Updated: Feb 24, 2020
As we age, it gets harder to manage our ph balance naturally, but it's imperative to do in order to prevent disease.
I used to chug a glass of water with baking soda before I went to bed to combat the indigestion and acid reflux that I would inevitably get as soon as I laid down. Thankfully, I no longer have to do that, but I do have to consciously balance my diet with plenty of alkaline foods and minerals to ensure I don’t have to take such drastic measures.
What is acidosis?
An excess of acid within the body, or acidosis, occurs due when your diet and lifestyle factors are more acid-producing than alkaline. More specifically, if you consume higher amounts of acidic foods, such as animal products and processed foods compared to alkaline foods, such as fruits and vegetables, you will have a greater risk of net acid load in the body. As aging occurs, there is also a naturally gradual loss in the ability to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and can be a contributor to an acidic body. Acidosis is commonly found in the standard American diet where consumption of highly processed foods and high-stress lifestyles are more prevalent.
Do you have these symptoms?
Symptoms of acidosis can manifest in a myriad of ways, including:
depression or loss of drive
tendency to allergies
skin problems such as dry skin, hives or eczema
low blood pressure
and poor circulation
Okay. So, you have symptom—but how can you be certain?
Acidity is measured by a substance’s pH and an analysis of its mineral content. When it’s determined that it contains more acidic minerals than alkaline minerals, it is considered acidic. The ideal body pH is 7.36-7.42 (most accurately measured by a blood test) or you can also use litmus paper (found at any local pharmacy) to measure the acidity of the urine, so long as you take several measurements throughout the day before meals and after the first urination of the morning for 4 or 5 consecutive days.
How do you alkalize your body?
Since diet and lifestyle factors are the major contributors to an acid condition developing in the first place, to remedy an overly acidic body, you must reform your diet to eat more alkaline foods (plants and fresh whole foods) and eliminate acidic foods (processed foods and animal products). It’s also important to get plenty of fresh air and exercise, as a sedentary indoor lifestyle is also highly acidic. Alkaline supplements can also be taken to help ameliorate an acidic body, focusing on alkaline minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and manganese. You must also be sure to drain, or eliminate, the acids through the skin by sweating or through urine with proper diuretics such as herbal tea or medicinal plants.
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Frassetto, L., Banerjee, T., Powe, N., & Sebastion, A. (2018). Acid Balance, Dietary Acid Load, and Bone Effects—A Controversial Subject. Nutrients (10)4, 517. doi: 10.3390/nu10040517.
Schwalfenberg, G.K. (2011). The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health? Journal of Environmental and Public Health (2012) 727630. doi: 10.1155/2012/727630.
Vasey, C. (2006). The acid-alkaline diet for optimum health (2nd ed.). Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.