By Ramesh Bjonnes
Do you know why having an alkaline diet of mainly whole fruits and vegetables is important? The main reason is that acidic foods, including meat and refined carbohydrates, will tax our buffer system and pass on toxins to the various organs, which then can cause inflammation and then chronic disease.
All humans have a buffer system of carbonic acids, a protein buffer system, as well as a phosphate buffer system. In addition, we also buffer ourselves through the exhalation of carbon dioxide and through the elimination of hydrogen ions via the kidneys.
“These systems,” writes Dr. Kim, “are in place to prevent dietary, metabolic, and other factors from pushing the pH of your blood outside of the 7.35 to 7.45 range.”
When it is suggested by some that we need to “make the blood alkaline,” that is not entirely accurate. What happens when we eat plenty of alkaline–producing fruits and vegetables is that this diet has an alkaline-forming effect on these buffer systems. Thus, the body can then easily maintain homeostasis, or balance, in the bloodstream.
In the words of Dr. Kim: “Highly processed foods – like white flour products and white sugar – have an acid-forming effect on these buffer systems, and if you spend years eating a poor diet that is mainly acid-forming, you will overwork some of the buffering systems mentioned above to a point where you could create undesirable changes in your health.”
That’s why osteoporosis is caused by an acidic diet, not just a lack of calcium. When the body fluids are exposed to large quantities of acid-forming foods over a long period, the body will draw upon its calcium phosphate reserves to supply the phosphate buffer system to neutralize the acid-forming effects of a junk food diet. Over time, this may lead to osteoporosis and other problems, such as kidney- or gallstones.
However, some health experts overlook these facts and deny these foods negatively affect our health by affecting the alkaline acidity balance. They argue that our body’s buffer system will take care no matter what we eat.
But, as we have seen above, this claim does not hold up to scientific scrutiny. When we eat too much meat, junk foods with too much fat (especially animal fat), sugar, and refined carbs, our body’s buffer system is overtaxed and goes into overdrive to maintain homeostasis in the blood. And that’s when we start getting sick.
In addition, this creates acidosis, or perhaps better-termed toxicosis, in the body, a breathing ground for various diseases—from headaches to IBS, from tiredness to inflammation, from diabetes to cancer. These diseases are thus caused by a breakdown in the body’s buffer system as it struggles to digest the acidic food we consume while it attempts to maintain the proper pH in the blood.
So, it is not the blood that becomes acidic, but rather the other bodily fluids that compromise the vital functions of the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and so on. In other words, when we consume a highly acidic diet of meat, dairy, refined carbohydrates, sugar, coffee, and alcohol, we, in turn, become acidic and will suffer from various chronic health problems. Therefore, it is in our best interest not to overtax the body’s buffer system by eating a diet rich in alkaline-producing fruits and vegetables.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ramesh is the Director of the Prama Wellness Center where lifestyle is considered our best medicine. Ramesh is also a writer, yogi and workshop leader. He studied yoga therapy in Nepal and India, Ayurveda at California College of Ayurveda and is a certified yoga detox therapist from the AM Wellness Center in Cebu, Philippines. He has taught workshops in many countries and is the author of four books, including Sacred Body, Sacred Spirit (InnerWorld) and Tantra:The Yoga of Love and Awakening (Hay House India).