Attention to your acid-base balance: prolonged acidification causes inflammation

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Digestion
An acidic body. You may have heard of it. That sounds like you ate too many lemons or pickles. Yet it has nothing to do with this. If there is one thing that mainstream and complementary (alternative) medicine cannot agree on, it is the usefulness of the acid-base theory.

Still, it’s an interesting topic. Especially if you suffer from health problems. Or maybe you have ailments that you find it difficult to diagnose. Then read on and maybe you recognize yourself in this story.

A nice middle ground

The acidity is measured in a PH value . An acidified body actually means that a number of body fluids have a too low PH value. The opposite of an acidic environment is basic (or base), also called alkaline. The human body is basically alkaline .

A lot of things that ‘too’ stands for are not healthy and that also applies to this story. The body does not like too acidic, but neither is too basic. Although the latter is much less common. It’s about balance, so it’s a nice middle ground. This is also known as the acid-base balance .

A very small margin

Your blood acidity should be slightly basic, with an average pH of 7.4. In normal health, the acidity of the blood varies between 7.37 and 7.45. So a very small margin! Below 6.8 and above 7.8 life is not possible, then you will die. 

Acidification, a natural process

An acidified body is not initially caused by external factors. It is simply a natural process . Digestion, exercise and normal breathing acidify the body slightly. During the day, the PH value of the body fluids also changes slightly. Breathing has a lot of influence on this. A well-known example is hyperventilation as a result of an acidic body. By breathing faster, the Co2 level in the blood decreases and the PH value rises again.

Acidification is a natural process in the body

Minerals are used against acidification

Normally you don’t have to worry about acidification. A healthy body can ensure that stability is maintained during all these natural processes. Not too acidic and not too basic. It needs an important supply of nutrients for this: namely non-acidifying minerals. These are:

  • Calcium (with dot on 1)
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Sodium

Sufficient minerals in your diet is therefore important

When your body becomes slightly acidic, the acids are bound and removed by means of these minerals. Your kidneys also play a major role in this. Ensuring that the above minerals are sufficiently present in your body (and therefore nutrition) is very important. You will read more about this later.

If these minerals are temporarily unavailable, the acids are stored in tissues (such as muscles, joints and tendons) and later eliminated. But does this process take too long and will there be no more minerals present in the long term to clean up the mess? Then those minerals are removed from your body somewhere as a last resort. These can be found in, for example, your  hair, nails and bones.

Your body uses important minerals to deacidify

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Long-term acidification causes inflammation

When a body has been acidified for a long time and it has a lot of trouble getting rid of the acids, it can go into an inflammatory phase . As a result, all kinds of ailments and western diseases are lurking.

The reactions that can occur are very diverse, but largely fall under silent inflammation, also called low-grade inflammationInflammation within the body itself. Silent ignition is sneaky, because the word says it all: you don’t notice it at all or very little. Maybe you suddenly suffer from aches and pains, stiffness. In an acidified body, both the inflammation value is increased and the pain-nerve stimulus is activated.

Silent ignition works sneakily; you don’t notice it at first

From rheumatic diseases to weak nails

A body that has to live for years and years in an acidic environment will eventually show serious complaints . Especially rheumatic diseases, problems with the kidneys and other metabolic processes are a weak spot. (1)

Some studies have linked it to high blood pressure and an acidic body. (2) But our hair, bones and nails will also suffer. This has to do with the long-term robbery of minerals to eliminate the acidification. This can lead to bone loss, hair loss and crumbling nails.

And problems with good detoxification

A body that is too acidic cannot detoxify properly.

The result of this is a huge mountain of waste that the body can only with difficulty remove. But the gut bacteria also have a hard time under an acidified status. And enzymes (important for the digestion of food) no longer work optimally. All these consequences have an influence on good bowel function and digestion.

Fungi also thrive in an acidic environment. The result of this can be that candida and fungal nails rear their head. (3)

Alkalization: from acid to base

So all in all, a range of symptoms. But how do you ensure that your body does not become highly acidic? Or how do you lift the acidification again? As mentioned before, your body can usually do this on its own. The pH value of the blood cannot be influenced and our body regulates itself completely. Other body fluids such as urine and saliva are (slightly) sensitive to this.

If you want to support your body with this, you can do this with alkalizing: making your body fluids alkaline (base).

Foods can be base or acid forming . When you think of acid forming, you might think of lemons or other acidic foods such as sauerkraut or vinegar. Nothing could be further from the truth. Lemon, for example, is very basic. The taste of something has nothing to do with the acid-forming properties in the body. This is because it concerns the ‘acidic residues’ (hydrogen ions) that remain in your body.

It is the acidic residues (hydrogen ions) in the body that make the body acidic

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You have a big influence with your diet

That is why it is important to mainly take food that is strongly alkaline-forming. This food comes with a mountain of important minerals to remove acids.

Interesting fact: Our current Western diet is predominantly acid-forming, while our distant ancestors (hunter-gatherers) ate predominantly alkaline-forming foods.

Our current western diet is predominantly acid-forming while our distant ancestors mainly consumed base-forming foods.

Strongly base-forming

Most vegetables and sprouts are super alkaline-forming. Green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, green asparagus, spinach, purslane, watercress and lamb’s lettuce contain all the minerals that your body needs so much to clear up acids. Fruits are also alkaline-forming, especially lemons and bananas.

Light base-forming

Then there are also foods that have a slightly lighter positive effect. These are nuts, seeds and some legumes, such as lentils.

Slightly acid-forming

Legumes such as peanuts, beans and peas, but also grains and cheese provide a slightly acid-forming environment. If you eat a lot of this, which often occurs in a normal Western diet, and if you don’t give it a lot of base-forming foods, these foods can already cause problems.

Strong acid forming

But focus on the list below. The highly acid-forming foods are:>

  • All meats and poultry
  • Vis
  • Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Military
  • Caffeine (coffee)
  • sugars
  • Alcohol

The above summary is very brief. On the internet you will find many specified lists of base- and acid-forming foods.

Animal proteins in particular create an acidic environment

Do you notice anything in this list? It consists largely of animal products (proteins). Products from animals therefore create an acidic environment in the human body. This is also why I don’t recommend the keto diet for women. This eating style usually consumes few carbohydrates, but a lot of fat and protein.

Do you want to know how keto can work for women? Then read this article:  Keto diet; why it doesn’t work well for women (and how it does.)

Animal protein in particular plays a major role in a keto diet, in contrast to similar diets such as Paleo. In addition, keto means that your body will largely run on fat burning. Ketosis is caused by the release of ketone acids. Extra work to be done to neutralize those acids again! There must be something against that!

Products from animals create an acidic environment in the human body.

Caffeine especially binds the minerals that are so important to alkalize the body. The same goes for sugars and alcohol.

No more animal protein at all?

Now it is not the intention to eat no animal proteins or acid-forming foods at all. It’s about the balance. The body should also not become too alkaline, although that does not happen so quickly in our Western society. Ideal to support the acid-base balance in the body is a cartridge consisting of 80% alkalizing foods and only 20% acidifying foods.

And then also this

Then there are also loose substances in our diet that have an acid-forming effect. They are often a part of acid-forming foods. I will briefly mention them below:

  • Phosphate
    Occurs mainly in soft drinks, meat, cheese, fish and legumes. And to a limited extent in walnuts and grains. In addition to acidification, phosphate also reduces the absorption of zinc. And the mineral zinc is again very important as an anti-inflammatory factor.
  • Phytic
    acid Phytic acid binds minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc. Important minerals against acidification and inflammatory reactions. A little phytin is not bad at all, but those who eat large amounts of grains, nuts and/or legumes can get too much of them. Soaking it releases the enzyme phytase. This ensures the breakdown of the phytic acid.
  • Oxalic
    Acid Oxalic acid and calcium are not a match made in heaven. Oxalic acid has a strong preference for binding to and excreting calcium. Just like all the above substances, the body can handle small amounts just fine. Eating a lot of foods with oxalic acid can make this a problem (in the long run). Spinach and rhubarb in particular have a high oxalic acid content. Try not to eat these foods every day. Beets, cocoa, purslane and nuts contain a small amount of this substance.

Did you know that you can recognize a high oxalic acid content by the rough feeling on your teeth?

  • Puric
    acid Puric acid is another word for pure uric acid and has a strong acid-forming effect. Especially people with the rheumatic disease gout can improve enormously from leaving out foods with a high puric acid content. The most important are: meat (especially game and organ meats), all animal seafood, mushrooms, legumes, grains, chocolate, coffee and black tea.

The most ideal is a cartridge that consists of 80% alkalizing food and only 20% acidifying food.

Suffering from gout? Then leave food with a high content of puric acid for a while.

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Other causes

Besides food, there are other things that can lead to acidification. Think of drug use, environmental pollution and stress . Stress is a magnesium robber. And as you now know, we really need magnesium to keep the body alkaline. Drinking too little water is also acid-forming. Even wrong breathing and insufficient exercise affect the acidity of your body.

Stress is a magnesium robber!

Measuring is knowing

How do you know if your body has acidified? Besides that a bell may ring after reading this article, you can also be ahead of it. You can buy special pH measuring strips online or at a drugstore or pharmacy. These are also known as litmus papers.

With these strips you can check the acidity of your body through saliva or urine, with the measurement of urine being the most reliable. Do this for a few days in a row, at different times. That way you get a good picture.

In brief

If you put everything next to each other, a nice acid-base balance is actually not that complicated.

Eat more vegetables, some fruit and minimize the use of animal products, sugar, an excess of fast carbohydrates (such as sugar and alcohol, and do not drink too much coffee. Whether you want to de-acidify or not: this is a diet that in all respects Relax, exercise, take deep breaths regularly and above all take care of yourself!

 

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