In the average American diet, most people consume foods that are too acid-forming to effectively promote and maintain a healthy body.
Some examples of these acid-forming foods are refined sugars, dairy products and meat, such as beef and pork.
There are many side effects that result from an acidic diet, such as a diminished immune system and lethargy.
Conversely, amazing health transformations are possible when one switches from a primarily acid-forming diet to one that is primarily alkaline-forming.
Alkaline is defined as that which has a pH greater than 7.
Pure, distilled water sits at almost exactly a neutral 7 on the pH scale.
Foods with a higher number are alkaline, while anything that is lower than 7 is considered acidic.
Because the body functions best at a pH level very near neutral, it is important to consume foods that will maintain that level.
This is especially crucial when consuming foods that are acid- forming since they will bring those levels lower than they should be, causing the body to react to correct the imbalance.
Alkaline Diet Benefits
As a general rule, foods can be classified as either acid-forming or alkaline-forming.
The human body’s ideal pH is 7.35 or slightly alkaline. It is said that we are “alkaline by design, but acid in function”.
Thus, the body is always seeking a state of homeostasis (balance) and it works hard to maintain the healthy neutral alkaline zone.
Now, keep in mind that foods in and of themselves cannot change this zone in the body.
But the body does have to work extra hard to compensate for any excess intake of acid-forming foods.
This happens because when your diet is highly acid-forming your body has to try to neutralize it in order to maintain balance.
To do this, it grabs buffering agents wherever it can. First from the blood and muscle tissue and eventually from the largest source – the bones.
Over time this can lead to loss of bone density and osteoporosis. Coupled with a chronic lack of exercise among those affected, is it any wonder why osteoporosis rates are sky high?
Additionally, chronic overly acidic blood levels are a serious stressor that can lead to inflammation and increased cortisol levels.
Prolonged elevated cortisol levels can have a serious negative impact (including shorter life) on your overall health in the long term.
So, it seems clear that the acid-forming diet so many millions consume is a guaranteed road to “dis-ease”.
And obesity stats, doctor visits and pharmaceutical prescription rates all backup that message.
Conversely, those foods that are alkaline-forming are typically plant-based, highly nutrient-dense, and also loaded with antioxidants.
Including a variety of alkaline-forming foods in your diet helps to prevent the unwanted loss of calcium and other minerals from the bones, thereby removing the primary risk factor for osteoporosis.
These foods also support healthy cell regeneration and fight the effects of free-radicals on the body.
Acid-forming foods are also preferred by the “bad” microorganisms in your digestive tract – starting with your mouth.
From dental cavities to virtually every human disease, the acid- forming diet of the modern world can be directly attributed to them all.
Here in the U.S., the “Standard American Diet”, is suitably abbreviated as SAD, which it truly is!
Not only are the nutrients missing, but the calories are mostly acid-forming.
So, most people’s bodies are working overtime to try to both neutralize their blood’s pH, and also deal with the inflammation that accompanies a chronic acid-forming diet.
A diet high in acid-forming foods results in reduction of muscle efficiency, so more cellular energy expenditure is needed for each and every muscle contraction.
Now, during a race or intense activity, this means a lot of extra work for the body.
Since alkaline-forming foods greatly reduce inflammation, the muscles work at more functional levels, and they also require less energy to move.
This allows endurance athletes, such as those who run marathons and participate in triathlons, to push harder for longer.
Bodybuilders and strength trainers will find that consuming alkalizing foods will allow them to lift heavier weights with less negative stress on the body.