Everything we eat is either alkaline or acidic to our bodies’ pH. Getting your body in an alkaline state is key to not only weight loss, but also beautiful skin and hair, a good mood, and high energy levels!
Your body yearns to maintain an alkaline state and is always working to maintain homeostasis. Our polluted environment, stressful daily routines, and the typical American diet trigger acidity and force your body to work even harder (think meat, cheese, sugar, bread, and booze…)!
Effect of Acidity on the Human Body
If there's an excess of acidity present, your body compensates by leaching alkaline minerals from other parts of your body. Why should it matter to you? Mineral deficiency instigates weight gain, fatigue, premature aging, crappy hair/skin/nails, and muscle weakness... among other unwelcome ailments.
The best way to combat mineral deficiency? Eat an abundance of raw fruits and vegetables! Most importantly: consume at least one serving of super-alkalizing, chlorophyll-packed leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens, and swiss chard each day.
Unless you’re a koala bear, you probably don’t have the desire or the leisure time to nosh on the handfuls of leaves that will make you look and feel your best. Drinking your greens in the form of juice removes the tedium and allows you to maximize that leafy green intake… And if you don’t totally dig the taste of leaves, you can add fruit to improve upon the flavor.
Why is it so important to make sure that your raw fruit and vegetables are ripe? Did you know that raw, ripe produce is nutritionally different from its unripe counterparts? Unripe produce is acidic to your body!
A Guide for Picking Ripe Produce:
- Pineapple: If your pineapple is green, it doesn’t smell like anything, and you cannot easily pull one of the fronds out of the top... it’s not ripe.
- Avocados: Everything generally gets darker as it ripens. You want your avocado to turn black. When it’s still light-medium green on the outside, it’s not ripe. Feel your avocado. Make sure it’s a little soft. Check the color under the stem. If it’s a bright yellow-green, eat it. If it’s dark brown, it is overripe (maybe throw it in some guac’ or a smoothie).
- Tomatoes: Dark red tomatoes are ripe, light tomatoes are unripe. Gently squeeze your tomato; if it is unripe it will feel like a golf ball. A ripe tomato will be firm but have some give. When you cut into a ripe tomato, it will be juicy.
- Bananas: This is the number one fruit to be vigilant of ripeness! When a banana peel still has some green, or even if it’s fully yellow, it’s actually still unripe. Until a banana turns brown and spotted, it lacks its full nutritional value, and your body digests it as a constipation-causing starch.
- Melon: Much like pineapple, melon will smell sweet when ripe.
- Lemons: Your lemon should be entirely bright yellow- no green on the rind. The rind should feel thin and the lemon should have a little give when you squeeze it.
- Mango: Similar to an avocado, it should be soft to the touch but not so soft that you can easily put a dent in it.
So when you're in the produce department, don't be ashamed to be meticulous! Look at, smell, and touch things. Remember, ripe produce tastes exponentially better than anything unripe and is the only way to get the full nutritional value of what you’re eating!