The human body is naturally alkaline and needs to be kept that way. The mineral supply in our bodies comes from the food that we eat. These minerals are either acidic or alkaline. The acid groups are chlorides or phosphates, and the alkaline groups are sodium, calcium or potassium. All foods are either alkaline or acidic and depending on what you eat, so is your blood. An acid-alkaline imbalance is a dangerous condition that results from excess acids in the body and gives rise to an environment that is prone to disease.
pH (potential of Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution that is measured on a scale of 0 to 14. The lower the pH the more acidic the solution, the higher the pH the more alkaline the solution. When a solution is neither acid nor alkaline it has a pH of 7, which is neutral.
Since our bodies are naturally more alkaline, the pH level should ideally be between 7.35 and 7.45.
The concept of an ‘Acid Alkaline Imbalance’ as the cause of disease is not new.The 1933 ground-breaking book, A New Health Era introduced the idea that all disease is caused by autotoxication ("self-poisoning"). The author, a New York based doctor named William Howard Hay, stated that nearly every disease is caused by too much acid accumulation in the body. We consume poisonous food every day but are mystified when we fall ill. Dr Theodore.A.Baroody makes a similar point in his recent book, Alkalize or Die, stating that the seemingly endless names of diseases do not matter, only that "they all come from the same root cause...too much tissue acid waste in the body!"
It is important to learn which foods are alkaline and acidic and how each affects our health. The current diet for most societies is predominantly acidic. Alkaline foods such as vegetables are eaten in smaller quantities while acidifying stimulants like tobacco, meat, tea, and alcohol are consumed in larger amounts. Stress, and physical activity (both insufficient or excessive amounts) also cause acidification.
The body must achieve an ideal acid-alkaline balance and the ideal ratio of nutritional intake is 80% alkalizing to 20% acidifying food. We need plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (alkaline-producing) to balance our necessary protein intake (acid-producing). Some foods, which are alkaline by nature become acid producing when processed, like pasta. We need to avoid sugary or simple-carbohydrate foods because they are acid-producing, such as pastries and cake.
In plants, strong alkalines combine with weak acids to produce an acidic taste that can be detected in many foods and fruit. However, in the body these organic acids mix with oxygen and leave an alkaline residue. Therefore, we say vegetables and fruits are alkalizing or alkaline-forming even if they taste acidic. Some examples of alkaline-forming foods are asparagus, onions,vegetable juices, raw spinach, broccoli, garlic, grass juice, sprouted seeds, lemons, watermelon, limes, grapefruit, mangoes, papayas, almonds,most legumes, the outer parts of potatoes, bananas, millet, olive oil and brown rice.
Animal tissue contains a high percentage of phosphoric acid. When the phosphoric acid reacts with oxygen in the body, a strongly acidic residue remains. Some examples of acid-forming foods are beef, chicken, duck, eggs, seafood, eggs, cheese, milk . No meat has a healthy alkaline content and yet that is the major portion of most people's diets.
Acidity has a serious effect on the body. The acids circulate around the blood eventually accumulating in our blood vessels and clogging them. As a result, the cells of the human body become deprived of their supply of oxygen and essential nutrients making these cells inactive and speeding up the aging process. The clogged capillaries cause a continual loss of minerals needed to neutralize excess acid. This results in the accumulation of acidic waste in the organs and serious illness in the long run as the body becomes hypersensitive to pain while the whole metabolism becomes more and more inefficient. Overacidity of the body tissues is felt as pain, most prominent in arthritis and rheumatism. If the alkaline reserve is insufficient to neutralize these acids, more calcium is taken from the bones causing the bones to become brittle and the tissues and joints to calcify.
Acidity also causes and greatly increases inflammations and allergies,making the skin very sensitive to insect bites and other irritants. If the alkaline reserve is insufficient to neutralize these acids, more and more calcium is taken from the bones causing the bones to weaken and the tissues and joints to calcify causing arthritis and rheumatism. When the blood pH level falls towards 6.35 (too acidic), the hemoglobin in the blood deteriorates and the red blood cells cannot carry adequate oxygen to the tissues. Some examples of serious health problems linked to acidosis include heart damage, obesity, premature aging, osteoporosis, and chronic fatigue.
Test your body's pH to determine alkaline/acidity levels by using pH test strips which you can dip into your urine and saliva. Instead of using pH strips you may also use yellow turmeric (haldi). Dissolve a teaspoon of turmeric powder in half a litre of methylated spirits or rubbing alcohol. Shake and let it settle to produce a yellow solution. Pour some of this solution into a test tube or a small drinking glass. Add a few drops of urine or saliva, if it turns red then what was added had a pH greater than 6.8, if it stays yellow then the pH is still acid and less than 6.8.
In an alkaline solution it becomes a ruby red, it turns colour right at a pH of 6.8, the pH that urine and saliva should be most of the time.
If acid levels are too high, fresh green vegetable juices and vegetable broths (especially the broth of boiled potato peel) are the strongest alkalizing foods . It is your dietary choice that determines the balance of acid and alkaline pH levels. Cutting out animal tissue and fatty foods is the best way to eliminate the risks of acidosis and related illnesses.