The foods we put in our bodies greatly affect our health, or lack thereof. Every bite, every morsel, every drop of liquid that passes through our lips has the power to affect the body in ways we cannot even begin to imagine. You may have a clue as to what I’m referring to if you are one of millions of people on this planet who have some sort of allergic reaction to certain types of food or food products.

One simple way to start our journey to eating right and eating well is knowing these 2 things: acidity and alkalinity, or what we call our pH levels. Our bodies thrive on a slightly alkaline environment in order for each living cell to function properly. Too much acidity contributes to the degeneration of these cells and paves the way for a myriad of aliments and diseases that afflict modern man. How does this happen? Well, our bodies go to extreme lengths in order for our blood’s pH levels to maintain a slightly alkaline level of about 7.4. When we don’t feed our bodies with alkaline-forming foods, our body leaches calcium, magnesium, potassium and other vital minerals and nutrients off our bones, our digestive system and other organs to ensure normal function of our blood and the fluids in our cells. If our body does not do this, we die.

Osteoporosis, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are just a few of the modern-day diseases caused by a severely acidic body. Other ailments of acidosis are premature ageing, lack of energy, constant fatigue, loss of physical tone and depressive tendencies. The digestive system responds to over-acidity with bouts of gastritis, gastric reflux and ulcers. Acids are also released through the skin resulting in eczema, headaches, cramps, acne, boils, irritation, swelling, inflammation, excess oils, rosacea and other skin/nail/hair problems. The skin also tends to be irritated in areas where we sweat the most. We feel it in our overall well-being through unexplained headaches, a low body temperature, leg cramps and spasms, and a loss of drive, joy and enthusiasm.

This is quite a list. And one we should not take lightly.

Our standard modern diet comprises almost completely of acidic foods such as white flour, meat, sugar, and a host of processed foods. Stimulants like coffee, tea and alcohol are also extremely acidifying. Alkaline-forming foods such as whole fruits and vegetables take up a very small portion on our plate. In some cases almost nil. The result is a diet that does not have enough alkalinity to neutralize surplus acids, causing the body to break down in a variety of ways.

The problem lies not so much on a particular food, but rather the cumulative effects of eating highly acidic meals for years causing the body to finally break down and succumb to the lack of proper nutrients.

One easy way to check your body’s pH levels is to simply purchase and use the same test strips you might have used in high school chemistry class or to test the pH in your aquarium. Some studies recommend testing both saliva and urine. This test offers an indicator of your cellular pH and can be used to monitor changes as you work to normalize your pH. On the pH scale, 7 is neutral; 0 to 7 is acidic, and 7 to 14 is alkaline. The normal pH inside a cell is 7.4, which is slightly alkaline. First morning urine should be in the range of 6.5 to 7.5. If readings fall below 6.5, you are too acidic. Occasional readings above 7.5 are normal, but consistent readings above 7.5 are an indication of tissue breakdown, and a pH over 8.0 is a serious matter.

How do we maintain a proper balance of alkalinity and acidity? Here are a few simple rules:

1. Eat more whole, organic raw fruits and vegetables.
2. Reduce the amount of acid-forming foods such as meats, white flour and sugar from your diet.
3. Drink water.
4. Drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
5. Avoid highly toxic environments and reduce your stress.
6. Get some physical activity but not too much. Over-activity also causes acids to build up in your body.

Author's Bio: 

Brendan McCarthy is a health, fitness and nutrition expert and enthusiast and the author of The Jump Start 7 Day Weight Loss Program. This revolutionary program gives you a step-by-step plan to help you lose weight, cleanse your body, look terrific and boost your energy levels/ All through the natural goodness of juicing in just seven short days. Unlock the secrets to successful weight loss and healthy living. Indulge your senses on a delicious journey of great tasting, all natural juice cocktails specially formulated to help you naturally lose weight and feel great fast at JumpStart My Health Now!