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The acid-alkaline balance within your body can be disrupted by your diet, producing acidic internal fluids which cause unwanted health problems.
This can be rectified by adopting an alkaline (or alkalizing) diet, which is reflected in low acid levels in the body.
The acidity of a solution (any liquid substance) is measured on the pH scale – termed the ‘power of hydrogen’. The pH scale shows the activity of hydrogen ions present in the sample. The scale is a reverse logarithmic one – high acidity is represented by a low value, and low acidity (that is, alkaline or base substances) by a high value, with acidity level at each ascending step being one tenth that of the previous step.
For example, compared to lemon juice at pH 2.4, orange juice at pH 3.5 is less than one tenth as acidic, and beer at pH 4.5 is less than one hundredth as acidic. The pH of most substances falls between 0 and 14. Gastric acid has a pH of 1.5 to 2 (very acid), pure water 7 (considered to be neutral, neither acid nor alkaline), and household bleach 12.5 (extremely alkaline).
PH levels in the body
The pH level of the body’s internal fluids affects every cell, and if out-of-balance this will be detrimental to the normal functioning of cells, tissues and organs. The western diet is typically based around meat and dairy products, sugars, alcohol, saturated fats and caffeine, all of which creates an acidic cellular environment. Such an unbalanced pH level can result in health issues like cancer, heart disease, obesity, weight problems, allergies, fatigue and premature aging as well as problems with the nervous system, cardiovascular system and muscles.
The ‘alkalarian’ approach to diet reverses over-acidification in the body, first detoxifying and then creating and maintaining a more alkaline environment in which the body can heal itself.
An alkaline diet is one which produces an alkaline effect on the body, based upon the residue that remains after our foods are consumed or metabolized. Some foods leave an acid residue, others an alkaline residue. Testing of bodily pH levels using pH strips can determine whether a balanced range is generally present (6.75 to 7.25 depending on type of testing – salivary or urinary).
We need to adopt and adhere to an acid reducing lifestyle to achieve the correct balance. This is done by consuming alkalizing foods and drinks, while eliminating acidifying foods and drinks from the diet. In general, if an alkaline diet is recommended, use these guidelines for an alkalarian lifestyle based on a mainly vegetable diet:
Alkaline Forming Foods
|Sample alkaline foods to comprise most (75-80%) of your diet. Eat salads, fresh vegetables, healthy nuts and oils, and plenty of raw foods. Drink at least 2-3 liters of clean, pure water daily.|
|Seeds, Nuts, Grains|
Acid Forming Foods
|Sample acid-forming foods to comprise the remainder (20-25%) of your diet. Avoid fatty meats, dairy, cheese, sweets candy, chocolates, alcohol and tobacco. Beware of hidden content of packaged foods and microwaved meals. Don’t overcook meals – this removes all of the nutrition!|
All fruits not listed in the alkaline table.
Condiments (tomato sauce, mayonnaise etc.)
- The pH Miracle by Robert Young – achieving weight loss through correct pH balance – at Amazon. Also, other titles are available from this author on the relationship between good health and balanced pH levels.
- 60 Seconds to Slim – Emphasizes the importance of pH balance to weight loss.
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
- McLauchlan, G., Fullarton, G. M., Crean, G. P., McColl, K. E. (1989). Comparison of gastric body and antral pH: a 24 hour ambulatory study in healthy volunteers. Gut, 30(5), 573-578. link
- Bloomfield, A. L., Keefer, C. S. (1928). Gastric acidity: relation to various factors such as age and physical fitness. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 5(2), 285. link
- Remer, T., Manz, F. (1995). Potential renal acid load of foods and its influence on urine pH. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 95(7), 791-797. link
- Buclin, T., Cosma, M., Appenzeller, M., Jacquet, A. F., Decosterd, L. A., Biollaz, J., Burckhardt, P. (2001). Diet acids and alkalis influence calcium retention in bone. Osteoporosis International, 12(6), 493-499. link
Last Reviewed: January 16, 2018