Alkalinity vs Acidity
What's the big deal about Alkalinity vs Acidity?
We should always strive to keep our numbers between 7.0 or slightly higher to ensure our bodies are functioning properly.
There is a fluctuation of pH that is constantly being altered in the body in order to maintain homeostasis. The pH scale ranges from zero to fourteen. A pH of seven is considered neutral, and a number below seven is acidic and a number above seven is alkaline. A food is considered acidic or alkaline as determined by the potential renal acid loads (PRALs). PRAL is defined by Collison (2010) as a calculated value of certain nutrients in food that have the most significant indication of changing the acidity or alkalinity of the body (Collison, 2010).
Does what we eat or drink really matter?
Each time we eat or drink something that pushes us closer to acidity we lessen our chances to avoid various diseases, high blood pressure, stroke and our efforts in weight loss.
Research has shown that the body’s pH has the potential to be altered by the diet; this is dependent on the type of foods eaten. Some foods leave acidic or alkaline by-products in the body (Mousa, 2016). Fried foods, eggs, dairy, meat, fish, processed foods, alcohol, soda, most grains, some legumes such as beans and peas, and chocolate are included as acid-forming foods. Fruits, vegetables, legumes such as green beans, seeds, spices, and certain grains such as quinoa and wild rice are included as alkaline-forming foods.
According to Schwalfenberg (2012), a food’s pH can be affected by the soil that they are grown in by changing the mineral content. Minerals found in foods are used as buffers to maintain pH. The ideal pH of the soil that plants are grown in is between 6 and 7; this allows for the best overall availability of essential nutrients. “Acidic soils below pH of 6 can have reduced amounts of calcium and magnesium, and soil above a pH of 7 can result in chemically unavailable iron, manganese, copper, and zinc” (Schwalfenberg, 2012).
An alkaline diet, a popular fad, was “based on the fact that certain foods can affect the acidity of body fluids, including the urine or blood and can, therefore, be used to treat or prevent diseases” (Mousa, 2016). An acidic diet coincided with the typical American diet which was rich in saturated fats, sodium, simple sugars, and chlorides.