by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
Author, Eating for Energy
Have you ever noticed that most people tend to get sick right around Christmas and New Year’s? Why is that? And what can you do to prevent feeling under the weather and instead in full spirits this holiday season?
Well, it all comes down to what’s going on inside your body.
Each of us is at war and we don't even know it! The private war we each wage is a daily assault on our body by acid-forming foods such as alcohol, animal products, and refined sugars, as well as by bacteria, virus, fungus, yeasts, and molds. We have entered what might be referred to as critical mass when it comes to this onslaught being waged against us by stronger and stronger killer bugs and poor food choices.
Our immune systems are becoming weaker and over-taxed in this war. Even the medical profession's first line of defense (the antibiotic) is becoming less and less effective against resistant new strains being created daily as the bacteria mutate. Since Louis Pasteur discovered the germ theory of disease stating that germs are the cause of disease, time has corrected him. Even Dr. Pasteur himself noted in his dying words: "The germ is nothing, the environment is everything."
The environment referred to in Dr. Pasteur's statement is known as our biological terrain and comprises the body's digestive tract, lymph system, blood, urinary tract, and interstitial fluids. Our body is alkaline by design and acid by function – meaning that it produces acid as a function of metabolism. Maintaining proper alkalinity (by way of an alkaline diet) is essential for life, health, and vitality.
Under normal conditions, the millions (even billions) of microorganisms that reside within the body are generally not dangerous. However, an imbalance of alkalinity creates a condition whereby these pests can become pathogenic and promote the growth of bacteria, yeast and other unwanted organisms – ultimately leading to sickness.
All leading biochemists and medical physiologists have recognized pH (or the acid-alkaline balance) as the most important aspect of a balanced and healthy body. They have long known that the maintenance of an alkaline pH in the tissues and cells is critical to our health. Dr. Linus Pauling, 2-time Nobel Prize recipient, was the first to show that cancer cells cannot grow in alkaline environments!
Unfortunately, for most people, current lifestyle habits have created highly acidic bodies. Take for instance, the holiday season which is characterized by an overindulgence of all types of foods and drinks. Most people have experienced the feeling of absolute exhaustion upon finishing a big turkey dinner – only to somehow find room for dessert. These choices produce high amounts of acid in the body and create an environment which favors the proliferation of microorganisms!
As a defense, the body goes to great lengths to neutralize and detoxify these acids before they act as poisons in and around the cell. Most people and clinical practitioners believe the immune system is the body's first line of defense, but in actuality it is not. It is very important, but more like a very sophisticated clean-up service. The biological terrain (pH balance) is truly the first and major line of defense against sickness and disease and for optimal health and vitality. Like stress, an acidic body depresses the immune system and reduces white blood cell activity, making it more likely for us to get sick.
So how can you make your body more alkaline to stay healthy and energetic this holiday season? Here are a few simple steps you can take immediately:
1. Eat and drink more greens – green vegetables are the greatest source of alkalinity for the body. They are pure energy and give your body tremendous amounts of vital nutrients.
2. Limit your alcohol consumption – I know this might be tough but alcohol is a huge contributor of acid in the body. Have fun over the holiday but let’s keep things in perspective.
3. Start your day with a glass of freshly squeezed lemon water – lemon, although acid in nature, is alkaline-forming inside the body. It is also highly beneficial for cleansing your liver, the organ responsible for filtering alcohol and other toxins that circulate in the body (especially during this time of year)!
Apply these simple steps and you’ll be laughing while everyone else is coughing come the New Year!
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