Alkaline foods are important in keeping a body balanced and from becoming too acidic. When a person’s body is too acidic it decreases the amount of oxygen in the cells and it decreases the amount of energy the cells have to destroy other, more harmful cells like cancer and other diseases. An acidic body means that the natural immune system is weakened, as well as the body’s overall ability to function optimally. Unfortunately, this condition is a very common one in a contemporary society with poor eating habits and where this condition is often overlooked. With weakened functioning, the risk of every kind of disease increases as vital strength and energy decreases.
Definition of Alkaline Foods
pH is the abbreviation for potential hydrogen. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14.
When human blood pH levels fall beneath 7.0, a body is considered acidic, meaning it is more susceptible to disease. A human blood pH number above this level is diagnosed as being alkaline. The higher a pH number, the more oxygen is present. The lower a pH number indicates that less oxygen is present, as well as the more acid.
Ideally, bodily fluids should register at a 7.4 pH. Even though this number is slightly higher than the mid-range 7.0, it is still considered balanced and is on par with the pH measured in natural water sources.
Causes of Food Acidity
Among the primary causes for most people’s systems to become overly acidic is the average modern diet being deficient in alkaline-producing foods, such as garden fresh vegetables and modern diets being excessive in animal products that are high acid producing. Such high acid producing foods include meat, eggs and dairy, which are eaten regularly by most people. In addition to these foods, the average person also consumes high amounts of other acid-producing foods like sugar, artificial sweeteners, white flour, sodas and coffee. Certain medications are also key contributors to an acid-rich diet.
A toxic overload from daily consumption of these foods, as well as the environments we live in that also create higher stress levels all contribute to acidity in our bodies, which place us at an increased risk for developing life-threatening diseases.
Symptoms of Need for More Alkaline Foods
A few of the following symptoms may indicate a pH imbalance in an individual:
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Stiffness or cramping in the legs
- Excessive sweating
- Tired legs
- Itching rectum
- Hot flashes
- Joint pain
- Excessive mucous
- Blurred vision
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hormonal imbalances
- Unintended weight gain
- Rapid aging
- Organ dysfunction
- A neurological disorder
Alkaline Foods Diet
Before engaging in a pH diet, it is important to realize that the foods we eat have their own pH levels, but that once they are consumed it is the pH level they produce in the body that should be noted. An example of how this works can be seen in orange juice, which is highly acidic. However, once it is ingested, it becomes metabolized and actually causes urine to become alkaline. Therefore, just knowing the pH of foods is not enough. It is extremely important be conscious of how foods are interacting with the body when it comes to determining whether they are acid forming foods or alkaline foods.
Though stress can become a factor in acid forming in the body, home remedies for pH imbalance deal almost exclusively with changing dietary habits. Since it is diet that likely caused the condition over time, it will be necessary to commit to the following dietary changes in order to reverse the condition over time.
To begin with, let’s review a few of the foods that are considered acid producing:
- Beans (black beans, soy beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, green peas, etc.)
- Grains (barley, wheat, oats, bread, pasta, rice, wheat flour, white flour, etc.)
- Ice cream
- Safflower oil
- Avocado oil
- Corn oil
- Canola oil
- Olive oil
- Flax oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Corn syrup (all types)
- Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, Sweet and Low, Equal, etc.)
While they are not considered food, the following items are acid forming when consumed:
- Prescription drugs
- Recreational drugs
Additionally, the following foods sometimes appear on food charts as being acid-forming and, at other times, they appear to also be alkaline foods:
- Brussel sprouts
- Herbal tea
- Green tea
- Maple syrup
It is not necessary to eliminate any of the foods on these lists in favor of a pH diet. However, it is important to know which are acid producing and to eat more alkaline foods than acidic foods. This goal represents the best in home remedies for pH imbalance.
Alkaline foods to consider are:
- Sea salt
- Chili pepper
- Fresh fruit juices
- Fresh green juices
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fermented tofu
- Fermented tempeh
- Barley grass
The following minerals are considered to be highly alkaline:
Note that these are not complete lists of acid-producing or alkaline foods. Also, in all of the items listed above, some are considered to have higher or lower pH levels than the rest. It is therefore important to study individual foods that are regularly consumed in order to create an accurate pH diet. In order to maintain good balance, alkaline foods should represent 60% of a diet and acid-forming foods reduced to 40%. However, if a person is already stricken with an illness and is focusing on restoring good health, home remedies for pH imbalances include adjusting these percentages to 20% acid-forming foods and 80% alkaline foods.