Good health requires the proper balance between acid and alkali elements in your body. Too much or too little of either element can open the door to illness and dysfunction, according to “The pH Miracle.” Acidosis occurs when your body’s acidity increases to unhealthy levels, creating an imbalance in your pH levels. Certain foods, health conditions and medications can cause acidity to increase. Fortunately, there are foods that can decrease acidity and rebalance pH levels.
Monitoring Your Body's pH
There is no single test to measure your body’s pH -- the balance between acidity and alkalinity -- at any given moment, because different systems in the body may lean more toward acidity or alkalinity, while the overall balance can still be within an acceptable range. Your saliva, urine and blood can all be tested for a reading on your current pH level. However, your blood pH level tends to be the most reliable single indicator of pH, according to James Forleo, D.C., author of “Health Is Simple, Disease Is Complicated.” Talk to your doctor about having a blood test to measure pH, which should be close to 7.365, which represents a slight bias toward alkalinity. If you want to keep tabs on your pH at home, pick up some pH test strips at the local pharmacy and periodically check your urine and/or saliva. If either or both such readings show a sharp increase toward acidity, it’s a sign that you need to take action and make some dietary adjustments.
Alkaline Fruits and Vegetables
With a few exceptions, fruits and vegetables tend to be alkalizing in character, according to the Wolfe Clinic, a Tennessee-based center devoted to natural healthcare. To reduce acidity, eat plenty of vegetables such as asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, kale, lettuce, onions, peppers, snap peas, spinach, squashes and sweet potatoes. Fruits that increase your body’s alkalinity include apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, berries, cantaloupes, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwis, lemons, limes, melons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapples, tangerines, tomatoes and watermelons.
Although many high-protein foods, including almost all animal proteins and fats and oils, are acidifying, there are some protein foods that have an alkalizing effect in the body. Since it’s important to balance your diet between all macronutrients, eating more alkaline proteins is critical to your health. According to the Wolfe Clinic, such proteins include almonds, chestnuts, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, millet, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, sunflower seeds, tempeh, whey protein powder and yogurt.
Alkalizing Beverages and Spices
Several beverages, spices and seasonings have an alkalizing effect and can help to bring your body’s acidity into an acceptable and healthy range. Alkaline beverages include banchi, dandelion, ginseng and green teas; the juices of alkaline fruits and vegetables; mineral water; and organic milk, unpasteurized, according to the Wolfe Clinic. Alkalizing seasonings and spices include chili peppers, cinnamon, curry, ginger, all herbs, miso, mustard, sea salt and tamari.