We have updated and revised our Alkaline/Acid Food Chart! Get yours NOW!
You already know the significance of how maintaining a proper pH balance in your body is essential for good health. If you are new to The Wolfe Clinic and to natural health, there are numerous articles on our website that teach about pH balance. Dr. Wolfe based his successful practice on the premise that acidosis, or acidity in the body, is the root cause of all disease and sickness.
Every solution is either acidic or alkaline. (Alkaline is often called "base.") These solutions can be anything from body fluids, such as stomach acid and blood, to beverages, such as wine or coffee, to sea water. Acidity and alkalinity are measured in pH (potential of hydrogen). The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with 0 the most acidic, and 14 the most alkaline. The pH of stomach acid is 1, wine is 3.5, water is 7 (neutral), venous blood is 7.35, arterial blood is 7.4, sea water is 8.5, and baking soda is 12. Ideally, our pH should stay on the alkaline side: between 7.35 and 7.45.
When the body is too acidic, it needs to borrow minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium from the vital organs and bones in order to neutralize the acid and safely remove it from the body. So if you are deficient in minerals required to maintain a proper acid/alkaline balance, some very interesting things start to happen to your body:
Minerals are robbed from your saliva because saliva is a non-critical body fluid and as such, a change in the pH of your saliva will not cause your body to die.
It robs minerals from the muscles which is why you get muscle cramps, twitches, charlie-horses, leg shakes, night shakes, eye twitching and many other physical disorders associated with electrolyte deficiency or mineral deficiency.
- It robs minerals such as calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate from the bone, teeth and other organs. The body needs these minerals for pH regulation. So where does it send these minerals in order to ionize them? To the kidney, since the kidney is where acidic and alkaline levels of the body are maintained (using carbon dioxide and bicarbonate), hoping that the acidity of the compounds will ionize the minerals so that they can be used for the important role of maintaining pH. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and has the most rapid turnover in pH maintenance.
Besides many serious health problems, individuals who are mineral deficient are at risk of developing kidney stones, gall stones, bone spurs, calcium deposits, tendon and ligament tears, muscle strains and sprains and muscle scar tissue. The sequence of problems begins to escalate, but usually starts with low back pain and large muscle cramping. For example, finger twitching can occur when writing because the arm is resting on a nerve and there are electrolyte deficiencies in the body. So, you need to consume healthy forms of supplements such as ionic or organically-bound minerals in your diet.
Mineral absorption in the stomach needs an acid environment for digestion, and in their elemental (rock) state, minerals are normally only 8% to 40% biologically available to humans. In people 35 or older the availability of minerals drops to 3% to 5%. People over 60 years old produce only 25% of the stomach acid they produced when they were 20 years old. The digestive system in older people does not produce enough digestive acid to put calcium, magnesium and potassium into ionic suspension.
So, when you take a pill that has minerals in it; one that is proposed to contain 1000 mg of calcium, it comes from substances such as bones, rocks and shells. That form of mineral does not provide the best source of nutrition and places an extra burden on your system. But if you eat a piece of steak or chicken that contains 1000 mg of calcium, you will be getting your calcium, magnesium and potassium in your food. The same is true for supplements that contain organic mineral forms or water that has coral calcium in it that is naturally ionized and readily absorbable by the body. For example, Sango coral calcium contains readily ionized minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium and is absorbed and used immediately by the body.
If you are craving carbohydrates and having muscle aches, muscle cramps, twitches, low back pains and headaches, you are probably acidic. This inevitably leads to yeast problems as well as infestations of worms and other parasites which are also indicative of acidosis.
All animal life thrives in a healthy alkaline pH, where oxygen can be efficiently utilized to burn sugar and make energy. If oxygen cannot be utilized (low pH), the body produces a lot of free oxygen radicals. To stay healthy you have to be slightly alkaline. Does that mean eating alkaline foods? No, it means eating foods that once digested will supply the minerals necessary to preserve a healthy pH balance. (Look at our Alkaline/Acid Food Chart.) You need to have the proper minerals in your food, water and supplementation, because they help to provide the resources needed to maintain a healthy alkaline pH.
It should be noted that anaerobes including cancer cells, yeast, fungi, mold, bacteria, worms and other parasites thrive in an acidic environment lacking oxygen. And since anaerobes flourish in people with acidic systems, it is fair to conclude that many chronic illnesses are the result of this condition. In fact, yeast, fungi, mold, bacteria, worms and other parasites are the leading causes of most chronic ailments. So taking care of your inner terrain and keeping your body healthy is the best way to avoid them since these vermin cannot survive in an alkaline environment.
Fungal overgrowth in the body begins with an anaerobic metabolism and this serious condition is known to be associated with chronic fatigue, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, fibromyalgia and many more persistent diseases. The fungal overgrowth also eats up the body's fuel supply through fermentation causing general fatigue associated with all of these diseases, as well as throwing the body's acid/alkaline balance even further out of whack.
Cancer is also an anaerobe. In fact, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Worburg demonstrated that if you put cancer cells in an alkaline solution, they die within a short period of time because alkaline solutions contain oxygen and oxygen is toxic to cancer cells. Unfortunately, just killing cancer cells is rather like swatting mosquitoes in order to get rid of a stagnant pond. It simply isn't going to help; you have to clean up the pond to finally get rid of the mosquitoes. So to cure disease, we have to correct the acidic environment of the body; not go after the parasite that is associated with an acidic pH.
An acidic balance will decrease the body's ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease the energy production in the cells, decrease its ability to repair damaged cells, decrease its ability to detoxify heavy metals, make tumor cells thrive, and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness.
Every vital system in the body that undertakes regulatory processes, such as hormone production, breathing, circulation and digestion, work to ensure that the body maintains the correct pH balance. If there is undo strain on the organs trying to preserve this equilibrium, it will show up as different chronic diseases. On the other hand, healthy tissues are always alkaline and oxygenated. By increasing your body's alkalinity, you also increase the oxygen levels in all your organs and tissues. If you keep a healthy pH balance, you will stop the beginning or growth of diseased cells by starving them to death since their only source of energy is from fermentation.
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease." ~ Thomas Edison
Foods are classified as acid-forming or alkalizing depending on the effect they have on the body. An acid-forming food contributes hydrogen ions to the body, making it more acidic. An alkalizing food removes hydrogen ions from the body, making it more alkaline. It is important to note that this classification is based on the effect foods have on the body after digestion, not on their own intrinsic acidity or alkalinity (or how they taste to us).
A common misconception is that if a food tastes acidic, it has an acid-forming effect on the body. This is not necessarily true. Very often, an acidic-tasting food is alkalizing. Citrus fruits are a good example. People say that lemons, for example, are "too acidic"; however, they are actually alkalizing because the minerals they leave behind after digestion help remove hydrogen ions, decreasing the acidity of the body. (Many people use the term "residue" or "ash" to explain the effect of a food on the body. A food with an acid ash after digestion contributes hydrogen ions, making the body more acidic; a food with an alkaline ash after digestion removes hydrogen ions, making the body more alkaline.)
Another misconception is that acid-forming foods are "bad." This is not correct; acidity and alkalinity are opposites and one is not intrinsically better than the other. This misconception has developed because the North American diet is excessively acidic, which does result in health problems.
The Typical American Diet
North Americans eat considerably more acid-forming foods than alkalizing foods. The typical American diet is far too high in acid producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, and far too low in alkaline producing foods like fresh vegetables. Additionally, we eat acid producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink acid producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks. We use too many drugs, which are acid forming; and we use artificial chemical sweeteners like NutraSweet, Sweet 'N Low, Equal, or Aspartame, which are poison and extremely acid forming. One of the best things we can do to correct an overly acid body is to clean up the diet and lifestyle.
Dr. Mary Ruth Swope, in Green Leaves of Barley, comments, "We have become too full of acid and, as a result, are experiencing a wide range of diseases that flourish in the acid medium."
Eat a diet that helps your body maintain the correct acidity-alkalinity balance. Of course, everybody is different - but most of us should aim to eat 70-80% alkaline foods and a maximum of 20-30% acid forming foods. Dr. Wolfe believes that the ideal diet is 75% alkalizing and 25% acidifying foods by volume.
In general, the foods that contain alkaline minerals (and leave an alkaline effect) are all the foods we already know are good for us: low sugar foods, fresh alkaline vegetables, nuts, seeds, salads, water rich foods etc. And for the foods that contain minerals that have an acidic effect? You guessed it, sweets, alcohol, trans fats, meats, dairy, pizza, cola, biscuits, chips, white breads and pastas, refined foods, processed foods etc.
We recommend that you have our fully-laminated Alkaline/Acid Food Chart handy in your kitchen at all times so that you and your family can easily see how to put together meals to get the correct percentage of alkaline to acid foods on a daily basis.
How Alkaline Are You?
It may be useful for you to test your pH with our home pH Test Kit. You can use it to not only test your urine and saliva pH but also to test your water sources.
By using pH test strips, you can determine your pH factor quickly and easily in the privacy of your own home. If your urinary pH fluctuates between 6.0 to 6.5 in the morning and between 6.5 and 7.0 in the evening, your body is functioning within a healthy range. Acids leave the body through the urine, so it should be slightly acidic. If your saliva stays between 6.5 and 7.5 all day, your body is functioning within a healthy range. The best time to test your pH is about one hour before a meal and two hours after a meal. Test your pH two days a week.
This will give you a good indication of your overall health but it must be clearly understood that when you test urine or saliva pH, it is not telling you what the pH of the body is. What it is telling you, though, is the overall burden that the body is imposing on non-critical fluids for buffers to keep blood at a pH of 7.4.
Wishing you the best in health,
The Wolfe Clinic