At the first mention of acidity and alkalinity, eyes glaze over. After all, these terms sound somewhat scientific, and vague memories of junior high science class and litmus paper changing color may come to mind. However, the balance between acidity and alkalinity, and its importance, can be explained quite simply and should be explained. This balance is essential to good health.
Every solution is either acidic or alkaline. (Alkaline is often called “base.”) These solutions can be anything from body fluids, such as stomach acid and blood, to beverages, such as wine or coffee, to sea water. Acidity and alkalinity are measured in pH (potential of hydrogen). The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with 0 the most acidic, and 14 the most alkaline. The pH of stomach acid is 1, wine is 3.5, water is 7 (neutral), venous blood is 7.35, arterial blood is 7.4, sea water is 8.5, and baking soda is 12. Ideally, our pH should stay on the alkaline side: between 7.35 and 7.45.
Keeping our acidity and alkalinity balanced means regulating the hydrogen ion concentration in our body fluids. An acid is a molecule or ion (an ion is an atom that carries a positive or negative electric charge) that can contribute a hydrogen ion to a solution. An alkalizing substance is one that contains a molecule or ion that combines with hydrogen ions to remove them from a solution_it neutralizes acids and acts as a buffer.
Foods are classified as acid-forming or alkalizing depending on the effect they have on the body. An acid-forming food contributes hydrogen ions to the body, making it more acidic. An alkalizing food removes hydrogen ions from the body, making it more alkaline. It is important to note that this classification is based on the effect foods have on the body after digestion, not on their own intrinsic acidity or alkalinity (or how they taste to us). A common misconception is that if a food tastes acidic, it has an acid-forming effect on the body. This is not necessarily true. Very often, an acidic-tasting food is alkalizing. Citric fruits are a good example. People say that lemons, for example, are “too acidic”; however, they are actually alkalizing because the minerals they leave behind after digestion help remove hydrogen ions, decreasing the acidity of the body. (Many people use the term “residue” or “ash” to explain the effect of a food on the body. A food with an acid ash after digestion contributes hydrogen ions, making the body more acidic; a food with an alkaline ash after digestion removes hydrogen ions, making the body more alkaline.)
Another misconception is that acid-forming foods are “bad.” This is not correct; acidity and alkalinity are opposites and one is not intrinsically better than the other. This misconception has developed because the North American diet is excessively acidic, which does result in health problems.
Common acid-forming foods include processed junk foods and those that are high in animal protein. Some common alkalizing foods are spinach, soybeans, raisins, carrots, and most citrus fruits.
Looking at this short list of acid-forming and alkalizing foods, you can see where the problem lies. North Americans eat considerably more acid-forming foods than alkalizing foods. Unfortunately, too much acid can cause health problems. According to well-known naturopath Paavo Airola in his book “How to Get Well”, Acidosis, or over-acidity in the body tissues, is one of the basic causes of diseases, especially the arthritic and rheumatic diseases.”
Others concur with Airola. Speaking of the acidity of a high-fat, high-sugar diet, Michael Colgan, in The New Nutrition, says, “Acidosis destroys bones, because the body has to steal alkalizing minerals from them, to keep the blood pH from dropping into the acid range _ ” Dr. Mary Ruth Swope, in Green Leaves of Barley, comments, “We have become too full of acid and, as a result, are experiencing a wide range of diseases that flourish in the acid medium.” Dr. Yoshihide Hagiwara, in Green Barley Essence, mentions that, “Should this balance [acid and alkaline] be upset, the cell metabolism suffers, leading to conditions such as fatigue.”
Common symptoms of an unbalanced pH include heartburn (a burning sensation in the stomach and acid-tasting burps), bloating, belching, and feeling full after eating small amounts of food. Other symptoms could include insomnia, water retention, migraines, constipation with diarrhea, fatigue, a burning sensation on the tongue and in the mouth, and halitosis.
Eat a diet that helps your body maintain the correct acidity-alkalinity balance. According to Airola, the ideal diet should have a natural ratio of four parts alkaline to one part acid. Others contend that while this a good ratio for active people (exercise creates a lot of acid), less active people can handle a diet with a ratio of two parts alkaline to one part acid.
Colbin, Annemarie. 1986. Food and Healing. New York: Ballantine (Pp. 73-80).
Hagiwara, Yoshihide, M.D. 1985. Green Barley Essence. New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, Inc. (Pp. 50-58).
Murray, Frank. “Unless you Balance Acidity, your muscles may become tense.” Better Nutrition, March 1996.
Swope, Mary Ruth. 1990. Green Leaves of Barley Phoenix, AZ: Swope Enterprises, Inc. (Pp. 99-109).
The article “pHinding the Right Balance” is reproduced with the permission of AIM International.
©1997 by AIM International
(Do NOT take Cocaine, Amphetamines, Coffee, Nicotine, Alcohol, or lots of Sugar. These make your Blood pH….Acidic.)
What ARE “ACID-FORMING” Foods ?
Acid forming foods include: * asparagus, barley, beans (dried), beechnuts, BEEF, BREAD, buckwheat, BUTTER, cashew nuts, Cereals, CHEESE, chestnuts, Chicken, CHOCOLATE, clams, cod liver oil, Cottage Cheese, Cornmeal, cottonseed meal, cow peas, crab, cream, EGGS, farina, FISH, FLOUR, frog legs, Halibut, HAM, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, hominy, HONEY, horseradish, Jello, kohlrabi, lamb, lentils, lobster, mackerel, Macaroni, maple syrup, Margarine, MEATS, mussels, Mushrooms, OATS, pasta, peanuts, Peas, pecans, pistachios, pomegranate, PORK, prunes, quinces, Rice, rutabagas, Rye, sauerkraut, SALMON, scallops, smelt, smoked herring, sole, spaghetti, SUGAR, syrups, tapioca, turkey, walnuts, WHEAT, wheat germ & WINE.
What is a list of foods that increase alkalinity in the blood?
Alkaline forming foods include: * agar, ALFALFA(sprouts), almonds, APPLES(apple cider), apricots, artichokes, BANANAS, beets, beet tops, blackberries, blueberries, BROCCOLI (did you eat yours?), Brussel sprouts, burdock, cabbage, cantaloupe, carob, CARROTS, cauliflower, CELERY, celeriac, chard, cherries, chives, COCONUT, CRANBERRIES, cucumbers, currants (fresh), dandelion greens, DATES, dill, dock, endive, figs (dried), flaxseed, GARLIC, GRAPES, Grapefruit, greenbeans (fresh), guava, huckleberries, Irish moss, KELP, kohlrabi, leeks, LEMONS, lettuce, LIMA BEANS (fresh), limes, loganberries, loquats, mango, MELONS, millet, mint, molasses, mulberries, muskmelons, mustard greens, nectarines, okra, Olives, olive oil, ONIONS, ORANGES, papaya, parsley, parsnips, passion fruit, Peaches, Pears, persimmons, PINEAPPLE, plums, Pumpkin, radishes, RAISINS, Raspberries, rhubarb, Romaine lettuce, rutabagas, sea grass, sorrel, Soybeans, Spinach, squash, Strawberries, Swiss chard, tangerine, turnips, Vegetable oils, water chestnuts, watercress, watermelon.
ACID-FORMING & ALKALINE-FORMING FOODS
It must be noted that because a food is acid it is no indication that it REMAINS acid in the body. It can turn alkaline. Honey and raw sugars produce alkaline ash, but because of a high concentrate of sugar become acid-formers. Those fruits marked with an * should not be eaten with other foods. They are acid externally but alkaline internally.
Thanks To Angefire.com for this great information.
|A list of Acid / Alkaline Forming Foods|
|Your body pH affects everything…|
|Balancing the pH is a major step toward well-being and greater health.|
| The pH scale is from 0 – 14
Human blood pH should be slightly alkaline ( 7.35 – 7.45 ). Below or above this range means symptoms and disease. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. A pH below 7.0 is acidic. A pH above 7.0 is alkaline.
An acidic pH can occur from, an acid forming diet, emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients. The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals. If the diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, a build up of acids in the cells will occur.
An acidic balance will: decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease the energy production in the cells, decrease it’s ability to repair damaged cells, decrease it’s ability to detoxify heavy metals, make tumor cells thrive, and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness. A blood pH of 6.9, which is only slightly acidic, can induce coma and death.
The reason acidosis is more common in our society is mostly due to the typical American diet, which is far too high in acid producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, and far too low in alkaline producing foods like fresh vegetables. Additionally, we eat acid producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink acid producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks. We use too many drugs, which are acid forming; and we use artificial chemical sweetners like NutraSweet, Spoonful, Sweet ‘N Low, Equal, or Aspartame, which are poison and extremely acid forming. One of the best things we can do to correct an overly acid body is to clean up the diet and lifestyle.
To maintain health, the diet should consist of 60% alkaline forming foods and 40% acid forming foods. To restore health, the diet should consist of 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods.
Generally, alkaline forming foods include: most fruits, green vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, spices, herbs and seasonings, and seeds and nuts.
Generally, acid forming foods include: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, grains, and legumes.
Shifting Your pH Toward Alkaline…
This chart is for those trying to “adjust” their body pH. The pH scale is from 0 to 14, with numbers below 7 acidic ( low on oxygen ) and numbers above 7 alkaline. An acidic body is a sickness magnet. What you eat and drink will impact where your body’s pH level falls. Balance is Key !!!
This chart is intended only as a general guide to alkalizing and acidifying foods.
Here’s a chart that ranks foods from most alkaline to most acidic.
Note: No claims are made regarding the therapeutic use of this product… Plus,
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.