Find out more about alkaline- and acid-producing foods and how they affect your health. Naturopathy expert Mim Beim explains all.
(Q) I have heard it is better for your health to be more alkaline than acidic. What exactly does this mean and how do you go about becoming more alkaline?
(A) For decades, natural health practitioners have recommended a diet that “alkalises” the bloodstream. The premise is that diseases including cancer, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are influenced by dietary acid-alkaline balance.
For example, osteoporosis may be caused by a chronic intake of acid-forming foods consistently outweighing the intake of alkaline foods. This leads to the bones being forced to give up their alkaline minerals (calcium and magnesium) in order to buffer the excess acid.
Our body likes to be in a state of steady balance, also known as homeostasis, where blood pressure, hormone levels, temperature and pH levels remain in a certain safe range. pH is a measure of acid versus base (alkali) and different parts of the body need different pH levels. For instance, blood needs to hover around a pH of 7.4 (slightly alkaline), whereas stomach acid should be a corrosive two to three, in order to kill harmful bacteria.
Establishing pH balance
The dietary goal is quite simple: ensure you have a higher intake of alkaline-producing foods than acid-producing ones. An alkaline diet is rich in vegetables and fruit, while avoiding an over-consumption of grains, meat and dairy.
There is a difference between acidic foods and acid-forming foods. While some foods may taste acidic, they can actually have an alkalising effect on the body. What determines the pH nature of the food in the body is the metabolic end products when it is digested and the minerals absorbed into the bloodstream. For example, the citric acid in citrus fruit is metabolised to its alkaline form (citrate).
It’s important to remember that, like everything in life, it’s about balance. We need to eat some acid-forming foods too. Foods that are alkaline-forming include vegetables, fruit, herbs, soybeans and tofu. Acid-forming foods are grains, cheese, peanuts, prawns, meat and chicken.
If you know that your body is more acidic than what it used to be, we recommend that you download and read the Acid/Alkaline e-book. To get rid of excess acid in the body, take the Manna pH Balance supplement, which can help to eliminate excess uric acid from the body and get the PH balance back to normal. However, the correct diet, eliminating certain acid causing food and drinking enough pure water, is of the utmost importance to get your PH levels in balance.