An overview about balancing your body's pH level, summarized by Marisa at KindGreenPlanet.org, based on the book, Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr:
Your body strives to have a balanced pH level: something around 7.4, which is slightly alkaline. If your blood pH is lower than 7, watch out: it means you're acidic, your oxygen levels are in the basement, and your body's in trouble. Disease--in particular cancer (yikes!)--feeds off of acidic, oxygen-depleted conditions. In fact, as author Kris Carr says, "Everything from a runny nose to skin eruptions, heartburn, eczema, inflammation, arthritis, poor circulation, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, a weakened immune system [...] can be traced back in some way to an acidic terrain."
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is highly acidic, and it forces your body to pull valuable alkaline minerals from its stores to balance out the pH. It takes these minerals from your bones, tissues, and organs. That's why, for instance, some studies have shown that people who consume the most animal protein (acid-forming) have higher hip fracture rates because the body draws calcium from bones to alkalize the blood.
Our bodies are equipped to deal with slightly acidic foods but not lots of highly acidic foods. For more in-depth info on the topic, Marisa highly recommends reading Crazy Sexy Diet.
Here's a sampling from the acidic items list:
-Animal protein: red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, dairy products (these products are highly acidic)
-Coffee (even decaf), black tea
-Heavily processed foods, no matter what they're made of
-Honey, corn syrup, brown sugar, fructose
-Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard (use sparingly)
-Processed soy products tend to fall on the acidic side--enjoy them in moderation
-Processed oils such as margarine, fake fats, trans fats, and refined vegetable oils
-Refined grains, wheat, and oats: White bread, pasta, and rice are highly acidic
-Soda, energy drinks, sports drinks
-Table salt (sea salt and kosher salt are better choices in moderation)
-All salted and roasted nuts
-White sugar and sugar substitutes
-Yeast and vinegar (with the exception of raw apple cider vinegar)
-Soy sauce (use sparingly and choose low-sodium tamari or gluten-free nama shoyu.
Here are some of the alkaline items:
-Almonds, brazil nuts, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds
-Cold-pressed oils such as hemp, flax, and borage seed
-Moderate amounts of grains such as quinoa, wild rice, millet, amaranth, buckwheat
-Grasses, especially superpowered nutrient-packed wheatgrass
-Green veggies--all kinds, but especially leafy green veggies such as kale, spinach, lettuces, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, cabbage, and endive
-Raw tomatoes--but cooked tomatoes are acidic
-Root veggies, such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, turnips, jicama, daikon, and burdock
-Stevia (a sweetener)
As we all know, balance is the key! Here's to a healthy, balanced you.
Article and book overview by the good people at KindGreenPlanet.org, found here.