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Acid and Alkaline Forming Foods


Article by Dr. Layla Sade

Photography by Dr. Layla Sade

Acidosis is an increased acidity of the blood, which happens as a result of hydrogen ions. For optimal health, the body must maintain the hydrogen ion concentration, or the pH level of the blood, in a very narrow range. When the blood has too many hydrogen ions the pH goes down - this is called acidosis. The kidneys (through urine), the lungs (through breathing), and the body’s chemical buffering system all play a role in maintaining the hydrogen ion concentration and pH of the blood. Extreme acidosis is life-threatening, yet mild acidosis creates a situation in which the body cannot function optimally. Eating foods that are either acid-forming (contribute to more acidity) or alkaline-forming (help decrease acidity) can help the body maintain balance and function optimally.

When the body is not functioning optimally due to increased acidity, a few things happen: the body’s cells are less able to make energy, there is a decreased ability to repair cells, absorb minerals and other nutrients, and to detoxify heavy metals. It creates a situation where tumor cells thrive and susceptibility to fatigue and illness increases. Without the body’s ability to optimally nourish itself, detoxify, and fight off illness and tumor cells, the body can decline into a state of poor health and function.

Common Signs and Symptoms

  • Bad breath
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Body odor
  • Frequent headaches
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Digestive complaints including acid indigestion, ulcers, alternating constipation and diarrhea, anal itching, dry, hard stools, or foul-smelling stools that burn
  • Acne
  • Fatigue
  • Allergy

Consider These Contributing Factors

  • Diet high in acid-forming foods
  • Tobacco use
  • High Fat diet
  • High Carbohydrate diet
  • Diet low in fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Stress in general
  • Non-optimal body weight
  • Infection
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Excessive exercise
  • Dehydration

Here are some ways to support optimal blood pH:

1. Eat as much unprocessed, organic raw foods as possible, such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables

2. Consider consuming more alkaline forming foods such as:

  • Teas and mineral water, tofu, and tempeh
  • Avocados
  • Fresh coconut
  • Most vegetables
  • Most fruits
  • Millet and buckwheat . 
  • Natural sea salt

3. Consider decreasing consumption of acid forming foods such as:

  • Breads, cereals, pastas made out of wheat, corn, rye, and oats . 
  • Refined, commercial table salt
  • Cookies, candies, pies and cakes - all sweets
  • Artificial sweeteners
  •  Eggs
  • Alcohol, coffee, and soda
  • Asparagus and Brussels sprouts
  • Most meats
  • Cheese
  • Vinegar

Other Factors

Emotions or actions that may cause the blood to become more acidic:

  • Bitterness
  • Overwork
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Stress
  • Hatred

Emotions or actions that may help keep the blood in an alkaline state:

  • Joy
  • Laughter
  • Happiness
  • Prayer
  • Peace
  • Kindness
  • Love