The balance between acid and acid-alkaline diet is one of the foundations of good physical health. And yet, though most nutritionists and health professionals are aware of this, it is surprisingly little known among the general population.

This is a pity. The human body is composed of cells, and when it is predominantly alkaline, those cells functions better. Ideally, the body should be two-thirds alkaline, one-third acid; the average, especially in the West, is around 20% alkaline, 80% acid. A body which is predominantly acid ages more quickly, and is more prone to osteoporosis, rheumatism, arthritis, candida, insomnia, and even cancer. The bad news is that most modern diets and lifestyles, even relatively healthy ones, are acid-forming. The good news is that you can take steps right now to correct this.

Diet is key to a healthy acid-alkaline balance.

The refined sugars found in cookies, cakes, and chocolate are all acid-forming. You should also avoid sodas, coffee, alcoholic drinks, and even fruit juices. More surprisingly, many healthy foods increase the body’s acid content, including most animal produce, nuts (with the exception of almonds and chestnuts), grains (with the exception of millet and buckwheat), cranberries, plums, prunes, rhubarb, and, most surprising of all, milk and yogurt.

So what should you eat?

Pure honey alkalizes the body, though it should be eaten in moderation. Vegetables are mostly alkaline-forming, especially seaweed, parsley, watercress, cabbage, kale, broccoli, and carrot. Fruits are generally safe, but best of all are melons, oranges, grapefruit, dates, lemons, mangoes, and figs. Organic sea salt and green tea should also be added to your diet if possible.

However, a change in diet is not enough.

Your emotional state can also throw out the acid-alkaline balance. Chronic stress is very bad. Try yoga and meditation to relieve this, especially those forms that teach you to breathe deeply. Once you have learnt these deep-breathing techniques, practise them regularly. Deep breathing oxygenates the body and increases alkaline; the shallow breathing found among the chronically stressed, in contrast, leads to more carbon dioxide in the body and hence more acidity.

It may also be worth visiting your local health food store.

Most sell powdered formulas designed to re-balance the body. Look for one that contains organic, powdered spirulina, alfalfa, broccoli, and wheat grass. Sodium phosphate will also help. Rather than a multi-vitamin, you could try a multi-mineral supplement. Find one containing calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. If you dislike drinking green tea, you could also purchase green tea extract in tablet form.

Correcting the acid-alkaline imbalance isn’t difficult. As you can see from the advice offered above, the changes are relatively simple. It should also be stressed that you needn’t take this advice to an extreme. A little chocolate, or the occasional drink, won’t do you much harm. The key is to make small changes and stick to them.

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