According to some doctors, optimal ph balance in our bodies is now generally considered the panacea for health and longevity.
So what is pH balance and how can we determine when one is on the wrong side of the pH scale and more importantly what can we do about it?
The foods we consume in our daily diet contain nutrients essential for normal metabolic function.
However when we consume foods devoid of their true nutrient potential or foods which are denatured then this will ultimately cause an imbalance in the body.
We may start to experience symptoms such as:
- digestive aliments
- weight gain
- and a general feeling of being under the weather
These are all symptoms that our bodies are out of balance and suffering from chronic excess acidity.
Intuitively we are being alerted to the fact that we need to restore equilibrium within our body chemistry.
Unfortunately more often than not we are tempted to reach for a quick fix from the pharmacy or over the counter prescription drugs to rectify the problems of our ill health.
This may offer a short term solution but does not solve the underlying cause of our over acidic state, in fact it’s more detrimental to our health long term.
It creates more acidity and toxicity for the body to deal with and further burdens the body in its quest to eliminate excess acid from our tissues and fluids.
The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is from a range of 0-14, with 7 being neutral in the middle of the scale.
Anything below 7 is classed acidic and anything above is classed alkaline.
Our blood pH is 7.35-7.45 making it slightly alkaline.
The body will do everything in its power to ensure our blood stays within this range even at the expense of other tissues and organs in our bodies.
If blood pH drops below 6.8 or rises above 7.8 then it is likely that death will occur.
Our entire metabolic process is dependant on an alkaline environment.
When our bodies become ill it is often because our bodies are too acidic and our internal fluids and cells lack the alkalinity they require to function optimally.
Excess acidity leads to inflammation within our tissues.
If we do not heed our bodies warning signs that all is not balanced deep within our cells, then over time, inflammation may develop into Cancer, Heart Disease and Diabetes, the main 3 killers in our western world today.
So how do we go about eliminating excess acid from our bodies?
Well put simply we need to eat a diet high in alkaline foods and low in acid foods.
The ideal ratio is 80% alkaline and 20% acid.
Unfortunately we tend to be the opposite with our western diets and have 80% acid forming foods and 20% alkaline.
To give you an idea the following are all acid forming in our diet:
- pharmaceutical drugs
- and other agricultural chemicals.
In order to be more alkaline we need to have a higher percentage of greens in our diet so lots of organic fruit and vegetables.
Ideally, ten portions per day.
Super foods such as barley grass and wheat grass are also excellent for alkalising the body and are abundant in vitamins and minerals.
These super foods are excellent for optimising health and vitality when supplemented daily in our diet.
So to be more alkaline and less acidic and follow the pH diet, the key is to eat more of a plant based diet and reduce the quantity of meat, dairy, gluten, sugars and chemicals consumed on a daily basis.
The pH cleanse is not a diet fad but a lifestyle dietary change.
I personally advocate this lifestyle dietary choice because having tried this programme I have definitely seen and felt the results such as:
- weight loss
- improved energy
- clearer glowing skin
- and better bowel elimination
However, as with all changes we decide to pursue in our diets, these changes have to be achievable and practical in order to be maintained.
To reap the rewards of a healthy diet it is important to feel good about our eating plans rather than feel deprived and unhappy with our daily diet.
So its important to set realistic goals in how you can make adequate changes in your lifestyle to incorporate more plant based alkaline foods.
Start off with one meal per day that’s alkaline.
Which could be a fruit breakfast or vegetable juice and slowly increase it 2 meals.
Then when you are ready 3 meals and soon you will be eating a ratio of 80% alkaline and 20% acid foods in your diet.
Some days you may end up falling off the, pH wagon, and that’s fine, we’re only human.
The important thing is to start again the next day and remember that your pH journey is one that is constantly evolving and growing for the rest of your life.
As you start to reap the benefits and see improvements on these healthy dietary changes, you will be less likely to want to revert back to your old eating habits especially as your health and vitality soars along with your zest for life.
Below are further detox recommendation from Amchara.
Herbal remedies are seeing an increase in popularity.
This includes using herbs for detoxing.
Many people like the idea of using herbs as natural products have minimal side effects.
Herbs in fact have many therapeutic abilities.
The list below explains some western herbs commonly used for detoxification and why they work.
This is a herb that is good for the whole body, specifically the immune system. It works to eliminate toxins from the cells in the body. It also increases bile and helps it move along. It is credited with boosting white blood cells thus strengthening the immune system.
- Licorice Root
This herb has properties that work like an antioxidant, fight viruses and helps the body produce antibodies.
- Cascara Sagrada
This herb works like a laxative. It helps the bowels move.
- Black Walnut Hulls
This herb also works in the bowels. It works against parasites and removes them from the intestines. It also helps remove fatty material and toxins.
Garlic is the classic kitchen-pharmacy remedy and has been used for centuries as an antiseptic. It detoxifies the gut and helps the bowels function properly. It works like a laxative in making the bowels move regularly.
This herb is well known for its cleansing power. It can rid the body of toxins and help to remove obstructions.
This herb also works to help move the bowels.
Here are some Chinese herbs that are used for detoxification.
- Lian Qiao
Lian Qiao is the forsythia flower. It has a cleansing action and helps to clear heat and toxins.
- Ju Hua
Otherwise known as the Chrysanthemum. This is a pungent herb that should not be overcooked, or it will lose its potency. It has cleansing properties.
- Pu Gong Ying
Pu Gong Ying is the dandelion plant. It is the parts of the plant above the root that is being used as a remedy. It is effective as a detoxification herb.
It is important to know that the main point of detoxification is removing toxins from the body, usually through the bowels.
Using herbs is gentler on your system than other methods and you get additional benefits from the nutrients that herbs supply.
Lemon is an inexpensive and accessible citrus fruit that has powerful components to naturally cleanse and detox the body.
Not only this, people who have been cleansing with lemon juice have noticed the added benefit of weight loss.
Key benefits of a lemon detox:
- Boosts immune system
Lemon juice contains powerful antioxidants, and scientific studies have proven that antioxidants can support in the prevention of disease and illness.
- Aids in digestion
You may think that a lemon detox could irritate the digestive system, however many cases studies have indicated that lemon juice cleanses and aids digestion function. It has been linked to reducing symptoms of IBS, GERD, and other digestive ailments.
- Balances blood sugar levels
Lemon juice consumption has been associated with positive effects on blood sugar and glucose levels in the body. This helps to lower your risk of diabetes and increases energy and metabolism.
- Better concentration
Natural elements in lemon juice have been proven to aid in focus and concentration within the functions of the brain.
- Flushes liver and kidneys
Lemon juice is a diuretic. It is essentially important for optimal liver and kidney health and clarifies the urinary tract. If you drink lemon juice, you will better flush your kidneys and liver out consistently and reap the benefits of a healthier body.
- Suppresses appetite
When you consume lemon juice and water, your body feels full, thus suppressing your appetite and enabling you to lose weight if you are looking to shed a few pounds.
Our resident naturopath at Amchara Gozo, Janelle Castle has 9 tips to ease you back into the ‘real world’ once you have finished a retreat or cleanse.
- STAY WELL HYDRATED
Chronic intra-cellular dehydration is a major contributing factor to many diseases and recurring symptoms such as low energy levels, headaches and migraines, constipation, inability to lose weight and food cravings, to name a few.
- AIM TO EAT 60-80% ALKALINE FOODS
You don’t have to be perfect, just add in the higher alkaline foods and drinks, as much as you can, when you can.
- GIVE YOUR PANTRY A CLEANSE
When you return home, throw out (or give to neighbours) any packets, cans, jars etc that contain white flour, white sugar, anything artificial (flavours, colours, sweeteners, MSG) or hydrogenated oils. These “food-like ingredients” have well known health deleting effects that have no place in a freshly cleansed body like yours.
- CHEW YOUR FOOD THOROUGHLY
Nearly every condition or symptom that leaves your body in a less than optimal state of health will benefit from you focusing on this one vital action. Benefits include greater nutrient absorption, normalising of weight, reduction of post-meal bloating and gas and a natural increase in energy
- MOVE. STRETCH. EVERY DAY
When you were a child, you ran around all day, climbed trees, swam for hours, danced around crazily, jumped rope, hop-scotched and bounced off walls until you passed out. Back then, you called it play and you loved it. But now you call it exercise . . . and you loathe it. Think back to what you loved doing for ‘play’ and take it to an adult level. Round up your friends for a game of adult dodge-ball or climb that big tree in your yard and appreciate the view – and different perspective on life – from the top.
- CONSUME OMEGA 6 AND 3
Unheated oils daily to improve your cellular health, energy levels and prevent many common chronic diseases. Benefits include normalising weight (including reduction of the dreaded ‘belly-fat’), less lactic acid build up in muscles when exercising, cardiovascular protection plus glowing, hydrated skin. Look for cold-pressed oils of Omega 6 high-linoleic safflower oil, delicious pumpkin seed oil and Omega 3 flax or chia seed oil and use a blend of these Omega 3 and 6 oils to dress your salads.
- TAKE A PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT DAILY
An increasing number of chronic diseases and common symptoms are proving to be directly influenced by the amount of friendly intestinal flora in your gut. Think of a probiotic supplement as your daily health insurance.
- GROUND YOURSELF
By taking off your shoes and walking on bare earth, grass, in water or on sand at the beach, pottering in your garden or with potted plants (without rubber gloves). Much of the stress we accumulate in our body can be easily and quickly released when we connect with the earth and become ‘grounded’. Aim to make this a twice-daily habit and you will notice the benefits of a clear mind, sound sleep, and a greater ability to focus at work.
- HEALING IS A JOURNEY OF SELF-DISCOVERY
Your body has all the answers to provide the healing you need – emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. For many of us, our body remains a largely untapped resource because we have forgotten how to listen to what it’s trying to tell us. Do you have a headache? Instead of taking a pill – think of reasons why you might have that headache. Are you dehydrated? Could you have an undetected food intolerance? Too much caffeine? True healing is not found in a pill. As an exercise in self-discovery, pop a note on your fridge with the question: ‘How can I love myself more?’ and watch as your daily thoughts and actions slowly change from self-loathing to self-healing.
The benefits of a detox are clear!
There's simply nothing to lose with this inexpensive way to detoxify, cleanse and help rid your body of impurities.
Do something different and healthy!
Join us at Amchara for Christmas and New Year and stay healthy all through the festival period!
Spaces at our festive retreats fill up fast, we’ve been fully booked the last 2 years. if you’re interested, get in touch soon.