Is acidity making you ill?

How acid is your body?

Highly acidic body tissues can be a contributory factor in the development of  chronic diseases such as arthritis, fatigue, heart disease and cancer. However by adopting a PH balancing diet this state of affairs can be improved, so lessening the risk of contracting such diseases.

PH is a measure of how acid or alkaline something is. It is measured on a scale of 0 -14; with 7 being neutral, less than 7 being acidic and greater than 7 being alkaline.

Different parts of our body work at different pH levels. For example the juices in the stomach are very acidic, usually between pH1 and 3. They need to  be acidic in order to kill off any nasty organisms which are ingested with our food and also to be able to start the process of breaking down and digesting our foodstuffs.

However most of the remainder of your body is quite different. About half the fluid in your body exists inside your cells, and this fluid is slightly alkaline with a pH of just above 7. The extra-cellular fluids, including blood and plasma, are more alkaline with a pH of about 7.4.

Therefore you can see that for optimum health the body needs to maintain an alkaline pH. If the amount of acid in your  tissues should be so great that it exceeds your body’s capacity to neutralise and remove it then the body will resort to various measures in order to maintain the correct pH. Alkalising minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium will be withdrawn from other locations such as bones, soft tissues and body fluids in order to neutralise excess acidity. The body will also dump acid in certain body tissues.

What causes us to develop acid body tissues. Essentially it is down to diet. Our ancestors were built to thrive on an alkalising diet based on plant foods. About 10,000 years ago we started to cultivate grains and this was the start of a movement from a diet that alkalised the body to one that had a more acidifying effect. With the passing of time the consumption of grains and animal produce has continued to increase and the acidic load on our bodies has become worse.

When we talk about an acidic food, we do not mean how that food tastes but how it reacts in the body. If after being digested a food leaves a net positive acid load then it will acidify the body. Grains, meat, fish, dairy, eggs and nuts are all acidifying foods. On the other hand if a food leaves a net negative acid load after being broken down then it is alkalising. Fruits and vegetables are alkalising foods.

So how do you reverse body acidification?

Essentially you need to change your diet to eat more vegetables and fruits and fewer grains and animal products. Ideally your intake should be about  2/3 alkaline forming foods and the rest acid forming foods.

Alkaline forming foods include: vegetables, especially dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale, beans, fruits, nuts, buckwheat and quinoa, garlic, parsley, ginger, honey and apple cider vinegar.

Acid forming foods include: grains such as wheat, oats, rye, rice, meat, eggs, cheese, sugar, milk and fizzy drinks.

You can also take supplements to speed up the reversal.  Products which help include;

  • Apple cider vinegar – 1-2 teaspoons in hot water with a little honey makes a pleasant drink.
  • Magnesium and potassium salts.
  • Spirulina, chlorella and other green powders. These can be added to juices and smoothies or sprinkled over food.