14 tips for a Balanced Body
Nutrition and body well-being from the inside out are overlooked in modern days. We focus on outer appearance and sometimes miss that treating the inner causes is by far more successful in the long run than treating the outer consequences.
During the past years, I became increasingly interested in holistic approaches and methods to improve my mind, body, and spirit. Today I would like to share useful information I have come across and collected over time-related to body well-being. Please take what you need from this article. It’s an invitation to reflection and an encouragement to deeper research or even a visit to a nutritionist should you need and choose to do so.
Our blood tells us!
Our body is a vehicle and representation of everything we eat, drink, ingest or absorb regardless of form. Whilst I am not by far in favor of extremes or dramatic life changes, some balance and moderation are always good when it comes to food, drinks, and other substances we expose to.
Through our digestive system, our blood is a health barometer and a representation of all meals and liquids that come into our body. A blood microscope analysis takes about 5 minutes and shows: how we function, the level of toxins collected in the body, the state of health for the red cells and the oxygen transportation (Wikipedia on Red cells), the existence of any bacteria, mushroom (yeast), level of fat and hydration, clogged cells due to toxicity, etc.
How the body works
In chemistry, the PH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution. The scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral and our blood ranging between 7.3-7.4 (Wikipedia on PH). Everything above 7 and up to 14 is alkaline, and everything below 7 and down to 0 is acidic. Just like a pool, when the alkalinity drop below 7.0 the algae grows. Don’t let your body turn green!
When the blood and body are too acidic, they create an unfavorable environment where illness, bacteria, and yeast thrive. Hormonal diseases, digestive and lymphatic problems, cancer, reduced oxygen intake, and fatigue are only some of the issues that may appear.
Scientifically it was not proven that an alkaline diet will remove these risks. Moreover, our bodies have strong regulatory systems that adapt to the environment and whatever food we choose in our diet. However, what is true, is that a more alkaline diet will ease the burden on your digestive system and your blood and body during the PH balancing process. When the PH is too acidic, the blood neutralizes it by extracting minerals from muscles or good alkaline food if ingested. Our mouth, digestive system, and mind (producing thoughts) are acidic, our muscles are alkaline. That is why, too much acidity results in low minerals (calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium) and overall weakened muscles and body.
The aim would be to have a diet that mirrors the normal PH of the blood. Unfortunately, our lives today make it difficult to easily access alkaline products. In simple terms, almost everything around us is acidic. Processed food, meat, dressings, alcohol, coffee, and cosmetics are acidic. The same goes for rumbling thoughts, overworking, stress, or usage of technology which produce acidity and bring blood PH below neutral.
So how can we help our Body be slightly Alkaline?
- Drink Alkaline Water! Water is vital to the correct functioning of the body, both from quantity and quality perspectives. The quantity depends on factors such as environment, health conditions, pregnancy in the case of ladies or exercising, and the intensity of physical effort. As with everything, a book can be written only on this. In a simplified version, a formula for the quantity (in liters) is your weight in lbs. X 0.4. For example, a weight of 132 lbs requires an intake of 0.634 gallons of water per day.
- Alcohol, coffee, or coffee-containing teas do not count and intake of water should increase proportionately. Soup and herbal tea are good and so is bottled water sold in shops if the label shows a PH level around 7. Tap water (where drinkable) is mostly alkaline. If not, adding lemon juice, and sodium carbonate or buying a machine that alkalizes automatically would do the job.
- Eat Greens! Almost all green vegetables are alkaline and good for digestion. Notice the difference in how you feel after eating veggies vs. eating meat or other processed food. Heavy meals induce a state of fatigue and burden as the system and blood are fully employed for digestion. On the other hand, vegetables make you feel light and energized, whilst in addition, they contain chlorophyll and help the production and transportation of oxygen into the cells.
- Eat Proteins from Vegetables! Our bodies need Proteins, but good alkaline ones exist in vegetables. Meat such as pork, lamb, or beef has a PH between 3 and 4, below the PH level of our blood. In exchange, some vegetables such as broccoli, beans, peas, lentils, sprouts, mushrooms, corn, spinach, or artichoke contain a good proportion of proteins and can be a good replacement for meat. In a simplified manner, the formula of ideal protein intake (in grams) is your weight in kg times 0.8 (For example if you weigh 132 lbs you should eat around 55 grams of protein per day). An ideal diet would include meat or fish only once a week, eggs maybe twice a week, and the rest of the necessary taken from the greens.
- Add good Fat to your meals! Fat is very important for the brain, and eyesight and they make you feel full. Fat is not necessarily meat or associated products. You can take your necessary dose of fat by adding alkaline ingredients to your food such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, or nuts and seeds that contain Omega-3s. Good fats (unsaturated) help reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. Bad fats (saturated) are found normally in animal products and cooking oils. Coconut oil, butter, olive, and avocado oils are relatively good for cooking. However, seeds, nuts, and other vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower, sesame, canola, etc. contain polyunsaturated fats which are unhealthy in the long run, especially for cooking.
- Eat natural Sugar! Added sugar contains no nutrients and is bad for the teeth, overloads the liver, can be addictive, and can cause illnesses like diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and heart disease. As with fats or carbs, sugar can also be categorized between ‘’good’’ and ‘’bad’’. Processed sugar or similar sweetener products are generally not recommended, including cakes, sweets, and commercially processed products containing sugar among ingredients. The best intake of sugar and energy comes from fruits and vegetables. Agave, stevia, and coconut sugar are also good replacements. You may also create cookies and desserts from alkaline products such as almond milk, coconut, and banana (PH around 9).
- Have your dose of rich Salt! Salt helps the body with minerals and balances acidity. Processed salt contains limited amounts of minerals. Himalayan salt is a good modern option that contains 84 minerals. It has been preserved under ice and lava for millennia and kept free from pollution, so it’s a good source of healthy minerals.
- Limit Dairy products! Opinions differ quite a lot, but generally dairy is difficult for the digestive system, especially as we grow older and have fewer lactase enzymes (after the age of 4). Most of the world (depending on the ethnic group) is intolerant to dairy or highly allergic. In addition to different chemical substances that can end up in the milk such as pesticides or antibiotics, cow’s milk contains much more protein than human milk. This creates acidity and employs the body to neutralize it. Because it’s an acidic source of calcium, our body will extract its calcium to balance it and in return weaken our bones.
- Cheese is also not necessarily good and comes down to common sense. Besides the fact that it consists of milk, it may also contain mushrooms (like yeast) or other bacteria. Goat milk and cheese are a better replacement as their DNA is closer to the human one.
How to detox your body?
In the body we have around 5-6 liters of blood (7% of the body weight) that transports nutrients and oxygen to the body, cleans the waste in our cells, fights disease, and moves hormones and chemicals. When our digestive system activates, it employs the blood for breaking food into vitamins, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
The more time the blood is employed for digestion, the less time and resources are available for the other functions of cleaning the body, transporting oxygen to the cells, and taking out the residuum and toxins.
Giving some breaks from eating can enable the blood to perform its other functions and improve health. For example, fasting has been in some traditions for ages. It’s a process of cleansing the body based only on liquid and no solid food. A simpler way to fast is once or twice a week between 6:00 pm to 12:00 am or between 12:00 am to 6:00 am. That translates into having eaten solid food for around 75% of the time and allowing your body to detoxify 25% of the time.
Take time to consider your health in our days in time. The healthy the body the less likely you’ll be sick.