The Acid-Alkaline Model of Health

Many experts believe that your overall health is strongly influenced by the acid-base balance in your body, and that most people eat a diet that creates too much body acidity.

Proponents of this model of health believe that consuming too much “acid-producing” food (such as sugar, the simple carbohydrates in grains, or meat) leaves your metabolism with excess acidic residue to deal with, whereas a diet rich in vegetables keeps you safely on the basic side.

An acidic diet has been linked to osteoporosis and other chronic conditions such as ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis, stroke, kid­ney stones, loss of lean mus­cle mass, and obesity.

Osteoporosis and dietary acidity

More women (and men, too!) are taking calcium supplements than ever before, yet the epidemic of osteoporosis shows no sign of slowing. Because of this seeming paradox, health practitioners are exploring other dietary strategies that might prevent bone loss, and restoring acid-base balance may be one of them.

Here’s one reason: to keep your metabolic machinery running smoothly, your body will go to any length to maintain the pH (the acidity level) of your blood within a narrow range. That means if your blood acidity starts to creep up, you’ll leach calcium out of your bones in order to buffer it.

Here’s a quote from “Diet-induced meta­bolic aci­do­sis,” by Adeva and Souto, pub­lished in the jour­nal Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion in 2011:

“Uri­nary cal­cium excre­tion is lower when the urine is more alka­line, whereas more acidic urine is asso­ci­ated with higher uri­nary calcium.”

You can avoid urinary calcium loss by consuming an alkaline-leaning diet.

Maintaining muscle mass

Research also shows the importance of an alkaline diet in maintaining healthy muscle tissue. Supplementing the diet with alkaline-producing minerals like potassium reduces the urinary excretion of nitrogen, the end-product of the breakdown of muscle protein.

Protect your kidneys

A diet too high in acid-forming foods places an undue load on the kid­ney, according to Nimrit Goraya, MD of the Texas A&M Health Center. Her research showed that a diet rich in fruits and veg­eta­bles, or sup­ple­men­ta­tion with acid-neutralizing sodium bicar­bon­ate, pro­tected patients at risk of kidney problems from fur­ther kid­ney damage.

Your diet tips

Here’s a quick list of some of the acid-forming foods to avoid:

  • White flour in bread or pasta
  • Sugar and arti­fi­cial sweeteners
  • Dairy prod­ucts
  • Meats & Fish
  • Cof­fee

Meanwhile, add these healthy alkaline-forming foods to your diet:

  • Raw almonds
  • Fresh fruit: apples, cit­rus (really!), water­melon, papaya, mango, grape, cantaloupe
  • Avo­ca­dos
  • Leafy green veg­eta­bles: let­tuce, spinach, kale
  • Broc­coli
  • Car­rots
  • Brus­sels sprouts
  • Olive oil, grape­seed oil
  • Herbs and spices include­ing cin­na­mon, cumin, and ginger

Source by Ronald Lavine

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