As I sat at my computer drinking my green smoothie this morning (Blueberries, mango, frozen bananas, blood orange, spinach, and parsley…YUM!), I thought about how often I am extolling the benefits of these amazing drinks. The very first thing I teach every client is how to make a delicious green smoothie, and how to make it calorically sufficient to replace a meal. It always fills me with joy when years after I’ve taught someone how to prepare a smoothie, I run into him or her someplace and they tell me that they still start everyday with a smoothie for breakfast. (Yay!) I’m glad that they remember to make their super drinks, but i often wonder if they remember WHY they are so beneficial to our health.
All health is based on the internal condition of the body. Based upon our diet and lifestyle, we can either be in an acid condition, an alkaline condition, or a neutral condition. Just like we learned in science class, our bodies have a pH. The term “pH” means “potential of Hydrogen”, or the amount of hydrogen atoms in a particular solution. A pH of 7 in the body is neutral. Anything lower indicates acidity and anything higher, alkalinity. All foods promote either an acid or alkaline state in the body. To be healthy on the cellular level, being neutral to slightly alkaline is optimum. Most Americans, however, spend most of their time with an overly acidic body condition. Eek.
We are constantly generating acid waste products of metabolism that must be neutralized or excreted in some way. Pollution, lack of good sleep, and STRESS are regular life factors that also greatly contribute to an acidic body condition. But…why is being more acidic so bad? Well, first of all, our bodies can only become sick when we’re in an acidic state. In fact, it has been proven that cancer cannot even grow in an alkaline environment! That’s right! Cancer can ONLY grow and proliferate in an acidic environment. This is HUGE news, considering there is not one of us who cancer has not touched in some way, either directly or indirectly.
Let’s take a look at some of the other symptoms of Acidosis, or an overly-acidic body condition. People with Acidosis often suffer with:
- Cravings for coffee, alcohol, and/or drugs.
- Stress headaches -Sinus congestion
- Anger and short temper – Irritability
- Muscle stiffness and/or spasms -Lethargy
- Itchy skin and/or acne -Negative thought patterns
WOW. I meet clients (and friends and family) who struggle with these problems every single day. In fact, I bet many of you suffer from one or more of these symptoms on a daily basis.
So…what can we do to help our bodies be more neutral and/or alkaline? ..Especially when so many of the acidic factors are virtually out of our control? We can eat an alkaline diet! Humans need a constant supply of alkaline-forming foods to counteract the acidity over which we have no control. Hence: We need LOTS of fresh, vibrant foods and a plethora of green smoothie goodness!
Nearly all cooked food is acidic, with all animal products (except for mother’s milk) and cooked grain products (breads, pastas, crackers, cookies, etc) being HIGHLY acidic. Refined and processed foods and fats are major contributors to ill health of every kind. Scary…because this is the base of the average American diet. Nearly all ripe, raw fruits and vegetables are alkaline, with GREENS being the MOST alkaline of all!
I wanted to include this chart to help you see just how much control YOU have over the pH in the foods you choose to feed yourself and your families. You can choose to eat wellness and health, or choose to eat sickness and disease. I know there are many cases where food choices are socially difficult, and anyone who is my client knows that I always say that if a healthy food choice causes us more stress, it is no longer a “healthy” food. So…just do the best that you personally can in the moment. Choose your best “Level of goodness”, and simply strive to alkalize your body with the food and lifestyle choices you make.
Hope you all enjoyed an alkalizing green smoothie today, but if you didn’t yet, it’s definitely not too late to fill your body with some green goodness! :) Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!