The acidity or alkalinity of a substance is measured by the pH scale. This is a logarithmic scale ranging from 0 (greater in acidity), to 7 (neutral), and up to 14 (greater in alkalinity). However, the acidity or alkalinity of a food, before it is eaten, does not carry through into the body after it has been digested and assimilated. Foods that are acidic before consumption, end of up having an alkalising effect in the body and vice versa.
The body functions at its best when its internal biochemical environment is in the pH range of 7.36 - 7.42, meaning slightly alkaline. Anything higher or lower that these figures indicate acidosis (from pH 7.36 to 7) or alkalosis (7.42 to 7.8). A body in these pH ranges will have illnesses, the most common in modern society are due to acidosis; excess acid in the body.
Acidification of the Body
The body becomes acidic when an imbalance of substances is introduced through the diet.
Some excess acids in the body are neutralized by alkaline substances in the bloodstream and internal organs. These alkaline substances are usually replenished by alkaline minerals found in food, but when this occurs on a regular a basis, the body's alkaline reserves diminish. Modern lifestyle and diet usually provide the body with insufficient alkaline foods, causing acidification and a whole variety of troubles and diseases.
When the body becomes acidified, this can cause problems in three ways.
Almost all vegetables, salads, herbs, seeds, pulses and fresh fruit are alkalizing, but there are some exceptions. Asparagus is believed to be one of the few acid-forming vegetables, and tomato is also acidifying.
These foods are alkalizing because they are rich in alkaline elements and do not produce acids when utilized by the body.
Sometimes yoghurt, honey, fruit juices, unripe fruit, sweet fruits (melon, watermelon) and acid fruits (berries, citrus, cherries, plums, apricots) are classed as weak acids. This is because these foods contain acid, but the acids in them are weak, for people capable of metabolizing them properly, they are transformed into alkaline elements. But some people's metabolisms cannot handle acids properly, so a large quantity of acids in these foods is not oxidized, resulting in an acidifying effect.
Acid-forming foods include most proteins and most of the starches, as well as fats, sugars and pulses. This is because their digestion produces amino acids. One exception is potatoes, which are classed as starches, but are alkaline-forming.
However, proteins and starches are not bad for us. They just need to be eaten in moderation and balanced with our intake of alkaline-forming foods.
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