The complexion we all crave starts from the inside out!
The pH of our bodies plays a huge factor on our internal workings, and affects our bodes largest organ – our skin. The pH scale measures from 0-14, 0 being the most acidic and 14 the most alkaline. Ideal pH for the human body is almost in the middle, leaning more towards the alkaline side being in the range of 7.3 -7.5. Many factors, such a diet and lifestyle habits affect our pH level. An acidic environment is a breeding ground for disease and bacteria, while a neutral to slightly alkaline environment is resistant to bacteria. For example, when the body is alkaline your risk of catching a cold from the person who sneezes on you on the subway drastically decreases. When your body has an acidic pH, your body is vulnerable to bacteria, disease and premature aging.
So how can we improve our pH to a neutral/alkaline level? The first step is cutting out acid-contributing food and beverages! Limit alcohol, processed sugars, artificial sugar substitutes, refined white flours, animal products (especially dairy) -all of these foods are gluten and acid-forming. Another tip? Eat your leafy dark greens just like your mom used to tell you;) Green vegetables are especially alkaline to not only balance your pH but also to create the optimal environment for bright, radiant skin. A good rule of thumb for fruit is the brighter the colour, the more antioxidant and alkaline packed they are.
Another external factor that lower our pH levels is a lack of sleep -its easily accessible to everyone and doesn’t cost a dime! Often underestimated, getting proper sleep creates an environment for your body to focus on cell regeneration. The popularized term “beauty sleep” could not be more true. A restful nights sleep can often elude us – but before heading to your doctors office for a prescription there are many plant-based supplements which can help coax us into a restful nights sleep.
Magnesium is an extraordinary mineral which most of us do not get enough of. Magnesium can help ease away tension and stress at bedtime as well as hugely improve bouts of restless leg syndrome. As it so happens, magnesium is also one of the most highly alkaline minerals in the body. Not sure if you’re getting enough? A simple way to tell is by checking the tops of your fingernails. Often times ridges in the fingernails are a sign of a magnesium deficiency. There are countless wonderful sources of magnesium as well including the afore mentioned leafy greens such as spinach, kale and bok choy, soy beans (order a helping of edamame and your body will thank you!) avocados, whole grains (such as brown rice), bananas -however your best bet is to sneak them in while snacking on nuts and seeds -especially pumpkin seeds (pepitas, which are also excellent sources of iron for all of us vegetarians who are prone to being anemic) followed by sesame seeds, brazil nuts, almonds and cashews.
Making positive minor changes in everyday life can reap huge rewards in our overall well-being not only in how we feel but how we look. So do yourself some good and visit the produce aisle to help balance out your pH before getting a restful nights sleep -your skin will thank you for it!