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Many people are troubled by health complaints that do not seem to bear any direct relation to their body size, level of exercise or age. They may experience symptoms such as heartburn, fluid retention, constipation, joint pain, headaches and tiredness, and be at a loss to understand what is happening to them.
Some researchers have also found that acidic body conditions can lead to arthritic conditions and bone deterioration as alkalizing minerals are stripped away from the bone as the body attempts to correct its blood composition. While all these symptoms can be produced by a number of underlying causes, in many instances they are directly related to the acidity/alkalinity balance in the body and bloodstream.
Adjusting this balance to a healthy level can bring major improvements to the sufferer without the need for expensive drugs, fad diets or some other form of medical intervention. It can also improve cell function, reduce susceptibility to disease and help in heavy metal detoxification. The key to finding the right balance is in consuming appropriate foods and beverages. This article explains which foods and drinks to focus on and which to minimize or avoid.
First of all, what are acidity and alkalinity?
In terms of physical health, they are measures of the hydrogen ion concentration (pH) in the blood or in stomach acid, or drinks such as coffee, tea, wine or soda. The pH of a solution is given a number from zero to 14. From zero to seven a solution is called ‘acidic’ and from 7-14, it is called ‘alkaline’. The ideal pH for the body is around 7.4, which is slightly alkaline.
The food we eat can also be classified as either ‘acidifying’ or ‘alkalizing’ depending on the post-digestion effect it has on the body. Strangely enough, some food that we think of as acidic, such as apples, oranges, lemons, strawberries and pineapple, actually increase blood alkalinity and can help to balance a skewed diet. Although these foods are inherently acidic, after digestion they release minerals that ‘soak up’ excess hydrogen ions, making them effective alkalizing agents.
What are the foods to avoid?
Many people have a diet which is rich in white flour, other grain products such as macaroni and rice cakes, meat, dairy, eggs, coffee and alcohol. While these foods and drinks are not inherently ‘evil’ in a dietary sense, and many of them are very useful for energy production and other health benefits, they should be consumed in moderation and balanced with consumption of alkalizing foods.
What are the best alkalizing foods to eat?
Green vegetables such as broccoli, cucumber, kale, peas, spinach, green beans and sprouts are all great for altering the body’s chemistry to a more balanced state. Others such as onions, mushrooms, cabbage and beet are also very good. In the fruit department, a few of the many alkalizing varieties are grapes, cherries, coconut, bananas, blackberries, watermelon and honeydew melon. If you want an alkalizing sweetener, use stevia instead of sugar. As for nuts, the best choices are almonds and chestnuts.
What are the best alkalizing drinks?
You can stay hydrated with alkaline drinks such as coconut water, wheatgrass juice, vegetable juice, and get to drink a lot of alkaline water. Alkaline water is rich in alkalizing compounds, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, silica, and bicarbonate making it the best option to keep ultra-hydrated and help alkalize your body’s pH. For info, this water is available in bottles as well as home-made by specialized water machines as you can see in this video here.
An alkalizing diet is as much about balance as anything else, and in that sense is perfectly consistent with the dietary advice from most health professionals. If you have a diet that is made up of 60% alkalizing foods and the remainder from acidifying foods, you are on the right track. If you have symptoms which suggest your body acidity is too high, shift your consumption more towards alkalizing foods until your health improves, which it almost certainly will.
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