Acidic foods are becoming ever more common in the Western diet but they may be doing us more harm than good. Read on to find out why we need to balance acidic and alkaline foods.
Why do we need to Balance Acidic and Alkaline Foods?
The pH of the blood in the body is important as if the balance is incorrect, symptoms and disease may occur. The blood pH should be slightly alkaline (between 7.35 and 7.45). if the pH drops below 6.8 or moves above 7.8, the cells in the body will stop functioning and death will occur. Thus, the body, continually strives to maintain its pH. If the diet is not balanced and is too high in acid-forming foods such as animal protein, sugar, stimulants, and processed food, extra pressure is placed on the body to regulate its pH.
Our current diet is largely made up of acid-forming foods with alkaline-producing foods, such as vegetables, being eaten in much smaller quantities. Stimulants such as coffee, tea, and alcohol are also extremely acidifying. Many foods are alkaline-producing by nature, but processed foods are usually very acid-producing. For this reason, we should be eating at least 60 percent of alkaline-producing foods in order to maintain good health. Not only do processed, sugary or simple carbohydrate foods produce acid, they also raise the blood sugar level very quickly and tend to be low in nutrients.
Examples of Acidic Foods
Acidic foods include:
- Meats – such as pork, lamb, beef, chicken, turkey, and seafood (apart from the occasional oily fish such as salmon)
- Dairy Products – such as milk, cheese, cream, yogurt, ice cream
- Drinks – such as soft drinks, coffee, tea, alcohol, fruit juice, dairy-based smoothies, and milk
- Other Foods – such as eggs, vinegar, white pasta, white bread, wholemeal bread, biscuits, soy sauce, condiments, artificial sweeteners, and honey
- Fast Foods – such as sweets, chocolate, microwave meals, canned foods, instant soups, instant meals, and takeaway fast food
- Fats and Oils – such as saturated fats, hydrogenated oils, margarine, corn oil, vegetable oil, and sunflower oil
- Fruits – all fruits excluding those that are listed as being alkaline foods
- Seeds and Nuts – peanuts, cashew nuts, and pistachio nuts
Problems Caused by Acidic Foods
If the body is too acidic, the body will take alkaline minerals from the body in order to maintain its pH levels. Such minerals include sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, and depletion of these can result in the person becoming prone to chronic or degenerative disease. The minerals are taken from the vital organs of the body and the bones in order to neutralise the acid and safely remove it from the body.
If you have a health problem, it is likely that you are suffering from acidosis. Acidosis decreases the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, energy production in the cells, the body’s ability to repair damaged cells, and the body’s ability to detoxify heavy metals. It also helps abnormal cells to grow and makes the body more susceptible to fatigue or illness. acidosis can cause or contribute to such problems as:
- cardiovascular damage
- weight gain or obesity
- bladder conditions
- kidney stones
- hormonal problems
- premature ageing
- low energy or chronic fatigue
- digestive disorders
- yeast or fungal overgrowth
- increased susceptibility to infections
- emotional issues such as becoming easily stressed, depression, and lack of enthusiasm
- easily irritated skin or dry skin
- dull hair and thin nails
- oral problems such as loose, painful teeth, inflamed gums, mouth ulcers, and cracks at the corners of the lips