Understanding Acidification and Its Impact on Health
Maintaining a healthy diet is not only about choosing organic and easily digestible foods but also ensuring a well-balanced diet to prevent acidification of the body. Acidification results from an imbalance in the body's acid-base equilibrium, which occurs when there is an excess of acidic foods in our diet. When the body cannot neutralize the acidic reaction, acidification takes place.
What Does Acidification of the Body Mean?
It is neither possible nor advisable to completely eliminate acid-forming foods from our diet. They are essential for providing compounds and minerals needed for proper body functioning. However, it is crucial to be mindful of their consumption to avoid excess. This is especially important because the symptoms of acidification are often difficult to recognize. Many health issues can be resolved by alkalizing the body, but people tend to look for causes in other sources.
Measuring Acidification Levels and Identifying Symptoms
Acidification levels can be easily measured using litmus paper, which can read the pH level. By doing so, you can determine if fatigue, lack of energy, dark circles under the eyes, overweight, cellulite, mental fog, irritability, joint pain, infections, and chronic sleep deprivation are the result of acidification or aging. This is why it is crucial to monitor your diet not only for calorie intake but also for the impact of different foods on your body.
What Causes Acidification of the Body?
Even the best-designed meal plan can lead to acidification. When it comes to acid-forming foods, the key factor is not the number of calories, sugars, or carbohydrates but their acidity. Therefore, those who prefer whole-grain bread or pasta may be disappointed to learn that, although these products acidify the body to a lesser extent than their "white" counterparts, their excessive consumption still disrupts the acid-base balance. Poorly balanced diets and a lack of alkalizing foods contribute to acidification, as they do not counterbalance the acid-forming products.
Lifestyle factors, such as excessive stress and physical activity, also contribute to acidification. The body focuses on preparing for a fight or flight response, neglecting to neutralize the acidic reaction. Exercise and physical activity should be done in moderation.
Acidifying Foods to Watch Out For
Most people are unaware of the many acidifying foods they consume daily. Some of the most potent and commonly consumed acidifying foods include coffee and black tea, which are consumed at least once or several times a day. Other acidifying foods can be divided into two categories: highly acid-forming and moderately acid-forming.
Highly acid-forming foods include:
- Meat and processed meats, particularly pork
- Sweeteners, such as sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Yellow cheese
- White rice
- Chocolate and cocoa
Moderately acid-forming foods include:
- Rye bread
- Whole-grain pasta
- Brown rice
It would be challenging to find alternatives that provide similar nutritional values if you were to eliminate these foods entirely.
How to Alkalize the Body and Restore Balance
The most fundamental way to maintain the acid-base balance is through a well-balanced diet. An ideal diet should consist of 80% alkaline foods and only 20% acid-forming foods. Alkaline foods help neutralize excess acids, so it is essential to include more of the following in your daily meals:
- Millet and buckwheat
- Olive oil
- Fresh vegetables and fruits (especially zucchini, broccoli,
tomatoes, citrus fruits, strawberries, watermelon, kiwi, bananas)
Green vegetables are particularly valuable in an alkalizing diet, so it is recommended to consume spinach, arugula, cabbage, various types of lettuce (except iceberg), kale, chives, and other green vegetables like avocado, bell peppers, green peas, and cucumbers to help restore the acid-base balance.
Instead of acid-forming drinks like regular coffee and tea, opt for green tea and grain coffee as healthier alternatives. Busy individuals may appreciate drinking water with lemon or apple cider vinegar in the morning, although the latter should not be consumed in excessive amounts.
Most alkalizing foods can be used to create interesting dishes and a diverse meal plan. For improved well-being and energy, it is worth making the minimal effort to change dietary habits and regain the acid-base balance in the body. By incorporating more alkaline foods into your diet and moderating the consumption of acid-forming foods, you can prevent acidification and promote overall health.