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Thursday, May 16, 2013

May is Arthritis Awareness Month: Balancing pH Levels

 

Good Morning!

May is Arthritis Awareness Month: Balancing pH Levels

Arthritis, which means "joint inflammation" is a general term for over 100 different joint disorders with symptoms ranging from mild aches and pains to severe swelling and crippling pain. Your joints, remarkable and elaborate hinges, are cushioned by cartilage. They are held together with various other tissues, including muscles and tendons. Lubrication is in the form of called synovial fluid, which is released by the synovial lining of the joints. Thinning cartilage between the bone results in the bones rubbing together and becoming inflamed. This, in turn, inflames the surrounding tissues, tendons and muscles.

Balancing pH Levels

When the body is too acidic resulting from an intake of acid forming foods, mucus forming, high fat foods, and toxic food residues, disease and infections are encouraged. This is especially true in cases of arthritis and rheumatic situations. Most foods are alkaline by nature, but often the more processed the foods are the more acidic they become. It is important to balance each meal with a ratio of 75% alkaline to 25% acidity in order to maintain better health. Perfect body pH is 6.4, above is alkaline and below is acidic. It is important that your daily dietary intake of food naturally balances your body pH. Balancing the body's pH is achieved by avoiding foods that create acidic conditions in the body, which can help lessen pain and inflammation.

Foods that create acidity in the body include, meat, dairy, hydrogenated fats, wheat and sugar.

Foods that help restore balance include fruits (when eaten on an empty stomach), vegetables and legumes.

Eliminate: butter, all fried foods, margarine, red meat, shellfish, shortenings or tropical oils (such as coconut and palm oils).

Limit foods that have little or no fiber such as ice cream, cheese, meat, snacks like chips and pizza, and processed foods such as instant mashed potatoes or already-prepared frozen dinners. Too much white flour and refined sugar.

Decrease phosphorus foods such as soft drinks, which are high in phosphoric acid, organ meat (liver, kidney), processed meat, which are especially high in phosphorus, fried foods and vegetable oil, which have a high level of omega 6 and can make inflammation worse. Sugar results in poor absorption of nutrients as does antacids, which neutralize stomach acid and result in poor absorption of calcium (heartburn and indigestion are caused by poor eating habits and NOT ENOUGH stomach acid!)


What You Should Avoid:

Research has shown the foods most often thought to aggravate arthritis include:

*corn, wheat, pork, oranges, milk, oats, rye, eggs, beef, tomatoes, eggplant and coffee.

*processed, packed and fast foods. Hydrogenated fats, margarine, shortening, lard, or products made with them such as cookies, pies, and packaged food.

*dairy products, yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, butter and cheeses

*wheat products

*alcohol

Eliminate: butter, all fried foods, margerine, red meat, shellfish, shortnings or tropical oils (such as coconut and palm oils).

Limit foods that have little or no fiber such as ice cream, cheese, meat, snacks like chips and pizza, and processed foods such as instant mashed potatoes or already-prepared frozen dinners. Too much white flour and refined sugar.

What you don't eat may be even more important than what you do eat. Avoid alcohol and sugar, because they tend to worsen the situation.

Curb your caffeine. One or two cups of coffee can work to kick you into gear in the morning, but its benefits usually end there. Too much caffeine (more than 24 oz a day) is just as bad as too much of anything. Drinking it throughout the day for an energy boost can actually backfire. Caffeine makes you feel like you have more energy, but you really don't. Cut back on caffeine to reduce the high and low effect. Excess coffee robs the bones of precious minerals.

Curb your excess protein intake as this can accelerate bone loss. Excess amounts include more than 140 grams of protein per day. 140 grams is equivalent to approximately a pound of chicken beef, pork, fish. This excess causes the body to excrete calcium and increases the rate of loss of minerals and nutrients.

Decrease phosphorus foods such as soft drinks, which are high in phosphoric acid, organ meat (liver, kidney), processed meat, which are especially high in phosphorus, fried foods and vegetable oil, which have a high level of omega 6 and can make inflammation worse. Sugar results in poor absorption of nutrients as does antacids, which neutralize stomach acid and result in poor absorption of calcium (heartburn and indigestion are caused by poor eating habits and NOT ENOUGH stomach acid!)

Reduce Processed and Refined Foods:

Avoid fried foods, white pasta, white rice, full fat dairy, white potatoes, white bread (baguettes, bagels, pita).

Processed food can rob your food of nutrients and vitamins that your body needs to fight off stress and promote good health. Try to buy whole foods, unprocessed foods and try and stay away from "instant" foods, preservatives, artificial flavors, saturated fats, refined foods, hydrogenated food and MSG.

Reduce Sugar Intake:

Too much sugar can rob our body of essential nutrients. Simple carbohydrates from baked goods, pastries, most crackers and cookies, white sugar and sweets, soda and sweeten juices must be limited to a very small portion or completely removed from the diet. Synthetic sweeteners (Saccharin, aspartame, NutraSweet) can also be a culprit.

Food additives, such as colors, flavor enhancers, stabilizers, and preservatives. Some of the main additives include sulphites, benzoates, and colors prefixed with FD &;C.

If you think certain foods may be making your arthritis worse, try to eliminate them from your diet, one at a time until you feel improvement. Just remember that arthritis symptoms tend to come and go, and relief could be coincident, try eating the trouble food again to if it causes symptoms.

Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
http://www.peacefulmind.com/arthritis.htm
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit


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