To tell you the truth I always associated pH balance with litmus (failed) tests that I performed eons ago in my school chemistry lab. Some twenty odd years later, my dear friend suffering from cancer, told me how imbalanced pH levels can play havoc with your body.
pH (Potential of Hydrogen) is a measure of acidity or alkalinity in a solution, and in our context it is the pH of the body’s fluids and tissues, and not the stomach acid which most of us are familiar with. pH is measured on a scale of 1-14 with 1 being most acidic and 14 most alkaline. The ideal pH balance in the body is that of 7.30- 7.45, slightly tilting towards alkalinity. The body is constantly striving to maintain the ideal balance between the positively charged ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming) – and when this balance is jeopardized, the body suffers from various diseases and disorders.
The body tries ‘hard’ to maintain a balance but due to poor nutritional intake, environmental changes, stress and other lifestyle changes the body fluid becomes acidic. In such conditions the body mines out essential minerals and micronutrients from our bones, teeth and organs to create alkaline conditions and rehabilitate equilibrium. Now, if this is an occasional occurrence our magical bodies will manage, however if this is a continuing episode, the consequences can be dire.
Nutrition plays the key role in balancing our body pH. Highly acidic conditions in the body can lead to cataracts, osteoporosis, arthritis, gout, cancer, migraines, constipation, allergies, diabetes etc. And if this is not enough the nervous and muscular system is directly affected in acidic conditions rendering us weak with low energy and metabolism levels.
Whilst seeking allopathic treatment, my friend suffering from cancer strongly believed in naturopathic treatment. And it was her naturopath who advised a list of acidic and alkaline food items relevant in our daily consumption, which can make or break the body.
As she shared the list with me I was most surprised to find out that lemons, which are acidic in nature, actually increase alkaline levels in the body fluids. The most common antidote to extreme acidity in the body is actually to have lemon water first thing in the morning.
Close to the time when cancer overtook my friend’s undaunted struggle for life I often saw her licking small quantities of umeboshi paste, which is a paste of Japanese salted plums. She told me it helped neutralize the acidic fluids in her body. The highly acidic foods in our diet comprise of carbonated and energy drinks, dairy, sugar and sugar alternatives and the most alkaline foods comprise of collards, lemons and limes, spinach and broccoli.
Ironically all the addictive foods like sugar, chocolate, coffee, dairy are acidic – but if we pump our body with high alkaline foods we will be injecting loads of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that will not only help us negate the effect of our addictions but also balance the pH scale. Making a conscious tilt toward alkaline rich foods would possibly be the best decisions you might take for yourself. And when you do, don’t forget to notice the healthy weight loss, high energy levels, and infrequent headaches, dissipating allergies and not to mention a colorful meal every time you sit down to eat!
The chart gives you a more comprehensive list of foods, which you can go through and make knowledgeable decisions regarding your food intake.