Suffering with Chronic Inflammation? Try These Top 5 Foods for Balancing Acidity
Acidity, or an abnormal pH blood level, cannot be seen; however, it is one of the most dangerous conditions known to the human body. As the main cause of chronic inflammation, acidity almost always leads to some type of disease, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, as well as symptoms such as headaches, coughing, fatigue, depression, insomnia, and frequent colds.
Luckily, acidity can be balanced through diet and healthy lifestyle choices. For example, highly processed food and sugar contributes to acidity while the antioxidants in alkaline foods, such as fruits and vegetables, combat it. The following is a list of the top five foods for balancing acidity and disease prevention.
Toxins do not only come from food. They can be found in the air we breathe, electromagnetic toxicity, clothing, cookware, cleaning products, and pesticides. Avocados are one of the world’s richest sources of glutathione, a potent antioxidant that can detoxify environmental pollutants.
Glutathione deficiency contributes to oxidative stress, which plays a key role in aging and the pathogenesis of many diseases, including kwashiorkor, seizure, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, liver disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, HIV, AIDS, cancer, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes (Wu et al, 2004).
Glutathione has been associated with individuals who are in excellent health. A recent study tested 87 white women who ranged in age from 60-103 years who reported they felt healthy. These women were given physical examinations, clinical chemistry profiles, psychosocial assessments, and glutathione blood levels. The evaluation was performed in three waves over a five year period. The findings were compared to the results of individuals with normal national data. The results verified that these healthy women were in top physical and mental health. The study also found that the women had high levels of glutathione in their blood (Lang et al, 2002).
Dietary inorganic nitrate is present in numerous green leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, celery, and broccoli, but is especially abundant in beets. Recent studies have revealed that nitrate consumption in the form of beet root juice can significantly elevate plasma nitrite levels that influence blood pressure and exercise tolerance (Kolluru & Kevil, 2012).
Beets also contain bioactive agents, including betaine and polyphenols, which help to protect the liver, an essential organ for detoxing the body and restoring proper pH levels.
Blackberries are high in gallic acid, rutin and ellagic acid, a known chemopreventative, with anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. They are also notable for their high nutritional contents of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and the essential mineral manganese. In fact, British folk medicine uses blackberries to treat a number of health issues, including dysentery, colitis, labor pain, and toothaches.
Additionally, blackberries may have positive effects on brain health. A recent animal study using approximately 344 19-month old rats that were fed a diet of 2 percent blackberries were found to have improved motor skills on three tasks that rely on balance and coordination: the accelerating rotarod, wire suspension, and the small plant walk. Blackberry-fed rats also had significantly greater working, or short-term, memory performance than the control rats.
Spirulina may be one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It has a unique blend of nutrients that no single source can offer, including a wide spectrum of prophylactic and therapeutic nutrients that include B-complex vitamins, minerals, proteins, gamma-linolenic acid and the super anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin E, trace elements, as well as a number of unexplored bioactive compounds (Kulshreshtha et al, 2008).
Spirulina is able to stimulate the whole human physiology by exhibiting therapeutic functions such as antioxidant, anti-bacterial, antiviral, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, Anti-allergic and anti-diabetic. It also appears to promote the growth of intestinal micro flora as well.
Recent studies have shown that spirulina also significantly increases exercise performance, fat oxidation, and glutathione concentration.
Pineapple contains bromelain, a mixture of proteolytic enzymes typically derived from pineapple stem, which decreases production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and leukocyte homing to sites of inflammation (Hale et al, 2011). Be sure to eat pineapple as a whole fruit, or drink fresh pineapple juice, as the anti-inflammatory components of pineapple are heat-sensitive. Fresh pineapple juice can also remove cell surface molecules known to affect leukocyte migration and function. Bromelain may also be effective in eliminating physical symptoms and improving general well-being in otherwise healthy adults suffering from mild knee pain. Therefore, pineapple may be effective in treating joint pain associated with acidity.
Hale, L., Chichlowski, M., Trinh, C., & Greer, P. (2011). Dietary supplementation with fresh pineapple juice decreases inflammation and colonic neoplasia in IL-10-deficient mice with colitis. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 2012-2021.
Kolluru, G., & Kevil, C. (2012). Beets, Bacteria, and Blood Flow: A Lesson of Three Bs. Circulation, 1939-1940.
Kulshreshtha, A., J., A., Jarouliya, U., Bhadauriya, P., Prasad, G., & Bisen, P. (2008). Spirulina in Health Care Management. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 400-405.
Lang, C., Mills, B., Lang, H., Liu, M., Usui, W., Richie, J., ... Murrell, S. (2002). High blood glutathione levels accompany excellent physical and mental health in women ages 60 to 103 years. Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, 413-417.
Verma, R., Gangrade, T., Punasiya, R., & Ghulaxe, C. (2014). Rubus fruticosus (blackberry) use as an herbal medicine. Medknow Publications, 101-104.
Wu, G., Fang, Y., Yang, S., Lupton, J., & Turner, N. (2004). Glutathione metabolism and its implications for health. 489-492.