Editor's Note: This week I'm thrilled to feature the very first recipe I've ever posted on this site. And no it is not for beer, brats, or beer battered brats. Instead it is for a yummy smoothie that has no beer, brats, or breading what-so-ever in it.
The smoothie recipe and the article below is brought to you by Liz Stein (our holistic nutrition partner). Liz is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor. Please visit her web site www.appetiteforhelthyliving.com for some great nutritional programs for triathletes.
Just as our bodies try to maintain an average temperature of 98.6, our bodies also try to maintain a neutral pH. pH is measured on a scale ranging from 1 to 14, with a good neutral pH at 7.35. The Standard American Diet (refined sugars, white flour, excess protein, etc) combined with high intensity exercise leaves our bodies in an acidic state. It is not possible to be truly healthy when the body is acidic.
In the short term, an acidic environment will lead to weight gain, stress, bad sleeping patterns, fatigue, muscle cramping and more. While long term acidity can lead to serious illness and disease. Cancer for example can only thrive in an acidic environment. If the body is alkaline it will not survive.
pH has also been shown to play a role in bone health. Studies show that it is not a lack of calcium that leads to osteoporosis and deteriorating bones but rather acid forming foods. When we are constantly consuming acidic foods the body must pull from our own reserves to try and neutralize the blood. It does so by pulling the mineral calcium (the most alkaline mineral) from the bones. Therefore, athletes need to pay the most attention to the acid/alkaline balance. With constant strenuous activity building acid in the body plus the need of strong bones for daily activity, its particularity important to try and maintain a neutral pH.
In order to maintain a neutral pH try to incorporate more alkaline foods such as whole grains, greens, fruits and nuts and less acid producing foods (see chart below). Chlorophyll rich foods in particular have a significant effect on raising pH levels. These greens not only cleanse the body by removing toxins but also improve the oxygen transport in the body (a key function for peak performance). Here is a great smoothie recipe to incorporate in your daily routine that will boost your alkaline levels and taste great too. Don’t be turned off by the green color!!
Blend all ingredients together in blender. Makes about 2 servings