In the previous post, we have understood that optimum body pH is very essential to enjoy a disease-free healthy life. Excessively high acidic body pH is not good for you. Ideal body pH range is 7.35 to 7.45 (slightly alkaline). Due to poor diet and lifestyle, your body pH can shift towards acidic zone which would make you susceptible to a variety of diseases. Body pH refers to the pH level of internal body fluids, including blood.
Let us rewind what we learned in our last post:
- Body pH refers to pH level of your internal body fluids (including blood). These fluids constitute about 60-65% of your total body weight.
- Ideal body pH is 7.40 (slightly alkaline).
- Your body metabolism is designed to work smoothly under alkaline (slightly) conditions.
- Most of the harmful foreign matters like fungi, viruses and bacteria grow and prosper in acidic conditions. It is found that cancer is more prevalent in people having a highly acidic body pH.
- Highly acidic body pH means inadequate oxygen in the body cells.
- Your body’s primary organs (liver and kidney) which are responsible for the elimination of toxins from your body are flushing out acidic toxins from your body. That’s why urine pH is slightly acidic (6.5-7.0)
- Excessively high acidic body pH over a longer period of time can increase the toxins level to an alarming high point.
- Such a stage can result in surrender of these organs and hence, these organs would almost stop working.
- Then your skin (the third body organ involved in the elimination of body toxins) would try to eliminate these body toxins in the form of psoriasis scales on your body.
- Your diet and lifestyle is mainly responsible for making your body pH acidic.
Click here to read in detail: Psoriasis and Body pH
Body pH and Psoriasis
The liver and kidney are primary body organs which are involved in the elimination of toxins from your body. These body toxins are acidic in nature. In case of the increased amount of these acidic toxins in your body, these organs would overwork and try to neutralize these acidic toxins by using alkaline reserves stored in your body. Gradually, these alkaline reserves would diminish. If such a condition of increased toxins in your body (highly acidic body pH) continues for a longer time, then a stage would come when these eliminatory body organs (liver and kidney) would not be able to remove these acidic body toxins from the body and they would almost give up. It would cause depletion of alkaline minerals (calcium, sodium and potassium) from your bones to make up for that. This leaching of minerals from your bones would deteriorate your body cells and cause various serious health conditions like arthritis and joint pain.
At this stage, your skin would come forward to rescue these eliminatory organs (liver and kidney) by facilitating the elimination of acidic body toxins through the skin in the form of psoriasis flakes.
Here it is clear that psoriasis and psoriasis arthritis, both have a relation with body pH levels.
Additional health issues related to acidic body pH which are important to know for a psoriasis patient are:
- Overloaded eliminatory organs with body toxins cause inflammatory problems and we all know that psoriasis (and psoriasis arthritis) is an inflammatory health disorder.
- High level of body toxins do contribute towards development of Leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome is also closely related to psoriasis.
How to maintain optimum body pH
Without getting too much complex, let me tell you 3 ways for maintaining optimum body pH:
- By eating right food (Alkaline diet)
- By regular exercise (physical workout) and/or Yoga
- By reducing the stress level
Read more: The Best Alkaline water recipe for Psoriasis
Alkaline diet for Psoriasis
The primary reason for disturbance of acid-alkaline balance of your body is poor diet and food choices. Hence, the most effective way of maintaining the body pH is consuming a diet rich in alkaline foods.
Before checking the list of alkaline foods, we should understand that how we disturb the acid-alkaline balance of our body by our bad food habits.
Why people prefer ready-to-eat (junk foods) these days?
Over the years, there has been a significant change in diet and eating preferences of the common people. Instead of eating wholesome nutritious foods, people prefer ready-to-eat food preparations.
After all, this junk food is tingling in taste and tempting in appearance. But, trust me, your body pays a very heavy price every time you eat these unhealthy foods. These ready-to-eat junk foods are highly processed foods and all the nutrients are stripped off from them. Almost all the junk foods- made from refined white flour (pizza, burger, hot dog, white bread), bakeries, carbonated cold drinks and beverages, fried rice- are heavily acidic in nature. Most of the junk foods are high in salt, sugar (refined white sugar) and saturated fats. They just offer empty calories without any nutrients. Positive changes in diet is very crucial for psoriasis healing and it is advised to stop eating the junk foods completely.
List of acidic and alkaline foods
When we eat food, it is metabolized to provide an overall acidic or alkaline effect on our body pH. Hence, it is very important to identify and categorize various foods under acidic and alkaline.
Acidic food: Alkaline food ratio should be 80:20
Out stomach has enough acids to digest the food that we eat. Stomach acid pH range is 1.5 to 3.5. Hence, to maintain the optimum body pH (slightly alkaline), we need to eat more of alkaline foods than acidic foods because we have to neutralize this highly acidic effect of stomach acids.
In general, we should eat about 60-80% of alkaline foods and 20-40% of acidic foods.
Let us categorize the commonly eaten foods as per their nature
When it comes to develop a detailed list of acidic and alkaline food products, it is not that easy as it seems. The reason is – it is quite difficult to find the exact pH value of all these wide range of food products that we eat on a daily basis. I have made sincere efforts to cover most of the foods that we consume.
|Highly acidic (to be avoided)||Mushroom, all frozen and canned (packaged) vegetables|
|Low acidic or close to neutral (to be consumed in moderate quantities)||Potato without skin, black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas|
|Alkaline (recommended to eat)||Cucumber, Carrot, Radish, Spinach, lettuce, Kale, Cabbage, Celery, Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Cauliflower, Green beans, Broccoli, Bottle gourd, Bitter gourd|
Hence, most of the vegetables (plant based foods) are alkaline in nature.
|Highly acidic (to be avoided)||Canned (packaged) fruit juices, Fruit juices with added sugar, Orange, mango, berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry), Unripe banana|
|Close to neutral (neither too acidic or too alkaline)||Papaya, dates, plum, apple, pears, peach, coconut, ripe banana, pomegranate, grape fruit|
|Alkaline||Water melon, Lemons, Lime, Dried figs, Raisins, Dried dates, Dried Apricots, avocados, black currant, apple juice, cherries, kiwi|
Generally ripened fruits are alkaline in nature where as unripened ones are acidic. Fruits under the category “Close to neutral” would not increase acidic pH levels.
>>>Grains and legumes
|Acidic (to be consumed in limited quantities)||White (basmati) rice, white bread, refined white flour, white pasta|
|Close to neutral (neither too acidic nor too alkaline)||Brown rice, Wheat oat/oatmeal, wild rice, buckwheat, brown bread, wholemeal pasta, buckwheat pasta, rye|
|Alkaline||Millet, Spelt, Kamut, Sprouts|
|Acidic (to be consumed in limited quantities)||Eggs, Milk (pasteurized), Cheese (paneer), Yogurt, cream|
|Close to neutral (neither too acidic nor too alkaline)||Unpasteurized Milk, Homogenized Milk, Cream, Goat milk/ goat milk cheese|
|Alkaline||Non sweetened (plain) Butter milk, Non sweetened almond milk, Non sweetened soy milk|
>>>Liquids and Beverages
|Acidic||Wine, soda, Beer, Coffee, Tea (black and normal), Alcoholic liquors, Canned (packaged) fruit juices, Carbonated sweetened cold drinks,|
|Neutral||Pure drinking water, Green (herbal) tea|
|Alkaline||Ffreshly prepared ((without any added sugar) juices of alkaline fruits and vegetables like carrot, cucumber, lemon, apple. Various green (herbal) drinks|
Here we got one more reason to drink enough water daily. It helps in flushing of acidic body toxins and maintaining optimum body pH.
>>>Breads and bakeries
|Acidic (to be consumed in limited quantities)||White bread, All bakeries (made from refined white flour)|
|Close to neutral||brown (whote grain) bread, Rye bread, Sprouted bread|
|Slightly Acidic||Corn oil, Butter, Sunflower oil, mustard oil, hydrogenated oil|
|Slightly Alkaline||Coconut oil, Sesame oil, Flax seed oil, Grape seed oil, hemp oil, Olive oil|
>>>Meat and fish
|Acidic||Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb, turkey, buffalo, chicken, Shellfish, wild salmon, Ocean fish, Farmed fish and various processed (packaged) meats|
|Slightly Acidic||Fresh water wild fish, Liver, Oyesters|
|Acidic (to be consumed in limited quantities)||Peanut, peanut butter, pistachio, cashew|
|Close to Neutral||Walnut|
|Alkaline||Almond and almond butter, Almond milk, Chestnuts|
|Highly Acidic (should be avoided)||White sugar, sugarcane, artificial sweeteners, Rice syrup, syrup, Vinegar, soy sauce, tomato sauce, Fruit jam, Honey|
|Close to neutral||Soybean|
|Alkaline||Lemon water, Himalayan salt (rock salt), Alkaline water|
Note: In case, something is missing, do let me know and I will update that 🙂
Tips for Alkaline diet
Trust me- it is almost impossible to follow all the rules of alkaline diet strictly. Hence, don’t worry too much. Just make sure to follow the alkaline diet as close as possible. Don’t starve yourself, just make intelligent food choices.
Let us go through some of the basic rules of alkaline diet:
- Most of the packaged (processed/canned) food products are acidic in nature and unhealthy- packaged fruit juices, packaged meat, frozen foods.
- Most of the drinks (alcoholic, carbonated, artificially sweetened, soda, tea and coffee) are highly acidic in nature. Replace them with green drinks and herbal teas. Ginger-lemon tea is also a very good option.
- Drink a lot of drinking water. Pure drinking water helps in eliminating acidic pH symptoms.
- Eat a lot of raw vegetables in salad. Most of the vegetables (green leafy, roots, plant based) are alkaline. Dark green vegetables are highly alkaline in nature.
- Most of the artificial sweeteners, sauce, ketchup are highly acidic in nature.
- Most of meat and fish products are acidic
- Refined white sugar is highly acidic in nature. Hence, avoid food products having high quantities of white sugar.
- Products made from refined white flour- white bread, bakery, pizza, burger, pasta are highly acidic in nature. Replace them with brown bread, whole grain foods.
- Replace white rice with brown rice.
- Always drink freshly prepared, non sweetened fruit and vegetable juices. Avoid packaged fruit juices.
- All ripened fruits (sweet banana and apple) are better than unripened (greenish colored and sour in taste)
- Lemon water is one of the best, easy to make and cheap option for making your body alkaline.
Read more: Lemon water benefits for Psoriasis
Apart from food, regular physical workout would also help enormously to maintain a healthy body pH. Regular exercise helps in the elimination of accumulated toxins, improves digestion and eliminates any chance of acidity (acid reflux). Remember that most of the body toxins are acidic in nature. Hence, elimination of body toxins helps in maintaining optimum body pH.
Regular exercise helps in:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight (avoiding obese conditions do promote smooth elimination of acidic body toxins)
- Better digestion (Lesser the problem of indigestion, lesser would be accumulation of undigested food and hence lesser body toxins)
- Sweating during exercises do help in the elimination of body toxins though skin pores
- Regular exercise increases the flow of oxygen throughout the various body cells. Increased level of oxygen neutralizes acidic pH condition.
- Regular exercise keeps you energetic and motivated to develop a positive stress free attitude towards life.
Read more: Exercise helps in Psoriasis Healing
Stress and related emotions like depression, anger and anxiety causes internal acidity in your body. In today’s world, life of an ordinary human being is full of stress. Job, business, studies, personal relationships- everything is quite stressful. To make it worse, psoriasis itself is a stressful and frustrating condition to deal with. All these stressful factors increase the internal acidity of our body. Hence, it is not enough to consume an alkaline diet for psoriasis healing. Healing techniques like yoga, meditation and regular exercise are also important.
How stress causes acidic body pH
Stress causes “fight-or-flight” response, it means a sort of threatening experience where you would either be forced to face the situation or run away.
Such a response causes the release of a hormone, cortisol. High level of stress means release of excessive quantity of cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for release of excessive biles in your liver which is eventually disposed off in your small intestine. This excessive bile is responsible for acidic body pH and acid reflux (acidity). It hampers the process of digestion also.
The best way to manage stress is-
- Stop hiding your psoriasis because running away from the problem is of no use
- Don’t look for magical cures because all these magical cures are fake and they make us more stressed eventually
- Adopt the path of holistic healing of psoriasis- diet, lifestyle, herbal topical treatments, reduced stress, regular exercise.
- Practice yoga, meditation and other relaxation techniques
Read more: Stress and Psoriasis
Your body is designed to work well in a slightly alkaline state. Benefits of alkaline diet for psoriasis lies in the fact that diet is the best way of achieving the optimum body pH level for smooth body metabolism. Unfortunately, most of the common food stuffs are acidic in nature. Junk foods like pizza, burger, pasta, bakeries and carbonated drinks are excessively acidic in nature. Hence, it is very crucial to maintain the optimum body pH (slightly alkaline) by eating a healthy alkaline diet and adopting a healthy lifestyle. A Healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise, proper sleep, smooth daily routine and practicing healing therapies like yoga and meditation.