Eat an Alkaline Diet for a Longer, Healthier Life
In science class you likely learned about the pH scale that measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. But did you ever think about your own blood being such a solution and having a pH? Well, if not, you had better start. Your blood needs to be at the slightly alkaline pH of 7.365 and if it strays too far, quite simply, you DIE! You may think I exaggerate because you never heard of anyone dying from “pH.” Nobody dies of a “pH attack” or an “acid attack,” right? Maybe… but, maybe not. (See the following list.)
Symptoms and Diseases Caused by Over-Acidity of the Body
High blood pressure
Psoriasis & other skin disorders
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Acid indigestion & acid reflux
Tooth and gum diseases
As with so many health problems, the cause goes back to how our physical bodies were adapted to the environment man used to live in, and how our diets and lifestyles have changed without our bodies adapting sufficiently to these changes. Mankind used to eat lots of raw plant products — not unlike that leafy green stuff in the grocery store produce aisle we walk quickly past. Humans were (and still are) adapted to eating lots of alkalizing foods and having a mostly alkalizing diet. In modern life, we eat many more acidifying foods and our bodies struggle to maintain the pH level essential for life.
It’s not the pH of the food that is important — it’s the pH of what’s absorbed after the food is digested that matters. Look at the alkalizing foods list at the end of this article and you’ll notice that citrus fruits like lemons are highly alkalizing, even though they are very acidic when eaten.
Here is the scenario: Your body must maintain a pH level near 7.365 to live and so it will do anything and everything it can to do so. If you eat alkaline foods that alkalize the body, then keeping this slightly alkaline pH is easy. If you eat primarily acidifying foods you will develop over-acidity, or “acidosis.” To address acidosis, your body must work in any of the following three ways: It must, 1) excrete the excess acid through urine, through the skin, or through another pathway, 2) store the acid somewhere in the body or 3) neutralize the excess acid by using alkalizing minerals, which it may have to extract from your bones.
Excreting the Excess Acid
Much acid is removed from the blood by the kidneys and then flushed out with the urine. Another avenue out of the body is through the skin. But, eliminating excess acid through the skin may either cause or aggravate a number of skin conditions including psoriasis.
Storing the Excess Acid
When the body stores excess acid, it will either create new fat cells to safely hold it, or it may store the acid in other places, like in your joints (causing arthritis) or in your lungs (causing COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Where your body stores it depends on heredity and perhaps where your body is weakest. But knowing about acid storage gives you something to work with if you have one of these problems. If you alkalize your body, your body will release the excess acid and you will see improvement in your problem, and even in your waistline!
Neutralizing the Excess Acid
As mentioned, your body will try to neutralize excess acid using the alkalizing minerals it has available — if not from your diet, then from your bones and teeth. Everyone knows about osteoporosis, the slow loss of bone density and strength that leads many elderly people to suffer bone breakage. Many of those who fracture a hip later die from complications. We can easily say that years of over-acidity was a major factor in their loss of bone health which led to the hip fracture and then, fatal complications. If it were standard practice to alkalize the body, we could prevent bone loss, plus numerous other health issues, and many people could enjoy a longer and healthier life.
Acidosis Can Get Serious
Take a good look at the list of diseases and conditions that too much acidity causes or contributes to and you’ll see some scary stuff.
- Cancer: Overly acid blood cannot carry as much oxygen and cancer thrives in a low oxygen environment.
- Cardiovascular diseases: Acidic blood burns the lining of the blood vessels and the body’s response is to deposit cholesterol, like a soothing balm, to the blood vessel walls.
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease): Excess acid is stored in the lungs.
- Arthritis: Excess acid is stored in the joints.
- Acid Reflux: Stomach acid splashes up into the throat causing painful burning and greatly increasing the risk of esophageal cancer.
- Obesity: More and more fat tissue is created to store the acid and the weight gain leads to other health problems.
The only real solution is alkalizing your body.
How to Alkalize Your Body: 3 Basic ways
1. Eat an alkaline diet (80% alkalizing foods and only 20% acidifying foods). God bless you if you can accomplish this. The American diet, at its best, is still very acid-forming, so eating an alkalizing diet is quite a challenge.
2. Drink lots of alkalizing water. Sure. You can spend $2000 on your own in-home water alkalizing system if you want. I’m not knocking it. You can also lug bottles of freshly alkalized water with you wherever you go. But this is not my choice, so that leaves…
3. Take alkalizing supplements. The magic pill! Now we’re talking! I have tried a number of different alkalizing drops and supplements and was never happy with the results until I found something new on the market that really works and I now take it every day. (If you are interested in it, you’ll find Yoli Alkalete available through www.TheWellofFitness.com.)
But how do you really know if any of this works well enough to alkalize your body? Well, to find out, you can go to your health food store and buy some pH strips for under $10 a roll and measure the pH of your morning urine. (It’s not as bad as it may sound.) If your body is not struggling with excess acid, then it will not be dumping acid into your urine and you will have alkaline urine. If your urine is still acidic, you have more work to do.
So, whichever method you choose, it’s important that you do something and keep your body alkalized so it doesn’t have to struggle just to keep you alive. Don’t wait for your doctor to tell you to do this because that will not happen. And don’t wait for a problem to develop first. Take control of your own health now. The more you help your body, the better health you should enjoy. And nothing feels better than great health!
Alkalizing and Acidifying Foods List
|Very Alkalinizing Foods – pH 8.0 to 9.0|
|9.0 Lemons, Watermelon8.5 Cantaloupe, Cayenne, Dried dates & figs, Limes, Mango, Melons, Papaya, Parsley, Watercress, Seaweeds, Asparagus, Endive, Kiwifruit, Unsweetened fruit juices, Grapes (sweet), Passion fruit, Pears (sweet), Pineapple, Raisins, Umeboshi plum, Vegetable juices|
|Moderately Alkalinizing Foods – pH 7.5 to 8.0|
|8.0 Apples, Apricots, Alfalfa sprouts, Flour, Avocados, Bananas (ripe), Berries, Carrots, Celery, Currants, Dates & figs (fresh), Garlic, Gooseberry, Grapes (less sweet), Grapefruit, Guavas, Herbs (leafy green), Lettuce (leafy green), Nectarine, Peaches (sweet), Pears (less sweet), Peas (fresh sweet), Persimmon, Pumpkin (sweet), Sea salt,Spinach7.5 Bamboo shoots, Green beans, Beets, Bell Pepper, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carob, Ginger (fresh), Grapes (sour), Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce (pale green), Oranges, Parsnip, Peaches (less sweet), Peas (less sweet), Potatoes with skin, Pumpkin (less sweet), Raspberry, Strawberry, Squash, Sweet corn (fresh), Tamari, Turnip, Vinegar (apple cider)|
|Slightly Alkalinizing to Neutral Foods – pH 7.0 to 7.5|
|7.0 Almonds, Jerusalem artichokes, Barley-Malt sweetener, Brown Rice Syrup, Brussels Sprouts, Cherries, Coconut (fresh), Cucumbers, Eggplant, Honey (raw), Leeks, Miso, Mushrooms, Okra, Olives (tree-ripened), Onions, Radish, Sea salt, Spices, Taro, Tomatoes (sweet), Vinegar (sweet brown rice), Water Chestnut, Amaranth, Artichoke (globe), Chestnuts (dry roasted), Egg yolks (soft cooked), Goat’s milk and whey (raw), Horseradish, Mayonnaise, Millet, Olive oil, Quinoa, Rhubarb, Sesame seeds (whole), Soy beans (dry), Soy cheese, Soy milk, Sprouted grains,Tempeh, Tofu, Tomatoes (less sweet)|
|Neutral pH 7.0|
|Butter (fresh, unsalted), Cream (fresh and raw), Margarine, Milk (raw cow’s),Oils (except olive), Whey (cow’s), Yogurt (plain)|
|Slightly Acid Forming to Neutral Foods – pH 7.0 to 6.0|
|7.0 Barley malt syrup, Barley, Bran, Cashews, Cereals (unrefined with honey-fruit-maple syrup), Cornmeal, Cranberries, Fructose, Honey (pasteurized), Lentils, Macadamias, Maple syrup (unprocessed), Milk (homogenized) and most processed dairy products, Molasses (un-sulfured organic), Nutmeg, Mustard, Pistachios, Popcorn & butter (plain), Rice or wheat crackers (unrefined), Rye (grain), Rye bread (organic sprouted), Seeds (pumpkin & sunflower), Walnuts, Blueberries, Brazil nuts, Butter (salted), Cheeses (mild & crumbly), Crackers (unrefined rye), Dried beans (mung, adzuki, pinto, kidney, garbanzo), Dry coconut, Egg whites, Goat’s milk (homogenized), Olives (pickled), Pecans, Plums, Prunes,Spelt.|
|Moderately Acid Forming Foods – pH 6.0 to 6.5|
|6.0 Cream of wheat, Fish, Fruit juices with sugar, Maple syrup, Molasses (sulfured), Pickles, Breads of oats & rye, Cereals (commercial), Shellfish, Wheat germ, Whole Wheat foods,Wine, Yogurt (sweetened)6.5 Bananas (green), Buckwheat, Cheeses (sharp), Corn & rice breads, Eggs, Ketchup, Mayonnaise, Oats, Pasta (whole grain), Pastry (wholegrain & honey), Peanuts, Potatoes (with no skins), Popcorn (with salt & butter), Rice (basmati or brown), Soy sauce, Tapioca, Wheat bread (sprouted organic)|
|Very Acid Forming Foods – pH 5.0 to 5.5|
|5.0 Artificial sweeteners5.5 Beef, Carbonated soft drinks, Flour (white, wheat), Goat, Lamb, Pastries & cakes from white flour, Pork, Sugar (white), Beer, Brown sugar, Chicken, Venison, Chocolate, Coffee, Jams, Jellies, Liquor, Pasta, Table salt (refined and iodized), Black tea, Turkey, Wheat bread, White rice, White vinegar.|