The alkaline diet has been in the limelight recently, with everyone from celebrities to health gurus touting the benefits of cutting acidic foods out of your diet.
Studies show that limiting your intake of acidic foods may help improve bone density, reduce the risk of kidney stones, lower chronic pain, improve hormone levels and alleviate acid reflux.
Following a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich, unprocessed foods and reducing your intake of acid-forming foods can be a great way to help you make strides toward achieving optimal health. So what are acidic foods, and how can you limit your consumption of them? Let’s find out!
What Are Acidic Foods?
Your body maintains a tightly regulated pH level. This is a measure of acidity and alkalinity in the fluids and tissues of the body, ranging from 0 to 14. A lower pH level is more acidic, and higher pH levels are considered more alkaline. While a pH of 7 is neutral, a slightly alkaline pH of 7.35–7.45 is considered optimal for human health.
Even minute changes in your body’s pH levels can cause a major impact on health. Alkalosis, which is caused by a high pH level, can cause symptoms like confusion, muscle twitching and nausea, while acidosiscan result in fatigue, shallow breathing and headaches.
Luckily, your kidneys do most of the work in controlling your body’s pH by maintaining electrolyte levels and excreting/reabsorbing acidic and alkaline ions through the urine. However, eating a diet high in alkaline foods may come with some benefits to health.
Limiting your intake of acidic foods could help preserve bone density, prevent kidney stones and even decrease acid reflux symptoms.