Want to enjoy a naturally energetic lifestyle and improve your wellbeing? Keen to boost your immune system and support the health of your loved ones? Your diet – what you eat and drink on a regular basis - affects your overall wellness. It’s a big influence on how you feel and how you age.
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A happier, healthier life depends on how you hydrate and fuel your body. In this article, we review alkaline foods vs. acidic foods, giving you the tools to achieve your nutrition and hydration goals and feel amazing every day!
Let’s start with a couple of simple questions. What is acidity? What is alkalinity? Both refer to the pH measurement of hydrogen ion concentration in a solution. A high concentration of hydrogen ions will yield a low pH level, and solutions with a low concentration of hydrogen ions have a high pH value.
The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with 0 the most acidic and 14 the most alkaline. A neutral pH level is usually close to 7.4. An imbalance of your pH levels can result in fatigue, breathlessness and muscle pain, among other symptoms. Excessive levels of acidity can lead to a general feeling of ill health.
Different foods release acidic or alkaline chemicals into your body as they are digested. Acidic foods have a pH level of 4.6 or lower. However, an important point to remember is that a food’s pH value is sometimes at odds with its effect on your body. A good example is lemons. They are very acidic, but after digestion, they have an alkalifying effect on the body.
In other words, there are ‘good’ acidic foods – lemons, limes, plums, grapes and apples are among them – and ‘bad’ acidic foods, such as processed foods, most types of meat, alcohol, sugar and sweeteners.
Not all acidic foods are bad for you. Oats, lentils, spelt, wheat and barley are acidic foods, but deliver high levels of dietary fiber, for example.
Common alkaline foods include soy, fresh vegetables, beans, whole grains, herbal teas, and healthy fats. These alkaline foods are frequently higher in fiber and antioxidants than their acidic counterparts.
When an acidic internal environment is allowed to thrive, cell damage can occur. Acidosis-related cellular deterioration can be a factor in increasing the risk of developing serious health issues, including heart disease and cancer.
By eating alkaline foods and cutting back on acidic ones, you can help to support the right balance of pH in your body. In turn, this can help to reduce the risk of developing acid-related chronic disease or deficiencies.
One of the smartest decisions you can make for your health is to eat wisely and mindfully. Good nutrition and hydration underpin almost every aspect of good health and a robust immune system.