Alkaline vs Acid
Alkalinity for health is a necessity. Like all things in nature there needs to be a balance for optimum function. The human body functions best when it is at pH level (potential Hydrogen)of around 7.4 on the scale from 1 to 14, with 1 being acidic and 14 being alkaline. You can test your pH with your saliva or urine. The urine provides a more accurate reading, especially the “first morning urine test.”
When blood pH drops significantly below 7.4, a condition called acidosis occurs. Conversely, an increase above pH 7.4 results in alkalosis. Imbalances or irregularities that result in acidosis or alkalosis may be detrimental to normal physical and metabolic processes, potentially resulting in moderate-to-severe health complications.
Forces our body to extract essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium from vital organs, bones and teeth in order to neutralize the effect of the Acidosis. Light-headedness as a common alkalosis symptom, as well as confusion, and in extreme cases, such symptoms can worsen to the level of catatonic stupor and even coma. NIH reports hand tremors, involuntary muscle twitching and sensations of numbness or tingling in the face, arms or legs.
Acidity is a well-known factor associated with cancer. Acidity balance in the body influences adrenal hormone production of cortisol, and as a result Upregulated cortisol bioactivity driven by diet-induced acidosis may be a factor in metabolic syndrome by promoting insulin resistance and contributing towards Type II diabetes.
An increase in blood pH may be the result of excessive fluid loss through vomiting or diarrhea, loss of sodium or potassium electrolytes, or use of diuretics for weight loss or blood pressure reduction.
Achieving Balance with Diet
So how does one find and maintain a balanced alkalinity. Like all things this will be an independent journey where trial and error will be your best guide. Learning to read personal symptoms or signs of imbalance takes some recording initially and may feel cumbersome but will pay off in the end. Learning what your body’s sensitivities are will help you maintain an even keel. I have had to dramatically reduce all nightshade plants from diet to stay balanced, however your system might be more tolerant. Trust your gut. Once you are familiar with its messages you will need to decide if you will ignore them. I love pizza and sometimes feel the post pizza gut rot is worth the joy of indulging. Other times I try to behave and use alternative ingredients to avoid the fallout, those are the choices you will need to decide as you go.
I try to focus more on achieving a balance then designating foods to a good or bad category, however there are certain foods that are destructive to the microbiome and should be restricted more than others. Refined sugars, GMOs and the majority of processed foods lack nutritional value and can be harmful to healing. Here's a good list to start.