For a healthy pH balance, minimize acid producing foods.
What is pH? What are acidity and alkalinity? How to maintain a healthy pH balance and avoid acid producing foods.
Does your body pass the acid test?
Maintaining a healthy pH balance in the body is one of the most important aspects of health—and also one of the most misunderstood and most ignored. Why? For one thing when you’re sick would you normally go to a doctor or a nutritionist? Of course, we have been trained to go to doctors, not nutritionists.
And here’s the interesting fact—most doctors only get a minimum amount of training in nutrition, and yet nutrition is the biggest cause of most illness. Studies show that the more acidic your body pH balance is, the more susceptible your body is to disease.
What is pH exactly?
pH stands for “potential of hydrogen” which means the activity of hydrogen atoms influences the acidity and alkalinity of the body. A pH above 7 is alkaline and below 7 is acidic. To give you an idea of what that means in laymen terms, water is 7 (neutral) and your car’s battery is 1.
The ideal pH of your body is 7.4 according to Health News. But where the biggest misunderstanding occurs is in knowing what foods produce acidic effects in the body. Tomatoes and oranges are naturally acidic but when they enter the body, they actually promote alkalinity. So it’s not whether the food itself is acidic or alkaline, but how the food’s content of potassium, sodium, bicarbonate, and chloride effect the body’s pH balance.
What foods produce more acid in the body?
• All dairy products
• Grains (rice, breads, cereals, etc.)
• All fresh fruits and vegetables
Now it isn’t advisable to cut out ALL acid-producing foods. Balance is the key. Of course, if you are a vegetarian/vegan, you have a distinct advantage by not consuming meats.
How do these foods affect the pH?
Diets high in potassium and bicarbonate produce more alkalinity; diets high in sodium and chloride produce acidity.
A 10:1 ratio of potassium to sodium is normal for pH balance but because of our heavily salted and processed fast foods, and less intake of fresh fruits and veggies, the average ratio is about 3:1 today. Eating more potassium-rich foods strengthens the immune system.
The modern diet is also heavily weighed towards chloride vs. bicarbonate. Bicarbonate strengthens the cardiovascular system, whereas chloride reduces circulation and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. This can be further exacerbated by high-protein or high-grain diets. So the key to a healthy neutral pH is to balance proteins and grains with appropriate amounts of fruits and veggies.
How does the pH affect your health?
When you eat foods that produce acidic pH levels, your body has to compensate by using its own buffers to raise the pH. It usually does this by taking calcium from the bones and ammonia from the muscles. Over time this weakens the bone and muscle structure leading to frailty associated with aging.
A body that is chronically acidic is also more prone to disease. According to Health News-NZ, research shows that unless the body’s pH level is slightly alkaline, the body cannot heal itself. An acidic balance will:
• decrease the energy production in the cells
• make tumor cells thrive
• decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients
• decrease its ability to repair damaged cells
• decrease its ability to detoxify heavy metals
• make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness
In summary, what you eat is important to maintaining your health. Eating more foods that produce alkalinity than those producing acidity can improve your health and prolong your life.