The acid alkaline balance in the body can be defined as the fine line between good health and the verge of illness. The human body feels good at a pH of 7.0 to 7.4. Any value below or above this range causes an imbalance in its functioning and sets the ground for disease.
This is a condition when the body chemistry becomes overly acidic. The PH values of saliva may go down to 6.0 and below. This can be easily tested by using a litmus paper. Test your saliva on an empty stomach preferably on waking up. You can also test saliva one hour after meals. All you have to do is just spit into a bowl and dip the pH strip in it. Check the colour of the paper after one minute. If it corresponds to values of 7.0 to 7.3 it is considered healthy. A reading of 4.5 to 6.0 indicates acidosis and this state is likely to promote disease conditions in the body. In addition to the litmus test, there are certain frank symptoms that reflect acidosis.
Bodyache, headaches, strong acid perspiration, foul smelling stools, hard stools, alternating with diarrhoea, sunken eyes, water retention, insomnia are some of such symptoms. If your teeth get sensitive to sour food or if you get small bumps on the roof of your mouth, if you suffer from bad breath, or experience difficulty in swallowing, its time to take a look at your diet.
Restoring PH levels
Acidity is catabolic (breaks down) in nature. It is for this reason that it brings about chronic fatigue, low immunity, irritability and mood swings. Therefore it is important to restore the pH levels in the body as continuing to have an acidic state would precipitate disease sooner or later. The human body has self healing powers. All we have to do is to support it’s activity with the right nutrients.
Foods to treat acidity!
A basic rule to achieve and maintain PH balance is to eat 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods. If your pH test suggests that your body is acidic switch over to alkaline forming foods like fresh fruits, watermelon, mangoes, apples, guava, pears, vegetables like potatoes, dudhi, turi etc. Honey, dates, corn, millets, mushrooms, raisins, curd also have an alkalizing effect.
Foods to avoid
At the same time you must avoid acid forming foods like alcohol., coffee , legumes, lentils, cornstarch, white flour, non vegetarian foods, fried food, dried coconut, cheese, cakes, pastries, pasta, soft drinks, sugar, vinegar, pickles, pappads etc. Apart from food, both physical and mental stress tends to elevate the acidity of the blood. The effect of stress on acidosis is more profound than that caused by wrong eating. When stress levels are very high no amount of correct eating can restore alkalinity in the body.
Water plays an important role in washing off acid wastes in the body. It is a good idea to begin your day with one litre i.e. 4 glasses of water. You can drink it over a period of time as drinking it all at one time may cause nausea. About 6-7 glasses are recommended through the rest of the day as it helps to expel acid wastes. Eating a 50% raw food diet also helps to reduce acidosis.
This happens because raw foods are richer in alkali forming nutrients like potassium, calcium, sodium. However, some people who suffer from indigestion cannot tolerate raw foods. They get gas and migraine headaches by consuming raw foods. These people can benefit by taking herbs that help improve digestion. Having done that, they may be able to tolerate raw foods better. Practicing pranayam or deep breathing exercises can also help restore acid – alkali balance in the body.
The health of your body depends to a large extent on the acid or alkaline state at the cellular level. In an acidic environment your body cannot even assimilate vitamin and minerals from supplements and food. To maintain good health and produce energy, your cells must exist in a slightly alkaline environment.