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If you are prone to acidity-related health issues, then it is highly essential for you to follow a diet that will keep you free from foods that tend to cause acidity and other stomach issues. Making changes in your diet is the best way to keep acidity at bay. The key lies in identifying what are acidic foods. When talking about acidic substances, we take the pH value into consideration. A pH value of 0 indicates high acidic level. A pH value of 7 equals to neutral, whereas a pH value of 14 indicates alkaline.
What Are Acidic Foods?
Foods having a pH value of 4.6 or lower are considered acidic in nature. In general, citrus fruits have a low pH value and are therefore considered acidic. Our body has a regulated pH level which ranges from 0 to 14. A bit of alkaline pH of around 7.35 to 7.45 is what is considered ideal for the human health. A high pH level can cause alkalosis that can lead to health issues such as confusion, muscle twitching and nausea. On the other hand, acidosis can cause shallow breathing, headaches and fatigue.
What Do Acidic Foods Do To Your Body?
A hypothesis has come forward called the "acid-ash" hypothesis. It is termed so based on the fact that when our body metabolizes food, the chemical residue left behind is termed "ash". When this residue combines with the fluids in the body, it could turn acidic or alkaline in nature causing various reactions in the body.
Foods that possess acid-forming substances can make the pH of the blood low. This causes acid to accumulate. This loss is then compensated by leaching alkaline portions in the body, such as the calcium portion. This is then excreted in the urine.
It is therefore determined that consuming acidic foods for long can lead to mineral bone loss, which could ultimately cause health issues such as osteoporosis. Limiting the intake of acidic food can preserve bone health along with prevention of kidney stones and decreasing symptoms of acid reflux.
High-acid Foods And Their pH
Foods with high acidic levels should be avoided. Acidic foods can aggravate digestive disorders such as acid reflux. Following is the list of foods that can trigger GERD and acid reflux. These food items have a pH level lower than 4.6.
• Processed foods
• Few dairy products
• Meats such as turkey and corned beef
• Sodas, sweetened beverages
• High-protein foods
Some fruits and fruit juices are acidic as well. Ideally, citrus fruits are considered to be acidic as they have a lower pH.
• Limes (pH: 2 to 2.8)
• Blueberries (pH: 3.12 to 3.33)
• Apples (pH: 3.30 to 4)
• Lemon juice (pH: 2 to 2.6)
• Grapes (pH: 2.90 to 3.82)
• Pomegranates (pH: 2.93 to 3.20)
• Pineapples (pH: 3.20 to 4)
• Peaches (pH: 3.30 to 4.05)
• Oranges (pH: 3.69 to 4.34)
Vegetables are generally not acidic in nature. High-phosphorus drinks are labeled as acidic, such as beer or hot chocolate. In terms of alcohol, stick to low-phosphorus ones such as red or white wine. Avoiding these highly acidic foods will keep your gut health up to the mark.
Low-acid Foods And Their pH
Foods that are alkaline or low in terms of acidic level can limit muscle loss, improve alertness and strengthen memory.
The following is a list of low-acidic foods which you can incorporate in your diet:
• Soy and tofu
• Almost all vegetables
• Beans and lentils
• Unsweetened milk and yogurt
• Herbal teas
• Herbs and spices (excluding mustard, salt and nutmeg)
• Olive oil
• Avocados, nuts and seeds
Following is a list of vegetables along with their pH levels that are good for your health:
• Broccoli (pH: 6.30 to 6.85)
• Mushrooms (pH: 6 to 6.70)
• Cabbage (pH: 5.20 to 6.80)
• Beets (pH: 5.30 to 6.60)
• Corn (pH: 5.90 to 7.50)
How Can An Alkaline Diet Help?
The basic idea behind following an alkaline diet is that the food that you eat and its corresponding pH can have effects on your body's pH. Depending on the pH value of the foods that you eat, your body can take a positive or a negative stance.
The ideology behind nutritionists recommending an alkaline diet is that your health can visibly improve if you replace acid-forming foods with alkaline ones. When you eat foods with acidic ash, your body turns acidic, creating health issues such as acid reflux.
On the other hand, when you eat foods with alkaline ash, your body becomes alkaline. If you really wish to refresh your body, then choose to go alkaline at least for 30 days at a stretch. Stick to the intake of alkaline-promoting foods.