Alkaline. That’s just something to do with batteries, right? That’s exactly what I used to think before I got into this whole health business shebang. I never realised that this word actually plays a HUGE part in the overall health and wellbeing of our bodies and is a major contributor to our body’s ability to heal itself.
Alkalising refers to balancing the pH (potential hydrogen) levels of the body. The ideal pH level of the human body should be around 7.35. If this pH level is reached the body will be slightly more alkaline which means it will be in the best position to heal itself and fight disease. On the other hand, if the pH levels are lower, they will be more acidic leading to a body that is a breeding ground for disease, bad bacteria and cancer cells, as a result rendering the body unable to heal itself. Most people who don’t regularly consume fruits or vegetables but often consume alcohol, coffee, soft drinks and processed foods, will be more prone to having low alkaline levels.
Good pH or alkaline levels are essential for good health.
Some health issues of a highly acidic body (low PH levels) include but are not limited to:
- weight gain
- upset stomach, poor digestion and bloating
- killing off of good bacteria in the gut – so much of our mental and physical health is linked to our gut health
- trouble sleeping
- bones are more prone to break and fracture
- teeth erosion
- low immune system
- decreases in the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients
- decreases the body’s ability to detox and discard of heavy metals
How do you know your pH levels?
You can test your pH levels yourself using standard pH strips which are available from most health food stores or on an online store like iherb. Make sure you do a urine test though as testing your saliva can be quite inaccurate.
Food that cause more acidic pH levels:
- red meat
- soy – yep soy is not good for you, it wreaks havoc on your hormones and is a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) food
- canned fruit
- dairy products
- white grains such as rice and white bread
- processed foods
- soft drinks
- artificial sweeteners
- fruit juice
The 80/20 rule for creating an optimal pH balance
If your body is quite acidic and you want to restore it to a healthy pH level try eating 80% alkaline forming foods with 20% acid forming whole foods. This recipe is the perfect combo of acid and alkaline foods.
Now let’s get into the great benefits of having high alkaline levels in the body:
- high energy levels
- high performing immune system
- less pain and inflammation within the body
- quicker recovery from injury, this is why it is so important for athletes to have healthy alkaline levels.
- glowing skin, healthy hair and nails
- slows down the aging process
- healthier teeth, bones and joints
- lower cholesterol levels
- better digestion
So what else you can do to raise the alkaline levels in your body? These are some of my tips:
- Try a cleanse or Detox – if you are feeling quite sluggish a gentile cleanse may be exactly what you need.
- Add more high alkaline foods into your diet each day. Here is a great detailed list of foods that are alkaline and acidic
- Drink chlorophyll – Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants and you can buy this in liquid form from most health food stores
- Eat your veggies, especially greens, kale, spinach, broccoli, cucumber, celery. When you are eating kale, broccoli or spinach make sure you lightly steam them first as they can be very harsh on the stomach when eaten raw
- Try adding a tablespoon of fermented vegetables to one or two meals each day. This will not only raise the pH levels in your body but fermented veggies are a great natural probiotic which equals a happy, healthy tummy
- Start adding a fresh cold pressed green juice or a green smoothie to your diet every day or every couple of days. Here is a recipe for celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie. I have this every day and usually make a huge batch every Sunday enough to last me for a week. It will last in the fridge for about 2 days and I freeze the rest and just defrost it when needed
- Drink hot water with half a lemon squeezed into it every morning – this may seem strange as lemon is an acidic fruit, however, once it enters the body it helps to balance the bodies pH levels and helps set up your digestion for the day
- Try and drink around 2L of filtered water a day. You can also buy alkaline water or purchase an alkaline water filter which will help raise your pH levels even more. There are some great affordable alkaline water brands that you can usually find at your local health food or fruit shop. Putting some pink Himalayan salt and lemon in your water will help with raise the alkaline levels as well
- Limit your sugar intake. There are many great tasting, healthy recipe alternatives to your favourite sugary treats out there that use natural sweeteners or a little bit of fruit to sweeten it. I have quite a few recipes like this on my blog.
- Reduce stress by doing yoga, deep breathing or meditation as stress can cause the body’s acid levels to rise.
This may seem like a lot to take in and a lot to do all at once but try not to stress too much about it (don’t want to get your acidic levels rising) just try implementing one or two of these tips to start with and you will still notice an improvement in your health. The most important thing is to make sure you are adding fresh vegetables into your diet everyday and eating food closest to its natural form.
We’ve all hod those days where we’ve run out of our favourite cleanser and can’t remove those layers of makeup or have a huge pimple and no pimple cream. Well now instead of having a major beauty breakdown you can just head to the kitchen and whip up a little something to feed your face with.
Chamomile tea bags: We all have those mornings where we wake up after a few too many wines and our eyes are dark and puffy. The good news is you can fix this by simply putting some used chamomile tea bags in the fridge for an hour then cover your eye are for 5-20 minutes with them. Then you’ll look refreshed and ready to face the day.
Banana: Not only is this fruit good for you to eat it also makes a great face mask! Bananas are very soothing and help add moisture to your skin, just mash up a banana and put it on your skin for 10-15 minutes then wash it off with warm water.
Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds make a great exfoliater, they help get rid of stretch marks and smooth out your skin. Just mix a handful of coffee grounds with coconut or olive oil and scrub it over your problem areas when in the shower, wash it off and then you’ll instantly silky smooth skin.
Avocado: If you have an over ripe avocado sitting in your kitchen, don’t throw it out just mash it up and put it through your hair and on your face leave for 20 minutes then wash it off. The healthy oils and fats in the avocado will make your skin and hair super soft and healthy.
Milk: If your skin is feeling tired and dull splash some cold milk on it and leave to sit for 5 minutes, then wash off and your skin will feel instantly fresh and awake.
Garlic: Throw away that Clearasil, all you need is a clove of garlic to zap and unwanted zit. When you feel a pimple coming up just cut some garlic in half and dap it on the problem areas before bed then it should be gone by the morning.
Egg Whites: Egg whites are great for firming your skin and fighting the signs of aging. Just take some egg white and rub it over your face, leave to sit for 10-20 minutes then wash it off with warm water.
Apple Cider Vinegar or Apple Juice: You can use either of these as a toner to help balance the PH levels of your skin and restore its natural moisture. Just put some of the juice or vinegar on a cotton ball and whip it over your face then follow with your usual moisturiser.
Grapefruit: The hydroxyl acids in grapefruit acts as a natural exfoliate. If you have any rough patches on your skin like your elbows or feet just cut a grapefruit in half and sit the area of skin in the grapefruit for at least 5 minutes.
Green Tea: Green tea has antimicrobial properties that help fight the bacteria that cause acne. You can either use some cooled green tea as a face wash or toner. Or place a cold used tea bag on the problem areas on your face for 5-10 minutes.
The smoothie is one of the easiest and most nutritious meals you can make if you use the right ingredients!
Turmeric is one of the healthiest spices you can have due to it’s huge range of health benefits. One of the main health benefits is that it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. Consuming turmeric each day will help your body fight off disease and also help your body repair and ease any inflammation like period pain.
So we have created this berry turmeric smoothie recipe that is just as tasty as it is healthy!
1.5 cups coconut water
1 cup frozen strawberries
¼ pomegranate seeds
small handful of walnuts
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp tahini
extra pomegranate seeds and walnuts
Wiz all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a cup, drizzle with tahini and add other toppings. Enjoy!
Did you know that the parts of your fruit and veges that you may consider to be scraps actually have a range of uses and health benefits? Read on to see how you can get the most out of your fruit and veges before you throw them in your compost.
Rub onto insect bites to relieve itching. It can also be used to shine shoes by simply rubbing the banana peel on the shoe. You can dry the banana peel and use it to make a tea.
Orange and lemon rind:
Dry the rinds and add to tea or use to add to sweet recipes such as almond and orange cake.
Simmer the cobs with onions and carrots to make a simple stock.
Carrot tops and greens:
You can also use these to make a vegetable stock along with other vegetable scraps by brewing them in some boiling water. The greens have a similar taste to coriander and can be used as a herb.
You know those white threads that cover the corn? Well you can actually use them to brew a tea which will help detoxify your kidneys and ease bladder problems.
These are similar in taste to coriander and can be used as an herb to add flavor to many dishes.
If you buy the cauliflower with the leaves intact you can actually cook with them as they are similar to cabbage.
This can be pickled and stored it in a jar to use as a condiment. You can also make a curry with it, there are some great recipes on google.
Pawpaw or papaya skin:
Rub the skin on the bottoms of your feet to help soften skin and soothe cracked heels.
Watermelon and pumpkin seeds:
Roast them in the oven and sprinkle with pink Himalayan salt for a nice salty snack.
Broccoli and cauliflower stalks:
These are just as edible as the top parts so chop them up and add them in with your meal as well.
These are considered a delicacy in some countries when cooked. Try adding them to your stir-fry.
I have yet to try this but I’ve read that if you cook fish or meat on a bed of fennel stalks it adds a nice flavour.
Swiss chard stems:
You can chop these up and stir fry them with some onion and garlic.
This actually has a lot more flavor than the coriander leaves and can be added to curries, soups and stir fries.
You can use these as seedling pots to grow herbs.
Have you ever wondered how some of the world’s top super models keep their skin in top shape? Well wonder no more, we’ve found some of their top secrets that you can try too!
Image MirandaKerr Instagram
Miranda has raved about the benefits of Noni Juice for years and attributes her glowing skin to drinking it every day. Noni is a berry and the juice can be bough online here.
Image angelcandices Instagram
The blonde bombshell told HarperzBazzar.com “My skin is so sensitive so I use mostly natural products. Less is more in my opinion. I use coconut oil for my body and tea tree oil and green tea face wash.”
Image GigiHadid Instagram
This beach babe is known for her dewy clear skin, so what’s her secret? When interviewed by elle.com she said “My mom always taught me to put toothpaste on pimples to dry them out at night. I do that all the time. I don’t use anything fancy when I get a pimple.”
Image ellemacphersonofficial Instagram
‘The Body’ told RedbookMagazine.com the secret to her youthful skin “I exfoliate my face every day and my body twice a day—I shower in the morning and the evening. I use a body brush, which boosts circulation, and I always moisturize afterward. If I’m at the beach, I’ll just blend some moisturizer with sand and rub the mix all over my body, then rinse off in the ocean.”
Rosie Huntington- Whiteley
Image rosiehw Instagram
The British babe told popsugar.com.au “James (her Personal trainer) has taught me that looking your best comes from having good health. Health reflects in your skin, body and hair and gives you a natural glow,”
Image adrianalima Instagram
The Victoria’s secret beauty told elle.com “I drink at least one coconut water a day—it gives you that healthy, glowing skin. Juices with native fruits like acai and acerola are also amazing.”