Many people tend to avoid acidic food as a result of the rise and the prevalence of acid reflux with alkaline diet. Nevertheless, difference exists between an acid forming food and food with an acidic pH. Any food promoting acidity in the body system can be termed to being an acidic food. It is good to note that it is not all food we eat with low pH value produces or promotes acidic environment in our system. The truth about this fact is that most people confuses an acidic food with an acid forming food, do not worry, this guide will put you through difference between an acid forming food and the ones with an acidic pH and why those foods are avoided.
ACID FORMING FOODS
An Alkaline diet helps to promote a non-acidic medium in our system, though the way it sounds might look confusing, but reducing the intake of an acid forming food is paramount.
The blood pH level of our system falls between 7.4 which make it slightly basic or alkaline; this pH is usually maintained by some mechanisms to allow for proper body functions, mechanism like urination and breathing helps to maintain the normal pH
Bodily parts has its own separate pH, it is good to note that the stomach has an acidic pH of about 1.35 – 3.5 which allows for food breakdown.
The body's pH to an extent is highly regulated and there is a need to get the pH of the body balanced, this can be done or altered by what we consume.
Also, most food we consume has different potential renal acid loads measure by acid excretion in the urine or subsequently the acid load the kidney get excreted to get the body's pH highly maintained.
DIETARY ACID LOADS
Some of the food we consume carries a high dietary load, some of which are:
Although fruits and vegetables has low dietary acid load, still they tend to be basic or alkaline in nature.
Some of the known western diet are so high in animal protein and also some consumable foods with high PRALs but extremely low in fruits and vegetables.
Diet with a low acid load function better in the body system compare to that which carries a high acid load, vegetable and fruits are known to be of low acid load and they help in promoting kidney and heart health, meanwhile diet high in acidic contents has opposite effects.
High dietary acid load has been linked to some medical conditions such as:
It is advised to limit dietary intake with high PRALs and increase those with low PRALs like fruits and vegetables.
Foods with high dietary acids are:
Most individual takes soft drink, meanwhile, soft drink contains phosphoric acid, a major cause of acid load in our diet.
Red meat and other proteins:
Red meat is known to be high in protein and phosphorus, once consumed in our diet, acid load will be increased.
Processed grains such as baked goods, white bread are high in acid load, refined grains should be replaced with fruits and vegetables which are of low acid load.
Cheese and dairy products:
Most dairy products are high in phosphorus, they contribute to dietary load.
ACIDIC PH FOOD
When we talk about food with an acidic pH, they are food that mostly contain an acid, but do not form acid in the body. For instance, citrus fruit and tomatoes have acidic pH but low PRALs.
Food with high level of pH increases symptoms of GERD (Gastro esophageal Reflux Disorder)
CITRUS FRUITS THAT INCREASE GERD SYMPTOMS
So much as most citrus fruits causes harm to those with GERD, still, they should not be cut down from daily diet, and this is because they are loaded with vitamins and has beneficial effects.
Tomatoes based products are also acidic, yet nutritious and serve as a great source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant with great benefits.
SHOULD YOU AVOID ACIDIC FOODS?
From our previous discussion about acid forming food and acidic food, you now know the difference, some food has a high acid content but do not form acid in the body (low PRALs) such as citrus and tomatoes). One can cut down on high PRALs food and get them replaced with low PRALs; they are known to be alkaline as a result of their low PRALs.
Taking more of fruits and vegetables is highly beneficial for disease reduction and health in general.
If one's health is to be improved, an acid forming food needs to be replaced with an alkaline food, when this is done, serious health issues like diabetes, cancer GERD can be curbed. Also, when one takes lot of acidic food, the body is more vulnerable to illnesses and disease, but when an alkaline food is eaten, the body is considered protective. On taking more of alkaline food, the body remains alkalized and one's health is improved.
Some examples of food that leaves the body with acidic ash are:
While some examples of food that leaves the body with alkaline components are:
Categories of food class showing acidity, alkalinity or neutral is shown thus:
BODY pH LEVEL
It is good to discuss and know what an alkaline diet is, but when this is to be discussed, the basis of pH must be known.
The measurement of how acidic or alkaline is can be termed as PH, it ranges from 0 – 14.
Acidic: 0.0 -6.9
Alkaline or Basic: 7.1 – 14.0
Alkaline diet as discussed is known to be a healthy diet that encourages food intake such as vegetables, healthy plants and fruits but restricting processed food. Also, an alkaline diet shows healthiness as a result of whole and unprocessed food it contains.
FOOD THAT HELPS CONTROL ACID REFLUX
When an acid back flow takes place from the stomach into the esophagus, this is referred to as an acid reflux.
This is known to be a common medical condition which could lead to troublesome complication such as heartburn.
The type of food consumed by individual either show a positive or negative effect of acid the stomach produces.
When one eats the right food, the following medical conditions in the body will be controlled:
Acid reflux will be controlled
Controlling GERD is key
Acid reflux related diseases will as well be controlled.
The following food may help reduce acid reflux symptoms
Naturally, vegetables are low in sugar and thus help to reduce stomach acid. Examples in this case are:
Adding little ginger to your preparations can help ease the symptoms of acid reflux and some related conditions.
Ginger has a natural anti-inflammatory properties, its known to naturally treats some gastro intestinal problems.
Once one take a diet high in fiber, it helps reduces the risk of acid reflux. Whole grain rice and bread belongs to this class of food.
NON CITRUS FRUITS:
Non citrus fruits such as:
Are less likely to trigger acid reflux than those fruits that are acidic
LEAN MEAT AND SEAFOOD:
Most seafood's such as:
Are extremely low in fat and thus reduces the symptoms of acid reflux.
Taking egg white is good for acid reflux relieve. Egg yolk should be stayed away from, it thus triggers acid reflux.
Healthy fats such as:
Avocados are healthier, and helps stop the risk acid reflux.
A common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn and GERD, GERD causes vomiting and as such acid is moved into the esophagus. Other related symptoms include the following:
To really get your triggers identified, a food dairy will be kept and the following will be tracked:
What food you eat
The time of day you eat
The symptoms you experience
The diary should be kept for a week, with tracking records, food and drinks affecting your GERD can be identified.
MAKING LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Diet and nutrition could help control reflux acid, also, lifestyle changes can as well be of help. The following tips should be tried, it helps:
Take medication such as antacids
Do not put on tight clothing's
Eat slowly, do not overeat
Do not drink alcohol
The head of your bed must be raised to avoid reflux while you sleep
A healthy weight must be maintained
Eat early before going to bed
Do not chew peppermint gum
Do not sit two hours after eating
Once fiber is increased in this diet, it helps reduce the symptoms of GERD, fiber as well reduces the risk of the following:
Uncontrolled blood sugar
Note: Please note that food intake that causes acid reflux reduction in one, may sometimes be problematic to others.