Recently, there has been articles in health magazines in regards to acid-base balancing and what that entails. It is based on the essential metabolic processes in the body. These processes take place at the smallest cellular level. Energy is acquired in humans by the breakdown or oxidation of large carbohydrates into smaller compounds from which the cell draws nutrients for its activities. Through this process, carbonic acid is produced, which may be dangerous for the cells when produced in too great a quantity. When this occurs it makes the system “acidic”. For activities in the cell to function properly, a stable cellular acid concentration is required. This varies between pH 7.3-7.4. When outside of this range, certain enzyme reactions, which regulate the energy being utilized by the body are negatively affected. When the pH lowers, some metabolic processes can stop. This leads to toxicity and eventually the death of the cell. Therefore, if the system is too acidic, the cells become toxic.
However, this can be avoided through different compensations by the body. The first mechanism is breathing, which releases carbonic acid. Therefore, it is extremely important to breath properly deep into the lower rib cage to flood the body with oxygen. The second mechanism is the minerals, especially potassium and sodium (called bases) that neutralize the acid into a harmless salt and is eliminated through the kidneys. The minerals used up in the process must be replaced or detoxification is compromised. Therefore, we should eat 4 times the quantity of “natural” foods (salads, vegetables and fruits) each day, compared to the total quantity of all other foods. Natural foods are rich in the minerals that are needed for optimizing pH. If the base minerals are replaced on an everyday basis, the body will remain healthy and be properly responsive to stressors.
Regulating the proper balance between acids and bases in the body is done by constantly monitoring the proper respiration, circulation, digestion, elimination, hormone production, immune response and other mechanisms. When the level of carbonic acid in the body becomes high, the regulatory mechanism stimulates the respiratory and circulatory system to respond in an attempt to re-balance the system. Tiredness and sleep disturbances are possible early signs of increased acidity. Pain is a signal that indicates the body is even more out of balance.
Typically, most folks have too low pH- too acidic. At the beginning of most diseases, there is an over-acidified system. The regulatory mechanisms attempt to balance the deficit to prevent damage to the cells. When these fail, there is a chronic dis-ease develop. Conversely, an acute disease is often an attempt of the body to mobilize mineral reserves available to try and re-balance the system. Therefore, it is important to re-establish the body’s pH within the proper range as soon as possible, before disease is established.
Controlling the pH is simple. For 1 day test every urination with a indicator paper which show the pH values between 4.0-7.5. (These you can buy at your friendly compounding pharmacy in Nelson or Fruitvale). If the value shows repeatedly below pH 6.2 or when it constantly lies around pH 5- danger exists. You should change to a high vegetable/fruit diet and again test the pH for a day. This gives you an idea of how much vegetables and fruit you need to add to your typical diet for balance. Also, becoming physically active reduces the acids in the body. You may also consider adding a BASIC CAPSULE OR POWDER.
If the build-up of acids becomes excessive, the connective tissue surrounding the cells and organs acts to absorb and store acid released from the cells and organs. This storage reduces the burden on the kidneys. Following strenuous activity or after eating a large meal, larger quantities of acid are produced. Since the kidneys work quite slowly, they are not able to eliminate the salts quickly enough. As a result, the connective tissue has to function as as “pre-kidney” and stores these salts. During the night, these deposited salts are transported by the bloodstream to the kidneys for elimination. Therefore the urine is more concentrated and has its maximum acid concentration in the mornings. When the collection of acids in the connective tissue is no longer adequate to protect the kidney and other organs, over-acidification occurs- called acidosis. This over- activity of the excretory organs is characterized by acute or chronic inflammation.
ONE’S DIET SHOULD BE OVERALL ALKALINE!!!!!
When considering your diet, you need to establish the correct balance between foods rich in acids and those rich in bases.
FOODS RICH IN ACIDS:
• Protein-meats, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds etc
• Dairy products
• Carbohydrates- sugar, all types of grains, except non-gluten grains such as quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat and teff, as well as spelt and kamut
• Sour fruits and citrus fruits
• Coffee, tea, alcohol
FOODS RICH IN BASES:
• All leafy salads
• Vegetables (except cauliflower and artichoke hearts)
• Sweet fruits such as pears, plums, apricots, peaches, figs, bananas, raisins, mangoes, papaya etc
• Raw milk
Therefore, the most important corrective steps for an over-acidified system are:
1. Dietary changes
2. Sufficient exercise
3. Proper breathing
4. Sufficient sleep
5. Lowering physical and mental/emotional stressors