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ACID-FORMING & ALKALINE-FORMING FOODS
An acidic pH in your body can occur from an acid-forming diet, emotional stress, toxic overload, immune reactions, and/or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients. The body will try to neutralize and compensate for the acidic pH by using alkaline minerals. If your diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, then a build up of acids in the cells will occur.
The reason acidosis is more common in our society is mostly due to the typical American diet. The typical American's diet is far too high in acid-producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, and far too low in alkaline-producing foods like fresh vegetables. Additionally, we eat acid-producing processed foods like white flour and sugar, and drink acid-producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks. We use too many drugs, which are acid forming; and we use artificial chemical sweetners like NutraSweet, Spoonful, Sweet 'N Low, Equal, Splenda, or Aspartame, which are poisonous and extremely acid-forming. One of the best things we can do to correct an overly acid body is to clean up the diet and lifestyle.
In order to discuss systemic acidity, pH values must be explained. Most have heard of pH in reference to saliva pH. With saliva, a 7 pH is neutral, below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. There are actually three pH readings that can be used to determine the level of acidity/alkalinity: saliva, urine and blood. It is important to understand the distinction between each.
Saliva pH: A normal reading for saliva pH is 7.0; which indicates that there are enough alkaline reserves to digest foods properly. Saliva is the least accurate as it can be swayed by something as simple as chewing a piece of gum or sipping coffee prior to having it tested. However, it does provide quick feedback when it is not possible to obtain urine pH.
Urine pH: When testing urine pH, it should be in the range of 6.2. Urine pH, the most commonly used, provides rapid feedback regarding the overall status of one's daily food/beverage intake. Ideally, testing the urine pH should be done after eating high-protein, acid producing foods for 2 days. This will require the body to pull from its alkaline reserves in order to stabilize the acidic environment. Once these reserves are pulled from, the goal is to still have enough alkaline reserves remaining. Urine pH can change rather quickly as dietary changes are implemented. Since the kidneys are near the end point of the digestion-elimination process, the fluids entering the kidneys should already have been neutralized by the alkaline reserve. If the urine pH level is consistently low (5.5-5.8) over many readings and days, it is indicative that the diet is alkalizing, and therefore the body is not likely to be acidic. However, it also indicates that the individual is eating too many acid ash foods in the form of eggs, meat, fish, poultry, grains and cheese. The body is utilizing minerals to compensate for the acid producing foods it is receiving. These individuals need to make sure that they are balancing their protein intake with a more generous portion of vegetables and fruit. On the other hand, if urine pH consistently shows high pH levels (6.8-8.0), then over time the body is chronically acidic (emotional stressors or acid-generating foods), meaning that the supply of alkaline reserves is virtually gone. In this case, there are not enough alkaline reserves remaining so the body will begin utilizing nitrogen, which then produces ammonia, to neutralize the acid. The more protein in the kidney fluid, the more ammonia that is produced in the urine to eliminate excess acid build-up. Because ammonia is very alkaline, the urine pH quickly rises to 7.0. At this point the urine will smell like ammonia, and be foamy in appearance and/or the individual may experience a burning sensation while urinating. Cranberries are acid ash foods which allows them to neutralize the ammonia. This is why when someone begins to experience "burning" when urinating that cranberries will provide relief. So, to add to the confusion, it is possible to be too alkaline, as it means that your body is relying on its emergency back-up system in order to keep your pH in balance. Remember, ideally urine pH should be kept at about 6.2. When it rises higher or drops lower it is indicative of an imbalance.
Blood pH: Ideally blood pH should be at 7.4. As mentioned earlier, eating more alkaline foods can change the urine pH rather quickly. It cannot be assumed that the blood pH will change as rapidly. Positive dietary changes along with drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day, will allow the blood pH to stabilize over time.
Exercise and pH: With exercise, excessive lactic acid is produced. If the body is already acidic, this can create a dangerous situation. Acidic blood leads to muscle breakdown - and what is our heart? Muscle. In addition, acidosis of the blood results in calcium removal from the bone that is used to neutralize the acid. If calcium is continually pulled from the bone, osteopenia or osteoporosis will result. In addition, the calcium that was pulled into the blood will affect one's heart rate, which is already being raised with exercise. This same excess calcium will need to also be filtered by the kidneys (which can lead to kidney stone formation). The most important thing to understand is that the innate intelligence of the body will rob, borrow and steal from other fluids within the body to keep the blood pH at 7/4. In order to keep the pH at the appropriate level, other body areas are ultimately negatively affected.
Ranked Foods: Alkaline (pH) to Acidic (pH)
|Alkaline: Meditation, Prayer, Peace, Kindness & Love||Acid: Overwork, Anger, Fear, Jealousy & Stress|
|Extremely Alkaline Forming Foods||Extremely Acid Forming Foods -|
|Moderate Alkaline||Moderate Acid|
|Slightly Alkaline to Neutral pH||Slightly Acid to Neutral pH|
There are several versions of the Acidic and Alkaline Food chart to be found in different books and on the Internet. The following foods are sometimes attributed to the Acidic side of the chart and sometimes to the Alkaline side. Remember, you don't need to adhere strictly to the Alkaline side of the chart, just make sure a good percentage of the foods you eat come from that side.
Organic Milk (unpasteurized)
|* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease; research is ongoing.|
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