The acid-alkaline balance of the body is critical for good health. You cannot seriously think about individualizing a diet without considering its effects on the pH balance in your body. We are constantly generating acidic wastes of metabolism that must be neutralized or excreted in some way for life to be possible.
Humans, therefore, need a constant consumption of alkaline foods to neutralize this continuous acid generation. Our life and health depend on physiological power to maintain the stability of the pH of the blood at approximately 7.4. This process is called homeostasis.
The term pH means "potential" of "Hydrogen." It is the amount of hydrogen ions in a particular solution. When there are many hydrogen ions, the pH indicates an acidic solution.
When the amount of hydrogen ions is small, the pH would indicate an alkaline solution. PH is measured on a scale of 0.0 to 14.0 Any level above 7.0 is defined as alkaline and any level below 7.0 is considered an acidic pH. The pH of 7.0 is defined as neutral. The pH of pure water is 7.0
The normal pH for all tissues and fluids in the body, except the stomach, is alkaline. The digestive secretions of the liver and its bile are between 7.1 and 8.5. Gallbladder bile is between 5.0 and 7.7.
If any of these pH systems are not in the optimal range, the digestive and metabolic enzymes in those areas and organs will function suboptimal and you will experience a decline in health.
With the exception of blood, all of these systems have a vast pH range, in part, so they can change the pH to maintain the balance in the pH of the blood, which should be kept between 7.35 and 7.45.
Because the pH of the blood has such a small range, the body places a high priority on maintaining the homeostasis of the pH of the blood at 7.4.
Although all of these tissues and fluids have their optimal enzyme function in the alkaline part of their range, they will switch to a lower optimal acid range if they need to release alkaline minerals to prevent the blood from becoming too acidic.
For example, if the system becomes very acidic, the blood will take up the alkaline-forming elements of enzymes from the digestive system of the small intestine. Therefore, a balanced pH of the blood is closely and critically related to good digestion.
The importance of digestion in the acid-alkaline balance
The second priority of the delicate homeostatic system is to maintain digestion in such a way that nutrients can be assimilated and transported to various parts of the body to maintain a proper acid-alkaline balance of the blood and the body in general.
Proper digestion provides the essential electrolytes and other nutrients necessary for an optimal balance in the fluid that surrounds cells. This important fluid is called extracellular fluid (ECF).
If there are digestive imbalances, there will usually be an electrolyte imbalance, particularly sodium (Na), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) ions.
This electrolyte imbalance affects the fluid transport system that helps move waste out of the body. Electrolytes and other nutrients are required to perform cellular oxidation and other critical metabolic functions related to the life of a cell
The total fluid in our bodies is approximately 70% of the body's weight. This is practically the same percentage of water that the planet has. The fluids within the cells of our body account for 55% of body weight.
The extra cellular fluid is approximately 15% of body weight. 5% of the extracellular fluid is blood and 10% is the fluid in the tissues that bathe the cells. If the fluid transport system or extracellular fluid has an unbalanced concentration of minerals, insufficient nutrients, or insufficient oxygen, then cells cannot function properly and begin to die.
Kidney and liver function in acid-alkaline balance
A healthy extracellular fluid is supported by proper function of the eliminative organs such as the kidneys, liver, large intestine, and skin. These organs not only eliminate waste and toxins, but are the body's primary way of eliminating excess acid or alkaline elements to keep the body within normal pH ranges.
By studying what is eliminated in the urine, a reflection of the mechanism that polishes electrolytes and the acid-alkaline ratio can be seen.
For example, if the body is very acidic, the kidneys will excrete acid through the urine in an effort to make the blood more alkaline. In this case, the pH of the urine is acidic. Furthermore, significant changes in pH in the blood are usually indicators of disease.
The importance of diet for acid-alkaline balance
There is a limitation regarding how much the body can compensate for an acid-alkaline imbalance if we do not change the diet to balance this relationship in pH, which enters the system through food.
Therefore, food intake plays a very important role in the balance of the body. If the body cannot compensate for an unbalanced diet, the internal environment lowers its optimal capacity and eventually achieves a condition in which cells cannot live.
Many illnesses are the result of the body's attempt to rebalance this internal environment. Some people think that cancer is a condition that is accelerated by an acidic condition of the body fluids. Cancer cells can live better than normal cells in acidic, low-oxygen extracellular fluid.
There are a variety of causes for acid-alkaline imbalance, but diet is the main factor. Generally, if our diet includes many acidic foods such as: large amounts of meats, sausages, grains, pasteurized milk, fat, sugar, and excess protein in general, in people of a certain structure, your body becomes acidic.
If you consume many alkaline foods such as: fruits, vegetables, miso and sea vegetables, with the same structure, the body can become alkaline. Research around the world agrees that an optimal acid-alkaline intake ratio is approximately 80% alkaline foods and 20% acid foods.
But each individual must find their own balance. Even so, it can be said that, commonly, those people who consume meat daily have a higher percentage of acidity in their body than those who consume meat occasionally.
A vegetarian diet can maintain a proper acid-alkaline pH balance regardless of constitution. In any case, the mental state of the person must be taken into account as it plays an important role in the pH observed in the urine.
Dr. Cousens has noted that those people who are vegetarians and therefore should have an alkaline pH, when they have negative thoughts, their pH becomes acidic. The ability to digest proteins and complex carbohydrates must also be taken into consideration.
The production of acidity is normal
Normal body metabolism is always producing acids. The human body produces lactic acid and carbon dioxide when you exercise.
In the extracellular fluid, carbon dioxide is released as a waste product from cells and is converted to carbonic acid. Sulfur and phosphorus in proteins and in our acid are converted through oxidation into sulfuric acid and phosphoric acid.
Complete protein digestion makes hydrogen ions available to the system making it more acidic. The metabolic breakdown of proteins also produces uric acid, which in turn acidifies the system.
Urea is another derivative of protein. It increases the excretion of fluids from the kidneys in a way that causes the loss of much needed alkaline-forming minerals.
Fats and their impact
Fat, in general, tends to be acidic to neutral due to its slow digestion, which creates more putrefaction and, therefore, more acidity. In the case of white sugar, due to the refining process, it does not have alkaline minerals.
Its consumption increases acidity because the body must use alkaline minerals to polish acidity. Complex carbohydrates such as grains are metabolized more slowly and regularly and do not produce the organic acids produced by simple carbohydrates such as sugar.
We continue with our guide to achieve the acid-alkaline balance, this time we will continue addressing the definitions of the term’s acid and alkaline.
Definition and discussion of acidic and alkaline foods
It is important to understand that you cannot tell which foods are acidic or alkaline by taste. There are several factors that determine whether a specific food makes the body acidic or alkaline.
For example, a ripe organic lemon, which is a food that contains high concentrations of organic acids, has a sour taste and is classified as a sour fruit, is actually an alkaline-forming food.
This is because its high concentration of alkaline minerals has a general effect of increasing the body's alkaline reserve, thus making the body more alkaline. The mild organic acids in lemon act as cleaning agents in the stomach.
In the digestive process, these acids are converted into carbon dioxide and water and therefore do not create an acidic condition in the system. Calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and iron are the main alkaline minerals.
Foods that have high concentrations of these minerals are considered alkaline-forming foods. Foods that are high in sulfur, phosphorus, iodine, and chlorine are acid-forming foods. Most natural foods have acidic and alkaline-forming minerals in them.
Meats are acidic. Most grains and dairy products too, especially if they are pasteurized.
Fresh goat's milk and fresh cow's milk are slightly alkaline. Processed cheeses are acidic. Butter is neutral to acidic. Most oils are slightly acidic to neutral.
Most nuts, beans, peas, simple sugars, and vegetarian proteins are acidic to some degree. Soy is alkaline.
What is the acidity or alkalinity of fruits?
There is considerable confusion about the acidity or alkalinity of fruits. Almost all ripe fruits and vegetables are alkaline in formation. Fruits and vegetables that have been grown on commercially prepared and inorganic soils are less alkaline because they grow on demineralized soils.
Plums and blueberries have benzoic acid and other acids that make them acidic. Also, most fruits that are not ripe are acidic. Other foods that have an acidifying effect are white flour, synthetic vitamins, saccharin, chemical additives, colorings, preservatives and refined and processed foods, psychedelic drugs, soft drinks and other synthetic drugs.
These products are acid-forming because they either never had alkaline-forming minerals or the minerals were mined during the chemical or refining process.
In order for the body to excrete metabolic acids such as sulfuric acid and phosphoric acid from the system, without harming the kidneys or intestines, they are neutralized with alkaline-forming mineral salts such as calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium.
When these alkaline reserves decrease or are used by the system, the body begins to become more acidic, as it begins to absorb these minerals from the cells in order to clean the blood. The result of this leads to a deterioration of the nervous system and decreases mental clarity.
The mind slows down and eventually a coma may occur under acidic blood pH 6.95. A slow mind and lack of mental clarity are typical signs of those who have an acid diet.
That is why it is important to maintain a high reserve of alkaline mineral salts, since they neutralize emerging situations in which the body can become very acidic. This is done by eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
Most synthetic vitamins have acidic effects. One of the most acidifying is ascorbic acid, which is a synthetic form of vitamin C separated from its natural components. Vitamin A, whether synthetic or not, is also acidic, although that doesn't apply to beta carotene. Vitamin K is alkaline and helps maintain calcium, which is one of the main alkaline minerals.
Symptoms of excess acidity
There are several factors that make the body acidic to more than meats, grains, sugar, fat, and processed and refined foods. The major consequence of a systemic acidosis is central nervous system depression.
An acidic person often experiences an unclear mindset, slow thought processes, headaches, and depression. Fatigue and muscle tension are one of the main symptoms. Lower back pain and widespread muscle pain are secondary to a low calcium state.
The more acidity a person has, the more irritable he becomes as Ca, Mg, K, Na are lost from the muscles and nerve cells. Neck and shoulder tension, arthritis and osteoporosis are also typical problems.
Muscle spasms and jerks can occur when calcium is low. The feeling of fatigue and weakness arises from toxemia that develops because the kidneys are working so hard to excrete acids that they do not work so well to eliminate other types of systemic toxins that accumulate from day to day.
Stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and chest pain are also other symptoms of people with high doses of heartburn. Constipation is a symptom that can occur at times.
Symptoms of excess alkalinity in the blood
The main symptom of alkalosis in vegetarians that Dr. Cousens has observed is over-excitement of the nervous system. An initial sign of this is muscle startle especially in the face and forearm.
There is a general increased tendency for muscle spasms and cramps. Central nervous system dysfunctions can manifest as extreme nervousness. Another tendency is to fly by, accompanied by the inability to concentrate.
How to measure acid-alkaline balance
Measuring your body's acid-alkaline balance at home is easily done by collecting the urine produced over a 24-hour period. It is used from the second urine in the morning until the first urine of the next day.
Mix the total collection well and then put on a pH measuring paper and read the result. Don't be shy, it's good to know yourself in every way and urine is sterile.
For non-vegetarians and lacto vegetarians, an overall good pH can range from 6.3 to 6.9. For vegetarians who do not eat dairy or for vegetarians who eat raw foods, a safe range is between 6.3 and 7.2.
Also, a saliva test can be done. The pH of saliva is thought to be an indicator of the alkaline reserve in the body and the pH condition of the cells. A normal pH of saliva taken before eating in the morning is 6.8 to 7.2. It should be more alkaline after eating.
Dr. Morter's research indicates that if the pH of morning saliva is below 6.2, it indicates an acid system with an inadequate amount of alkaline minerals, but with some alkaline reserve.
If the pH of saliva is between 5.5 and 5.8 without the pH rising after eating, it means that the body is extremely acidic and there are no alkaline reserves.
Indicators for optimal pH function are:
· Good energy and feeling of well-being;
· A calm nervous and muscular system;
· Effective digestion and regular movement of the intestines;
· Colds and flus stay away;
· General feeling of clarity and physical, mental and spiritual vitality.
How to balance pH
Our bodies are simultaneously acidic and alkaline. Focusing on giving the body an optimal percentage of acidic or alkaline-forming foods helps maintain balance.
Based on the result of the pH of the urine taken within 24 hours, you can start to organize a diet that balances the pH. Bringing urine to normal pH is not a cure for all diseases but a preventive measure.
In the normal pH range, all enzymes and electrolytes in the digestive systems, organs, and the glandular system function optimally. When the enzymes and electrolytes function optimally, the cells of the glands and organs also work at optimum performance.
Urine pH imbalances tell us more about the body on a preventive level. Abnormalities in the pH of the blood reflect the pathology of the body.
There are two primary and complementary approaches to balancing pH.
The first is to eat foods and herbs that keep you in good health and restore the correct acid-alkaline balance. This, of course, assumes that the food that is consumed is being digested.
The second approach is to use digestive enzymes from live plants to aid in the digestion of food that is not being digested.
For example, if you are very alkaline, it is beneficial to eat more protein because when the protein is fully digested, it carries acidic elements into the system. This occurs when you have the ability to properly digest protein.
And when protein is not digested, it is suggested to consume protein plant digestive enzymes. The same happens if the body is very acidic and complex carbohydrates cannot be digested.
The proper plant enzymes activate this digestion so that the alkaline minerals in these foods can be released into the system and an alkaline reserve is built in the system.
There are other factors that cause the body to become more acidic. One is the bad habit of breathing. The deeper you breathe, the more easily acid is removed from the system because it releases carbon dioxide and, therefore, lowers carbonic acid in the blood.
One reason why most people are slightly acidic in the morning is that the depth of breath is lowered during sleep. This results in a retention of CO2. Exercising a lot without adequate breathing produces lactic acid and CO2.
Poor oxygenation of cells creates poor cellular oxidation of metabolism and even cell death. 90% of metabolic oxidation is provided by the oxygen we breathe.
Deep breathing exercises in the morning, during the day, before and after exercising, will reduce acid building.
The Guided Introspection CD can help you in this process because it teaches proper breathing and total relaxation. Repressed emotions, excessive anger, negative thoughts, and other emotions can increase heartburn. Chronic stress also contributes to heartburn in the system.
Ways to alkalize the system
· reduce or stop eating meats;
· lower your protein intake in general;
· lower your fat intake;
· cut down on pasteurized dairy, including yogurt;
· do not consume white sugar;
· eat more fresh and raw fruits, vegetables and their juices;
· eat raw foods such as green sprouts, herbs, and certain alkaline-forming nuts, seeds, and grains;
· Consume specific alkaline foods such as: pure lemon juice, at least twice a day, chaparral tea, peaches and foods with vitamin K. The outer leaf of cabbage is high in vitamin K. Wheatgrass juice is an excellent alkalizer;
· Use vegetarian digestive enzymes to improve poor digestion of complex carbohydrates. The most concentrated source of this is high in amylase and extracted from vegetarian sources;
· Use plant enzymes to improve fat digestion;
· Stay emotionally balanced;
· Detoxify and heal the kidneys, liver and intestines;
· Take deep breaths all day;
· Avoid forced and prolonged exercise;
Ways to acidify the system
1. Consume apple cider vinegar that comes directly from fermented apple juice. This has enzymes high in natural organic potassium, phosphorus, chlorine and sodium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, copper, silicon and other minerals.
2. This vinegar stimulates digestion if consumed in a little water about 5 minutes before meals.
3. Improve protein digestion with plant enzymes
4. Eat more proteins like nuts, seeds, grains, and corn.
5. Watermelon seeds are very acidic
6. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, as it is high in lactic acid and supports a healthy growth of the intestinal flora
7. Cranberry juice. Onions and garlic too
8. Minimize excessive deep breathing
9. Take ascorbic acid
10. Do forceful exercise
Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves), often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet. It can also affect other areas of your body. Your peripheral nervous system sends information from your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to the rest of your body. The peripheral nerves also send sensory information to the central nervous system.