Health Importance of the Acid/Alkaline Balance

Acid-alkaline balance

What is the acid/alkaline balance? Why is it so important to optimize it? Can it cause the disease? How else it affects our lifes? What do we need to optimize acid/alkaline balance and to reflect it in our diet?

Your body is a complex system that needs to strike a delicate balance between acidity and alkalinity in order to not only survive, but to thrive. The proper acid/alkaline balance varies slightly from person to person, but it is generally agreed by experts that the magic pH number for optimal health should be around 7.4. If the pH level drops below that number you have entered a state of acidity and you open yourself up to a host of health problems, conditions, and diseases.

Health Aspects of alkalinity

While some aspects of your acidity or alkalinity is out of your control due to the finite amount of alkaline material with which you were born, personal choices that you make on a day to day basis can play an even larger role in your overall health. For instance, decisions about whether or not to consume alcohol or tobacco products impact the alkaline balance because these products are very acidic. The human body has stores of minerals upon which it draws for alkaline material on an as-needed basis if it cannot obtain them through diet. The amount varies from person to person and is determined based on heredity. They are sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Can acid/alkaline imbalance be the cause of serious health problems?

Acid/alkaline

Have you ever wondered if many of the diseases raging through our society have a common cause? Many doctors, herbalists and nutritionists believe that the explanation may come down to three words: acid/alkaline imbalance.

Keeping healthy balance

Most people who suffer from unbalanced pH are acidic. This condition forces the body to borrow minerals – including calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium – from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and safely remove it from the body. Because of this strain, the body can suffer severe and prolonged damage due to high acidity – a condition that may go undetected for years.

Over-acidity is very common today. It's a dangerous condition that weakens all body systems. It gives rise to an internal environment conducive to disease, as opposed to a pH-balanced environment which allows normal body function necessary for the body to resist disease. A healthy body maintains adequate alkaline reserves to meet emergency demands. When excess acids must be neutralized, our alkaline reserves are depleted leaving the body in a weakened condition. An acid/alkaline balanced diet, according to many experts, is a vital key to health maintenance.

We all want to live healthier, more vibrant lives. But, because our busy lives demand so much of us we tend to skip exercise and make poor dietary choices and our health suffers as a result. As our pH becomes more and more unbalanced, we tend to crave more acid-forming foods. It's a vicious cycle that saps energy, depletes minerals and nutrients, and causes a multitude of potentially life-threatening conditions and diseases. Research has shown acidic pH levels to be chief causes of obesity, migraine headaches, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.

Health Problems: Signs and symptoms of acidity

Sunken eyes, bad breath, water retention, and foul-smelling stools are some of the more prominent signs and symptoms that your body is too acidic. Some other warning signs are rheumatoid arthritis, alternating constipation and diarrhea, and excessively low blood pressure.

What can we do to optimize acid/alkaline balance?

You should strive for about 80 percent of your food intake to be alkaline-forming and 20 percent to be acid-forming. Because all meats have a pH of less than 7 they are by their very nature acid-forming and consumption of these products should be minimized. Other foods such as pastas, breads, all dairy products, red sauces (such as those used in pasta dishes), chocolate and refined sugars also fall into the category of acid-forming.

Most of the body's fluids, such as the blood, saliva, bile, and even urine, function best when they are alkaline. When the alkalinity level falls, the efficiency of the affected organs is compromised. When your body enters a state of acidity the lungs, kidneys, intestines, liver, and skin must work harder.

Alkaline-forming foods improving health

It is important to introduce alkaline-forming foods into the diet. Many fresh and raw vegetables, salad greens, seeds and nuts can fill out your menu of alkaline-forming foods and are a tasty path to healthier living. If you can, choose organic fruits and vegetables.

Improving your diet, avoiding alcoholic beverages, not smoking, and getting enough rest are good ways to help bring your body into the proper balance of acid and alkalinity. None of these measures will result in a perfect pH balance overnight. However, taking action now in just a few of these areas will have a dramatically positive impact on your health and your overall sense of well-being. You'll look better, you'll feel better, and you'll be better positioned to live a longer, healthier life regardless of the cards that Mother Nature dealt you.

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