One apple a day can keep…the dentist away! Apple is an alkaline forming food. The typical Western/American diet is acid forming. Americans aiming for better health need to eat more alkaline forming foods. So what are alkaline and acid forming foods? I will get to it but first let’s understand about pH. A neutral pH is 7.0 anything below it is acidic and anything above it is considered alkaline.
Different parts of our bodies have different pH ranges. The pH of the stomach is acidic because of its digestive acids, which will breakdown food particles and digest them, while the pH of blood is slight alkaline at 7.35. Any shift in the blood pH and the body will use its mechanisms to bring it back into balance.
Dr. Gross, the director at Holistic Dentists at Tribeca is known as a pioneer in alternative and integrative dentistry. He focuses on providing dental care that is beneficial to overall health. Observing his patients dental health and using the saliva test strips at his office, he has noticed that overall his patients tend to have acidic saliva. The saliva closely parallels the blood when it comes to pH, normal blood pH is 7.35 and normal saliva pH ranges from 6.5 to 7.0. Acid forming foods such as refined sugar and white flour, alcohol, red meat among others and some lifestyle practices like stress, negativity, tobacco and excessive medication can make our saliva and body slightly acidic. With that in mind Dr. Gross invited me to become part of his integrated practice to provide counseling on how to heal and prevent cavities with nutrition. I also provide nutrition counseling on periodontal disease, heavy metal detox, and alkaline forming diet.
One of the amazing things our bodies are capable of doing is to bring our blood pH back into balance at all costs. Here is how it does it: When you eat or drink an acid forming food or beverage the body needs to neutralize it and bring its blood pH back to normal range, so it asks for help from other body systems. Teeth and bones are made of minerals that are alkaline like calcium and magnesium. When your blood is slightly acidic the body will leach out these important minerals from your teeth and bones back to the blood stream to balance the blood pH. It is a great mechanism so there is not a drastic drop in the blood pH, which can lead to coma and death. However over time this can cause teeth and bones to become weaker and tooth decay and osteoporosis to set in. When your body has been dealing with this scenario for too long it will also be slightly acidic, a perfect environment for cancer cells to grow and thrive.
Americans aiming for better dental and overall health need to eat more alkaline forming foods, which also provides more tooth forming minerals. If your blood is too alkaline it is also out of balance and other illness can arise. The key here is to keep it in balance. So what are alkaline and acid forming foods? Alkaline forming food is a food item that can be acidic in nature such as lime but it turns to be alkaline after digestion. On the other hand an acid forming food is a food item that can be alkaline in nature but it turns to be acidic after digestion, such as red meat.
If you suffer from any of the symptoms below your body could be slightly acidic.
- Constant fatigue
- Frequent sighing
- Constant acidic saliva
- Easily running out of breath
- Often feeling like you cannot get enough air
- Muscle pain or cramping after walking short distances
You can also test the pH of your saliva using pH test strips. Normal saliva pH ranges from 6.5 to 7.0. Foods that were recently eaten can interfere with pH readings so test one hour before or two hours after eating. Do not wash your mouth with anything else as this will simply record the alkalinity of the water or liquid you have just used. If your saliva pH is consistently at 6.5 or below, your body could be slightly acidic. If it consistently reads above 7.0, it could be slightly alkaline.
In order to correct a slightly acidic body, aim for a healthy diet of 75% of alkaline forming foods and 25% of acid forming foods! Follow the list provided. Keep it in mind that stress, negativity and tobacco increases acidity. On the other hand, physical activity, breathing exercise, meditation and positive thinking can bring your body pH back into balance!
Holistic Dentists has a less invasive, more holistic and integrated approach to treat your dental issues. Its dentistry uses mercury and BPA free procedures and integrates other disciplines, such as cranio-sacral therapy and nutrition. If you are due for a cleaning or you have another dental issue, Holistic Dentists is the place to take care of you. The well trained dentists, the nice ambience and the super friendly staff will make you forget, you are on a dentist office!
Holistic Dentists is located at 17 Park Place in Tribeca