Where does that acid come from?We're built with certain essential internal acids. Without acid in our digestive system, for example, we can't break down food into its specific vital nutrients. We're also built with acid-neutralizing alkaline "buffers", sometimes called bases. Remember high school chemistry? A drop of a blue liquid base instantly turned an acidic red liquid clear. Wow! Trouble jumps in when we produce too much acid, or when our systems don't fully neutralize whatever acid is present. Stress, environmental toxins, insufficient oxygen, and certain medications can all trigger acid over-production. Oh, and one more thing. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is like drinking acid from a tank with a straw. Mega-doses of sugar and sodium. Preservatives that do us dreadful harm while preserving Big Food's profit margins. Antibiotic-laced meat, fish, and poultry. Processed and fast foods, coffee, sodas, alcohol, and dairy products all create acid.
Keep your balanceA healthy body keeps acids and alkalines balanced, and builds reserves of alkaline minerals—calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium—to tap into as needed to keep us healthy. Those reserves are stored—where? In our bones, teeth, and other tissues. So when there's an acid overload, the excess acids are neutralized by taking calcium and other alkaline minerals out of the reserve tank—weakening our bones and teeth—and our entire body. Imagine a water-filled sponge. It's resilient and flexible. Squeeze all the water out, give it time, and what happens? It becomes dry and brittle, and eventually crumbles into powder. There went your bones. It's true. Osteoporosis can make your strong, durable skeletal system so fragile that even a small bump—that once would have caused only a bruise—can cause a fracture. Not a happy way to live life. Especially when your teeth are more brittle, more sensitive to hot and cold foods, more prone to cavities, and more susceptible to chipping. And by the way, now consider—that reserve tank of alkaline minerals is tapped by all of our systems, not just to battle acidosis. This is why we can rightfully blame acidosis as a key cause of
How do you know if you’re at risk?You can easily measure your acid-alkaline balance—your pH level—using an over-the-counter home pH test. I recommend the kind that tests saliva, not urine. And make sure the test is for your body, not your swimming pool. Test a few times every day—your acid-alkaline levels can change often, depending on stress, environment, and certainly, what you eat. So keep a daily food diary and see if you can connect moments and meals with your pH levels. Your average daily pH should be slightly alkaline, 7.2–7.4, a bit more alkaline than water, which has a neutral pH of 7.0. An average daily pH lower than 7.2 signals acidosis.
Fighting osteoporosis naturallyYou can't always control the events of your days, but you can control your diet. So here's what I recommend. If you test pH-acidic, start your counterattack by just eating more fruits and veggies—fresh, local, and organic, of course. Yes, it's that simple. Almost all fruits and vegetables help increase your body's natural alkalines. Even acidic citrus fruits end up creating alkalinity in your body. Note: tomatoes, cranberries, and blueberries are non-alkalizing. They're wonderful for their own reasons, so don’t stop eating them. But they won't reduce your acidosis. Happily enough, that could be all you need. No doctor trip necessary—though that doesn't mean you skip checkups, and it does mean you tell your doctor about your pH findings.
Extra ammunition for the fightIf you remain acidic after upping your fruits and veggies, it shouldn't be a surprise—so many stresses and toxins invade our lives that we need extra help. I advise taking a high quality greens supplement. The good ones contain the concentrated nutritional essence of dozens of fresh fruits and veggies, and a pH balancer, as well. And I advise all my patients, no matter what their condition, to supplement their diet with 500 mg of curcumin up to three times daily. But make sure you purchase a formulation with enhanced bioavailability to ensure that your body will actually absorb the curcumin. Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) are another wonder-working option. Be sure you're getting a supplement that’s purified and molecularly distilled, then take 1,000 mg (note 1,000mg of oil doesn’t necessarily mean 1,000mg of EFAs so be sure to read your labels) daily. Finally, infrared saunas are an excellent way to detoxify—get rid of environmental or dietary toxins—and rebalance all systems. I wish I didn't have to say this, but conventional medicine pays little or no attention to acidosis and its terrible negative effects on bones and all of our organs and systems. Make sure it's a topic your health team is up to date on. It could mean not giving yourself a break.
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