Hello, Health

7 New Year tips to treat acidity and lose weight

Forget resolutions, get your body's pH back in order.

 |  Hello, Health  |  4-minute read |   01-01-2016
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Agreed, beginning of a New Year is the right time to make new fitness goals… So by all means go ahead and make resolutions like "I will give up sweets and soon become as thin as I was a decade back…" or pronounce promises like "I will definitely run a marathon this year…" like you do year after year, every January.

But before you do any of that, I want you to work at putting the pH of your gut back in order. Because unless you do that first, none of your other fitness resolutions will actually work out.

Let me explain.

Our body has a delicate pH balance - it runs from 0 to 14; neutral being a pH of 7. The higher the pH level (higher than 7), the more alkaline the body is, while lower pH (from 7) signals an acidic system. Alkaline pH is when our body works efficiently and an acidic body only leads to toxic systems, lowered immunity, foggy brain, malfunctioning digestion (shows up as symptoms like heartburn, acidity, water retention and more) a tendency to gain weight (yes, a lot of that weight your scale is showing extra these days could possibly be because of your acidic gut!), and sometimes some serious issues like severe insomnia, kidney damage, and blood sugar imbalance too.

The splurge!

When we go all out and binge, like we all usually do during the festive fag end of the year, every year, then our overwhelmed body ends up producing too much acid (in an attempt to get rid of all that junk we put in), and the pH of the gut gets messed up.

And in this milieu - that is an overly acidic body struggling even to do the every day chores, when we add the stress of a couple of new "get fit" New Year resolutions that's a surefire recipe for failure. So instead of making tall plans, first concentrate, all of January to get the body's pH back in order.

Some tips

1. Start your day early with warm lemon water, ideally first thing in the morning. Lemons have an alkalising effect on the body, despite being acidic in nature. Once they enter the body, they help neutralise toxins, excrete wastes, and jump start the entire digestive process. Plus they are a naturally cleansing food which works on multiple levels: the antioxidants they provide (Vitamin C particularly) help the liver produce more enzymes which helps speed up the cleansing in the body and as they are high in electrolytes they also help prevent dehydration of the body cells.

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2. Have chlorophyll-rich spirulina and barley grass as these help correct the alkalinity and also boost the metabolism and immune system.

barley-grass_010116053351.jpg Barley grass.

3. Have amla powder (1tsp) diluted in water once a day.

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4. Make friends with root vegetables: potato, radishes (red or white), beets, carrots, turnips are all good.

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5. Load up on all leafy greens (spinach particularly), and have cucumber, bittergourd and eggplant more often, as all these are excellent alkalising vegetables.

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6. Apple, banana, berries, grapes, watermelon, orange, peach and pear are alkalising too.

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7. Include more fermented and probiotic foods in your diet.

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Also avoid

1. Canned and junk foods, artificially ripened (cold storage) fruits and vegetables (for example cold storage potatoes tend to be acidic); stick to fresh (as far as possible) and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

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2. Too many spices and aerated drinks (their ph is 3.4 - highly acidic). Avoid having cold drinks with or after meals particularly. Our body needs an optimum temperature of 37 degrees celsius for digestive enzyme functioning. Low temperature dilutes the enzymes, stresses the digestive system and prevents the food eaten from getting digested properly - and may thus lead to production of gas and acidity.

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3. Avoid too many cups of tea and coffee. Quit smoking. Nicotine and caffeine are both pump up acidity; go for coconut water instead.

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Finally, stress and lack of exercise also lead to an alkaline body, counter these consciously. Basically, when you move (exercise) you fill in fresh oxygen in the body and that helps offload the acids from the body.

Need more convincing?

New research says that an alkaline diet helps build muscle mass too, so that's another way to keep those unwanted pounds and inches off.

So remember, first set your gut back in order and then make other big resolutions.

Writer

Kavita Devgan Kavita Devgan @kavitadevgan

The writer is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).

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