Diet and the Acid-Alkaline Balance; You Can Avoid Chronic Diseases
You might not know it…but that orange you ate with breakfast was alkalizing to your system. And that’s a good thing.
Let’s forget for a moment that you just added some much needed vitamin C and thousands of phytonutrients to your body. But did you know that you’ve actually taken a step in maintaining a healthy pH balance?
…. But that orange had an acid pH, didn’t it?
It is little known that the the acidity of the orange itself (or any citrus fruit) has nothing to do with the residue in the body after digestion.
The potassium and calcium found the orange are essential minerals that are left behind to balance the the body’s pH.
The body’s pH is that of its tissue and fluids, after all of the digestive processes are complete.
Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium that are extracted through this process help the body balance the pH levels against too much acidity or alkalinity.
It has been widely accepted for some time now that many chronic conditions may be caused or exacerbated by over acidity.
This is not at all a recent finding. As a matter of fact, A New Health Era, by Dr. William Howard Hay, stated that most diseases were caused by acid buildup in the body. This book was published in 1933.
Many books have been published since, which either address or focus on the topic of over-acidity as it relates to disease. Another well known book is Alkalize or Die, by Dr. Theodore A Baroody, which states that the cause of countless illnesses is ‘too much tissue acid waste in the body!’.
Now here’s the disturbing part:
Did you know that most Americans have an acid body pH due to the Standard American Diet (SAD)?
There is most definitely a correlation between what we eat and the large percentage of our population having chronic health issues.
Even mild acidosis can lead to weight gain, premature aging, low energy, arthritis and joint pain, muscle pain, diabetes, cardiovascular damage, kidney stones and disease, osteoporosis, immune deficiency, and acceleration of free radical damage, even contributing to cancer.
Acid waste accumulates in the blood and then the kidneys, which then become overtaxed leading to kidney disease. Acid waste in the blood causes imbalanced pancreatic fluids which then impairs the production of insulin, resulting in diabetes.
An acidic pH balance also causes the inability of cells to burn energy efficiently, causing toxic residues around the cell, and related inflammation. This results in obesity and can cause a host of other inflammatory conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune disorders, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, (stay tuned for the next report on Inflammation and Disease).
Acidifying foods include meats, dairy and grain. Additionally, sugar, coffee, and soft-drinks, and especially artificial sweeteners, are extremely acidifying. Even prescription drugs, on which 80% of our population depends, leave a trail of acid waste in our bodies.
Is it no wonder we have such widespread illness in our country?
While our diet consists primarily of the most acidifying foods, the FDA has increased the recommended daily intake of fresh fruit and vegetables per day to 5-9 servings from the previous 3-5 servings.
But Americans eat only 1.5 servings of fruits and 4 servings of vegetables per day. And less than 25% meet the minimum recommended 5 servings each day.
According to this FDA report, “Every fruit and vegetable has a unique assortment of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber”. And, “consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables is superior to eating a narrow range of these foods for health maintenance and disease prevention.”
Even bearing in mind the total proportion of fruits and vegetables you eat in a day, be aware that fresh fruits and vegetables provide far more nutrients, while cooking them destroys vitamins, breaks down phytochemicals, and kills live enzymes essential to healthy digestion and absorption.
What to do?
Balance your diet with alkalizing foods. Try to make fresh fruits and vegetables at least 50% of what you consume every day. What you eat will pay off in prevention.
Sure, you might think, Tums, Rolaids, or even baking soda would be alkalizing, but going that route would mean you’d be missing out on a ton of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that your body needs!
Alkalizing foods include fish, fresh fruits (and yes, lemons, limes and oranges!), vegetables, herbs, nuts, and seeds.
Many acid/alkaline food charts area available, but consult a couple to get a complete picture. One that I like to consult is http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm.
Healthy pH levels are between 7.35 and 7.9. If you are unsure of your body’s acid / alkaline balance, you can easily find this out using some home test kits.
Very affordable pH test strips can be found in many drug stores and online pharmacies or vendors.
These should be used a couple of times a week, testing an hour before and a couple of hours after a meal. Both Urine and Saliva pH tests produce indicators which can help you determine how you are doing in your efforts to achieve your pH balance.
Balance your body’s pH and detoxify!
You may think it unreasonable to fit so many fruits and vegetables into your daily diet, but if you make small changes over a period of time then you can at least improve your habits.
For example, if you replace the chips you have with your sandwich to fresh snow peas or baby carrots (still crunchy, and sweet!) or fruit, and do this for 21 days, then you have created a new habit!