You may have read that our body, in particular our blood should be slightly alkaline to enjoy good health. But what does this mean and how to achieve it? Certain foods, activities and even emotions upset the balance in our bodies, cause acid build up and lead us towards ill health. This article helps you demystify the common confusions you may have, so you can make the best decisions for your health.
Each living being on this planet has an acid-alkaline balance. Some are neutral, some more towards acidic side, and some more towards alkaline side. Nature is all about balance! It has built an intrinsic mechanism within each organism that strives to maintain its acid-alkaline balance at all times. This is true for human body too. Eat a lot of chicken and your urine after a few hours will be more acidic and yellow. So here the body worked to eliminate the higher load created from eating an acidic residue food.
Body's acid-alkaline balance is the panacea to being illness free. Only when our body is in balance, we are in good health.
Acid-alkaline balance is denoted by pH which stands for potential hydrogen. The pH of a solution is the measure of its hydrogen-ion concentration. Higher the pH, the more alkaline & oxygen rich the fluid is & vice versa.
The pH scale is from 0 to 14, with 7.0 being neutral, above 7.0 is alkaline, below 7.0 is acidic. However, the body functions best when the pH of its blood is slightly alkaline, around 7.36 to 7.42. Below or above this range means the body is out of alignment and may be the start of symptoms and disease.
What determines our acid-alkaline level, i.e pH levels?
Our pH levels are primarily determined by two things - the cellular activity in our body & the food we eat.
Cellular activity - Our cells work at their optimum in an alkaline environment because they receive the desired inputs through sufficient levels of oxygen. But just as a machine in a factory produces smoke as waste material, our cells release acid when they work. You raise a finger, acid will be produced. You blink your eyes, acid will be produced. You walk, you talk, you think, any activity that your body does, internally or externally, produces acid. While the body can easily eliminate this acid through the lungs, certain cellular activities can lead to a buildup of acid in our body. For eg: Lack of sleep, stress, anger & negative emotions.
Food – Everything we eat leaves a residue after being processed in the body. This residue is either alkaline or acidic in nature. Here again our body is capable of eliminating the acid through our kidneys & bowels. However, it needs to be neutralized before being removed, else it will burn sensitive tissues on its way through the digestive tract. Imagine how intelligent our body is!! This neutralizing is done by drawing from the alkaline reserve in our body. If we are low on alkaline reserve, our body becomes more acidic, it loses its balance, becomes toxic & can’t function towards our good health.
Why is an acidic body not good for health?
We have summarized the ill effects of an acidic body as follows:
Weight gain: Having too much acid in the body increases fat storage.
Low energy level: An acidic balance implies the body has to work harder in carrying out its functions. Hence, we feel depleted of energy.
Lower immunity: Germs thrive in an acidic environment; they cannot survive in an alkaline state. Hence, an acidic body leads to lower immunity.
Disease: An acidic body is unable to get rid of toxins / waste materials effectively. Accumulation of toxins over a period of time is the reason for every illness.
How do we achieve the right balance?
At Wellcure we want to cut out the noise, simplify our health lens, and more importantly focus on people’s real experience. As we connect with more and more people, who have overcome their health challenges, there seems to be an emerging theme. There is no denying the fact that move towards plant based, whole and natural foods, eating more of these in raw forms did help people transform their health profile. You can read many of these experiences in our Health Journeys section.
Hence, we don’t feel its necessary to analyze every food item that whether it’s acidic or alkaline. We don’t need to fret to be in the range of 7.36 – 7.42 in the acid-alkaline scale. That will eventually happen because nature has designed it that way for us. What we have to be mindful about is that our actions are compliant with nature – what we eat, how we sleep, rest, react, etc. Once we imbibe this in our day-to-day lives, the balance is automatically restored. And any aberration is signaled by the body through a symptom/disease, at that time we once again need to take corrective action that is in-sync with nature.
So, what does this mean? What are these actions?
Eat more of fruits, vegetables & sprouts – These are primarily alkaline in nature. Eat them whole, raw & fresh, eat them when they are in season, eat what is locally available. Increase their intake in your diet. These foods are nutritious & easily absorbable by our bodies.
Packaged foods (biscuits, namkeens, breads, jams, ketchups, etc), refined foods (refined oil, table salt, white sugar), dairy & dairy products, non-veg, grains, are acidic foods. Reduce their consumption.
Acidic foods easily find way into our diet thanks to convenience provided by packaged foods or our habitual use of refined products. Hence, keep focusing on increasing alkaline foods & reducing acidic foods.
Like we mentioned earlier, non-food elements also impact the acid-alkaline balance. Stressful situations and negative emotions like anger, hate, depression, jealousy, etc, may be acid producing in the body; while positive emotions of happiness, kindness, etc, will help build an alkaline environment.
Inputs of rest, sleep, breathing, sunlight and fresh air – all activities that connect you back to nature, help body maintain its acid-alkaline balance.
Our key focus should be to assess whether the food or activity leaves an acidic or alkaline residue in body.
Acidic taste of the food is not important, what is important is whether the food leaves an acidic residue in the body after being processed
Our bodies have wonderful mechanism to cleanup and maintain the pH balance. We don’t need to worry about the nitty-gritty of what’s acidic & what’s alkaline. Incorporating natural foods plus other elements of good health such as sleep, rest & positive emotions helps body attain its balance.
More proportion of alkaline residue foods such as fruits, vegetables & sprouts help body maintain this balance.
More proportion of acidic residue foods such as non-veg, packaged foods, refined foods, dairy & grains, create an overload in long run.
Do remember that attaining good health naturally is not about eliminating food groups. It’s about knowing which way to lean. Please read our other blogs to know more about how you can implement the above mentioned changes in your daily lives.
Chapter 7 – Acid should run batteries, not bodies, What you eat today will determine how early you are inviting disease, Dr M Ted Morter
Disclaimer: The health journeys, blogs, videos and all other content on Wellcure is for educational purposes only and is not to be considered a ‘medical advice’ ‘prescription’ or a ‘cure’ for diseases. Any specific changes by users, in medication, food & lifestyle, must be done under the guidance of licensed health practitioners. The views expressed by the users are their personal views and Wellcure claims no responsibility for them.
Very important aspect! Actually moving to nature or any Naturopathy’s way of life or curing rests on this most important principle that is increasing alkalinity in the body ! Again step by step, in which ever way one can!