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Q: Why is it important to eat an alkaline diet?

Posted April 02, 2014 in Adel, Advice Column

A: Our blood requires a very narrow pH in the range of 7.35 to 7.45 or we will become diseased or even die. A measure of acidity, our body will do anything it takes to keep the pH in this slightly alkaline range. The pH of a person’s body fluids depends directly on diet and lifestyle habits. The standard American diet consisting of highly-processed and packaged foods is very acid-forming. Highly acidic foods include meat, dairy, fast foods, sodas, coffee and alcohol. Stress, anxiety, pollution, food additives and preservatives, as well as tobacco and pharmaceuticals all contribute to acid buildup. Even our normal body metabolism is constantly producing acid byproducts that must be neutralized to help maintain an alkaline pH. Long-term acidity in our body fluids leads to obesity, joint inflammation, kidney stones, heart disease, cancer, premature aging, chronic fatigue, slow digestion and constipation. The best way to help neutralize the body acid is to eat lots of alkalinizing foods such as non-starchy vegetables and fruits. Without them, the body has to rob minerals like magnesium and calcium from our bones. This can lead to osteoporosis or weak bones. In addition to vegetables, including unrefined sea salt in our diet provides needed minerals for acid neutralization. One of the best ways to maintain pH balance is to take plant-based enzymes with meals and snacks. These enzymes assist the body in breaking down and assimilating the nutrients in the foods we eat. Other ways to help neutralize acid include drinking alkaline water (e.g., Evamor) and minimizing stress and anxiety.

Information provided by Toni Sumpter, Sumpter Pharmacy and Wellness, 628 Nile Kinnick Drive South, Suite A, 993-1119.

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