The premise behind choosing foods based on their measure of acidity or alkalinity is based on the presumption that your diet should match the pH of your body. Consuming foods that cause your body to be more acidic, according to Natural Health School, can compromise your ability to fight off viruses and bacteria. Restoring the pH balance of your body, they add, maximizes its ability to use the nutrients found in foods. Choosing more alkaline foods, according to proponents of this approach, can help rebalance your system and your immunity.
Although at first glance it may seem easy to choose foods that are acidic, the truth is that it isn't the acid found in the food that causes production of acid in your body. This is why foods like meat, fish, hard cheeses, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are considered acidic foods. Additionally, corn oil, sources of natural and artificial sweetening, salt, mustard, mayonnaise, soy sauce and vinegar are acid-producing foods. The University of California San Diego explains that in order to restore your body's pH balance to approximately 7.4, you should significantly limit the amount of acid-producing foods you consume.
Your body, at a pH of approximately 7.4, is slightly alkaline. According to the University of California San Diego, this means you should focus on consuming foods that are more alkaline-producing in your body. These include eggs, soy products, yogurt, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, millet, most vegetables and most fruits. Most herbs and spices can also be used to season these foods, as they too, are alkaline-producing in your body. Legumes too, like peas and lima beans, are alkaline foods, as are most cold-pressed, unprocessed oils.
Drinks that are acid-producing, according to the University of California San Diego, include any that contain alcohol, caffeine or phosphates. This includes soft drinks, most teas except herbal teas and juices made from blueberries, cranberries, plums or prunes. The Wolfe Clinic adds that distilled water, rice and nut milks and cow's milk are acid-producing drinks. The Clinic explains that an ideal diet that most closely matches your body's pH is comprised of approximately 25 percent acid-producing and 75 percent alkaline-producing foods and beverages.
Alkaline drinks, according to the Wolfe Clinic, include alkaline antioxidant water, vegetable juices, organic unpasteurized milk, mineral water and most herbal teas. The University of California San Diego adds that the juices of alkaline fruits are also alkaline-producing. If a drink has sweetener added, it's most likely acidic, unless it's sweetened with raw honey or brown rice syrup. The University adds that foods or drinks containing the sweetener known as Sucanat are considered alkaline but may be considered by some to be acid-producing.
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Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.