High pH Alkaline Water, Does it Really Alkaline Your Body?

Healthy Free Water

Lately I have been getting many requests about the use of high alkaline water from alkaline water machines. Is it better for me, will it help heal or repair my illness etc…

There are many theories and opinions about the benefits of drinking high alkaline water, in particular 9.5 pH water. Again this is my opinion. Water is so important to our health I could write a book about the functions and health benefits of just water. So I am only going to discuss two claims regarding high pH water

The high alkaline water community promotes their devices through two basic health claims.  They claim high pH alkaline water improves your health by increasing your alkaline state and by increasing your body’s cellular oxygen level through water/oxygen clustering.

With out getting into a very long lecture in water and metabolic science, this is my opinion based on scientific facts.  Just remember, every second the body is adjusting its pH to keep us alive.

What Influences Our Bodies Alkaline State

Everything we consume, even water is broken down to the very smallest molecule possible. This allows the body to repackage these molecules into other things. For example, when you eat protein from an animal or a vegetative food, the source doesn’t matter–the body through its incredible digestive system breaks the protein down to amino acids. These join the bodies amino acid pool which consist of amino acids from our diet and recycled proteins the bodies disassembles into amino acids again to be reused. It’s not this simple–there are many steps in between, but I think you get the picture. Our body is in a constant state of building and breaking down compounds. In our metabolism they are referred to as catabolism which is when matter is broken down to create energy and anabolism which is when the body uses energy to build materials such as building proteins from amino acids and additional compounds. It is during the catabolic process when the acid or alkaline ash is produced. During every step of the metabolic pathway the body is constantly adjusting its pH.
When you drink or eat any substance, it has a natural pH value that may be acidic, neutral, or alkaline. As soon as the food or liquid enters our stomach it empties into a pool of gastric juice, primarily hydrochloric acid and some enzymes etc. At this point the highly acidic environment now changes the pH of what was ingested into an acidic pH. Our stomach lining contains cells that monitor the pH. If it begins to become more alkaline, parietal cells, or oxyntic cells pump acid into the stomach to bring the stomachs environment to the correct pH necessary for proper digestion, so high alkaline water is totally changed by the stomach acid. Once the broken down food is ready to leave the stomach, it is squirted a little at a time into our small intestine where the small intestines sensory cells sense a very dangerous acid substance and signal the pancreas to squirt bicarbonate into the intestine to neutralize the pH once again. Alkaline water does not make our bodies more alkaline or more acidic.

Water naturally contains components some of which are good for us such as micronutrients in mineral form and other healthy microorganisms. Water may also contain heavy metals, pesticides, residues from drugs dumped into the water supply, other water soluble harmful chemical compounds and pathogens such as unhealthy bacteria, fungi and viruses.

So now we know that it is during catabolism (the burning of foods for energy) that our body’s pH is affected by the ash that is left over.  Each food based on its molecular content (compounds) leaves an acidic or alkaline ash. Depending on the totality of the pH effect of our diet our body adjusts our blood pH to a range between 7.35 and 7.45. This is highly critical and the body will do everything possible by mineral insertion to maintain it. If our diet is highly acidic, our bodies leach calcium from our bones to neutralize the effects of the acid ash. Colas are highly acidic and it is not the acidic value of the soda that causes the acid effect–it is the molecules in the compounds it is made from. Lemons and apple cider vinegar are both very acidic yet they make our bodies more alkaline. Our bodies get rid of excess acid through cellular respiration where the acid is converted into CO2 (carbon dioxide). The principal buffer is bicarbonate which is continually generated as glucose, which is the body’s immediate cellular energy source and calcium which is balanced in our body by magnesium and parathyroid hormone (PTH).  This is the primary route of elimination of acids from the body, although the kidneys play a secondary role.

The body has a phenomenal filtration system but it is okay to give it some help through simple filters like Brita and Pur. They filter out contaminants, but leave other healthy compounds. Eat often from Mother Nature’s Garden of Life. Plant foods when consumed in variety, provide a diet that is about 80% alkaline and 20% acidic. It is considered by many health experts to be the perfect alkaline to acid ratio for optimal health.

The best way to alkaline your body is to eat a diet rich in plant foods, drink plenty of free, filtered natural water, remove animal foods and refined and processed foods from your diet. They create an acidic ash in the body when metabolized and put joy, happiness and relaxation in your life.

What Increases Our Cellular Oxygen Levels
High alkaline water is also promoted as a way to increase oxygen into our cells. Very simply the only ways to increase oxygen in our cells is through our lungs and our skin. Red blood cells carry oxygen to each cell. When we are fit, we increase our body’s oxygen-carrying capability by making more red blood cells and by improving their oxygen-carrying capability.  The layers of our skin are permeable thus allowing oxygen to penetrate and oxygenate the cells in the upper skin layers. The oxygen content in intercellular (outside of the cell) fluid or intracellular (inside the cell) fluid is regulated by the body’s hormones, enzymes, vitamins and mineral status–not the water.

Before you say “but Wally there are so many testimonials about health improvements with alkaline water”; in the beginning of this article I said many health improvements can happen from water consumption when it’s adequate amounts of water. More than 80% of the population is in some state of dehydration. Most people buying these machine increase their water consumption greatly because they are so excited about the new machine and possible health improvements. The health improvements are from the increase in water not its high alkalinity.

Your best bet is to drink purified water that has no contaminates but retains its healthy benefits. If you do use the alkaline/acid water machines I would not drink any water with a pH higher than 7.5

In short I don’t recommend high pH waters from a machine. Save your money.

Many Blessings
Wally Bishop C.N.C.

Do You Want to Improve Your Bone Health?

Are you getting the nutrients you need to build healthy bones? We are encouraged via television and magazine adds to get more calcium by consuming more milk, yogurt and cheese (goat or sheep products are better for you) to build healthy bones. It takes a lot more than calcium to build healthy bones. Let’s not forget that greens such as, broccoli, chard, watercress and spinach and beans, nuts, seeds and grains are also great sources of calcium and other nutrients that are important for bone health.

Recent studies put into doubt that dairy products help protect our bones from calcium loss, in fact dairy foods may be a contributing factor in bone loss. A little shocking isn’t it?  Excessive calcium intake can cause milk alkali syndrome. There is a lot of supporting scientific evidence on theses issues.

Let's make Healthy Bones
Let's Make Healthy Bones

If you want to improve your bone health and increase your bone density, make sure your diet and lifestyle include the following;

  • Exercise on a regular basis particularly weight-bearing exercises
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid soft drinks
  • Reduce your sodium intake,  sodium leaches calcium from bones
  • Limit your intake of animal proteins, they can promote bone loss.
  • Make sure your daily intake of the following minerals and vitamins at least meet your RDI. It is always best to get your nutrients from food sources first and supplements  second.
  • Calcium- 1300 mg’s to 2000 mg’s
  • Magnesium- 650 mg’s  (no more than 350 mg’s from supplements)
  • Boron  10 to 20 mg’s
  • Strontium- (strontium citrate has the highest absorption rate) 680 mg’s
  • Zinc- 11 mg’s to 40 mg’s ( if you take zinc supplements makes sure it includes copper )
  • Vitamin A- 700 to 900 mcg’s (only take vitamin A supplements under a health care providers supervision), vitamin A obtained from foods are much safer than supplements. A medium (2 inches by 5 inches) baked sweet potato has 262% of your daily vitamin A requirements; 1 cup of carrots has 686 %
  • Vitamin C- 90 mg’s to 2000 mg’s-  found in abundance in many fruits and vegetables
  • Vitamin D3- 10 mcg’s to 50 mcg’s,  sunshine is your best source
  • Vitamin K- 120 mcg’s,  is found  in abundance in leafy greens

It seems one of the really important links in bone health that is over looked is the mineral strontium.  Strontium is like calcium in structure however it is a denser and heavier mineral and acts much like calcium in our bones. Another critical and often overlooked mineral is magnesium. Most Americans are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is critical in calcium absorption. Magnesium keeps calcium from being deposited into soft tissues causing damage to organs such as the heart and kidneys. The proper intake ration is 2 to 1 calcium to magnesium intake. For example, a 1300 mg total calcium intake from all foods and supplements and 650mg’s in magnesium intake from all foods and supplements daily.

It is best to get these nutrients as they occur in foods.  Many foods today are fortified with calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin D.  Over consumption of calcium and Vitamin A from supplements can cause serious health consequences. Calcium is of particular concern because it is the primary ingredient in anti-acids and is heavily fortified in many processed foods. The excessive intake of calcium can cause magnesium deficiency and milk alkali syndrome.

Include a wide variety of foods in your diet, particularly foods from vegetative sources for optimal health.

The information contained in this document is for informational purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Product statements made have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never quit taking medications unless directed to do so by your doctor. Always consult with your Doctor before making any changes to your health regimen especially if you have health-related problems or conditions.

Healthy Wishes

Wally’s Daily Dose

Why Are We So Unhealthy, Overweight and Obese in America?

Why do you think we have such a high prevalence of poor health and obesity in America?  I really need your feed back.  Your voice will help frame a proposal to our  legislature to make nutrition education mandatory in our schools and available to individuals and parents through community, business and church workshops.  We must make creating health and the prevention of disease and illness a priority.  It will cost much less to teach prevention than to provide health care and disease management. It will reduce the cost of health care for individuals, families, taxpayers and Corporate America.

America 's Obesity Epidemic
Obesity is Squeezing America

In the coming months we will kickoff  a campaign “Conquering Obesity” that will bring our collective voice to the public and state and federal government agencies.   If you have a passion for health and would like to volunteer, we could certainly use your support. Unless we can bring a change to our American way of life, our children being born today will begin to develop disease and illness earlier than ever before.  Please read the information below. I hope you will take part and help make Americans healthier than ever.

You can leave your comments below , email your thoughts or select your answer in my poll at http://www.conqueringobesity.net/health-survey–why-are-we-unhealthy-.html ,  feel free to select more than one answer if you think it applies, however please be serious when participating in this poll. The website is still under development.

It is our goal that families begin to understand the need for a shift to a healthy lifestyle so they and their children can enjoy a long healthy life.  To bring about the change we are working to educate and motivate individuals, families, churches and businesses on the consequences of the current health trends and the benefits of a shift to healthier lifestyle.

According to statics from http://www.americashealthrankings.org,  in 2009 the southern states and in-particular the southeastern states made up the cellar in health rankings across all states. In fact 7 of the 10 unhealthiest,  positions 40 to 50,  make up what I would consider southeastern states.  You can view the individual state rankings here.   In addition the same health monitoring organization predicts the prevalence of obesity in the United States is estimated to increase from the current level of 31.30% obese to 42.80% obese in 2018.  I am sure you can imagine where the rates of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers  are headed.  All of these negative health conditions are preventable, even if you have a genetic history for them. Lifestyle behavior will trump genetics almost 100% of the time.  Take look at some shocking health figures.

The current health trends in this country show a decrease in health and wellness across a broad spectrum of health categories. Our health care system is seeing increasing rates of serious adult diseases and health conditions occurring in America’s youth. We have children under twelve years of age developing high cholesterol, type II diabetes and hypertension. In fact the American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated their policy to recommend that children between the ages of two and ten are screened for high cholesterol if they or their family members are overweight or have experienced high lipid profiles. This has to stop.

Young adults are developing degenerative disease earlier than ever. America’s adults, in general have higher rates of heart and cardiovascular disease than most industrialized nations. Obesity is growing and diabetes is now reaching epidemic rates.

This demands and calls for an urgent paradigm shift in our culture. We must become active in our lifestyle and involved in the process of managing dietary needs for ourselves and our families.  If your heritage is from the African-American or Hispanic culture you should be alarmed, the rates of obesity and it’s related diseases and illnesses are even higher for you.

We must change how we live. It has to start today. Every mother and father should make sure you are feeding your children healthy foods and providing  them the opportunity for an active lifestyle.  Please join us in our efforts to change the landscape of America’s health. Every journey begins with one step. Please take yours today and lets walk together on the journey to a healthy and vibrant life.

Wally’s Daily Dose

The Unhealthiest 14 States

Florida 36
North Carolina 37
Missouri 38
Texas 39
Arkansas 40
Kentucky 41
West Virginia 42
Georgia 43
Tennessee 44
Nevada 45
South Carolina 46
Louisiana 47
Alabama 48
Oklahoma 49
Mississippi 50

Nutrition Shootout! A Healthy Fast Food Sandwich Vs A Homemade Mushroom Cheese Burger

Just for a little fun and to make a point about the nutritional value of preparing your own food, I wanted to compare one of  Wendy’s’  healthiest  fast food sandwiches, Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich to a homemade Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger (no meat). For those of you that prefer meat, don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe, it is very filling and has great flavor.

Both competitors have a single slice of cheese, mayo is on the Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Smart Balance Lite Butter spread on the Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger.  I used spinach on the Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger while the Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich uses lettuce. Their menu doesn’t specify the type, so I used iceberg and romaine in my calculations for Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich.

As far as fast food goes, Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich is a good choice if you order it with just the bun, grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato,  mayo, mustard and a slice of cheese.  I wish they offered it with a whole grain bun.  I hope the President of Wendy’s reads this suggestion. You can shave extra calories and fat off of both sandwiches if you leave off the cheese. As with any fast food choice, avoid the sauces and dressings, they add extra calories, sugar, cholesterol, sodium, saturated fat and in some cases trans fat to your meal.   They also contain preservatives that can damage your health if over consumed.  I have a few clients that eat fast food two and three times per day.  I would not recommend eating at any fast food establishment that often, if at all. You can access all of Wendy’s nutritional data and food ingredients at this website.

At the weigh in, the homemade Portobello mushroom cheeseburger weighs in at 352 grams and 365 calories while the Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich weighs in at 260 grams and 440 calories. It looks like the Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger  is a little heavy,  yet has fewer calories, less fat, less cholesterol, taste great and gives you more nutrition per calorie!  When you  prepare  foods at home you can use more nutritious ingredients, avoid health damaging preservatives and cooking at home is less expensive.

In this comparison, I used Wendy’s published nutritional data in every nutritional category they provided. I compiled the additional nutritional data for both foods using ESHA Nutritional Data Software, a leader in nutrition data collection.

In the graph below the RED is the Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger, and the Blue is Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich. For the complete nutritional data for each food, click here.  If there are other comparisons you would like to see, just let me know. My next blog is on fast food salads, you are going to be shocked!!

Wendy's Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich-vs-Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger
Wendy's Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich-vs-Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburger

Do You Know Your Phytonutrients? You should!

Phytonutrient Rich Foods
Phytonutrient Rich Foods

Have you seen those two guys on TV in the pond filled with cranberries promoting the antioxidant power of cranberries? We all assume they must be good for us. Most people under-estimate the power of not only antioxidants, but phytonutrients in general.

The new buzz in health news is the power of a class of phytonutrients known as antioxidants. Every time I turn on the tube or check out the web,  I see adds  about phytonutrients known as antioxidants.  Did you know that antioxidants are just one type of phytonutrient?

What are Phytonutrients?

Phytonutrients are not vitamins or minerals.  Phytonutrients are certain organic components or compounds found in plants, and these components or compounds are believed  to provide protective benefits that promote human health.

There are many different types of phytonutrients such as anthocyanidins ( a type of antioxidant found in blue and purple foods), glycoproteins, polysaccharides,  ( essential sugars that protect the myelin sheath of our nerves and promote health in our digestive and immune systems),  phytosterols (heart and arterial protecting compounds) and polyphenols ( a very powerful class of antioxidants) found in a variety of foods including brans, nuts, seeds, dried spices, fruits and vegetables .

Phytonutrients may

· serve as antioxidants  ( they protect cells from free radicals that cause aging and illness)

· enhance immune response ( they help elevate our ability to produce more immune cells such as Killer Cells and antibodies)

· enhance cell-to-cell communication

· alter estrogen metabolism

· convert beta-carotene to vitamin A

· cause cancer cells to die (apoptosis)

· repair DNA damage caused by smoking and other toxic exposures

· detoxify some carcinogens

Source USDA http://www.ars.usda.gov/Aboutus/docs.htm?docid=4142#top

So what does all of this mean to you and me?

It reinforces what our grandmothers have told us for years. Eating fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds and whole grains are good for us and can offer many health benefits.

Getting your phytonutrients from foods  has a much more powerful effect than taking isolated phytonutrient or antioxidant supplements. Our bodies are designed to get nutrients from natural unprocessed foods. Antioxidants that exist together in their natural form, for example in rice bran, blueberries or spinach, have synergies that make them much more powerful than when consumed in supplement form.

Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds also provide vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fiber in addition to carbohydrates, proteins and heart healthy fats and oils.

If you are not eating at least 2 servings of fruits, 3 servings of vegetables, 4 servings of whole grains and 1 ounces of nuts and seeds daily you are robbing your body of essential nutrients required for vibrant health. The SAD (Standard American Diet) has made Americans one of the least healthy populations of all industrialized nations, yet we spend over twice the money per person on health care.

Make veggies, fruits, grains, beans, nuts and seeds a part of your daily diet.  Your body will love you for it!

Healthy Wishes

Wally’s Daily Dose