A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
Maintaining Acid Alkaline Equilibrium
Posted before Dec-31-2007
The products formed following the digestion or break down of the ingested food by the body are usually alkaline or acidic in nature. Acids are actually amalgams of different components that donate or get rid of hydrogen ions. On the contrary, alkalines are also amalgams composed of different elements, but they attract or accept hydrogen ions. Although both acids as well as alkalines are essential for the body for the metabolism of foods consumed, compared to alkalines, it is usually more problematic to get rid of the acids from our system. Hence, acids often easily build up in our body resulting in several illnesses.
It needs to be noted that the human body is a complex system and it is very difficult to keep up the equilibrium of different substances present naturally in our system. The body can be compared to a complex machine which performs a number of different functions at the same time. In order to carry out all these tasks efficiently there is a basic requirement - the ph of the body ought to preferably be at an alkaline 7.4. The results may be catastrophic if the balance of the ph of the body leans towards the acidic plane. The equilibrium between acid and alkaline in the body is essential for the immune system to combat ailments and also to put off deterioration or wearing off of the cells.
Under normal circumstances, the balance between acid and alkaline in the body is in the proportion of 1:4. In other words, this denotes that for every part of acid present in the body, there are four parts of alkaline. This equilibrium between acid and alkaline in the body can be sustained without any effort if people consume foods that enclose acid and alkaline in the same ratio. Hence, it is important to make sure that the food we consume ought to contain 20 per cent of acidic substances and 80 per cent of alkaline substances. It is quite natural that if we begin to consume foods with more acid contents the ph of our body will lean towards the acid region. The equilibrium between acid and alkaline in the body changes right away when we consume such foods. The moment this occurs and the ph in our body is disturbed, it initiates degeneration of cells and, at the same time, deteriorates the immune system. In such cases, we will not only begin to feel exhausted and depleted energy levels, but the body will become vulnerable to a number of ailments, including osteoporosis, arthritis and, sometimes, even cancer.
The cells in the human body are usually having a spherical shape and possess a red hue. However, with the change in the ph of the body, the cells lose color and shape and become ill. It is obvious that in such condition the body becomes susceptible to different types of diseases and difficulties. The polarization of the cells also change in such situations - normally the cells are negative and following the change in the ph of the body they turn positive and begin to bind with the walls of the arteries resulting in their blocking. Consequently, coronary ailments are the next step. Any change in the normal acid alkaline equilibrium of the body is bound to cause grave effects.
The best and easiest way to keep up the acid alkaline ratio in the body is to consume more foods that are alkaline in nature. Care needs to be taken to ensure that dairy products, proteins from animal foods, alcohol, fats and processed foods should never comprise over 20 per cent of the food we consume. All the foods mentioned above are acidic in nature and if they are consumed in excess of 20 per cent of our diet, they will upset the equilibrium between acid and alkaline in the body and incline the balance towards the acid plane. Then again, one should consume more of alkaline foods as they aid in sustaining the equilibrium between acid and alkaline in the body. In fact, almonds, green vegetables, fruits, olive oil, honey and things like these are helpful in preserving the acid alkaline equilibrium of the body. However, while consuming green vegetables and fruits ensure that you wash them carefully in order to get rid of all pesticides used to cultivate them. Cooking vegetables or any other foods robs the nutrients enclosed by them to a great extent, thus, while eating foods rich in alkaline content, as far as possible try to consume them raw so that you do not miss on the valuable nutrients contained by them. In addition, if you are keen on maintaining the acid alkaline ratio in the body, it is advisable to avoid foods like rice, wheat, barley and even lentils, as all these foods are acidic in nature. However, it is interesting to note that although lemons have an acidic flavor, when consumed, their impact is similar to those of the alkaline foods. Thus, despite their acidic essence, consumption of lemons helps us in preserving the acid alkaline equilibrium in the body.
In addition to consuming foods, drinking water is also essential for our continued existence. Here it may be noted that while plain water does not help in maintaining the acid alkaline balance in the body in any manner, alkaline water is very effective in this regard. In fact, drinking alkaline water not only maintains the acid alkaline equilibrium in the body, but also helps in reinstating the equilibrium. If experts are to be believed, everyone ought to drink around six to eight glasses of alkaline water every day with a view to flush out all noxious substances from our body.
People who want to lead a healthy life and live longer should always ensure that they are maintaining the normal acid alkaline ratio of the body, since this balance is essential to prevent cell degeneration as well as to ward off many diseases. In effect, anyone neglecting the importance of maintaining the regular acid alkaline equilibrium of the body is simply inviting diseases and death. It is surprising to not that despite the importance of the acid alkaline balance of the body, there are numerous people who are completely ignorant of the need to take a diet comprising foods that help us to always maintain this equilibrium. The right balance between the acids and alkalis present in the body is necessary for acquiring utmost energy supplies and sustaining good health.
Organs such as the kidneys and the large intestine help the body in getting rid of the waste products and noxious substance in the humans. Eliminating such harmful substances help in sustaining a perfect condition internally and protect us from diseases and infections. Nevertheless, there are a number of restraints in this regard. For instance, if an individual consumes excessive of foods containing noxious substances or if the body does not possess adequate substances to eliminate the waste products and toxins, the internal conditions may often change to such an extent that is outside the control of the body's cleansing mechanisms. When the internal conditions are not conducive for the cells to live, they gradually fall ill and eventually die - a process known as cell degeneration. It may be noted here that in fact, several ailments are owing to our body's failure to cleanse up the internal organs by flushing out the waste products and toxins. Precisely speaking, the human body produces as well as sustains several diverse types of fluids, the most important among which is blood having a ph level of 7.4 - that is somewhat alkaline in nature. It is important to maintain this alkalinity of the blood throughout and any disparity in the ph level of blood may result in disastrous consequences. When there is an excessive amount of acid in the blood, it makes the heart slow down and gradually stops beating. Interestingly, the outcome of having too much of alkaline in the blood is also similar - the heart contracts or becomes smaller and eventually stops pumping blood.
If you observe the diet of any ordinary North American, you will be amazed to notice they regularly consume abundance of such foods that produce acids and are detrimental in maintaining the acid alkaline equilibrium of the body. This problem actually worsens while one is traveling and takes his or her meals in restaurants that hardly provide good quality vegetables, fruits and grain preparation that would help to neutralize the foods containing excess of proteins like poultry, fish and meat. Thus, it is very natural that the acid alkaline balance of the body is disturbed in such occasions and people generally fall sick soon after unless they take proper care.
The human body has its own integral regulators known as ‘blood buffers'. These blood buffers put off augmented acidity that otherwise would cause a rise and fall in the ph level of the blood. For example, physical work outs as well as movements cause the blood to become more acidic. However, when you take rapid deep breaths for a few minutes, it will naturally decrease the acidity in the blood and restore the normal ph level.
It has been seen that people who have an excess of acid in their body find that the different organs of their body fail to function properly making them vulnerable to conditions, such as cold and influenza. On the contrary, individuals who take care to sustain the normal acid alkaline equilibrium of the body ensure that they remain healthy and fit. Here, it is important to note that the above observations do not in any manner suggest that alkaline is better than acid, but simply implies that compared to acid, the human body requires more of alkaline to carry out its functions normally. As discussed earlier, a proper equilibrium between acid and alkaline is essential for the normal functioning of the body and maintaining good health. It may be mentioned here that the normal acid alkaline ratio of the human body is 1:4 - four parts of alkaline for every part of acid present in the body.
Following digestion, the end product of all types of food is either acid or alkaline. In fact, all normal foods enclose both acid-producing and alkaline-producing substances. While the acid-producing elements are predominant in some foods, in others, the alkaline-producing elements are central. In fact, the organic elements present in any food do not leave any acidic or alkaline deposits in the body. In fact, the acidity or alkalinity of the body is determined by the inorganic substances, such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, magnesium and sodium, present in the ingested foods. Relatively, foods that are rich in protein content, such as majority of the grains and animal products, including poultry, fish and meat, contain more acid-producing elements. Similarly, vegetables, especially green vegetables, and majority of the fruits are rich in elements that form alkaline. A number of grains, such as buckwheat, millet and sprouted grains also possess elements that form alkaline.
When people ingest an excessive amount of sugars, proteins, fats, white flour products and milled white rice, it usually causes an extremely acidic condition. Often several chemical compounds that are either blended with food or taken up by the foods also add to the acid content in the system. Such harmful chemicals include preservatives, colorants, synthesized drugs and pesticides. Here is a word of caution. Consuming sugar along with animal foods is a hazardous combination and may cause innumerable damages to the body. However, when sugar and proteins are consumed separately, they do not cause much harm to the system. For instance, the Eskimos eat plenty of animal foods, but very little sugar and hence, the rate of occurrence of cancer among them is considerably low. Aboriginal Eskimos, who eat around ten pounds of meat every day, including uncooked fish and blubber (lard), also seldom suffer from any symptoms related to blood circulation diseases. It has been found that despite consuming abundance of proteins and fats, these primitive Eskimos do not suffer from any disease related to the blood vessels simply because they eat most of the food raw or uncooked. In their case, the body need not have to produce enough amounts of enzymes to digest and assimilate the ingested foods because the foods are in such a state that they can be digested without much effort. On the other hand, people in India consume plenty of sugar, but comparatively less amounts of meat and hence, they too have a relatively low rate of cancer cases.
While majority of the grains contain elements that produce acid, provided they are cultivated in an organic manner, they are basically neutral as far as promoting cancer is concerned. In fact, whole grains possess vital fibers that endorse wholesome digestion. On the contrary, meats contain proteins, but no fiber to force the ingested foods through the system. An ideal diet that would help in maintaining the acid alkaline balance of the body should include fresh garden vegetables grown organically along with garden-fresh green salads, sea vegetables and fruits. These ought to be the major constituent of the diet you take if you desire to maintain the acid alkaline equilibrium of the body and remain in the best of health. It would be beneficial if you drank beverages prepared from vegetables, fruits and herbs between your meals. At the same time, try to limit the consumption of fish, dairy products, meat, alcohol, nuts and sweets.
Normally, the morning after a feast or dinner party when an individual has indulged in excessive foods and drinks, it is advisable to consume lots of oranges or other fresh fruits in order to neutralize the excessive acidity in the body and maintain the acid alkaline equilibrium in the system. Some teas that are effective in balancing the acidity in the body include blessed thistle, dandelion, red clover, yarrow, alfalfa, mullein, buckthorn, watercress and motherwort. In case you have an inclination to consume plenty of sugar, you should lessen the intake of salt and, at the same time, start substituting foods enclosing white sugars with foods that contain ‘black' sugars like malt, date, molasses and maple. In fact, black sugars enclose less of elements that form acid, but enclose vitamins and minerals that form alkaline. It has been found that the vitamins and minerals present in black sugar assist in blending glucose in the body. If you have a desire for sugars, it may also denote that you are increasing the amount of proteins in your diet and this is harmful for the acid alkaline balance of the body.
Hence, it is essential to dissuade children from taking too much of foods that contain sugars. The craving for sugary foods may be lessened by providing the children with sulfur-free dehydrated fruits like papaya, banana chips, pineapple, mango, figs, raisins as well as other dried fruit blends available in the market or can be prepared at home. In case you are taking raisins ensure that they have been cultivated organically, as normally the crops of raisins are polluted exceedingly owing to the use of pesticides during cultivation. In fact, dried fruits pass through the system well and also help in sustaining their nourishment properties. Nevertheless, if you are consuming dry fruits, ensure that you take them with a period of one year from the date of their packing. At the same time, it may be mentioned that taking excessive of vitamins in the form of pills also increases the acidity in the body. Hence, it is advisable to avoid pills and their like and instead acquire the required nourishments from foods, especially those grown organically.
Always bear in mind that foods are the best form of medications. They can be segregated into two stimulating groups - sodium and potassium. While the potassium salts invigorates the oxidation process of blood, sodium salts actually slows down oxidation. Hence, when any individual consumes plenty of vegetables and grains that enclose potassium salts, it will result in better oxidation of the blood and enable the person to undertake superior physical performance. Conversely, any individual consuming lots of poultry, eggs, fish and meat that are rich in sodium content, the oxidation of the blood will be slowed down. In this instance, these inorganic foods will give rise to noxious or toxic acids in the body. This is the main reason why people ought to have a balance of these substances in their diet. Balancing foods containing potassium and sodium salts in one's diet will not only help in sustaining the acid alkaline equilibrium in the body and also assist in leading a healthy life and live for long.
Essential foods that produce alkaline
Ideally, foods that produce alkaline ought to constitute around 75 per cent to 85 per cent of a person's diet or nutritional intake. Some examples of such foods are provided below:
Essential foods that produce acid
Dependent on the routine of an individual, foods that produce acid ought to ideally constitute anything between 15 per cent and 25 per cent of his or her nutritional intake. Some examples of such foods are provided below:
It may be mentioned here that fats are believed to be among the three important nourishing substances. In addition to providing nutrients to our body, fats also help in cleansing as well as greasing the organs. Until any one misuse fats, they tend to remain neutral in our body. However, overuse of fats may result in acidity in the body.
Elevated acidity in body
The greatest and widespread hindrance in maintaining equilibrium between acid and alkaline is extreme levels of acidity. In effect, the exhaustion of vital minerals in the body compels the body to make use of the essential minerals from any resource any place they are accessible. In other words, this denotes that the body begins to obtain the essential minerals from the important organs and bones. When this process continues for a prolonged period, it deteriorates the condition of the vital organs as well as the muscles. Extreme levels of acidity may result in several difficulties and some of them are mentioned below.
It may be said that the diet taken by any individual is basically responsible for the disparity in the equilibrium between acid and alkaline in his or her body. As a result, people ought to keep away from foods that produce high acid-ash. Then again, it is also true that foods producing alkaline-ash may also be made use of to aid in neutralizing any acid disparity. At the same time, it needs to be mentioned that some foods, such as lemon, may seem to be acidic, but produces alkaline ash. Hence, you can not always determine whether any food is producing acid ash or alkaline ash just on the basis of its taste.
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