We all know that acidic bodies are unhealthy because this acidic environment is an ideal ground for illnesses, bacteria, and yeast to thrive in. When the body is overly acidic, the body deprives vital organs and bones in order to neutralize the acid and remove it from the body. As a result, the body’s mineral reserves such as calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium can run dangerously low and cause damage that can go undetected for years, until it reaches unhealthy levels, causing acidosis.
Most of us are already consuming enough acid forming foods, such as dairy, grains, meats and sugar. The consumption of such foods, consequently leads to formation of acidic metabolic waste which the body continually produces and which has to be neutralized or excreted in some way. We need to supply the body with more alkaline foods in order to neutralize the constant acid generation.
These health issues are caused by mild acidosis (poor pH balance):
• Inflamed sensitive gums, cavities
• Immune deficiency
• Sciatica, lumbago, stiff neck
• Respiratory problems, shortness of breath, coughing
• Yeast fungal overgrowth
• Low energy and chronic fatigue
• Cardiovascular damage, including the constriction of blood vessels and reduction in oxygen
• Heart problems, arrhythmias, increased heart rate
• Weight gain, obesity and diabetes
• Bladder and kidney infections
• Accelerated free radical damage
• Premature aging
• Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
• Osteoporosis, weak, brittle bones, hip fractures, bone spurs
• Headaches, confusion, sleepiness
• Joint pain, aching muscles and lactic acid buildup
• Allergies, acne
Doesn’t the body adjust pH on its own?
Yes it can, but it does so at a price. Apart from the stomach, which is alkaline, all tissues and fluids in the body are with normal pH. All of the body systems have a wide pH range, partly to be able to change in order to maintain the blood pH, which must be maintained at the very narrow margin of 7.35 to 7.45. For instance, if the system becomes overly acidic, the blood will take alkaline forming elements from the digestive enzyme system of the small intestine. This now creates a less than optimal environment for proper digestion. Even though the body can regulate pH on its own, it does so at a price to other systems in the body, which can lead to additional health problems.
Start by knowing your pH
It is really important to have your pH tested, because it allows an individual to get a numeric representation of the current level of acidification in your body. A healthy average pH reading will range anywhere from 6.75 to 7.25. The optimal pH numeric reading is 7.36.
You can’t tell if food is acidic or alkaline by taste alone
A great example of this is a lemon. While it is considered to be an acidic fruit, it is in fact an alkaline forming food because during the process of digestion, the acids are oxidized into carbon dioxide and water, and therefore they don’t create an acid environment in the system.
Calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and sodium are the main alkalizing minerals. Foods that are high in this minerals are considered alkaline forming food. Most foods have both acid and alkaline minerals in them. If acidic minerals are greater in concentration than that food is considered acidic and vice versa.
The body has limits
The body has limits for how much it can compensate for acid imbalance. Food intake plays a critical role in maintaining the acid-alkaline balance. In fact, many diseases and general malaise result of the body’s effort to rebalance its internal environment.
If the diet includes too many acid forming foods, such as high amounts of meats, grains, dairy, sugars, the body becomes more acidic. An excessive intake of alkaline producing foods such as greens, fruits, sea vegetables the body can become too alkaline. Balance is important.
How does your body respond to specific foods?
It is important to realize that the your dominant constitutional type is what determines your body’s response to various foods. In case your dominant type is oxidative then fruits and vegetables move the body to the more acid side, while proteins make your body more alkaline. If you are more dominant in the autonomic system (ANS), then proteins make your body more acidic, and fruits and vegetables shift the body to a more alkaline environment.
How to improve your alkalinity
- Check your pH regularly
- Drink plenty of water (alkaline water when possible)
- Remove acidic foods
- Replace a traditional lunch with a large green salad.
- Use lettuce leaves and collard greens as wraps.
- Try not to consume processed foods
- Eliminate soda, sugars and coffee. Replace them with herbal tea, herbal coffee and green drinks
- Replace dairy milks with coconut or almond milk
- Add green juices or smoothies to your diet
What you eat matters
Improving pH levels may require a lot of effort, but once you begin to feel more energetic and your overall health improves, you will appreciate the rewards of what you are doing.
There is no question about it, what you eat has a direct impact on your overall health. It was Ann Wigmore, founder of the renowned Hippocrates Health Institute who said, “The food you eat can be either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
http://www.myhealthmaven.com/diy/health-tests-at-home/understanding-ph/ Understanding pH
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195546/ The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11842945 Diet, evolution and aging–the pathophysiologic effects of the post-agricultural inversion of the potassium-to-sodium and base-to-chloride ratios in the human diet.
http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/1995/pdf/1995-v10n0304-p177.pdf Minerals and Disease; Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 10, No. 3 & 4, 1995; Joseph D. Campbell