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Most Americans are aware of the signs and symptoms of some of the most common health risks, like a common cold, stomach flu or a heart attack. However, acidosis, a condition that occurs when the body is unable to naturally balance the body’s pH levels resulting in an acidic environment, can be incredibly dangerous, and yet it’s often overlooked.

The optimal pH level in the human body is approximately 7.4. Acidosis is defined as a pH of 7.35 or lower. Sure, the difference may seem incredibly small, but it can lead to some serious health problems, including everything from vomiting and diarrhea to heart failure and seizures.

Signs that you are suffering from acidosis include rapid breathing, headache, confusion, weakness, nausea, and loss of appetite. If you suspect you may be experiencing these signs, you should contact a medical professional as the long-term impact may be life-threatening.

However, there are steps that you can take to help balance your body’s pH early on, or to avoid this experience altogether. These all-natural solutions will work to alkalize the body, promoting better overall health and well-being. Interested in giving it a try?

Here are 12 ways to alkalize your acidic body quickly and naturally:

#1 – Give Up Soda

If you are looking to alkalize your body, the first step is to reduce the acid that you are introducing to your system. One of the most highly acidic things in the average American diet is the soda we drink on a regular basis. Replacing your daily soda with a less acidic option (or, for the best health benefits, water) will make a considerable difference.

#2 – Almonds

Next time you are looking to grab a snack, reach for a handful of almonds. They are the only nuts that are actually alkaline forming when you consume them, while also containing protein and healthy fats. This makes them a great, nutritious snack choice.

#3 – Almond Milk Smoothies

If you aren’t a big fan of almonds, there is another way to get the nutritional goodness that they bring. Rather than trying to simply eat a handful, make yourself a delicious smoothie with some of your favorite fruits, but use almond milk instead of cow’s milk.

#4 – Lemon Water

Start every day with a big glass of water flavored with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon. Although lemons are acidic naturally, which would seem completely counterproductive, however, when lemon is digested it produces alkaline by-products that help to balance the pH level of your body. By making this part of your morning routine, you will be starting your day on the right foot.

#5 – Baking Soda and Water

If you’re looking for a super simple way to alkalize the body, and aren’t too worried about taste, then this might be the right option for you. Simply mix a teaspoon of natural baking soda into a cup of water and drink it each morning to start your day. You should start feeling the effects almost immediately.

#6 – Reduce Your Sugar Intake

If there is one thing that is highly prevalent in the diet of Americans across the country, it’s sugar. It’s in our drinks, our meals, our snacks – in fact, we consume it at an alarming rate! If the risk of diabetes and obesity wasn’t enough, research also shows that sugar contributes to a more acidic body. Therefore, reducing sugar can help to balance your body pH.

#7 – Get Moving

Exercises that focus on cardio and controlled breathing help to increase the oxygen flower to the important areas of the body including the heart, lungs, muscles, blood, and cells. This works to help move toxins through and out of the body, eliminating the acidic products that may otherwise be building up. Some of the most effective exercises include yoga and swimming.

#8 – Deep Breathing

Much like the exercises listed above, simply practicing some deep breathing exercises can help to promote better oxygen flow throughout the body. Try just spending some time out in the natural environment, taking big, deep breaths of the oxygen-rich air. Alternatively, if you are looking for a little more structure, try incorporating meditation into your daily routine.

#9 – ‘Alkaline’ Salad

Another great way to naturally alkalize the body is by eating vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables. These vegetables are often used as the foundation of an ‘alkalizing diet’ because they are incredibly healthy, packed with vitamins and minerals, while also super effective in their alkalizing power. Some of the best sources include arugula, broccoli, collard greens, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, and spinach. Add extra alkalizing power to your salad by creating a dressing made of high-quality olive oil and lemon juice.

#10 – Boost the Veggies in Your Diet

As we said in the previous point, vegetables are highly effective in their ability to alkalize the body. For this reason, simply adding more vegetables to your diet can have a positive impact. Select raw vegetables when you are looking for a snack and be sure to include a large helping of veggies with your meals. Remember, a well-balanced meal means that half of your plate should be vegetables. This does not include starchy potatoes.

#11 – Limit Meat Intake

This isn’t to say that you have to adopt a fully vegetarian diet, although some health-conscious individuals would argue that would be your best choice. Meat can actually cause an acid load in your body, causing a number of health problems. Simply reducing the amount of meat that you are eating can have a great impact. Try working the occasional vegetarian or vegan meal into your meal planning.

#12 – Good Night’s Sleep

We often overlook the true value of a good night’s sleep when it comes to our overall health and well-being, but this is an important piece of the puzzle! When you are sleep deprived it can actually upset the usual bodily functions, holding the body back from working at its optimal state. One way this can manifest is that the body will fail to cleanse the body of any built-up acidic waste. Ensure that you schedule the appropriate time each night for a good sleep, and you will actually feel happier and healthier.