Eating well can mean different things to different people. Some executives swear by a low carb diet to lose weight, while others follow the Mediterranean diet to keep energized. And for executives trying to stay alert after long lunches, light foods such as salads and seafood are a staple. While all good choices – to stay young and energetic, consider eating to manage your blood chemistry.
By chemistry, I mean your blood pH level. With a scale ranging between 1 to 14 – 1 being very acidic, 7 neutral, and 14 very alkaline – your body functions best when the blood pH is correctly balanced between alkaline and acid – or neutral – right around 7.35 to 7.4 Why is this important? In simple terms, your red blood cells have to pass through your capillaries, which are quite small. To help red blood cells flow easily, healthy blood cells have a negative charge. Similar to magnets, properly alkaline balanced red blood cells will resist each other and flow smoothly. Alkaline blood also enables your system to better flush toxins and wastes out of your body. However, if the pH level of your blood becomes too acidic, the negative charge is stripped away, blood cells clump together and blood doesn’t flow smoothly. Some cells will even die and cause more acid to build up in your bloodstream. Of course, with less oxygen being delivered throughout the body and more stored toxins clogging your system, your energy levels will begin to drop dramatically, and you’re more susceptible to cancer and other dangerous diseases.
The good news is that balancing your blood pH is relatively simple. It’s all about what you eat and drink, and what remains following digestion. Consider that it takes 32 glasses of alkaline water to neutralize the acid from a 2 oz soda. Not only does that small amount of highly acidic soda cause your body to use up reserves of stored alkaline buffers, it generally steals from your bone calcium leading to bone degeneration. Other acidic foods and drinks include alcohol, coffee and many flesh proteins – even scallops! Increasing your consumption of alkaline foods like broccoli, asparagus, almonds, black olives and herbal teas, and minimizing stress – which can make your system more acidic – will change your blood pH quickly. The rule of thumb is to adjust your diet so that about 80 percent of what you consume is based on alkaline foods and drinks with no more than 20 percent acidic.
Monitoring your pH level is pretty simple. Litmus paper strips are readily available and can be used to check either your saliva or urine. Checking before and after meals can be a good experiment to see how food and drinks affect your blood pH.
Staying energized and youthful is a goal most executives strive for to have the fullest life. If you are concerned about your blood pH balance and the best diet for your lifestyle, set an appointment with your doctor at EHS Corporate Care.