Is Your Diet Alkaline or Acidic?

Evidence challenges the notion that our body is buffering the acid formed from our diet with calcium from our bones. How then is our body neutralizing the acid? Maybe with our muscles! Our blood gets more acidic and our kidney function declines.
This may be a reason we lose muscle mass as we get older. As a pair of researchers note: “The modern Western diet based on animal products generates an acid load that may cause a lifespan state of unnoticed and growing metabolic acidosis.” This chronic low-level diet-dependent metabolic acidosis might contribute to the progressive shrinking of our muscle mass as we age.
Muscle wasting appears to be an adaptive response to acidosis. When our muscles break down, amino acids are released into the bloodstream. Our liver can then take these amino acids and make something called glutamine, which our kidneys can use to get rid of excess acid. Indeed, in a three year study, those over age 65 eating alkaline diets were better able to preserve their muscle mass, which the researchers think may be because the alkaline-producing fruits and vegetables helped relieve the mild acidosis that occurs with the ingestion of the standard American diet.
“Does an alkaline diet benefit health?” If the question is “Does a diet low in meat, eggs, and dairy, all acid-producing, and high in fruits and vegetables with lots of dark green leafy vegetables benefit health?” Then, of course, the answer is yes. An alkaline diet benefits health. If the question is “Does it matter what our ‘peeH’ is, (whether our urine is acid or alkaline), regardless of what actually goes into our mouth?” then the answer is, still yes. The accepted benefits of having alkaline urine appear limited to two areas: lower risk of kidney stones and better uric acid clearance.
We’ve known about kidney stones and alkalinity for a while, but the uric acid data is new.
Researchers have found the alkalization of the urine is effective for removing uric acid from the body. Uric acid is bad stuff (potentially increasing one’s risk of fatal stroke, heart disease, and death), so clearing more from your system is a good thing. Those eating plant-based diets appear to have an advantage in this regard. The average vegetarian diet is alkaline producing, and the average meat-eating diet is acid producing. Even though there are some acid-forming meat-substitutes, like some of the Quorn products, they’re not as bad as something like tuna, and they’re typically consumed in smaller quantities than meat consumers consume meat. Since the protein in plants is usually accompanied by much more potassium (which

is alkalinizing), there is good reason to try to meet protein needs from plant sources. And when researchers actually measure urine pH, those eating strictly plant-based diets have the greatest advantage, with significantly more alkaline urine than omnivores.
How can we tell what our urine pH is? We can be all boring and order some pH paper strips to tinkle on, or we can use what everyone should have right now in their crisper, a purple cabbage. Everyone should have a red or purple cabbage in their fridge since it is not only one of the single best nutrition bangs for our buck, but we can also do science with it!
First, either boil some purple cabbage until the water turns deep purple or (a quicker and safer way since there’s no hot liquids) blend some raw with water in a blender and strain out the solids. Then pour the royal purple liquid in the toilet bowl after you urinate. If it stays purple, your urine is acidic and you should eat more dark green leafy vegetables. We’re looking for blue. If it turns blue that means your urine is neutral or even basic. If it’s sky blue, you should continue to eat more dark green leafy vegetables. If you have a low-flow toilet and there’s very little water in the bowl to start with, the effect might not be as dramatic if diluted in a larger quantity of water.
Did you know Human blood pH should be slightly alkaline (7.35 – 7.45). Below or above this range means symptoms and disease.
A pH below 7.0 is acidic A pH of 7.0 is neutral A pH above 7.0 is alkaline
An acidic pH can occur from an acid forming diet, emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions, or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients. The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals. If the diet does not contain enough minerals compensate, a buildup of acids in the cells will occur.
An acidic balance will decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease the energy production in the cells, decrease its ability to repair damaged cells, decrease its ability to detoxify heavy metals, make tumor cells thrive, and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness. A blood pH of 6.9, which is only slightly acidic, can induce coma and death.
The reason acidosis is more common in our society is mostly due to the Standard American Diet, which is far too high in acid producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, along with other acid producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink acid producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks. Your body craves and needs alkaline producing foods like fresh vegetables & fruits. Even acid fruits like lemons have a highly alkalizing effect on the body!

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