Almost all foods that we eat, after being digested and absorbed release either an acid or an alkaline base (bicarbonate) into blood.
The higher protein foods like fish, meat, poultry, shellfish, cheese, and other dairy foods all produce acid. This is partly related to the higher content of amino acids found in their make-up.
Most green vegetables on the other hand are naturally high in minerals and produce more of an alkaline effect as they enter the blood. This is why it is recommended to eat vegetables with your protein. You keep your ph in better balance.
When we consume too much acidic foods our bodies can release minerals from our bones to help balance the Ph of our blood. Over years, this can lead to Osteoporosis. Research is showing that an acidic diet over decades can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and a host of other health problems. In other words, long-term health and longevity have everything to do with acid-alkaline balance.
For example, in Okinawa, most people people live to 100 years of age, longer than anywhere in the world. While meat, rice, soy and seafood (highly acidic foods) are present in the diet, so are a vast range of different vegetables and fruits, rich in anti-oxidants, as well as minerals from many kinds of sea vegetables that counteract acidity. A wealth of fascinating anthropological and scientific evidence exists that now supports the acid-alkaline theory of health and longevity.
What can we do to reduce the impact of an acidic diet?
- Order a pack of Ph papers and test yourself. Find out what is your baseline and then put the ideas below to move towards a more alkaline baseline
- Reduce your serving size of the acidic foods, while increasing the amount of greens and other alkaline foods during a meal. Here are a few examples to help guide you:
- Have a big salad at least once a day using green leafy vegetables (especially collard or mustard greens, endive and kale) and add sprouts, broccoli, parsley, asparagus and peppers.
- Squeeze lemon or lime juice on fish, salads or in your beverage.
- Munch on pumpkin seeds or add them to salads.
- Use sea salt (Celtic, French or Himalayan preferred) rather than regular table salt.
- Use Apple cider vinegar in your salad dressings.
- Enjoy a green smoothie or vegetable juices with a pack of dry roasted almonds
- For a quick snack, enjoy celery smeared with nut butter.
If you focus on adding a few more greens or trade some of your common acidic foods you eat for a more alkaline one, you will naturally find your diet is getting into a better Ph balance. This can eventually improve your bone health.
Rylander R, Remer T, Berkemeyer S, et al. Acid-base status affects renal magnesium losses in healthy, elderly persons. Journal of Nutrition, 2006;136:2374-2377.
Frassetto L, Morris RC, Sellmeyer DE, et al. Diet, evolution and aging. The pathophysiologic effects of the post-agricultural inversion of the potassium-to-sodium and base-to-chloride ratios in the human diet. European Journal of Nutrition, 2001;40:200-213.
Sebastian A, Frassetto LA, Morris RC. The acid-base effects of the contemporary Western diet: an evolutionary perspective. Eds: Alpern RJ and Heber SC, in The Kidney: Physiology and Pathophysiology, 9th edition.