The Alkaline Diet Plan Overview
Alkaline Diet Plan
Acid-alkaline balance: your foundation for optimum health
For optimum cellular and system functioning, the body must maintain a slightly alkaline pH. By having this ideal pH balance, our health and energy are maximized, as is our resistance to disease and premature aging.
The most important organs we have to protect against acid buildup are our kidneys and lungs (followed by the skin). Our kidneys regulate acid-alkaline balance in the bloodstream and eliminate solid/fixed acids through urination. When excessive amounts of acid are present in the bloodstream, the kidneys dilute and neutralize these harmful acids.
During this process of acid excretion, the kidneys rely on various alkali mineral compounds. In the best of all worlds these alkaline compounds are provided through a wholesome vegetable-centered diet. If they are not available through diet, the body has to call upon its alkali mineral reserves stored in the blood, bone, and other tissues. For example, even a slight acidic tilt causes immediate withdrawal of calcium, magnesium, and even potassium compounds stored in and around the bone.
Your body and acid rain
All of life as we know it involves issues of pH balance. We have heard about the detrimental impacts of acid rain. Pure water is neutral with a pH of 7. Rain is called acidic when its pH declines to levels of 6 or lower. This level of acid is enough to jeopardize both plants and animals in the water and on the land. For example, at a pH of lower than 5, most fish eggs will not hatch and trees and plants can be damaged by the loss of calcium in the soil and in the plants' leaves.
Less well known is the fact that our bodies can produce their own equivalent of acid rain. Like the devastating effects acid rain has on plants and animals, an internal acid condition is very damaging to our bodies—particularly our bones. Today our internal "acid overload" is created by modern imbalanced eating patterns.
With our contemporary diets we have unwittingly created a slightly acid internal state known by scientists as chronic low-grade metabolic acidosis. While low grade, over the long haul this internal acidity "eats away" at our bones and limits optimum cellular functioning on many levels. This can result in negative impacts ranging from dental decay, kidney stones, and osteoporosis to lowered immunity, allergies, and fatigue. See Chronic Low-Grade Metabolic Acidosis.
The issue of acid-alkaline balance, also known as "pH balance," is indeed important and complex. As your awareness of pH balance grows you will come to recognize that our Alkaline for Life® diet is one of the most important steps you can take to maximize your overall health and well being.
Your body and acid-alkaline balance
Our bodies are indeed amazing! Each of us is made up of some 60 trillion cells, and each of these cells carries out some 1,000 chemical reactions each second. Many of these essential chemical reactions will only occur within a very specific pH range. For example, our enzymatic, immunologic, and repair mechanisms all give peak performances only in a slightly alkaline environment. Therefore, to function at our best, we must maintain the slightly alkaline arterial blood pH level range of 7.36 to 7.45. Even more, straying from this ideal range immediately threatens life. In other words, our bodies are designed to function in a slightly alkaline environment.
While the human body is alkaline by design, the body is also "acidic by function." In other words, through everyday cellular functions, we produce an extraordinary amount of acid. The good news is that Mother Nature and all her wisdom has provided the body with numerous mechanisms that automatically buffer and excrete acids. The kidneys, lungs, skin, and red blood cells all function to eliminate or neutralize harmful acids. These acid-neutralizing actions allow our blood and tissues to remain in a slightly alkalizing life-supporting zone. Through this constant and automatic production of acids, and the equally constant and automatic buffering of acids, harmful acids do not generally accumulate in the body.
There is one way unwanted acids can come to accumulate within the body, however. That accumulation occurs through an imbalanced diet.
Acid accumulation from an imbalanced diet
During most of human evolution we survived on a wide variety of natural whole foods, including an abundance of plants and vegetables, roots, seeds, nuts, leaves, and fruits; as well as many types of "flesh" foods (including mineral-rich organ meats and skeletal bones). This diet was mineral-rich and particularly high in alkalizing potassium citrate. These abundant mineral compounds provided our ancestors with very large alkaline reserves. Adapting to this ancestral diet, our genetic machinery evolved to include a mandatory physiological requirement for an abundance of alkaline-forming food stuffs. For more details, see our section on "New Science."
Acid accumulation, bones and muscle
Your bones house 99% of the body's calcium, roughly half of the body's sodium, more than half of its magnesium and carbonate, and even some of its potassium. When moved into the extracellular fluid to neutralize excess acid products, these mineral compounds are drained from bone. This drainage of minerals from the bone comes to the rescue, reestablishing the body's all-critical pH balance.
Your muscles are also directly affected by chronic, low-grade metabolic acidosis. When acidity rises, muscle tissues release the alkalizing amino acid glutamine, which is needed for the kidney's production of ammonium to generate new alkalizing bicarbonate ions. Muscle sacrifices itself just as bone depletes itself so that a life-supporting slightly alkaline pH balance can be maintained.