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Monday, October 19, 2009  |  32 Comments
by Christopher Vasey
There are four elementary principles for selecting foods to ensure the proper quantities of acidifying, alkalizing, and acid foods in the diet. These are accompanied by four additional rules to be followed by people who are unable to metabolize acids properly.
Rule one: A meal should never consist solely of acidifying foods but should always contain alkaline foods.
A meal of meat with pasta, or fish and rice, with cake and coffee for dessert is not a recommended menu because it consists entirely of acidifying foods; the same applies to a meatless meal of pasta with tomato sauce followed by a dessert sweetened with white sugar. By adding vegetables to this meal in the form of salads or raw or cooked vegetables, the alkaline intake at least partially compensates for the acids. Vegetables are typically included with meals, but often in such small quantities that their effect is negligible.
Rule two: The amount of alkalizing foods should be greater proportionately than the amount of acidifying foods at anyone meal.
The proportion of foods that produce alkaline elements should always be greater than that of foods that produce acids. Eating in this manner ensures that the acids are neutralized at the intestinal or tissue level without any need for the body to draw from its reserves.
Rule three: The proportion of alkalizing foods should be even greater proportionately when there is pronounced acidification of the internal environment or when the individual is unable to metabolize acids properly.
The more the body is weakened or exhausted, the less alkaline reserve it has for its buffer system, and the less capable it is of oxidizing acids. Putting less acid into the body makes it easier for the body to maintain its acid-alkaline balance.
Rule four: A diet consisting solely of alkaline vegetables and plant-based food is possible, but only for a limited period (one to two weeks).
An exclusively alkaline diet, consisting solely of vegetables, potatoes, bananas, almonds, and so forth, cannot be continued indefinitely because it is seriously inadequate in protein. Such diets are useful when acidification is very significant and the disorders it has caused are acute, intense, and painful. The abrupt, complete elimination of all acids allows the body to recover more rapidly and return to a normal acid-alkaline balance. An exclusively alkaline diet should remain a short-term therapeutic action so as not to compromise health.
There are four additional rules that people suffering from an inability to metabolize acids properly should heed.
Rule five: A meal should never consist solely of acid foods but should always include alkaline foods.
This rule is almost identical to rule one, but it involves acid rather than acidifying foods. Eating fruits and yogurt exclusively or drinking only whey-based beverages is strongly discouraged, as the acid intake from such a diet is not compensated by any alkaline food, which forces the body to draw these substances from its own tissues. The risk of health problems caused by mineral depletion is therefore quite significant. These manifest as a sudden drop in vitality, the feeling that one's teeth are on edge, a chilly sensation, itching, joint pains, and others that have been discussed previously.
Alkaline foods that are good accompaniments to fresh fruits are fresh (unripened) cheeses, soft white cheese (large-curd cottage cheese, low-fat cream cheese, ricotta, quark, mozzarella, farmer cheese, fresh goat cheese, yogurt cheese), cream, almonds, bananas, salad greens, or a blend of raw fruits and vegetables.
Rule six: The quantities of acid and acidifying foods a person eats should be tailored to meet their personal metabolic capabilities.
The inability to metabolize acids properly is rarely absolute; it varies according to individual physiology as well as circumstances (such as stress, fatigue, work, and vacations). Each person has a certain rate at which he or she can metabolize acids properly, a rate that cannot be surpassed without overtaxing the body's capacity.
As long as the quantity of acids ingested or created by the digestion of food is below these rates, the body manages to neutralize them through oxidation before any of the health problems created by acidification manifest. Accordingly, for certain extremely sensitive individuals, half a golden apple no more-suits them just fine, but even a quarter of a Winesap apple is more than they can handle. For any given person, a certain quantity of a food can be acidifying, yet alkalizing or neutral in a lesser amount.
So if you have difficulty metabolizing acids, you can safely eat acid foods as long as you tailor the amount you consume to your physical capacities. Your tolerance threshold can also change over time. You can discover and keep track of your own threshold through experimentation and observation.
Rule seven: Acid foods should not be eaten too rapidly
An individual with an inability to metabolize acids properly, but with a normal acid-alkaline balance, can generally handle a sudden increase in acid intake (from eating a large quantity of fruit, for example) by drawing from the body's reserves, provided that this kind of event is the exception and not the rule. In fact, if the withdrawal of alkaline substances from the body's reserves is a unique event, the acid-alkaline balance is not endangered, and no acidification problem will occur.
But some time will have to go by before the body's reserves are replenished. If eating another piece of fruit puts additional acids into the body too soon, it has to draw from its already diminished reserves, which may not contain enough alkaline substances to neutralize the acid from the fruit, and acid-alkaline balance is compromised. Health problems due to acidification will appear not because the body was not intrinsically capable of neutralizing this fruit's acid-it had successfully done so before-but because the fruit had been eaten too soon after the first fruit had been consumed.
By spacing out the ingestion of these hard-to-metabolize foods, you can increase your personal level of tolerance for them. This is useful to know, as it allows you to expand the selection of foods you can safely eat.
Rule eight: Acid foods must be eaten when the body is ready to receive them.
There is an Arabic proverb that says: "Oranges are like gold in the morning, silver at noon, and lead in the evening." For people with an inability to metabolize acids properly, the opposite is true. Oranges and fruits in general are harmful in the morning and much more beneficial at noon or in the evening. The reason for this is that by noon the body's "organic motor" has had the time to warm up and is turning over naturally. In fact, some people take a long time physically to wake up in the morning. The heart beats more slowly, blood pressure is low, and cellular exchanges-including oxidation-take place in slow motion. The body reaches cruising speed only after several hours of activity and a meal or two. If such a person eats fruits or drinks a glass of orange juice in the morning, not only will he or she have difficulty metabolizing the acids but, because the body is still working below its real capacity, it will have even greater trouble oxidizing acids than it normally would.
Along the same lines of reasoning, acids foods are metabolized better in the summer, when the weather is hot and sunny, as well as when one is rested (as opposed to feeling tired).
The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum HealthChristopher Vasey
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