Our bodies have a natural balance of alkaline & acid. This balance is essential for optimally functioning of cellular metabolism and consequent good health. Medications, stress, allergens, low oxygen, low cellular nutrition, toxic overload, immune reactions, diets high in meats, cheeses, eggs, refined flour, sugars, alcohol, soft drinks, processed, fried, and high-sodium foods can upset that balance by making the body more acidic.
Acidity and alkalinity are measured by the pH (potential of hydrogen), which is the balance between positively charged ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming.). This measurement ranges from 0-14. The "ideal balance" for general body tissues is right in the middle around 7-7.25. A tissue pH of 6.5-7.5 indicates your body is in a healthy repair/restore state.
An overly acidic environment of less than pH 6.5 tears down the body and more or less forces the body to rob minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium from vital organs and bones. These minerals help to neutralize and remove acid from the body. Excess acidity can deplete the body of needed minerals and contribute to osteoporosis and other health problems.
It is also possible to become too alkaline, with a tissue pH greater than 7.5. This also tears down the body. Excess alkalinity is less common and not addressed here. This could happen by taking too much sodium bicarbonate, excessive vomiting, excessive alkaline food and by endocrine imbalances. An alkaline state of tissue pH greater than 7.5 is usually associated with a catabolic condition and indicates body breakdown.
The subtle tissue acid/alkaline changes created in the body by food, water, etc are different than the major pH shifts which take place in the blood in severe life threatening conditions known as metabolic acidosis or metabolic alkalosis. We are not referring to anything like that here.
It is important to note stomach acid or the pH of the stomach is also in a different category. In fact low stomach acid output is likely to be associated with poor digestion and a greater tendency toward high tissue acid levels.
Small deviations in alkaline/acid balance can have major impacts on health and endurance and contribute to numerous chronic discomforts and symptoms as you can see from the following list:
- Reduced energy levels contributing to Chronic Fatigue.
- Allergies, and Chemical Sensitivities
- Acne and Skin Rashes
- Joint pain, Arthritis and Osteoporosis
- Muscle aches and pains. Back Pain, Fibromyalgia
- Muscle tightness, tension twitches, jerkiness
- Teeth Grinding and TMJ Disorders
- Impaired vitamin absorption depriving the body of essential nutrients.
- Agitation, Restlessness, Hyperactivity
- Toxic waste in clogged cells.
- Slowed organ function making you feel sluggish & weak.
- Poor Circulation
- Poor digestion, with gas & bloating, diarrhea or constipation.
- Increased aging process, making you look older.
- Cold Feet & hands.
- Poor skin, Hair, Nails
- Panic Attacks
- Anxiety & Depression
- ADD, ADHD, OCD
- Pre-menstrual & menstrual cramping
- Lack of sex drive, Impotence, Urethritis
- Hot or strong smelling urine
- Mild Headaches
- Rapid breathing
- Asthma, Bronchitis
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- White coated Tongue, excess mucous
- Metallic taste in mouth
- Disturbance in smell, taste, vision, hearing
- Cold sores (Herpes I & II)
- Loss of memory
- Loss of concentration
- Migraine headaches
- Hay fever, Sinusitis
- Hives and Psoriasis
- Urinary infection, Prostatitis
- Impaired Immunity with increased susceptibility to Virus, Bacterial and Fungal infections
And some professionals are of the opinion chronic excess tissue acidity contributes to more serious illnesses such as:
- Seizure Disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis
Most natural cancer treatment approaches involve the use of an alkalizing diet.
Excess acidity also leads to weight gain. Our body tries to protect us from acid by buffering it with fat. High alkaline diets contain less sugar and fat, so are naturally lower in calories.
If you have some of the symptoms mentioned here and suspect you are too acid, you can test your pH levels to determine if your body's pH needs better balancing.
It is really quite easy. You can obtain a packet of pH test strips by using this link
. Make sure they have a test range of 5.5 to 8.0. Use about a 2 inch strip of tape. Wet the tape with either urine or saliva. It will change color. Match the color to the test strip numbers on the test strip packet chart.
The first urine of the morning is more acidic because of some body acidosis induced by nighttime breathing. Your body is functioning within a healthy range if the pH of your first urine in the morning fluctuates between 6.0 to 6.5 & your evening urine is between 6.5 and 7.0 pH. If you are Lower than that you are too acid and need to begin making changes.
If your saliva stays between 6.5 and 7.5 all day, your body is functioning within a healthy range. It is best checked upon arising before anything goes in to your mouth. If tested during the day , it needs to be at least 2 hours after eating or drinking.
Besides removing and learning how to better cope with stress and remaining well hydrated and oxygenated (deep breathing), the best thing we can do to improve our acid alkaline balance is to improve our diets.
Depending on the effect they have on the body, foods are classified as acid-forming or alkalizing. Acid-forming foods add hydrogen ions to the body making it more acidic while alkalizing foods remove hydrogen ions from the body making it more alkaline.
It is important to note that just because a food tastes acidic does not mean that it has an acid-forming effect on the body. More often an acidic-tasting food has an alkaline effect. Take lemons for example. Although people say they taste "too acidic" they are in fact alkaline forming due to the minerals they leave behind after digestion.
Another important fact is that acid-forming is not “bad”. Acidity and alkalinity are opposites and one is not any better than the other. You need both acid and alkaline producing foods. The issue is a proper balance of the two.
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.
There is some disagreement on whether certain foods produce an acid or alkaline ash. Where such a disagreement exists, I have used the information from the sources whom I know to be the most reliable.
This Chart should help you balance the acid & alkaline in your body.
Foods that are most alkaline are in green & foods that are most acid are in red:
ALKALINE FORMING FOODS
ACID FORMING FOODS
NUTS & SEEDS
Banana (high glycemic)
Whey Protein Powder
Whey Protein Powder
Alkaline Antioxidant Water
Apple Cider Vinegar
Fresh Fruit Juice
FATS & OILS
Grape Seed Oil
Hemp Seed Oil
Bread (Rye & White)
Crackers(unrefined rye, rice & wheat)
NUTS & BUTTERS
Carbonated Soft Drinks
Popcorn (with salt & butter)
DRUGS & CHEMICALS
BEANS & LEGUMES
Sweet N Low
You can gain a quick start in alkalizing by:
1. Drinking the juice of half a lemon or lime daily or a tsp of
apple cider vinegar in 6-8 oz water a few times a day.
2. Add ginger, yams, and sweet potatoes to your diet on a
3. Eat 2 cups daily of alkalizing greens, such as kale, mustard,
greens, turnip greens, collard, or endive. Grated daikon radish
as also alkalizing.
4. Add miso or seaweed to soups and other dishes.
5. Eat grains like wild rice, or quinoa.
6. Eat fruit but if you have gas & bloating or weak digestion,
cook the fruit.
In addition to a diet change, certain supplements and waters can aid body balancing, but they will not work adequately and lastingly without a diet improvement.
Alkaline Body Balance™
can be added to your water if you need help in recovering from an over acid state or you can use the various alkaline waters which are on the market.
If you are consistently too acid, this is the result of sustained body imbalance building up over a long period of time. The correction of this will likewise take up to 4-8 weeks of consistent diet and habit change for those who are most symptomatic.