The pH Diet and Your Fertility
If you’re like most people, you probably have vague recollections of boring high school chemistry classes when you heard the word “pH.” Don’t let chemistry class stop you from accessing one of the greatest factors for health, including your reproductive health.
All you need to know about pH to start reaping the health benefits of a more balanced body chemistry, is that it is a measure of acidity (think vinegar) or alkalinity (think baking soda) from 0 to 14. Zero is the worst level of acidity possible and 14 is the highest level of alkalinity possible, with neutral being in the middle. Your body maintains much tighter reins than that and will work diligently to balance your blood at a just slightly alkaline rate of 7.36. However, our highly acid-forming diet (meat, dairy products, sugar and other sweets, wheat and white flour baked goods and pastas, coffee, tea, trans fats, and food additives found in most packaged and prepared foods) and our high-stress lifestyles can take their toll on our body’s pH-balancing mechanisms, leading to acidity.
Microorganisms, such as yeast, fungi, bacteria, viruses and others, thrive in an acidic environment. Some of these nasty critters interfere with enzyme and coenzyme production in the body, including ones that are essential to hormone health, as well as many other health concerns. If a particular coenzyme is depleted, hormones that are critical to fertility and reproduction in both men and women can become imbalanced. Additionally, many of the microorganisms that begin to thrive in an acidic body can begin to feed on hormones, causing deficiencies.
Excess acidity or the microorganisms that thrive in that environment can be linked to reproductive concerns, such as infertility, vaginal yeast or fungal overgrowth, vaginal infections, menstrual difficulties, urinary tract infections, prostatitis, and impotence. If you are suffering from any of these concerns, you may benefit from kicking acid out of your diet, adding more alkalizing foods and monitoring your pH levels on a regular basis ? all of which are much simpler than you might think.
While the combination of acidity and microorganisms are not the cause of all reproductive issues, our bodies require a certain level of pH balance for health — both reproductive and health in general. “Kicking acid,” as I like to call it, is essential for your health.
“Kick Acid” Tips for Great Health
Bittersweet pH Balancing
Start every morning with a large glass of water with the juice of half a lemon. Wait 20 minutes to half an hour before eating to give the lemon water a chance to start working. Be sure to drink a chaser of plain water afterward, and swish it around in your mouth to prevent tooth enamel erosion.
Water, Water Everywhere
Drink at least 10 additional cups of water throughout the day, preferably on an empty stomach. Add lemon juice, powerfully alkalizing “green” powders (like barley grass or wheat grass powders), or alkalizing liquid drops found in most health food stores to each glass of water.
Lose the Caffeine
Instead of reaching for a caffeine jolt from coffee or cola, drink some raspberry leaf tea. It is naturally caffeine-free and is one of Mother Nature’s gentle hormone balancers. Since there’s controversy over the role of caffeine consumption and pregnancy, staying away from the java may be a good idea anyway.
Take Mom’s Advice
OK, who wants to admit that mom was right when she commanded, “Eat your vegetables!” But she was. Make vegetables the focal point of your lunch and dinner meals. Enjoy some delicious mashed sweet potatoes or rich dairy-free guacamole. I share the easiest and fastest recipe for yummy guac in my book, “The Ultimate pH Solution,” and even my chocolate mousse recipe features the highly healthy avocado — which technically is a fruit, but still highly alkalizing.
Lean, Green Alkalizing Machines
Leafy greens are powerful alkalizers. Eat at least one large salad per day. Avoid store-bought dressings full of rancid oils, preservatives, additives and sugar. Try my blueberry dressing from “The Ultimate pH Solution” — it’s fast and delicious. In a wide-mouth jar, add 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen), 1/3 cup of raw apple cider vinegar, a pinch of Celtic sea salt, and 6 drops of stevia or a 1/2 teaspoon of unpasteurized honey. Blend with a hand blender, or cover with the lid and shake the container well. Pour over a plate of greens or grated veggies. Store the remaining dressing in the fridge.
For more information on how to optimize your health, visit drmichellecook.com/
Photo credit: Aprilyn Podd
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