Article #2: Acid/Alkaline: Clearing Up The Confusion By Marti Fry
The purpose of this article is to clearly and simply explain the meaning of acid and alkaline and to explain why a study of the acid-alkaline balance, or pH balance, is important in the study of health and healthful living.
Acid and alkaline are words used to differentiate two classes of minerals with differing chemical compositions. One class of minerals contains a relatively large number of hydrogen ions. These minerals are the acid-forming minerals. They include sulphur, phosphorus and chlorine. The other of these two classifications of minerals contains a relatively small number of hydrogen ions. These minerals are the alkaline-forming minerals. They include potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and iron.
Substances contain both acid-forming and alkaline-forming minerals. Whether a substance is classed as acid or alkaline depends upon which type of minerals predominate in the substance. Substances that have approximately equal amounts of acid and alkaline (base) minerals are neutral. Water is neutral.
Foods may be acid before ingestion but alkaline after metabolism, or they may be alkaline before ingestion but acid after metabolism. The former is generally true for fruits and vegetables, while the latter is generally true for animal foods.
The human body is maintained slightly alkaline, and alkaline foods are our normal diet and therefore a healthful diet. When we refer to alkaline foods, we mean foods that leave an alkaline "ash" after metabolism—fresh fruits and vegetables, primarily, as well as some nuts and seeds. Ingestion of animal foods results in many acids, most notably uric acid, sulphuric acid and phosphoric acid. The presence of these acids causes the body's buffer systems (those organs that maintain normal body pH) to work extra hard, whereas the consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds does not overwork the body.
The body's major buffer organs are the kidneys and the lungs. If either of these organs is impaired for any reason, or if a diet containing an excess of acid-forming foods is consumed, acidosis may occur. Acidosis is by far more common than alkalosis. An excess of acid-forming foods does not directly result in acidosis, however. Rather, this practice results in overworking the kidneys and lungs and depleting the body's supply of buffer salts. Then the body's ability to neutralize excess acids from acid-forming foods becomes impaired.
Alkalosis may result from lung or kidney impairment or from overbreathing, but it does not result from consumption of too many alkaline-forming foods, as there is no such thing as too many alkaline-forming foods. These foods are our normal dietary and they always contain a proper balance of base (alkaline) and acid minerals. Alkalosis may occur, however, if antacid preparations are frequently taken.
Acidosis and alkalosis are both pathological conditions that need never occur. However, acidosis is rather common because so many people consume a diet heavy in acid-forming foods such as meats, milk, cheese, eggs, etc. and because so many refined foods are consumed (sugar, flour, rice, wheat, etc.).
Acidosis is the predecessor to almost all, if not all, diseases. This is not because acidosis causes diseases, but the same unhealthful practices that result in acidosis also are the causes of diseases. Illnesses are body processes to set a wrong internal situation right. They are carried on by the body in order to eliminate harmful toxins and to correct imbalances, including over-acidity in the body. Therefore, no "cures" should be sought. The body should be left alone to carry out the cleansing process without interference from drugs, foods, etc.
If you suspect that your body is overly acidic, all you need do is fast one to five, days and/or consume only fresh fruits and vegetables, uncooked and without seasonings of any kind. The body is fully capable of correcting all internal imbalances and will automatically do so as soon as the cases of the problem are removed (and, in some cases, before the causes of the problem are removed, as a matter of life or death).
From a practical standpoint, you need not concern yourself with the degree of acidity or alkalinity of the foods you eat. Just eat a wholesome diet of uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and you will be providing your body with exactly the kind of nourishment it needs and was designed to handle.
Home > Lesson 12 - The Role Of Acid And Alkaline Substances Within The Body
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