July 24, 2004
| Eat Right for Your pH
Foods to Avoid
While certain foods are more acidic than others,
there are certain classes of food and drink you should stay away
from regardless of where you fall on the acid/alkaline scale. These
foods not only have little if any nutritional value, but may even
cause you to lose valuable nutrients as your body processes them.
Numerous studies show that women are less able to tolerate alcohol
than men. Women metabolize alcohol slower than men, thus it takes
longer to clear out alcohol’s toxic effects. Also, because women are
smaller and have a higher body fat content than men, they tend to
concentrate alcohol more in their body and fluids. Alcohol also increases
estrogen levels, associated with endometriosis, heavy bleeding (menorrhagia),
the development of breast cancer, PMS, and may inhibit ovulation.
Alcohol can exacerbate hot flashes and mood swings,
intensify menopausal fatigue and depression and can lead to dehydration.
Other health problems with alcohol:
If you habitually drink too much coffee, you’re putting undue stress
on your adrenal glands, which secrete stress hormones. The caffeine
stimulates the release of additional stress hormones, increasing
your nervousness and anxiety, and sucking valuable nutrients from
the rest of your body. Caffeine can also increase estrogen levels,
contributing to menstrual problems as well as certain cancers.
Caffeine can also:
Whether you stick with skim or full-fat, dairy products are one
of the primary sources of food allergies in the American diet. Symptoms
include wheezing, teary eyes, itching, nasal congestion, and hives.
You may also have a delayed reaction to dairy, which manifests as
anxiety, irritability, depression or mood swings, insomnia, fatigue,
spaciness, dizziness, confusion and disorientation, headaches and
aching joints. Such food allergies can also make PMS symptoms worse,
and weaken your adrenal glands over time, greatly increasing your
susceptibility to stress. Dairy also contains saturated fats, which
carry with them a whole host of additional health problems.
You’re so much better off reaching for a piece
of fruit and a glass of water rather than pouring yourself a cup
of fruit juice. Fruit juice is loaded with sugar, with none of the
nutrient-enhancing fiber and other natural digestive enzymes found
in the fruit itself. That’s because the pasteurization process commercially
sold fruit juice undergoes inactivates these enzymes.
Because fruit juice has so much sugar, it
acts as a simple carbohydrate in the bloodstream, much like a piece
of chocolate candy, making stress symptoms worse, including mood
swings, fatigue and shakiness.
For decades, we’ve been told that margarine, a semi-solid vegetable
oil spread, is healthier than butter. That couldn’t be further from
the truth. Margarine is made by altering polyunsaturated vegetable
oil to make it solid. This process creates hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated
fats called trans fatty acids. Just four or more teaspoons a day
of margarine actually increases your risk of heart disease.
Sodium is one of the body’s main minerals. Along with potassium,
sodium helps regulate cells’ water balance. Yet too much salt in
your diet can cause fluid retention and promote premenstrual bloating.
In addition, it can make menstrual cramps worse and cause breast
tenderness. Plus, it increases your risk of heart disease and hypertension.
Forty percent of calories in the typical American diet come from
saturated fats, found primarily in dairy, red meat and eggs. They
contribute to numerous health problems, including heart disease,
cancer, obesity and arthritis. But a diet high in saturated fats
has additional risks for women. It also increases the likelihood
of menstrual cramps, PMS, ovarian cysts, benign breast disease,
endometriosis, fibroid tumors, heavy menstrual bleeding, fatigue
and other female health problems.
Sugar and artificial sweeteners
Sugar is a major source of dietary acid. And
since many processed foods contain both refined sugar and wheat
products (think donuts, cakes, pastries, cookies, pasta, crackers
and white bread), eating too many of these simple carbohydrates
can not only leave you nutritionally bereft, but drain you of valuable
nutrients in the digestive process.
When sugar is processed, all the vitamins
and minerals are removed; what remains is simple sugar, glucose,
which breaks down rapidly in your digestive system producing acids.
Sugar also makes your liver work harder to produce bile and other
essential digestive enzymes.
Refined sugar may also:
Many women find they’re intolerant to or allergic to wheat products.
That’s because wheat contains a protein called gluten, which is
difficult for your body to break down, absorb and assimilate. Women
with wheat intolerance are prone to fatigue, depression, bloating,
intestinal gas and bowel changes.
Wheat can also:
Read More on pH Balance:
Tending Toward Acidity or a High-Alkaline
Quiz: Are you Overly Acidic or
a High Alkaline Producer?
Keep it SIMPLE pH Balancing Tip
Substitutions for Acidic Foods
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