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Alkaline and Acidic Foods – Finding Balance

Alkaline or Acidic Foods: How to Tell

Nowadays there’s a lot of talk about alkaline and acidic foods and maintaining the body in an alkaline state. Whether the food itself is alkaline or acidic is not the issue but rather how it ultimately affects body chemistry.

In simplest terms, our bodies are alkaline by nature but acidic by function. Yes, we want to eat foods that help keep the blood and tissues in a slightly alkaline state to maintain good health. But whatever foods we take in—proteins, carbohydrates, fats—every cell in the body produces a small amount of acid as it stores and releases energy. The body seeks to rid itself of excess acid through the lymphatic system, through the skin, through urination, and through plain exhalation in breathing.

Comparing Ashes to Ashes

Scientists measure the ultimate alkalinity or acidity of foods by burning them down to their mineral state. You can find charts of these studies online that are fairly accurate. I used to do a crude version of this testing during my seven-day juice fast program. Members of our group would each take a torch to different foods—meats, fruits, and vegetables—and then put the various ashes in water to see whether the liquid became more acidic or more alkaline.

Processed meats and processed foods in general tend to produce acidic mineral ions. Most whole foods—fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts—tend to produce alkaline mineral ions.

Finding Balance

But you don’t want to get bent out of shape over some natural foods—cashews, for example—that produce acidic results. Among other things, cashews are full of amazing phytonutrients that are great for the body. Overall, if you’re eating a plant-based diet, you’re almost certain to maintain an alkaline balance. Lots of water and plenty of exercise also help release acids that accumulate.

If you do a urine test and find that you’re on the acidic side, you can also add bicarbonate of soda or natural salt as a supplement in water for a while to help get yourself back in balance.

So don’t sweat the issue of alkaline vs. acidic. (But do sweat; it helps release acid.) Just do the things that support alkalinity, and you’ll see changes for the better in your health over time.

Until next time


 

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