I remember being amazed in 5th grade chemistry when I learned that all solutions were either acid or alkaline and that litmus paper would change to red (if acidic) or to blue (if alkaline) indicating the "potential of hydrogen" or pH.
The most confusing part was in realizing that the pH scale goes from 0 to 14 with 14 being most alkaline, 7 being neutral, and 0 being the most acidic.
These days there is much discussion about acid/alkaline balance in our body suggesting that an acidic environment causes decrease in cellular function and leads to disease. You may test the level of your pH by using a litmus paper stick on saliva or urine.
In a healthy stomach the acidic fluid so important in the digestion of protein, should have a pH of 1, while our blood should be slightly alkaline at a pH of around 7.4. When you measure baking soda in water it is completely alkaline with a pH of 14 while water is neutral at 7 and wine more acidic at 3.5. If what I read is true it seems that maintaining a balance in favor of a more alkaline environment can prevent the growth of many diseases and even perhaps the duplication of cancer.
Body pH is affected by many things including stress, toxic overload, exercise and other environmental conditions but mainly from the food we eat.
The research shows that foods may be classified as acidic or alkaline depending on whether they contribute hydrogen ions or remove them during the digestive process. While you may assume for example that lemon juice is acidic by nature, it actually performs an alkalizing effect by leaving ash residues that remove Hydrogen ions.
To suggest that acid forming foods are bad is irresponsible because many acid forming foods are essential for cellular and muscular health. It is important however to balance your diet and to neutralize their acidity as much as you can.
Generally, prolonged acidosis decreases the body´s ability to absorb minerals and nutrients, it decreases energy production in the cells, decreases its ability to repair and heal damaged cells, decreases its ability to remove toxins and heavy metals and it actually makes tumor cells thrive.
If you have any of the following symptoms of acidosis I would suggest that you seriously look at increasing your level of neutralizing foods. Initially acid symptoms are digestive, like heartburn, belching, bloating and feeling full after eating very little. With time an overly acid person will feel fatigued, have halitosis, retain water, suffer from migraines and insomnia, and eventually a prolonged state of acidosis has been noted to cause major diseases like osteoporosis, arthritis, rheumatism, gout and eventually cancer.
The most common acid-forming foods are sugar, coffee, nicotine, processed junk food and animal protein. In digesting these foods our body makes charged hydrogen ions in our blood which naturally then look for alkalizing minerals, mainly found in bones, to neutralize their charge.
Again we are not suggesting that you omit acid forming foods from your diet but rather become more aware of which food to eat to neutralize their detrimental affects.
While this list of alkalizing foods is long it includes foods that are most common and readily attainable.
Acid reducing foods includes the following:
Acid forming foods include: