There is truth to the saying that “too much of one thing is good for nothing.” Indeed, while the body uses and produces acid as part of its regular function, too much acid is good for nothing as well. There is even a term for it – “acidosis.” This condition is defined by a low body pH and it contributes to a range of debilitating conditions and diseases.
Too much acidity – or even too much alkalinity – creates health issues, if not diseases or conditions. Such extremes disrupt the body’s equilibrium. In order to maintain the desired state, the body utilizes alternative processes that yield acids as byproducts. It also borrows necessary minerals from bones and tissues in order to regulate the acid levels.
Regulation of pH levels by increasing the overall body pH is the most effective method of overcoming acidosis. The main contributor to acidosis is your diet. Therefore, it follows that controlling what you eat is the best method of regulating your pH levels.
Alkaline foods, by their very nature, counteract acidity. Indeed, this is the fastest short-term method of counteracting acidosis. Fortunately, there is a range of alkaline foods, including fruits, nuts and vegetables. How would you know which foods qualify?
Well, there are tables that indicate whether certain foods are alkaline, acidic or neutral. Typically, the most alkaline foods are figs, raisins, soy beans and spinach. Other foods may be alkali-forming, but perhaps not as effective as foods in the most alkaline group.
Your attempts to manage pH level through food consumption would be even better if reinforced by what you drink. After all, it would not be helpful to guzzle down soda or processed fruit juice with a healthy, alkaline-rich salad. Healthier beverage options are also on the alkaline side; these include green tea, lemonade, almond milk and vegetable juice.
Avoid acidic foods and beverages
As implied in the previous section, it is not enough to include alkaline foods and beverages in your diet. It is also necessary to avoid certain foods or at least reduce consumption of them. One tenet is that the less natural the food is, the more acidic it is likely to be. Therefore, junk foods and processed foods precipitate acidosis.
A cursory examination of the acidic foods group reveals some familiar names and foods. White Flour-based products, beef, dairy, eggs and chicken are just some foods in this group. Acidic drinks include, but are not limited to, coffee, alcohol and processed fruit juices.
However, it is critical to note that some acid-forming foods (like eggs) can be nutritional. In such cases, it may be useful to limit consumption instead of completely eliminating it. However, it is not always a case of “in all things moderation.” Some things can and should be completely eliminated (alcohol, for example).
Insufficient exercise and sedentary lifestyles are significant factors in acidosis. One interesting fact to note is that increased activity actually increases acid levels in the body in the short-term. This is because the body relies on acid-producing processes when it does not get sufficient oxygen to sustain activity levels.
In the long run, however, the body adapts and becomes less dependent on such processes for energy and sustenance for strenuous physical activity. That’s why fit persons can sustain activity for longer; they have a higher threshold for strenuous activity before acid-forming processes kick in.
One should not sacrifice healthy eating in favor of supplements. However, supplements can be a great complement to a healthy diet. Apart from the sheer convenience of supplements, they can ensure that you get the right amount of the right nutrients – particularly if you need to rebuild your body after having a low pH for an extended period.
Acidosis may not be easily identifiable health risk, but its long-term effect can be devastating. Carcinogens and other harmful organisms thrive when the body’s pH level is too low. At best, acidosis creates minor health issues, but at worst it can lead to terminal illness or permanent damage to bones, tissues and other vital components of the body.
Your pH level is essentially your body’s first line of defense against threats – both internal and external. Generally, your body’s optimal pH level is in the region of 7.3. Any level that is materially lower than 7.3 results in acidosis, which should be addressed in the short, medium and long terms.