The Balancing Act: Acidic and Alkaline Foods

By Boulder Vitality Staff

Hey You, Is Your Body in Balance?

We try to keep our bodies in balance in so many ways: Exercising, getting sufficient rest, and maintaining healthy relationships are all ways to attain balance and health. Did you ever imagine that the foods you eat create a balancing act in your body? Being out of equilibrium can cause disease and illness while being in balance can be the recipe for optimum health.

Acid and alkaline foods are both needed to create a healthy, balanced diet. Our blood becomes more alkaline when we eat more alkalizing foods and becomes more acidic when we eat more acidifying food; therefore, it is important to learn how to maintain a happy symbiosis between the two.

Think of your body as a system that is 70% water and needs to be kept healthy. We alkalize or acidify our bodies when we eat certain foods that tend to be on a range of very acidic to very alkaline. To be healthy, our bodies need to be a balance of the two.

Sounds confusing? Let me explain.

What Are Acidic Foods and How Do They Affect Our Health?

When we think of acidic foods, vinegar or orange juice often comes to mind. Certain foods, however, do not have an acidic taste, but do have an acidifying, unhealthy reaction in our bodies. Our “Standard American Diet” (SAD) is comprised of foods that are more acidic: red meat, eggs, fish, cereal grains, and sugars. Everyone’s favorites: black tea, coffee, and chocolate also fall into the more acidic range. When we overeat acid foods, we steer ourselves in the wrong direction towards disease, joint pain, and inflammation.

For many, what we choose to eat is habitual and it is not always easy to remember that our food choices affect our overall health. We may eat highly acidic foods such as hamburgers, fries and soft drinks without realizing that we can make conscious choices to eat more alkaline foods to restore balance to our health. A more balanced approach would be to add a green salad and almond or soy milk, which are very alkalizing.

If your system is overly acidified, you may experience lack of energy, low body temperature, increased infections, and irritability, to name a few.

How Do We Measure Our Acid/Alkaline Balance?

You can measure your acid/alkaline balance by measuring your blood pH. Simply using pH litmus paper and doing a home urine test can tell you if you are too acidic or alkaline. When you see your urinary pH level it can help guide your dietary choices. This should be done several times per day to get a true picture of your blood’s pH. The range is 0-14; the normal pH is 7. The range below 7 is acidic, and the numbers higher are alkaline.

Go Green and Eliminate Excess Acids

Green, green, green! One way to counteract the acidic SAD is to increase the alkalinity of your food by making choices that include colorful and green vegetables, herbal teas, vegetable smoothies and juices, and green drinks with spirulina (blue-green algae). Also, staying hydrated by drinking tons of water is another way to neutralize acids in your body. Did you know that it takes 2.5 to 3 liters of water per day to stay well hydrated? Alkaline drops are a convenient way to balance acidity in drinking water. You simply take enough drops to keep the pH between 7 and 7.5.

In addition to eating more green vegetables, you can reduce your acidity by working out a lot and taking saunas or hot baths. Taking hot baths increases your body temperature; that, in turn, causes you to perspire the acids away.

Creating disease-free harmony in your system through eating healthy, nutrient-dense foods takes some practice. Follow this basic rule to maintain your body’s balance: Make sure you eat a combination of acid and alkaline foods in your meals, but the alkaline foods (veggies) should be of greater proportion.

Click here to read our article, “Friend or Foe?  Acid and Alkaline Food Choices.”