There is a perception that some foods have alkaline properties and are considered “alkaline foods”. However, it is important to note that these foods are not inherently alkaline, but have an alkalizing effect on the body once they are metabolized. Therefore, it is more accurate to refer to them as “alkalizing foods”.
When we talk about alkalis, we are referring to foods that, after metabolism, can help balance the body’s pH and reduce acidity. The pH is a measure that indicates the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a substance, and the human body has a delicate balance that seeks to maintain a slightly alkaline pH in the blood and other body fluids.
Alkalizing foods are fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, and kale. Also included in this group are foods such as lemons, avocados, cucumbers, and some fruits. They are characterized by alkaline minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which, once metabolized, can help neutralize acids in the body.
It is important to note that although alkaline foods can help maintain a healthy pH balance in the body, the body has internal regulatory systems that maintain pH within a normal range.
Why the pH of the food is important
The pH of the food is important because it can affect the body and its proper functioning. The pH is a measure that indicates the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a substance and can vary on a scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, values below 7 indicate acidity, and values above 7 indicate alkalinity.
The human organism has different pH levels in different parts and fluids of the body. For example, the blood has a slightly alkaline pH, which stays within a narrow range between 7.35 and 7.45. Other body fluids, such as saliva, stomach, and intestine, have different levels of acidity or alkalinity depending on their specific functions.
The pH balance in the body is essential for the proper functioning of enzymes, proteins, and other cellular components. An imbalance in pH can have different effects on the body:
- Metabolism and digestion. Proper pH in the digestive system is essential for the proper breakdown and absorption of nutrients. For example, the stomach requires an acidic environment (low pH) for food digestion, while the small intestine requires a slightly alkaline environment (higher pH) for optimal nutrient absorption.
- Bone health. Acidic pH in the body can influence the balance of calcium and other minerals, potentially affecting bone health. A chronic acidic pH can trigger a response from the body to balance pH levels, and this may involve the release of alkaline minerals, such as calcium, from the bones to neutralize the acidity.
- Kidney health. The kidneys play an important role in the body’s acid-base balance, helping to remove acidic wastes and maintain proper pH. If the pH becomes unbalanced, the kidneys may have difficulty removing excess acid, which can affect kidney health.
It is important to note that although the body has internal regulatory systems, such as the buffer system, that help maintain pH within a healthy range, factors such as an unhealthy diet, chronic stress, and certain diseases can affect this balance.
Difference between alkaline and acidifying foods
Alkalizing and acidifying foods are terms used to describe the effect that foods have on the body’s acid-base balance. The difference between the two is:
- Alkalinising foods are foods that, after metabolism, generate metabolic ash that has an alkalinizing effect on the body. These foods help to increase pH and reduce acidity.
- Acidifying foods are foods that cause an acidifying effect on the body. These foods contribute to lowering the pH and increasing acidity. Examples of acidifying foods include meats, dairy products, processed foods, refined grains, sugar, and carbonated beverages. These foods are often high in protein and fat, which can increase acid production in the body.
It is important to note that the categorization of foods as alkalizing or acidifying is based on nutrient composition and their effect on acid-base balance after metabolism, and not on the taste of the food itself.
The aim of keeping these concepts in mind is to maintain a healthy pH balance in the body, as the human body has internal regulatory systems that seek to maintain a slightly alkaline pH in the blood and other body fluids. However, it is important to note that the impact of food on the body’s acid-base balance is complex.
Examples of alkaline foods
It is advisable to include a variety of alkaline foods in a balanced and healthy diet to promote overall well-being. Here is a list of alkalizing foods you can incorporate into your daily routine:
- Green leafy vegetables: spinach, kale, chard, lettuce, rocket, watercress.
- Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts.
- Fresh herbs: parsley, coriander, basil, mint.
- Chia seeds.
- Pumpkin seeds.
This list includes a variety of foods that are considered alkalizing because of their alkaline mineral content and their effect on the body’s acid-base balance. However, it is important to remember that the way foods are prepared and cooked, as well as other dietary and lifestyle factors, can also influence their acid-base impact.
How to reduce metabolic acidity and achieve equilibrium
The pH of the food is important because it influences the body’s acid-base balance, which can affect various physiological processes. Maintaining a proper pH balance through a balanced diet is essential to promote optimal functioning of the body.
If you are looking to reduce metabolic acidity and achieve acid-base balance in the body, it is important to note that the best way to achieve this is through a healthy diet. However, in some cases, supplements may be necessary.
Some are designed to help balance pH and reduce metabolic acidity, such as those containing alkalizing minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium (this is the case with Silicium G7 Original 1L Dynamized, which, as well as including it, also contains organic silica). These minerals can help to balance the body’s pH and, although they should not be considered as a sole solution, if you supplement them with a daily intake of fresh foods, vegetables, and fruit, avoiding as far as possible excessive consumption of processed foods, refined sugars, and saturated fats, you will notice an improvement in your internal balance.
In addition, we recommend maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, stress management, and adequate rest, as this will also contribute to acid-base balance.