- Aging & Longevity
How to slow the ageing process
Acidity and Ageing
Our bodies are constantly under attack from outside sources, such as bacteria and germs, and the obvious elements such as, rain, heat and cold, and all exacerbated by stress. This fight continues on a daily basis, and the stress this causes is the main reason that our bodies age and eventually perish. However, it is possible to develop a body that handles the constant onslaught with greater ease, and thus, slows the ageing process. This hub takes a look in particular at the alkaline/acidity balance of our bodies, called pH.
The pH measure comes from ‘power of hydrogen’(though there is some debate as to what the p actually means, historically), where a pH of 7 is neutral, a pH of 14 is maximum alkanility and pH of 0 is maximum acidity. As an example, the pH of blood usually has a value of pH 7.4 (7.3 ~ 7.5). The pH value is often referred to as physiological pH in biology and medicine. All leading micro biologists and biochemists recognize pH as the most important aspect of a balanced and healthy body. This is because all cells that make up our body are somewhat alkaline, and need to maintain alkalinity in order to remain healthy. The quantity of hydrogen or hydroxyl ions in a solution determines whether the solution is acid or alkaline.
The acidity or alkanility of our bodies tells us how susceptible we are to disease and developing illnesses, and thus how much of our system’s resources are being diverted to fighting these developing diseases (for example, some people seem to have a permanent cold, which is a clear indicator that the body is struggling). This continuous work done by the body is the greatest contributor to ageing. However, a body that isn’t overly acidic easily brushes off attempts by germs and bacteria to get a foothold, as there is less of a breeding ground for them.
By eating too many foods that are acid forming, we begin to develop harmful bacteria, fungus, yeast and other micro organisms. This can lead to obesity and other conditions, such as allergies and fatigue. In the case of obesity, we create fatty cells to carry acids away from our vital organs. With allergies, we absorb undigested proteins. Over-acidity in the body produces toxins and weakens the body’s ability to produces enzymes and hormones, which leads to fatigue. All of these symptoms can lead the body to greater ill-health.
The over-acidification of our body cells (called acidosis) disturbs cellular activities and their functions. Too much acid actually corrodes tissues as well as organs. Enzymes and other proteins also have an optimum pH range and can become inactivated or denatured, as it is called. There is also concern as with regards to our teeth. When we eat acidic food, plaque can create an acidic environment in the mouth that can result in tooth decay. Acidosis occurs when the general body’s pH falls below 7.35.
Interestingly, even people who work out and seem fit, and who possibly have big muscles, don’t necessarily have efficient muscles, or indeed healthy bodies. A lot of tissue that looks muscly is in fact holding a lot of water, as the body needs to carry the toxicity (acid) away from the organs. Muscle builders understand the principles, as many ingest a lot of meat and a lot of fluid i.e. high acidity counter-acted by high liquid intake, which bloats the tissues, where the fat cells store the extra acid, to be disposed of at a later date.
How Acid Are You?
To develop a healthy body and a neutral pH, it is necessary to go for foods that have an alkalizing effect on the body, such as green plants, especially raw ones. Plants receive light energy directly and our cells need this clear energy to remain vibrant. The most acidic foods are those that don’t convert the sun’s energy cleanly. For example, animals absorb energy into their bodies, but their biological system uses it through a great number of different processes to create their flesh. Likewise, products that have been messed about with, such as processed foods, have lost their initial energy and pass it on in a distorted way to human beings. (As a side note, from this perspective, artificially created foods, and the folly of creating meat in a lab for human consumption - which they’re attempting - can be seen as really quite insane.)
As ever, “eat your greens” is the voice of wisdom people should be listening to if they want to improve their health - and preferably freshly cut greens. Avoiding processed foods and meat is also a pre-requisite for lowering the acidity of the body. Not to say that acid making foods should be avoided all the time, but pigging out on these things all the time, isn’t going to do you any favours at all in the long run.
An example: a vegetable with a very high alkaline value would be sprouted radish seeds, that per ounce of seed have an alkaline value of +28.4. In contrast, beef has an acidity value of -34.5 per ounce (these two figures come from Shelley Redford Young’s book "Back To The House Of Health").
For a more complete list of foods and drinks, and their acidity/alkaline levels, check out this page: http://www.balance-ph-diet.com/acid_alkaline_food_chart.html
For more information on the advantages of cutting out meat, check out my other hub, Reasons to Stop Eating Meat, which dispels some of the myths regarding vegetarianism.
If you’re worried or curious about the acidity of your body, it’s very easy to get hold of pH Strips that test saliva and urine. Then you'll know for sure what kind of breeding ground you've got going for outside invaders!