For effective functioning, your body should maintain a proper balance between acidity and alkalinity. This pH balance is significant and foods we eat have the potential to alter the pH balance. If you eat more acidic foods, it may sabotage the functions of your body, leading to numerous chronic diseases. Hence, it’s important to limit the intake of acidic foods. Well, before we get into the details, for the uninitiated, here we explain your body’s pH level.
The pH level indicates the acidity or alkalinity of our body’s fluids and tissues. It is always calculated on a scale of 0 to 14. The more alkaline a solution is, the higher its pH. And if the solution is acidic, it will have a lower pH value. A pH of 7 is considered neutral. For instance, pure distilled water has a pH value of 7, which means it is neither acidic nor alkaline. Coming to your body, the pH levels of your organs are not the same. While your blood pH is around 7.4, your stomach is typically at a pH of 3.5, which makes it an acidic region. This acidic nature helps food break down easily. So, how does too much of an acidic food damage your body?
Effects Of Acid-Producing Foods
A diet filled with acid-producing foods may promote acidic buildup in your body. It causes acidity in your urine. It may also result in a type of kidney stone called uric acid stones. Higher acidic foods may also deplete your bone strength. Your body uses calcium to restore the blood’s pH balance when it becomes too acidic. So, calcium from your bones may be taken for this purpose, thus, deteriorating your bone strength. The risk of osteoporosis is greater in such cases. Too much acidity will also have other negative consequences such as cancer, arthritis, heart diseases, and liver problems. Thus, it is crucial to include less acidic foods.
Welcome Alkaline Foods
Incorporating more alkaline foods into your diet is the first step you have to take. Here you go.
Vegetables: Fresh vegetables are generally not considered acidic. Fill your plate with cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, beets, corn, collard greens, and mushrooms. Uncooked fruits and vegetables are part of an ideal alkaline diet.
Legumes: Soy, peas, green and Lima beans.
Seeds: Flax, quinoa, sesame, and radish.
Nuts: Almonds, pine, fresh coconut, and chestnuts.
Oils: Most unprocessed, cold pressed oils are neutral or alkaline.
Drinks: Herb teas, juice of vegetables and alkaline fruit.
Dairy: Unsweetened yogurt, whey, milk.
Herb and Spices: Most of them are alkaline except salt, nutmeg, and mustard.
Acidic Foods To Limit
Limit the consumption of grain and grain products, including corn and rice, if you suffer from acidity. Fruits such as cranberry, blueberry, plum, and prune are acidic in nature. Walnut, peanut, and dried coconut also have lower pH levels.
Processed foods with high sodium content should be avoided. Processed cereals like corn flakes can also cause harm. It is best to limit cheese intake. Condiments such as mayonnaise, soy sauce, and vinegar are acidic in nature.
Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages should be limited. Also, restrict drinks with phosphates. Red or white wine with low phosphorous content is fine. Alcohol and drug use may aggravate your acidity. Artificial sweeteners and food preservatives also contribute their share in spoiling your health.
The list of acidic foods should not prompt you to avoid them entirely from your diet. Instead, try to maintain a healthy balance in your diet. Now, you know how to make those adjustments in your menu when your body reacts differently. So reduce the acidic foods and make some space for alkaline foods in your diet.