Eating an Alkaline/Acid Balance
Eating healthy foods improves our body's PH balance. We need to eat a balance of alkaline and acid foods to achieve an ideal PH balance in our bodies. This generally means eating more fruit and vegetables (alkaline) and less meat and carbohydrates (acid). We are not talking about the PH of stomach acid but the PH of the bodies tissues and fluids.
It is important that we consume more alkaline foods than acid as bodies that have too much acid - acidosis - are subject to disease. Disease that can occur include skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne, cardiovascular issues, bladder and kidney problems as well as osteoporosis, premature aging and chronic fatigue amongst others.
PH (potential of hydrogen) is measured on a scale of zero to 14. Acid is at the lower end of the PH scale and alkaline at the higher end with seven being neutral. Health problems usually occur in the body when the PH is too acid rather than too alkaline. When it is too acid the body tries to correct this by using reserves of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese and sodium. These help to neutralize the acid and safely remove it from the body. If this happens too regularly the body's vital minerals become depleted and health issues occur.
Stress and fluctuating emotions can affect our digestion and the way the body breaks down food. Poor digestion can result in higher acid conditions. Other factors affecting PH are pollution, toxins, overwork, lack of sleep and tension and of course the foods and drinks we consume.
You can check if you have an acid or alkaline imbalance using PH test strips. These can be purchased from pharmacies, and used to test saliva and urine.A healthy range for urine is is between 6.0 to 6.5 in the morning and 6.5 to 7.0 in the evening. If your saliva remains between 6.5 and 7.5 all day your body is functioning within a healthy range. The best time to test your PH is about one hour before a meal and two hours after. Testing twice a week is recommended.
To help keep your body's PH in balance you need to know what foods and drinks are acid forming and which are alkaline. Pretty much all ripe fruit except plums, prunes, blueberries and cranberries are alkalizing to varying degrees. All vegetables except potatoes are alkalizing to different degrees as well. All meat and other products from animals are acid forming except fresh unsalted butter, fresh cream, raw cows milk, unsweetened acidophilus yogurt, buttermilk and whey.
The only grains that are alkaline forming are quinoa, amaranth, millet and corn ( corn loses this property 24 hours after it is picked. Almonds and fresh coconut are the only nuts that are alkaline. Kelp, seaweed, freshly squeezed fruit juice, fresh ginger, apple cider and sweet brown rice vinegar, barley, malt and brown rice syrup, honey, miso, sea salt, chestnuts, soft egg yolks, essene bread and sprouted grains, some soy products and yeast flakes are alkaline. Most other foods are acid forming. Artificial sweeteners, along with stress, overwork, jealousy, fear and anger being the most acid forming.
Most foods eaten on a day to day basis are acid forming. To improve the balance of foods you are eating, try to include more alkalizing foods at each meal. It is suggested to eat 80% alkaline forming and 20% acid forming.