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1. Monthly health update
The surprising health benefits of an alkaline diet
By Ann V. Wixon,
A few years ago, everyone was buzzing about a supposed new health solution called, “The Alkaline Diet.” It was pretty popular in Hollywood (and, of course, because it used the word “diet” you can be pretty sure it involved weight loss).
After a while, the buzz died down, and everyone focused on the next new thing.
That’s unfortunate, because balancing your pH is one of the most important foundations for your health. I spoke with Jan Roberts, B.Pharm (Hons), Dip. Clinical Nutrition, Click here to read on...
What is pH all about?
pH means, “potential of hydrogen,” and it measures the concentration of hydrogen ions in body fluids.
As you may already know, your body is composed of approximately 69% water, contained in fluids in your cells and blood plasma as well as fluids inside your major organs: your digestive system, brain, spine, eyes and even the membrane protecting your abdomen.
When water splits apart, hydrogen and hydroxide ions are created. The hydrogen ion H(+) can combine with negatively charged elements to form acids. Acids are molecules that can split apart in water and release hydrogen ions.
Bases are molecules that can split apart in water and release hydroxide ions.
The term “pH” is a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration in water. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline. 7 is considered neutral.
The role of pH in your body.
Life on earth depends on appropriate pH levels.
The ocean requires a pH of 8.2 to sustain life, whereas soil requires a pH of between 6 and 7 in order to ensure optimum mineral content in the food you eat.
- Your cardiovascular system requires a tightly controlled pH level, measured in your blood serum, of 7.4 (just on the alkaline side of neutral). This is the best (optimum) pH level for enzymes to work.
- The highest acidity level is in your stomach (pH of 1.35 to 3.5) to aid in digestion and offer protection against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. When your pH is unbalanced, you increase the opportunity for bacteria, fungi and viruses to invade and begin growing in earnest.
- This is also seen in the vagina where a pH of less than 4.7 also protects against bacteria, fungi and viruses.
- Even your skin requires a unique pH level of 4—6.5 to provide an acidic barrier to microbial overgrowth.
- our saliva has a pH of 6.5 – 7.4 (only mildly acidic). That’s because the enzyme amylase is present and is responsible for breaking down starch (where most plants store their energy). When your saliva’s pH falls below 6.5, amylase can no longer do its job, and this impacts your entire digestive system as well as your body’s ability to benefit from nutrients.
In a perfect world you’d have perfect pH… but our world is loaded with hidden sodium, sugar and chloride.
According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, “It is generally accepted that … humans today have a diet poor in magnesium and potassium as well as fiber and rich in saturated fat, simple sugars, sodium, and chloride as compared to the pre agricultural period. This results in a diet that may induce metabolic acidosis (a dangerously high level of acid in the body) ... With aging there is a gradual loss of renal (kidney) acid-base regulatory function and a resultant increase in diet-induced metabolic acidosis while on the modern diet.”
The modern diet plus dramatic changes in the pH level of the soil, means most of us may have
pH levels that are way too acidic.When your body struggles to maintain the optimum blood pH of 7.4, it can result in inflammation. Over time, this allows the level of the pro-inflammatory blood acid homocysteine to rise.
Suspect your metabolic pH is too acidic? Here are some common signs.
- Fatigue and weakness
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Sweet or fruity smelling breath
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain or cramping after walking short distances
What does alkalizing achieve?
When the body is alkaline it:
- Supports the healing process*
- Retains minerals important for a myriad of reactions in the body*
- Allows for complete digestion*
- Allows the immune system to function optimally*
- Retains minerals important for a myriad of reactions in the body*
What you can do to naturally alkalize your body.
It’s all about your food.
Over the last several decades, the one piece of dietary advice given by all experts is that you need to eat more plant nutrients.
Vegetables and plant nutrients are considered alkalizing, as are foods rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Some examples are:
- kale: a mineral-rich, leafy vegetable that contains all of the above minerals as well as important plant nutrients;
- broccoli: a cruciferous vegetable that is also mineral-rich, with phytonutrients found to support hormone health;
- cabbage, and
- Swiss chard.
But how much each day will really make a difference? Health experts have determined that nine servings of vegetables per day is optimal.
A serving is considered to be about a handful in most cases. This means a total of nine per day would equate to two dinner plates of vegetables.
What about protein?
Protein, especially red meats, requires a large amount of alkaline minerals for complete digestive processing. When you eat that Porterhouse steak, your system automatically goes searching for the alkalinity needed to offset the steak’s acid load.
Where’s the best source of alkaline nourishment? In your bones.
Your digestive system actually steals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium minerals right from your bones.
However, high protein diets containing only “clean” animal protein, free of hormones or antibiotics i.e. grass-fed beef, game meats, and free-range poultry, contain very different ratios of omega fatty acids and less toxicity. They also have less acidifying effects than a diet containing conventionally raised animals or birds that are often corn, soy, or grain-fed.
Do I have to give up coffee?
Foods aren’t the only concern, acid-forming liquids are as big if not a bigger issue as they include alcohol, coffee and many sodas. Apart from adding to the acidic environment in the body, consumption of these beverages often means reduced intake of water and some juices that promote alkalinity!
Alkalizing Dietary Ratio
So with some foods that are acid forming, others alkalizing, what is the right balance?
One example of a dietary guideline that resonates well with several theories and Ms. Roberts is a ratio of 3:1 of alkalizing foods to acidifying foods.
For every serving of acidifying food (especially animal protein), you should enjoy 3 servings of alkalizing foods. Interestingly when you speak to proponents of protein based diets they suggest three servings of protein about the size of the palm of your hand per day while alkalizing diet proponents recommend nine servings of vegetables the size of your palm - exactly mirroring the 3:1 ratio.
That’s 2 dinner plates of vegetables plus an additional half plate of proteins every day. (Yet due to serving sizes in the US often being larger than a palm and many people already in a highly acidic state, traditional alkalizing diets have often swung to the extreme and suggested the removal of meat, poultry, cheese, and grains completely!)
Ms. Roberts recommends:
- nine servings of organic vegetables (especially dark, green leafy varieties)
- reduced serving sizes of (ideally) grass fed, organic meat or poultry
- reduced dairy consumption
- removal of grains
- reduced coffee, alcohol and soda intake
- increased purified water intake adding Sole (for how to make Sole using Original Himalayan Crystal Salt click here)
But what if you can’t do that every day? What if you can’t eat enough green leafy vegetables, reduce your coffee enough, go out for a weekend celebration? What then?
1. Add a green supplement to your health regimen.
Many green products support alkalinity. Greens powders are excellent for some because they allow large doses at one time. However, they often require refrigeration, a blender or shaker, and some simply do not like the taste, texture, time it takes to prepare twice a day…not to mention cleaning up every time!
In addition, green powders often contain dozens of other ingredients and it only takes an allergy or sensitivity to one of those to cause a reaction.
2. An alternative to green powders are green tablets.
Unfortunately, most green tablets are small and only food quality (i.e. not concentrated, just the food made into a tablet). For this reason, most recommended daily doses range between 5-7 tablets three times per day. If you’re taking 15-21 tablets per day to get your recommended daily dose that equates to 450-600 tablets per month.
3. NHI has developed a natural pH harmonizer and detox support supplement
Our product, pH Quintessence, was developed as a part of solution to these issues. pH Quintessence is a 40:1 concentration of a specific strain of alfalfa, grown on an organic farm in France where genetically modified alfalfa crops are not permitted.
Due to its high concentration the recommended daily dose is only 3 capsules per day.
pH Quintessence is packaged into vegan capsules, with no excipients or fillers and due to the proprietary growing and manufacturing process, the absence of grass allergens and phytoestrogens is guaranteed.
Jan Roberts, B.Pharm (Hons), Dip. Clinical Nutrition is a leader in pre conception health and fertility and a champion of consciousness. She has spent almost 40 years in the health care industry present at universities, to the general public and health professionals around the world. She has made frequent appearances on radio and TV and is a regular contributor to various magazines and journals.
Jan is the co-author of the international best-selling book: The Natural Way to Better Babies, as well as 5 other books including - Better Pregnancy, Better Birth & Bonding, Better Breastfeeding, Healthy Parents and Healthy Baby, Healthy Parents and Healthy Toddler.
2. Monthly product highlight
Tired of the taste of green drinks or 20 green tablets a day?
pH Quintessence is the most potent, effective green product available. It’s a proprietary concentrated 40:1 formulation made of a particular variety of alfalfa – a rich source of chlorophyll, beta-carotene, the poly-unsaturated fatty acids linolenic and linoleic acid, amino acids (including lysine, arginine, tyrosine and leucine), calcium, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. Click here to read on...
The alfalfa used in pH Quintessence is grown in France, is Non-GMO and organically certified. In addition, by only harvesting during a particular time in the plant’s life cycle, only using particular parts of the plant and implementing a proprietary manufacturing process, nearly all the phyto estrogens normally found in alfalfa do not occur and grass allergens are removed.
It’s also 100% vegan and perfectly pure containing no magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, fillers, chemicals, excipients or additives.
pH Quintessence is packaged in specially designed oxygen-barrier blister packs which keep each capsule stable for up to 3 years. The blister packs arrive to you in recycled boxes which are printed with vegetable ink, helping to protect our environment.
pH Quintessence can help:
- Support the detoxification of heavy metals and remove free radicals*
- Support all phases of detoxification*
- Support healthy pH levels*
- Help cells resist oxidative stress*
- Help balance protein and energy metabolism*
- Support healthy skin*
- Support hormone metabolism*
- Support digestion and healthy inflammation*
pH Quintessence enhances your body’s normal detoxification mechanisms. Its high concentration of chlorophyll aids in preventing absorption of toxins and purifies blood and tissues. It also thickens and strengthens cell walls, making them better able to handle the toxins that have already accumulated in your body due to fatigue, emotional tension, pollution, contaminated foods and other exogenous toxins. Chlorophyll is also one of the most effective natural body deodorizers.*
3. Monthly health tip
Eating green vegetables
By Kim Ross, MS, MBA, CNS, CDN, IFMCP
Medical Education Manager, Natural Health International (NHI)
Hi. This is Kim. I am willing to say that many of you reading the suggestion above to eat 9 servings of vegetables each day thought, “Are they crazy? How will I ever be able to do that?” You are not alone! The CDC reports that only 1 out 10 Americans consume enough fruits and vegetables.
Here are some easy to implement tips to help you increase your vegetable intake: Click here to read on...
- Know your servings sizes
- 1 cup for green, leafy vegetables
- ½ cup for most other vegetables
- Add a variety of vegetables to soups and stews.
- Vegetables should take up ½ of your plate at each meal (including breakfast!).
- Make a salad “pop” with color. Many people get sick of eating salads because it is the same boring lettuce, tomato and cucumber type of salad. Try this instead: Take 2 cups of green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale or other greens. A mix of several greens is very tasty) and add 1-1.5 cups of colorful veggies (such as tomatoes, shredded carrots, yellow peppers, radishes, purple shredded cabbage), your salad will have 4-5 servings of vegetables and lots of color, making it very appealing to eat! Top it off with quality protein, like chicken and healthy fat, like olive oil and your body will be thankful for the nutrient dense meal it was fed!
- Experiment with new recipes and cooking methods. Many people dislike vegetables because they were overcooked or came from a can! Be sure to use fresh vegetables (the farmer’s markets are great during this time of year). Prepare vegetables by lightly steaming, broiling, stir-frying, or consuming them raw. Each method provides a slightly different taste and nutrients to be released. Overcooking makes vegetables mushy and flavorless. Use a dash of Himalayan Crystal Salt to enhance their natural flavor.
- Trying a new recipe each week will help you from resorting to the “same old vegetables” that you will get bored with. To get started, an easy greens recipe is included for you to try this week!
Makes 6 servings (1 serving ≈ ½ cup)
- 1 large bunch of kale, collards, or bok choy, washed
- 2–3 cloves garlic, minced or cut into slivers
- 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- ½ cup veggie or chicken broth
- Cut out the tough center stem from the kale or collards; chop or slice into small pieces. Bok choy has no tough center so just chop into small pieces.
- Sauté garlic in olive or coconut oil for about 30 seconds over medium heat. Add chopped greens and sauté for about 3–4 minutes.
- Bok choy needs no further cooking. For kale or collards, add broth, cover and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
Variation: For seasoned greens, add small amounts of any of the following alone or in combination: dry chipotle pepper, balsamic vinegar, ground cumin or curry powder.
Nutrition (per serving) Calories: 56 Fat (g): 3 Sat. Fat (g): 0 Chol (mg): 0 Sodium (mg): 35 Carb (g): 7 Fiber (g): 1 Protein (g): 2
Source: Institute for Functional Medicine
Kim Ross, MS, MBA, CNS, CDN, IFMCP
Kim Ross serves as Medical Education Manager for Natural Health International. She also teaches nutrition courses at Misericordia University for the Physician Assistant/ Nutrition program as well as servicing clients in her private practice, Functional Medicine by Kim Ross in New York. Kim is a Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Dietician Nutritionist and has earned the designation of an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner, which is only held by approximately 425 providers worldwide. Kim earned her M.S. in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College.
Next Month: Men have hormones, too!
That’s right, plural – hormones.
And just like women, hormone levels that are out of whack can lead to serious health issues: an inability to fight stress, low energy and fatigue, low libido, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, interrupted sleep, weight gain and more.
We’ll share the root cause of these issues as well as the best solutions for safely, effectively balancing and supporting your hormones, or those of the man you love.
- Results: We develop mark. leading products, with the highest success rates. We believe there is no point introducing a new product to the market, unless it is an improvement on all the current products for that specific health issue.
- Mode of Action: By establishing the optimal mode of action we address the cause, not just the symptoms.
- Science: The scientific research on NHI's products includes pharmacology, toxicology and double-blind placebo controlled human clinical trials, published in International medical journals.
- Cultural: Our products are all vegan and Kosher certified so that people of all beliefs can use our products.
- Purity: Our mitt attention to all aspects of product purity, including Organic Certification (USDA, European Union and Japanem), NomGMO, California's Heavy Metals Proposition 65 compliance, and products free of chemical mtractives, alcohol, addition, colorings, preservatives, silicon dimide, magnesium stearate, gluten, dairy, soy, and coot-all in vegan capsules, mean that you are assured of having a 100% pure product.
- Quality: We control every stage of production, from seed to shelf, through scientifically researched species, phenotype, variety, soil, geographic location and climatic conditions. Customized growing, harceceng and proprietary manufacturing processes for each individual herb based on its specific biology and chemistry, are carried out in GMP certified facilities. These vertically integrated operations create unparalleled levels of the full spectrum of active ingredients found in each herb and ensure the maximum bioavailability in every product. In addition, long term quality Is supported through stability verification and optimal product packaging using oxygen and moisture barrier blister packs and UV shielding boxes.
- Education: NHrs Medical Board consists of some of the leading experts, authors and educators in natural medicine and integrative health. In addition we support organizations that empower, educate and further our industry, such as the Naturopathic Education and Research Consortium, Institute of Women's Health and Integrative Medicine, several of the US Colleges of Naturopathic Medicine and Awakes, a non-profit dedicated to educating and empowering people in holistic and integrative health.
- Environment: We use vegetable inks and recycled cardboard, paper and packaging. Our offices compliant with San Francisco's green code and we employ environmentally sustainable agricultural practices in all our farming around the world.
- Social Responsibility: All operations in third world countries are either joint ventures with local people or 100% locally employed. We establish value added industries, instead of simply trading commodities, creating year-round employment and generating up to ten times the revenue that standard operations would for the local communities. In addition, we have supported social outreach programs such as Nourish America and Medicine Horse that are aligned with our Core Values.