Saturday, September 26, 2009

Acid-Alkaline Balance, Part 2

Acidosis: a Widespread Problem

Today the vast majority of the populace of the Western industrialized nations suffers from problems caused by acidification, because both modern lifestyle and diet promote acidification of the body’s internal environment.

In general, the current standard diet is primarily composed of acidic or acidifying elements (proteins, cereals, sugars). Alkaline food such as vegetables are eaten in much smaller quantities. Their alkaline content is insufficient to neutralize surplus acids. Furthermore, the consumption of stimulants like tobacco, coffee, tea, and alcohol – every one of which has an extremely acidifying effect on the body – has grown to enormous proportions.

Stress, nervous tension, noise, shortage of time, and other pressures are facts of life today and contribute to increasing the body’s acidification through the physiological disturbances they create.

Physical exercise – which can play an important role in maintaining acid-alkaline balance – is more often than not either insufficient or excessive. In both cases, acidification of the body’s internal environment is the result.

Of all the factors causing acidification the most important is unquestionably the food. The majority of acidosis sufferers can be treated simply by significantly reducing their consumption of acidifying and acidic food and increasing their consumption of alkaline foods.

Acidifying Foods

Acidifying foods are primarily those that are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and/or fats

  • Meat, poultry, fish
  • Cheeses (strong cheeses are more acidic than mild cheeses)
  • Animal fats such as lard and suet - Vegetable oils, especially peanut oil and oils that are refined or hardened (margarine)
  • Whole grains and refined grains: wheat, oats, especially millet
  • Bread, pasta, cereal flakes, and foods with a grain base
  • Leguminous plants such as peanuts, soybeans, white beans, broad beans
  • White sugar
  • Sweets: syrups, pastry, chocolate, candy, jam, fruit preserves
  • Oleaginous fruits: walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkins seed
  • Commercially manufactured sweet drinks, primarily sodas
  • Coffee, tea, cocoa, wine
  • Condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup
Acid Foods

This group consists of foods whose alkalizing or acidifying effect depends on the metabolic capacities of the person who eats them.

These foods contain a good deal of acid, hence their taste. The acids in them are weak, however, which means for people capable of metabolizing them properly by easily oxidizing them, they are transformed into alkaline elements and therefore contribute to the alkalization of the body. But for people whose metabolisms cannot handle acids properly, the large quantity of acids contained in these foods is not oxidized, and they thus will have an acidifying effect.

The primary acid foods are fruits, whey, and vinegar.

  • Whey, yogurt, curds, kefir, small curd cottage cheese
  • Unripe fruits (the less ripe a fruit, the higher its acid content)
  • Acid fruits: berries (red and black currants, raspberries, strawberries); citrus fruits (lemons, grapefruit, tangerines, oranges); certain varieties of apples (Winesap), cherries (Morello), plums apricots
  • Sweet fruits (especially when eaten in excess), melon, watermelon
  • Acid vegetables: tomato, rhubarb, sorrel, watercress
  • Sauerkraut, vegetables that have been lactofermented (cultured with Lactobacillus)
  • Fruit juices, lemon juice (in salad dressing)
  • Honey
  • Vinegar
Alkalizing Foods

Alkalizing foods consist primarily of green and colored vegetables (with exception of tomatoes) and potatoes.

  • Potatoes
  • Green vegetables, raw or cooked: salad greens, green beans, cabbage, and so on
  • Colored vegetables: carrots, beets (except for tomatoes)
  • Corn (kernels or cooked as polenta)
  • Milk (liquid and powdered form), large curd cottage cheese, cream, butter
  • Bananas
  • Almonds, Brazil nuts
  • Chestnuts
  • Dried fruits: dates, raisins (except for those that are acidic to taste – apricots, apples, pineapple)
  • Alkaline mineral waters
  • Almond milk
  • Black olives preserved in oil
  • Avocado
  • Cold-pressed oils
  • Natural sugar

Detecting Acidification - Testing pH

How can you tell if you are suffering from acidification? There are several tests that are easy to perform and interpret. The most important is also the most common, the test that measures urinary pH. It consists of measuring the pH of the urine with pH test strips which are strips specially manufactured to make this kind of measurement.

The most simple method consists of holding the test strip in the flow of urine for one or two seconds, just long enough to moisten it. The acid of the urine reacts with the pH paper on the strip, causing it to change color. The paper is then matched to the indicator scale on the color chart. The figure of the corresponding urinary pH is located right next to the color. Remember that it is neutral at 7; at 6.5 and under it is acid; and at 7.5 and above it is alkaline.

A single measurement is not enough to draw any valid conclusions about the state of the internal environment; pH can vary at different times of the day because of activity, meals, physical effort, stress, and so forth. To be truly representative the measurements must be taken several times a day for four to five days in succession.

A pH below 7 in this range testifies to acidic urine. Regular readings indicating acidic urine are an unmistakable revelation that the body’s internal environment is also acidic.

Healing the Problems caused by Acidification

The treatment plan to counter acidification aims first to reduce the amount of acids the body takes in. This is an indispensable step; as long as large quantities of acids are entering the body, all other measures have only a temporary palliative effect. Diet is adjusted so that alkaline foods and drinks predominate over acidifying and acidic foods. Dietary reform is a simple step, but its effect is considerable. Improved oxidation of acids is obtained by introducing or increasing physical activity (walking, sports). Eliminating the acids already present in the tissues is accelerated by consuming medicinal plants that increase the flow of urine (diuretics) and those that enhance the production of sweat (sudorifics).

An additional measure, which has proven to be indispensable in the majority of cases, is to take alkaline mineral supplements, not only to help the body eliminate the acids ingested during the day but also, and more importantly, to facilitate elimination of the acids lodged in the deep tissues of the body.

Alkaline Supplements

The change in diet is primarily meant to deal with the body’s current need for alkaline substances, not for disposing of the previous accumulation of acids. It is therefore imperative to provide alkaline substances in addition to those the body is ingesting through food. This is possible with alkaline supplements, preparations containing the principal alkaline minerals – calcium, potassium, magnesium, and so forth – in a form that is easily assimilated by the body. A good alkaline mineral supplement is pHion Blue.

Taking these alkaline supplements on a regular basis supports the body’s efforts and greatly accelerates the process of deacidification. The supplements also provide quicker relief to the patient experiencing the painful symptoms or harmful disorders caused by excess acids in the body. Thanks to supplements, these disorders diminish, often in a remarkably short period.

Alkaline Supplement Dosage

In contrast to most remedies, alkaline supplements have no fixed dosage instructions. The dosage always depends on the individual, so you are responsible for figuring out which dose is correct for your needs.

To determine the right dosage, it is of fundamental importance to take as much as necessary of an alkaline supplement to obtain a urinary pH reading that falls between 7 and 7.5.

Because many people are unaware of or ignore this rule of thumb they do not gain maximum benefit from this therapy.

Length of Treatment

Alkaline supplement therapies are undertaken for as long as the body needs them to clear up the acidification of its internal environment. This varies from one individual to the next. It can last anywhere from six months to two years, based on the degree of acidification. This may seem like a long time, but it is quit short when you consider that the body was building up these acid waste deposits for a good number of years before any health problems appeared.

The sign that the therapy has reached its goal and can now be stopped is when you have a urinary pH of 7 to 7.5 without taking any alkaline supplements.


Photo courtesy of FreeFoto

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