The Acid/Alkaline Mystery Solved
"If you want to learn something, read about it.
If you want to understand something, write about it.
If you want to master something, teach it"
- Yogi Bhajan
I wanted to really, fully understand the Acidic and Alkaline approach to eating. I don’t necessarily want to master this way of eating but I definitely want to understand it. So I will write about it - here we go!
Basically, the body's #1 priority is to maintain an alkaline PH level within the blood. This means that the body will do whatever it takes to keep the blood at a PH of 7.4. It may hover slightly above or slightly below but that number is where it strives to be.
This is key - our bodies absolutely have to keep the level of the blood, cells and other fluids at this level and it will do anything it can to maintain this.
When things get too acidic for the body’s liking, it takes alkaline buffers (calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium) stored inside the body to sooth or neutralize the acidic impact.
Homeostasis once again works almost effortlessly :)
The problem arises when we consume or produce too much acid. Acid is a host for bacteria and invites disease into the body. A neutral or alkaline body cannot be a host for disease.
What creates an acidic environment? Surprise, surprise: pop, chips, junk food, meats, alcohol, the list goes on. Stress and lack of exercise also have an acidic effect.
The available alkaline buffers in our bodies were not designed for the western diet and lifestyle. They get used up and deplete rather quickly.
Here is an example. Calcium is a buffer. 99% of the calcium in our body lives in the bones. Remember that maintaining blood PH is number 1 (sorry bones, but its true) and over time, we develop issues in the bone’s tissues such as osteoporosis.
Not only can this affect weight gain, hormonal imbalances and premature aging, but many diseases can be contributed to an overly acidic environment in the body - from cancer to heart disease to arthritis. It is too difficult for the body to live happily ever after in an even slightly acidic state.
So to increase our chances of feeling good and being healthy, eating alkaline foods is where it’s at.
So what is the Alkaline diet?