent articles I shed some light
on how your brain’s chemicals affect your mood.
Maybe that was an eye opener, explaining
your “run away train” brain that had you like a puppet; out of control.
If you were able to balance your Gaba, Melatonin, Tryptophane, and Serotonin,
you should feel some relief. But, like so often, it may not be the total
solution to your problems. So, what else relieves stress and anxiety?
Of course your mind has a powerful role in how you feel, and I will
go much deeper into that in a future article. What you may not know
is that what you eat has a strong effect on your physical and mental,
even your emotional, well being. How?
Your body is like a terrain
that needs a certain pH in order to be healthy; it is the balance between
an acid and alkaline environment. The scale goes from 0 (highest acid)
to 14 (highest alkaline). For example a battery’s acidity is almost
0, while household lye is almost 14. Both sides are dangerous and toxic
to the human body. Our body’s healthy pH is between 6.8 and 7.4 with
the only exception being our gastric juices. In order to digest the
food you eat, your stomach produces a very acidic gastric liquid in
the range of 1.5 to 2. Yes, it is that stomach acid that you may have
felt as a strong burn if your digestion was compromised. Your blood
is slightly more alkaline than your saliva; it is about 7.5 and very
closely related to seawater at a pH of 8. I don’t want to bore you
with numbers here, but it is interesting to get a bearing on what is
So how does food affect
your internal pH? Food has its own acid/alkaline character.
There are foods that taste acidic, but
actually have an alkaline effect in your body; Citrus fruits are amongst
those. It is good to get a list of foods that are acid or alkaline.
As a rule of thumb: almost all vegetables and most fruits and nuts are
alkaline. On the other hand, almost all grains, cereals, milk and meat,
including chicken and turkey belong to the acid food category.
I have to smile here because I only learned in The Bahamas that chicken
and turkey are not considered meat. I wonder who came up with this idea???
If you eat a typical Bahamian
or American meal, the chance is that you consume a much higher amount
of acid producing foods than alkaline producing foods. Bread, potatoes,
rice, pasta, chicken, fish or any other animal protein are acid producing
foods. Processed foods are acid as well. If you have a side dish of
salad or vegetable, you add 20 to 30% of alkaline foods. Now the problem
is that it should be the other way around; you should take into your
body 70% alkaline foods and only 30% acid foods, and now I tell you
When your body is in an
acidic state for an extended period of time, it breaks down cells, tissue,
leaches calcium from your bones and teeth and also affects your nervous
system. Acid, as you may have experienced as acid reflux or heartburn,
is an irritant.
I have not found one client complaining
of stress and anxieties with a normal pH; it is always out of the normal
range and in the high acidic level. Unfortunately, apart from bad eating
habits that create acid in the body, uncontrolled stress by itself creates
acid and a vicious cycle can begin. So here you can see the connection
to your mind and how you handle stress that creates an acid environment
in your body. Symptoms of an over acidic body, which is called “Acidosis”,
include: anxiety, heart palpitations, headaches, sinus problems, allergies,
general pain, and frequent colds and flu due to a weakened immune system.
Even cancer cells and most disease producing germs and viruses thrive
in an acidic terrain. Since acid constricts, the exchange of nutrients
into your cells and toxins out of your cells are compromised. This causes
toxic overload and a range of degenerative diseases. Acid salt can build
up in your arteries and cause problems in your vascular system, including
early aging. What you may experience right now is bloating, indigestion,
and weight gain. All of this can be related to your pH being below 6.5.
So what can you do about
this? First of all find out what your pH is, which can be done by testing
your saliva with a special pH paper strip. If you don’t want to buy
one, just call me and you can come into my Center for a free testing.
Then you have to take a good look at what you eat. As I said earlier,
your food should consist of about 70% alkaline and 30% acid foods. Did
I forget to mention that sodas, juice-drinks, coffee, black tea, wine,
beer and liquor are all highly acidic? Sorry for the late kick, or additional
disappointment. And then there is sugar…acid galore…it does not
get much worse than with this white ‘legal poison’. You simply cannot
feel strong and calm and happy in a body with acid overload.
A calm brain and healthy
body needs a balanced pH terrain, which is between 6.8 and 7.4. If you
can manage to keep those values, you are pretty much protected from
illness because your immune system is strong. Your mood through your
nervous system has a better chance to cope with stress too. So here
you have another piece of the puzzle in understanding your body and
how your choices either assist or sabotage what you want to achieve.
Next week we will explore
the mind and how you can train this most important faculty in your body
to create positive change.
Angelika Christie ND is the managing
director of Radiant Health Center
You can reach her at 242-352-1010