Do you know the difference between acidic foods and alkaline foods? Do you understand what role PH plays in our health? As a big eater of alkaline foods I wanted to share with you an excellent guest post from author and naturopath Lisa Guy.
What is Your Acid/Alkaline balance?
The body has an acid-alkaline ratio called the pH. Maintaining a healthy pH is extremely important for good health, well being and prevention of disease. When we talk about the body’s pH it’s not stomach acids or the stomach’s pH but the pH of the body’s fluids and tissues. The body continually works on balancing its pH and when this balance is compromised we become more vulnerable to illness and disease.
Our diets play a big role in keeping our body’s pH in check. Acidosis or over acidity is very common in today’s society due to our poor diet reliance on acid-forming foods such as processed sugary foods, animal products and soft drinks; and not enough alkaline-forming foods such as enough fresh wholesome foods like fruits and vegetables.
Acidic and Acid-Producing Foods are Different!
There is a difference however between acidic foods such as lemons and acid-forming foods. Lemons are acidic because they contain citric acid, however when they are digested they become an alkaline-forming food.
During the process of digestion, foods change their chemistry. Whether a food is alkaline or acidic depends on its mineral content and the residue that remains after the food is digested. Energy is derived from foods by oxidation, which produces a residue or ash. Some foods leave an ‘acid ash’ (from acid forming foods) and some leave an ‘alkaline ash’ (from alkaline forming foods). Foods that commonly contain alkaline minerals, and leave an alkaline ash are fresh fruits and vegetables. Whereas foods that contain minerals that leave an acid ash are commonly foods high in sugars, saturated fats and meats.
Your Optimum Diet Balance
For optimum health and prevention of disease your diet should be more alkaline than acidic, 80:20 ratio of alkaline to acid forming foods is recommended.
A healthy body should be slightly alkaline and have an adequate alkaline reserve to call upon to meet the demands of eating too many acid-producing foods. If this reserve is depleted however your health can be compromised. Calcium and other alkaline minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium will be drawn from the bones, teeth or other vital organs to help neutralize the acid and remove it safely from the body.
Mild acidosis can contribute to a range of conditions including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, immune deficiencies, acceleration free radical damage, premature aging, and osteoporosis. Acidic environments also encourage the growth of fungus, bacteria and viruses.
The best Alkalizing Foods to Eat
Include plenty of alkali-forming foods in the diet including fresh vegetables, legumes and fruit (including lemons, grapefruit, apple), nuts and seeds (almonds, brazil), millet, buckwheat, spelt, unsweetened soy and almond milks and cold pressed oils such as flax, avocado, olive and coconut. Chlorella and spirulina are also alkaline foods.
The Acid-Producing Foods to Avoid
Limit acid forming foods to 20% of your diet such as meat, poultry, wheat, peanuts, milk, sweets, processed foods rich in sugars and fats, take away foods, soft drink, alcohol, margarine, vegetable and hydrogenated oils.
Drinking alkaline water is a great way to help neutralize an acidic body. Alkaline water contains more oxygen than regular water.
Happy Health and Homeopathic Prescribing!
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© Sam Adkins 2010
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This article was brought to you by Sam Adkins The Homeopathic Coach who teaches families about healthy living and natural remedies using homeopathic medicine. An internationally renowned expert, her helpful articles are regularly syndicated online. She publishes the ezine Homeopathy@Home to provide free Homeopathic tips, tools and resources to educate and inspire you to use Homeopathy at home. www.thehomeopathiccoach.com