There are many theories out there recommending alkaline food, water and so on to improve health. That is not to say that for your entire body, the more alkaline the better. There are parts of your body, the stomach for example, which needs to stay acidic to do its job. So, how does this all tie together?
Going back to middle school chemistry, PH is measured in a scale of 0 – 14, with 0 being very acidic, 7 being neutral and 14 being very alkaline. On average, your blood PH should be around 7.35-7.45 (for a healthy person). If your blood PH drops below 6, you will likely go into a coma. On the other hand, for your stomach, which requires hydrochloric acid to digest your food, it typically stays in the PH range of around 3.
Another concept we want to introduce here is Metabolic Waste. Like fire producing ash, when we digest food, our body produces Metabolic Waste that is either acidic, neutral or alkaline. Whilst there is still not enough evidence to suggest that acidic food is all bad, there is evidence that a more alkaline body improves overall health.
Part of the reason is that when our body becomes too acidic, two things happen:
- We use Calcium stored in our bones to restore our body’s PH balance
- Our Kidneys are used to maintain the right alkaline base because it filters out
excessive acid through urine. Excessive acidity will cause stress on our kidneys
When your body is high in Acidic Residue (Acidosis), you may notice the following symptoms:
- Brittle hair / nails
- Gain weight / underweight
- Low functioning immune system
- Chronic fatigue
- Heavy breathing
- Chronic infections / allergies
- Headache and acne
Below is a list of common foods with acidic and alkaline residues (not undigested versions).
- Sugar, artificial sweeteners
- Processed foods
- Refined grains
- Meat, fish, shellfish
- Milk, eggs, butter, cheese
- Alcohol and caffeine
- Vegetables, especially green and raw
- Legumes and sprouts
- Root vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Garlic, onion, leek
- Pseudo-grains like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat
- Green beans, peas and soy products
Our body is built to digest organic and alkaline foods. However, we also understand that the average diet these days are infiltrated with acidic items. Therefore, we would recommend a more practical approach by starting to increase your alkaline foods intake and decreasing your acidic foods intake. Do it slowly to make it more palatable. Lifestyle changes can also help keep the body strong and alkaline. These little hacks can help:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins
- Eat vegetables in either raw or steamed forms (to retain maximum nutrients)
- If you have to eat acidic foods, take it together with alkaline foods (less stress on body)
- Do regular exercise; sweating is a great way to eliminate toxins
- Do not overeat which overloads our digestive system and may cause processing errors
One final note on water. There are a lot of alkaline water filters in the market with an
emphasis on promoting health. Given that our ultimate goal is to maintain an overall PH
balance of around 7 in our body, I would suggest that you do not ingest more than 1-2
glasses of alkaline water per day. Let your body do its work.