The principles of pH balance, acid and alkaline chemistry, is a measure of normal conditions or homeostasis within the body.
A balanced body chemistry pH is vital to immune health and disease prevention. The body has alkaline, such as in blood, and acid body parts, like the stomach. If healthy the body keeps a large alkaline reserve to meet demands of too many acid producing foods. When our overall body chemistry is too acid, it opens up chances for arthritis type of diseases.
Knowledge of how to keep your body in a more alkaline condition is vital to restoring health. Many alternative practioners believe too much acidity allows bacteria, virus, fungi and abnormal cells to thrive. Acidity leads to conditions like AIDS, allergies, chronic fatigue, diabetes and arthritis.
Many doctors and dieticians do not feel this is a problem, in most cases; the body takes care of the imbalance. The acidity issue is not enough of a change to create a pH imbalance.
Human life requires a tightly controlled pH level in the blood of 7.4 to survive; the renal and respiratory mechanisms in the body help control this balance.
Common Causes of an Over- Acid Body
Over eating and poor diets with excess acid forming food like fried foods, sweets, caffeine and tobacco. Sugar is acid forming. Soft drinks, candy, baked goods and pre-packaged foods are acid forming.
Actually, all acid forming foods are not bad; some are necessary and have the nutritional value for proper pH balance.
In reality there should be only 25% or less of acid forming foods eaten on your plate at each meal. This leaves about 75% of food being alkaline forming.
Dietary tips to Achieve pH Balance
Start drinking alkaline juices with alkaline waters. Incorporate fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice into your daily diet. Eat a diet of 50-80% alkalizing food. Cooked foods tend to be more acidic. Include more vegetables and fruits with whole grains. Apple cider vinegar drinks are great at helping keep your pH system in balance.
I know some may not like the taste but there are vinegar drinks with cinnamon and grape juice that once you try it, you might just like it! Or try apple cider vinegar on salads with a little olive oil.
When it comes to the pH and net acid load in the human diet, there has been considerable change from the hunter gather civilization to the present. With the agricultural revolution and more recently with industrialization, there has been decreases in potassium (K) compared to sodium (Na) and an increase in chloride compared to bicarbonate found in the diet.
Another easy method to help solve the acid/alkaline issue is to mix baking soda with lemon juice and water; this also helps with indigestion or gas.
This may be due to the changes in soil; where food is grown. These changes could be causing more metabolic acidosis (MA). See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195546/
Research Studies to Date
There is some value in considering an alkaline diet to reduce morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases especially in our aging society. Further ongoing studies need to be done in this area of medicine.
It has been long known that MA in children affect decreased levels of growth hormone resulting on short stature. Correction with bicarbonate or K+ citrate can increase growth hormone and improves stature,
There is also evidence that chronic back pain improves with alkaline minerals. Even with chemotherapy it has been found that alkalinity improves results.
Increased fruits and vegetables improve Na/K ratio’s and benefit bone health, reduce muscle wasting, and mitigate other disease.
Alkaline food aids the enzyme system and helps outcome of cardiovascular health to memory and cognition.
Acid/ alkaline diets, in conclusion, may not substantially affect all areas of health; but overall an alkaline diet still can result in a number of health benefits.
...and remember, qualified nutritionists at Healthy Being are available to offer further general advice to help guide you in selecting the right products. So please, feel free to contact us at anytime!
Cindy Burrows is a qualified nutritionist & herbalist, and a regular contributer to HB Insights. She specielises in natural health, writing articles to help readers start health programs to improve their life, wellness and happiness.