I often run online cleanses and the first step that I have my clients do is to look at their pH. This is such a fun and informative exercise to do, and is so simple, easy and cost effective! It also gives you a strong insight as to where your current pH levels are at so you can make any necessary shifts. In order to test your pH, you will have to buy pH urine and/or saliva strips at your local drug store or health food store. I really love the genuine health strips. Follow the simple steps below to test your pH:
Understanding the Role of Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a large problem amongst westerners due to high levels of stress, poor quality diets, toxins in our environment and not enough sleep. We are constantly in overdrive, fight or flight and are always being stimulated through content overload and stimulants like coffee.
Over time, if your body is constantly in an inflammatory state, your body can become more susceptible to disease and imbalances in the body, causing uncomfortable health symptoms. Inflammation is needed if we have an injury or a cut (short-term!). However, if the inflammation serves no purpose (and becomes constant long-term!) it can damage the body.
When focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet we are supporting healthy pH levels in the body. If testing too acidic on your pH scale, we know there is too much inflammation in the body. You want to aim for a slightly more alkaline environment in the body, which means consuming some amazing nutritious anti-inflammatory (and neutral to high alkalinity foods) while avoiding inflammatory (high acidic) foods.
Over time, too much inflammation and too much acidity can lead to: arthritis, joint pains, digestive issues, fatigue, skin issues like eczema or psoriasis, toxic overstressed liver, heart disease, many cancers, hormonal imbalance and more. Now, I know because you are reading this you're open to making shifts in your health and well-being and want to live a long vibrant and healthy life? Am I right?
Well, this is a simple strategy for you to follow that is only going to benefit the healthy state of your body! Understanding and using the right foods to consume in order to reduce inflammation in the body is one of the best strategies long-term to lower your risk of any long-term health symptoms.
Let's look at my top foods to help balance the pH levels in the body.
Top 11 Foods to Balance pH
1. Fresh fruits (organic preferably) galore!
- Lemons, limes, grapefruit, melons, apples, pears, oranges, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc...
2. Fresh Vegetables (organic preferably) galore!
- Asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, celery, etc...
3. Dark leafy greens are your best friend!
- Kale, spinach, arugula, bok choy, etc...
4. Nuts and seeds (raw and unsalted)
- Cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds etc. Try using nut and seed butter for something different.
5. Beans and Lentils
- Lima, navy, kidney, chick peas, etc...
6. Healthy Oils
- Avocado oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil, pumpkinseed oil, hemp seed oil etc...
7. Alkaline Water
- Reverse osmosis
8. Herbal Teas
- Ginger, peppermint, dandelion, lemongrass, etc...
9. Apple Cider Vinegar
- Choose raw, organic and with the mother
10. Whole grains
- Quinoa, millet, buckwheat (kasha)
- Probiotic rich food sources such as kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha
Another key aspect of balancing your pH is to avoid food intolerances and sensitivities. Which is a whole other blog post and topic. But, if you are sensitive to any of the foods mentioned above you will want to avoid them and work on healing the gut. If no food sensitivities are present, then bring in a combination of foods mentioned and you are well on your way to improving your pH levels!
Your immune system depends on the healthy function of your lymphatic system. I like to call it the powerhouse of your immune system! Often through organ testing with my clients I see the result of an an imbalanced lymphatic system. This has prompted me to explore more around how we can support this critical piece of the immune system through diet and lifestyle.
What is the lymphatic system?
It’s the body’s inner “drainage system”, meaning it’s responsible for clearing, cleaning and detoxing any threats to the body. Protecting the body from cancer cells, bacteria and infections. We have tons of lymph nodes and blood vessels throughout the body that help make this happen. The excess exposure of toxins, chemicals, pesticides, pollution and stress can cause the lymphatic system to be backed up and not work as efficiently.
A healing and anti-inflammatory diet supports the lymphatic system. Foods including healthy fats, quality organic grass-fed meats, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh herbs, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, lentils, fermented foods, herbal teas and quality filtered water. While eliminating processed foods, conventional meats, processed dairy, refined sugars, caffeine, alcohol, and chlorinated water.
Dry skin brushing is also an amazing way to stimulate the lymphatic system each day. Try dry skin brushing each day before you shower and make sure to always brush towards the heart (starting at the feet) in long sweeping circular motions. Choose a brush that has natural (not synthetic) bristles and a long handle so you can reach each area of the body.
Aside from eating a quality nutrient dense diet, dry skin brushing, drinking plenty of quality filtered water, exercising could be one of the most beneficial ways of supporting the drainage of the lymphatic system. Yoga specifically is beneficial for the lymphatic system. Let’s break it down to four aspects of your yoga practice that can support lymph drainage.
Twisting postures are extremely helpful with supporting the lymphatic system. Squeezing the organs and muscles stimulates the flow of lymph. I like to imagine that the body is like a washcloth. Twisting the washcloth to rinse the body and stimulate the release of fluid through the body. Try lunge twists, chair twists, seated twists and supine twisting postures.
Inversions are when the feet are above the head in any postures. This gravity effect on the body is extremely healing and promotes the flow of the lymphatic system from the toes down the body in a reverse effect. It moves around any stagnant or stuck used blood and drains the lymph. It basically restores the body fluid to the upper part of the body! Try legs up the wall each day for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes before bed.
A yoga flow practice encourages muscle contraction of movement, thus supporting the lymphatic drainage. Using a variety of whole body stretches from twists, to forward folds to inversions encourage this whole body muscle contraction movement. Sun salutations and a fun vinyasa movement practice will support you in this.
Lastly, the powerful benefits of your breath help the lymphatic system to function optimally. Pranayama (deep controlled breath) allows you to stimulate good fluids more efficiently through the body and remove harmful toxins. This can be done on its own through a daily meditation practice and should also be a primary focus during your yoga practice.
So there you have it. If yoga isn’t currently part of your exercise routine I encourage you to give it a try! There are countless studios and gyms that have classes along with online platforms like YogaGlo. Even a yoga class 2-3 times per week on top of a healthy diet, dry skin brushing and your regular exercise routine will allow for great lymphatic support!
In health and many blessings,
Stephanie Morrison is a certified holistic nutritionist, registered yoga and meditation instructor with a passion for guiding others along their healing path. She uses a combination food, supplementation, homeopathics and lifestyle recommendations to create balance in the body and address the root cause of her clients health symptoms. She works in private clinic setting specializing in hormonal, digestive and emotional health.