Eating too much of certain foods and too little of others can create an acidic environment in your body. Processed snack foods, sweets, meat, cola, fish and seafood and some types of nuts are examples of foods that have an acidic effect in your body once you eat them. Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, have an alkalizing effect. Eating more of these foods and fewer acidic foods can help you naturally rid your body of too much acid.
More About the Acid-Alkaline Balance
Your body's pH balance -- the balance between acid and base, or alkaline -- has a role in maintaining your health. For proper functioning, your body's pH should be slightly alkaline, but eating too many acid-forming foods can throw off this balance. Eating more alkalizing foods may positively impact bone health, lean muscle mass, cardiovascular health and memory and cognition, according to a review published in October 2011 in the "Journal of Environmental and Public Health."
Foods to Avoid
Some acid-forming foods are categorically bad for your health and should be avoided or consumed infrequently. These include processed snack foods; colas and other caffeinated sodas; refined grain foods like white rice, pasta and baked goods; refined sugars; and lard. Alcoholic beverages are acid-forming, so to limit acidity, cut out alcohol or drink in moderation -- one drink per day for women and two for men.
Foods to Eat Moderately
Certain foods that are considered acidic shouldn't be cut completely from your diet because they offer beneficial nutrients for maintaining your health. For example, according to the October 2011 review in "Journal of Environmental and Public Health," even though too much acid in the body can weaken the bones, adequate protein intake from acid-forming foods such as meat, fish, poultry and beans is important for preventing osteoporosis. Other acid-forming foods that are healthy in moderation include olive, flax, avocado and safflower oils; grains, such as barley, wheat, oats, spelt and rye; cheese, milk, plain yogurt and other unsweetened dairy; eggs; nuts including peanuts, pistachios and walnuts; wheat germ and potatoes.
Foods to Include
As the October 2011 review in "Journal of Environmental and Public Health" explains, the key to controlling acid in the body is not necessarily to cut out healthy foods like poultry and fish but to balance them with plenty of fruits and vegetables, the most alkaline foods you can eat. Except for cranberries, all fruits are alkaline. Choose from blueberries, strawberries, pears, apples, all types of melons, raisins, dates and figs. Even citrus fruits, though they are high in acid, have an alkalizing effect in the body. All vegetables are alkaline. Choose from lettuces, broccoli, kale, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, bell peppers, asparagus, mushrooms and cauliflower.