Is Your Body Too Acidic?
By Lisa Metzgar, PhD – Nutrition Tidbits
Your body needs a balance of acid and alkaline foods to function properly. Acid means that the Ph is less than 7 and alkaline is a Ph more than 7. Our bodies function at optimal performance when our blood Ph is around 7.36 which is slightly alkaline.
Acids are very corrosive. Think of how an acid can etch metal. If you put a piece of meat in a can of cola…it will completely dissolve the meat in a very short time. Many of us put acidic things like cola and coffee in our bodies and don’t eat enough vegetables or drink enough water to neutralize the acid. It takes 32 8oz. glasses of water to neutralize one soda. When our bodies are too acidic (acidosis) our cells don’t function properly. Acidity kills the enzymes (the elements that aid in all cell function including our immune system) in our body and viruses and bacteria can thrive. Acidity leads to inflammation and hardening of tissues. Cancers also thrive in a more acidic environment. Our immune system suffers and therefore we get sick. It can also lead to mental anxiety and depression.
Acidosis can lead to a list of symptoms:
Blood sugar issues
Sensitivity to cold
Our typical American diet of cereal grains, sugar, processed foods, high meat content, alcohol, caffeine, stress, and not enough vegetables or water to neutralize all this acid. Many drugs that are prescribed can also make your body more acidic. Just shifting your diet to a more alkaline diet would benefit both your body and your mind. Children’s growing bodies especially need this balance to ensure their future health and well being. I believe that much of our ADD and ADHD problems could be addressed with a healthier diet before drugs are prescribed.
You can measure your acidity by getting testing strips at any health food store. Normal rate of acid excretion in urine is a pH of 7-7.5. Anything lower than 7 shows an excess of acid.
Vegetable oils, margarines
Grains – whole and refined
Grain based foods – pastas, breads, cereals
Condiments – mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup
Soda, coffee, tea, alcohol
Milk, cottage cheese, cream, butter
Almonds, brazil nuts
Dried fruits (except apricots, apples, pineapple)
Alkaline mineral water
Weak Acid Foods (these are transformed to alkaline in the body)
Berries, citrus, plums, cherries, apricots
Tomatoes, rhubarb, watercress
Fermented vegetables – sauerkraut
Fruit juice, lemon juice
Rules for an Acid/Alkaline balanced diet:
- Don’t eat only acidifying foods.
- Alkaline foods should be greater in proportion than acid foods.
- Eat a whole food diet
- Don’t do a solely alkaline diet for too long. There needs to be a balance.
- Drink plenty of water…it is neutralizing.
- Practice relaxation methods like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
- Eat your veggies!
LisaMetzgar, PhD,she received her BA in Biology from UCSD, is a certified Holistic Health Practitioner, and received her Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition.
Lisa has taught body mind retreats in San Diego, Seattle, and Australia and currently has a practice in Reno, NV where she does nutrition counseling.Lisa's passion is to educate families about a healthy lifestyle.
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