Thursday, November 27, 2014

Health benefits of acid-alkaline food balance

pH balance is one of the most important factors in maintaining health and life. A normal body pH balance is the first line of defense against aging and disease. All body tissues and organs normally maintain pH within narrow range by carefully balancing acidic and alkaline elements. All disease is caused by autotoxication (self-poisoning) due to acid accumulation in the body. Changes in pH alter virtually all body functions. Prolonged acid-alkali imbalance could lead to degenerative diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and rapid aging among others. Alkaline substances such as potassium, calcium and magnesium are needed to neutralize the harmful acids and encourage acid excretion. Nutritionally speaking, the alkaline foods provide greater amounts of alkaline substances such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. It is generally accepted that diet is an important source of the alkali and acids one’s body needs. Balance body pH will give you more natural vitality, better metabolism and less internal and external signs of aging.

The acid-alkaline theory of disease

In his book A new Health Era, Dr. William Howard Hay (1933) stated that all disease is caused by acid accumulation in the body. This acid-alkaline theory of disease is an over-simplification. In his book My Journey to the Fountain of Youth, Azahara Carter stated that there are two principles underlying the concept of acid-alkaline balance: first those factors such as diet, age, lifestyle habits and emotional state contribute to an overly acidic system and second that an overly acidic system is a breeding ground for disease. It is probable that the acid –alkaline imbalance can be a large factor in the onset of serious health issues such as osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, arthritis, kidney problems, chronic fatigue and many other health challenges.

Acid-forming and alkaline- forming foods

Depending on the chemical composition of the metabolized foods (known as ‘ash’), the foods are categorized in to acid-forming and alkaline forming foods.
Acid-forming foods – these foods are not acidic themselves, but form acids in the body during the metabolic process and digestion e.g. animal fats, fork, poultry, beef, bacon and dairy products.
Acidic foods – these foods are acidic, but can have either an acid-forming or an alkaline forming effect in the body e.g. berries, citrus fruits, pulses and sour milk.
Alkaline foods and alkali-forming foods – The strength of the alkali in alkaline foods does not reflect their alkali forming qualities in the body. Alkali-forming foods are not alkaline themselves, but they possess good alkali- forming and de-acidifying qualities e.g. most fresh vegetables, leafy greens, potato, bananas, spinach, celery and melon.

Health effects of acid/ alkaline imbalance

The acid / alkaline balance in the body is central to good health. The normal waste products of cellular metabolism are acid. The body needs alkaline to balance the acid out and the only source of alkaline is from the food we consume or the correct supplements we take. A healthy diet should consist of approximately 75% alkaline ash-forming foods and 25% acid ash-forming foods. Usually the proportion of acid forming food we consume is much higher than that of alkaline food.
Acidic waste can seriously damage body cells and vital organs. An acidic environment results in lack of energy, chronic fatigue and susceptibility to disease. A build up of acidity decreases the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients; decrease energy production in cells; decrease the body’s ability to repair damaged cells and decrease its ability to detoxify heavy metals. Most cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment.  Inflammatory disease, arthritis, respiratory conditions and cardiovascular diseases are more prevalent in acidic environment. A build up of acidity prevents body organs from functioning properly, thickens the blood and starts to dissolve the linings of the arteries.
On the other hand an alkaline environment helps to heal the body, slower aging process, and relives suffering from colds, headaches and the flu.

Symptoms of body pH imbalance

The symptoms of excess body acidity include fluctuating energy levels, mental fatigue and dullness, depression, headaches, lower back pain, decreased vitality, irritability and sinus-related problems. The symptoms of excessive alkalinity include tension, nervousness, muscle tension or spasms, slow recovery from injuries and travelling muscle pain.

Nutritional balance

Right combination of green raw foods, whole foods, vegetables, juices, herbs and water will reduce the build up of acid, toxins and free radicals from oxidation and promote a healing body environment.
60/40: To maintain health, the diet should consist of 60% alkaline –forming foods and 40% acid-forming foods.
80/20: To restore health, the diet should consist of 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods.
Dr. Robert Young heralds that a diet that is made up of 80% alkaline producing foods and 20% acid producing foods will allow people to achieve their healthier bodies and healthier lives.
Generally alkaline –forming foods include most fruits, green vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, spices, herbs and seasonings, seeds and nuts. Generally acid – forming foods include meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, grains and legumes. Processed, micro-waved, refined and fried foods, soft drinks, alcohol and coffee produce acids.

Concluding remarks

Human body is slightly alkaline and therefore it is better for your health to eat a diet composed of alkaline foods. Disease begins when our bodies turn acidic. In his book How to get well (1984), Paavo Airola, a naturopath said that, “acidosis or over-acidity in the body tissues, is one of the basic causes of disease, especially the arthritic and rheumatic diseases.” Another author Michael Colgan in his book The New Nutrition (1996) mentioned that, “acidosis destroys bones because the body has to steal alkalizing minerals from them to keep the blood pH from dropping into the acid range.” Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg won the 1931 Nobel Prize in Physiology for proving that cancer can’t survive in an alkaline, oxygen- rich environment, but thrives in an acidic, low-oxygen environment. Our health is directly related to the condition of our internal body fluids. The condition of our internal bodily fluids is directly influenced by the foods we eat and by our daily activities. Eat a diet that helps your body maintain the correct acid-alkaline balance.
              Eat more alkaline foods and less acidic foods
                     Balance your pH for better health.

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