Basic / alkaline water (Translated from Dutch)
Why basic (alkaline) or non-basic water?
The acid balance
The acid balance of the body determines how healthy or sick you are.
What is the acid / base balance and why is it so important for our health?
Our diet contains acid-forming and alkaline substances (bases). Good health requires the right balance between acids and bases. We then speak of a neutral pH value of the body (between 7.1 and 7.5). Because our current diet often consists of too much meat, fats and sugar (acid-forming) and too few vegetables and fruit (alkalizing), the acid / base balance is chronically disturbed in many people.
The body will always try to restore a disturbed balance by binding excess acids to minerals (including calcium, magnesium, iron, lime, sodium and zinc) and thereby neutralizing them. As long as sufficient base-forming nutrients are present in the body, the excess of acids that are stored in the connective and fatty tissue during the day can be discharged through the kidneys, skin and lungs at night.
If insufficient minerals are present in the diet, the mineral supply in the bones, skin and internal organs must be used. This eventually leads to shortages. The body is ultimately no longer able to correct the disturbed acid / base balance and becomes chronically acidified. This is called acute acidosis.
Acute acidosis can also occur due to other causes, such as poor nutrition, poor lung function (causing too much carbonic acid), a metabolic disorder (causing too much acid to be produced, for example in diabetes) or kidney abnormality (causing too many basic, alkalizing substances) excreted).
This form of acidosis is recognized and treated as such by the medical world. Acidosis due to the wrong diet, however, is not. That is why many people with a disturbed acid / base balance suffer from health problems that could easily be remedied if the cause was known.
A disturbed acid / base balance inevitably leads to a mineral deficiency. Health problems arising from this such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatism, gout, respiratory diseases, urinary tract, metabolic problems and a poorly functioning immune system are considered by many doctors to be unavoidable age problems and wear problems. Treatment usually focuses on symptom and pain relief and not on finding the cause and healing. A simple adjustment of the diet is usually not thought of.
The problem has been known for a long time
Already in the 15th century the Swiss physician Paracelsus stated that acidification of the body is the basis for all diseases. When, at the end of the 19th century, the means had been developed for serious research into this, researchers soon discovered that a long-term disruption of the acid balance can indeed lead to all kinds of health problems.
The problem of acidification has grown explosively in the last hundred years. Environmental pollution, unilateral application of fertilizer and the use of pesticides have ensured that our food chain is becoming increasingly acidified. This has a direct negative effect on the functioning of our body. The changes in our diet, impoverishment of food and deteriorated eating habits (too much meat, fat and sugar, too little fruit and vegetables) do the rest. As a result, a large part of the Western population suffers from a disturbed acid balance and, as a result, experiences all kinds of health problems apart from the negative consequences of chronic obesity.
Acid-forming and base-forming food
Whether food is acid-forming or base-forming has nothing to do with the taste of the food itself. A lemon tastes very acidic but has a base-forming (alkalizing) effect because it encourages the pancreas to neutralize acids by producing basic buffers. Sugar and foods to which a lot of sugar has been added have an acid-forming effect.
In general, meat (chicken to a lesser extent), fish, crustaceans and shellfish, grains, coffee, oil, alcoholic beverages and legumes are acid-forming, and the other vegetables and fruits are base-forming. The list below provides a global overview of acidifying and alkalizing foods:
Alkalizing, base-forming food (base surplus, high pH value)
- Vegetables: eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, asparagus, watercress, chicory, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, lettuce, endive, alfalfa, spirulina (algae), chlorella (algae), kohlrabi;
- Fruit: strawberries, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, black currants, cherries, red currants, dates, grapes, grapefruits, melons, nectarines, oranges, lemons, peaches, pears, pineapple, raspberries, tomatoes;
- Proteins: free-range eggs, fat-free cottage cheese, chicken fillet, organic yogurt, almonds
- Spices: cinnamon, curry, ginger, mustard, chili pepper, sea salt, miso, all green herbs;
- Beverages: mineral water (not carbonated), freshly squeezed fruit juice, unpasteurized milk, fresh vegetable juices, all types of tea.
Acidifying food: (acid surplus, low pH value)
- Fats and oils: avocado oil, corn oil, olive oil, linseed oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil;
- Fruit: cranberries
- Cereals: rice or wholegrain waffles, corn, rice, rye, wheat;
- Dairy: milk, cheese (from goat's, cow's or sheep's milk), butter;
- Nuts: cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, walnuts, pecans;
- Beans: green peas, split peas, white and brown beans, soybeans and soy milk;
- Animal proteins: beef, shellfish and crustaceans, salmon, tuna, duck, fish, white meat, lamb, pork, rabbit, turkey, game;
- Pasta: all pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, lasagna, etc.);
- Sugar products: all sweets, honey, syrup, sweetener, lemonades, sugar;
- All alcoholic beverages;
- Carbonated water and soft drinks;
- Medicines, chemicals and pesticides.
Note: nutrients with an excess of acid are not necessarily unhealthy. On the contrary, oils, nuts, fish (unsaturated fatty acids) and even a glass of wine are indispensable for a balanced diet.
Health problems only arise when the acid / base balance is disturbed by a one-sided diet of acidifying food. So do not make the mistake of trying to restore a disturbed acid / base balance by only eating alkalizing, base-forming nutrients! Although due to the poor condition of our modern diet, it is almost never a diet with a surplus of base-forming nutrients is almost as harmful.
A special warning for coke and other soft drinks
Cola is not only the most popular soda in the world, but also the most unhealthy. Cola has an extremely low pH value and is one of the most acidifying soft drinks available. If it didn't contain much sugar, it would be completely undrinkable. The containers in which the "secret raw materials" for Coca Cola are transported must carry the same warning stickers as containers with life-threatening corrosive acids for the chemical industry!
A healthy, neutral pH value of the body is between 7.1 and 7.4. Below a pH value of 7 we already speak of acidification. Below a pH value of 6 we speak of acute acidosis. The more acidic the substance, the lower the pH value.
Heartburn has a pH value of 1.5. Cola has a pH value of 2.5. That is only one point higher than the pH value of hydrochloric acid. Other carbonated soft drinks have a pH value between 3 and 3.5.
As long as you are busy restoring the acid / base balance in your body, it is therefore better not to drink carbonated soft drinks, certainly not a coke.
The acidity of the stomach
The acidity of the stomach is of great importance for the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Proteins need a different acidity in the stomach for good digestion than carbohydrates. Carbohydrates and proteins that are eaten together cannot therefore be optimally digested. Undigested food remains, especially undigested proteins, remain in the digestive tract and can cause metabolic problems, fungi, infections and allergies. Other incompletely digested food residues are stored as snails. That is why it is better not to combine too many proteins (meat, fish, egg, dairy products) with carbohydrates (white flour and sugars) in one meal.
The theory that proteins and fats should be eaten separately from carbohydrates is the basis of the Montignac diet and appears to lead in practice to a better acid balance and weight loss. The Atkins diet inevitably leads to more acidification of the body due to strict restriction of carbohydrates and the emphasis on proteins and fat. If you still want to follow the Atkins diet, compensate for the lack of alkalizing nutrients.
Acidification is a creeping process
Acidification is not something that will bother you immediately after one thick steak. It is a stealthy process that causes more and more complaints as it progresses. Different food types produce different types of acids that can cause different health problems:
- Meat> uric acid
- Phosphate-containing foods (fast food, meat, sausage, cola and soft drinks)> (ortho) phosphoric acid
- Sugar and white flour products> acetic acid
- Pork> sulfuric acid
- Cheese> nitric acid
- Nicotine> nicotinic acid
- Aspirin> acetylsalicylic acid
- Wine> wine and sulfuric acid
- Coffee and black tea> chlorogenic acid
- Carbonated water and soft drinks> carbon dioxide
Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and amalgam fillings also have an acidifying effect. In addition, stress, anxiety, fatigue and lack of sleep stimulate the body to produce hydrochloric acid.
In the initial phase of acidification we speak of latent acidosis. As the process progresses we speak of acute acidosis and a multitude of complaints can arise such as:
- Chronic headache
- Listlessness and fatigue
- Concentration problems
- Acid burning in the stomach and esophagus
- Pain in the urinary bladder and roads
- Muscle pain after exercise
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Candida (a serious form of fungi in the intestines)
- Intestinal parasites
- Bacterial infections
- Mashed tongue (sign of insufficient removal of poison and waste)
- Bad breath
The body will always try to restore a disturbed pH balance by itself. It is vital for the body that the blood maintains a good acid / base balance, as abnormalities can lead to acute problems, coma and life-threatening situations. If necessary, the body will sacrifice calcium and magnesium from the bones on a large scale and cause osteoporosis (bone loss) in order not to compromise the acid / base balance in the blood.
Degeneration of bones, muscles, digestive organs and immune system
As chronic acidification of the body lasts longer, it has an increasingly serious effect on a large number of bodily functions and may ultimately result in:
- Osteoarthritis or arthritis due to the extraction of minerals from the joints;
- Osteoperosis (bone loss) due to the extraction of calcium and magnesium from the bones;
- Deposition of acid crystals on the joints, causing rheumatism, arthritis or gout;
- Damage to muscles, ligaments and tendons due to lack of minerals;
- Stimulation of nerve endings, which can cause pain and spasms;
- Varicose veins, hemorrhoids, vasoconstriction and circulation disorders due to the extraction of minerals from the blood;
- Colitis, diarrhea, Crohn's disease, a spastic intestine due to the extraction of minerals from the intestinal lining;
- Heartburn and problems with swallowing due to the extraction of minerals from the esophagus lining.
Disturbed effect of antioxidants
Various vitamins, but also enzymes such as catalase, glutathione and especially the SOD enzyme are important antioxidants that protect the body against damage caused by free radicals. However, these antioxidants cannot do their job well in an acidified environment, which means that they do not adequately protect the body and free radicals can do their destructive work.
A disturbed acid / base balance can be corrected with simple means
A disturbed acid / base balance can be restored in a relatively short time. Adjusting the diet with the correct supplements can ensure that the balance is not disturbed again.
- Stop using sugar and all foods to which a lot of sugar has been added. Also with the cane sugar from the so-called healthy diet. It is just as bad. That is not easy in the beginning, because we have been conditioned for years to like sweet. It is so intertwined in our thinking that the word sweet has even become a synonym for obedient and good. Sugar, however, is a very harmful substance that has no nutritional value whatsoever. The body is much better off without it. In addition to the permanent disruption of the acid / base balance in the body, sugar is responsible for many other health problems. Actually it is pure poison.
- Read the package before you buy, especially from "fat-free" and dietary products, because they are often stiff with sugar to give an illusion of nutritious and satisfying (note: any ingredient whose name ends in "ose", dextrose, fructose and lactose is just as harmful as regular sugar).
- Drink a minimum of two liters of water per day. Water removes both the waste products that the body produces itself and the waste products that are caused by burning fat.
- Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and less meat.
- Avoid sweets and strong carbonated drinks. Drink spring water or purchase a simple water filter to filter tap water.
- Try to exercise or exercise regularly. By moving more, you breathe in deeper and eliminate more acids.
- Ensure adequate sleep.
How can you promote the recovery of the acid / base balance?
As long as the body is seriously acidified, it will continue to extract minerals from bones and organs. But by choosing a more balanced diet and using the right supplements, the body will recover quickly. The following supplements are recommended to support this recovery process:
- A good multivitamin, to supplement all deficiencies caused by acidification;
- A mineral complex to supplement the acute mineral deficiencies;
- A calcium preparation to which magnesium, boron and vitamin D have been added to restore bone decalcification caused by acidification.
If acidification has resulted in joint problems such as osteoarthritis or gout, a combined formula of glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM (possibly temporarily supplemented with additional MSM) can help. Glucosamine and chondroitin stimulate the body to produce new cartilage and collagen in the affected joints, while MSM (a natural form of sulfur) provides the building blocks for this.
How do you measure the acid / base balance of the body?
The acidity of blood and urine is measured by determining the pH value. The blood has a fixed pH value of 7.35 to 7.45. Water is pH neutral (pH 7), pH neutral means that acids and bases cancel each other out. Everything that has a lower pH value than 7 is acidic, everything that has a higher pH value is basic (alkaline). As described earlier, the body gives priority above all to keeping the acidity of the blood stable, because even a small defect can lead to serious health problems. The pH value of blood can only be determined by blood tests.
To find out what the acidity of the body is, and whether changes in the diet have the desired effect, you can measure the acidity of your urine. This should have a pH value of around 7.1 in the morning. After that the acidity decreases during the day, to reach a value of 7.4 around 5 p.m. If the pH value of your urine is lower than 7, then you have a disturbed acid / base balance. If the pH value is lower than 6, then you have acute acidosis. You can buy test strips to determine the pH value of your urine at any pharmacy.
Source: Robert Gubbi, Young Again the Netherlands.