A balanced pH in the body is imperative for health and resistance to disease. To achieve this it is important to ensure you include predominantly alkaline foods in your diet, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, which contain alkalising minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
Acidity can give rise to an internal environment susceptible to disease. Further more, the body is forced to use up its alkaline reserves and borrow minerals from bones, soft tissues, body fluids and organs in the attempt to neutralise the acid and remove it safely from the body. This creates a strain on the body and can lead to damage such as osteoporosis.
If you are sick, most likely you are acidic. Research shows that an acidic blood will:
* Decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients
* Decrease the energy production in the cells
* Decrease its ability to repair damaged cells
* Decrease its ability to detoxify heavy metals
* Make tumor cells thrive
* Make the body more susceptible to illness and fatigue
Acidosis, the term used for an acidic system, is associated with a wide range of health problems and chronic diseases that include stomach ulcers, arthritis, water retention, bladder and kidney conditions, diabetes, weight gain, increased free radical damage (contributing to cancerous mutations and symptoms of aging), poor digestion and elimination, fungal overgrowth, hormone imbalance, chronic fatigue, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer.
Our sensitivity to pH levels can be observed in our blood that requires a stable pH of around 7.4. Even small fluctuations can be severely dangerous; if it lowers to barely acidic at 6.95 one can die, or conversely, up to 7.7 and titanic convulsions occur. The body’s mechanisms for maintaining this level involve, as mentioned, the withdrawing and disposal of relevant minerals from bones, fluids and tissues, weakening the system as a result.
Foods that acidify the body include sugar, meat, dairy products, eggs, fats and oils and most grains (except millet, quinoa and amaranth). When metabolised, these foods can produce large amounts of chlorine and toxins.
Unfortunately, today’s typical Western diet contains a very high proportion of acidic foods, far greater than the recommended 20 – 40 per cent. High-protein diets are also high-acid diets.
Processed and refined foods such as white flour and sugar, artificial sweetners, ready-made meals, salt, cooking oils, processed meats, battery eggs, cows milk, carbonated drinks, alcohol, coffee, cakes, ice-cream, chocolates and biscuits are among the worst culprits for acidity.
Some of the ‘best’ vegan acid foods to incorporate into your diet include brown rice, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, and oats.
Fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and other cold-water fish are rich in protein and valuable omega-3 oils. Ensure you choose wild or organic options as farmed fish can contain unhealthy chemicals.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the essential life-giving alkaline foods needed to counter balance acidity in your diet, and should be consumed in far greater quantity.
As a general rule of thumb 60 – 80% alkaline foods foods (20-40% acidic) tends to be recommended. A 4:1 ratio (80%-20%) was first proposed by Swedish nutritionist and Nobel Prize winner Ragnar Berg who pioneered research into the relationship between health and acidity. It is also suggested by internationally acclaimed nutritionist and naturopathic physician, Dr Paavo Airola among others in the field. You may not always achieve these proportions, yet it is worth keeping them as a goal in mind. Bulk up your diet with vegetables and fruits and you’ll be well on the way.
Whether a food is acid or alkaline-forming in the body does not actually correlate with the actual pH of the food before intake. For example many acidic tasting foods like berries, apple cider vinegar and lemons have an alkalizing effect within the body due to the end-products they create after digestion and assimilation. Similarly, if you test the pH of meat before ingestion it will show up as alkaline yet it leaves an acidic residue within the body, hence is acid-forming.
Some easy ways to help to alkalize your body effortlessly: fresh lemon or lime juice in water as a drink or squeezed on your food, raw salads with lots of leafy green vegetables, sprouts, broccoli, radishes, green herbs like parsley on your food. Cider vinegar can be used for dressings but also as a drink adding some to hot water. Ginger tea instead of coffee can give you an energizing lift without the acidity. Eat raw fruits for sweetness rather than sugar to alkalize.
© Global Love Project, Global Love Food.