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Acid-base  balance or homeostasis is the part of human  concerning the proper balance between acids and bases, in other words the PH. The body is sensitive to its pH level. Outside the range of pH that is compatible with life, proteins are denatured and digested, enzymes lose their ability to function, and the body is unable to sustain itself.

Understanding PH

The concept of the acidity or alkalinity of your body - or of water - is based on the pH scale. So it’s necessary to have a basic understanding of what pH is.

PH is simply a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions. In fact, the acronym “pH” is short for “potential of hydrogen.” The higher a liquid’s pH, the fewer free hydrogen ions it has; the lower its pH, the more free hydrogen ions it has. One pH unit reflects a tenfold change in ion concentration - for example, there are ten times as many hydrogen ions available at a pH of 7 than at a pH of 8 [ii].

The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, and a pH of 7 is neutral.

Anything with a pH below 7 is considered acidic, with battery acid being the most extreme example, around 1. Anything with a pH above 7 is alkaline (or basic), with lye at the top of the scale, around 13.

Natural water on our planet ranges in pH from 6.5 to 9.0, depending on surrounding soil and vegetation, seasonal variations and weather, and even time of day responses to sunlight. Human activities further influence the pH of our water, from the barrage of toxic industrial pollutants.

 

The kidneys maintain acid-base homeostasis by regulating the pH of the blood plasma. Gains and losses of acid and base must be balanced. The study of the acid-base reactions in the body is acid base physiology.

Buffering agents

Any substance that can reversibly bind hydrogen ions is called a buffering agent. They function to impede any change in pH. Hydrogen ions are buffered by extracellular (e.g., bicarbonate, ammonia) and intracellular buffering agents (including proteins and phosphate)."

Acid - Base Balance

Our body works optimally at a pH (the degree of acidity or alkalinity) of 7.35 to 7.45. Maintenance of the pH between these levels is necessary to keep the body's various metabolic reactions in good working order. If the pH falls below 7.35 it can lead to acidosis, coma and death. If the pH rises above 7.45, the condition is called alkalosis. It can give rise to hyper-irritability of nerves, resulting in spasms and convulsion and even death.

Acid Accumulation

Proponents of the theory that acid build-up in the body causes cancer lay blame on the food we eat. Red meats, soda, most processed foods and fried foods are highly acidic in nature. Apart from the consumption of these foods, a number of energy-producing reactions in the body form acids as a by-product.

Acid-base disorders, known as acidosis and alkalosis, develop when an imbalance occurs between acid and alkali in the blood. Acidosis may be asymptomatic or it may manifest as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, breathing problems, headaches, confusion, seizures and in acute cases, coma or death. With alkalosis, irritability, weakness and cramping may present. The range for normal blood pH appears narrow -- within 7.35 to 7.45. Maintenance of this level ensures correct operation of the body's metabolic processes. Proper blood pH also guarantees that adequate oxygen reaches the body's tissues,

Most Vegetables and Fruits are Alkaline

Most vegetables and fruits are considered alkaline because they are generally potassium-rich and tend to release alkaline-forming substances into the blood. But there are exceptions: Most legumes are acidic, including soy beans, green beans, lima beans, kidney beans, red beans, green peas and lentils. Fruit-wise, blueberries, cranberries, plums and prunes are considered acid-forming. Note that the acidity of a food doesn't dictate if it is acid-forming or alkaline-forming in the body. For example, citrus fruits are acidic but they are alkaline-forming in the body.

Some Proteins and Dairy are Alkaline

Usually protein-rich foods are acidic because they tend to release acid-forming substances into the blood, and the body has to withdraw calcium from the bones to neutralize its pH. However, eggs, tofu, yogurt, whey protein and milk are alkaline-forming. In fact, chronic overconsumption of milk can lead to milk-alkali syndrome, a disease manifested as alkalosis, soft tissue calcification and renal failure.

Most Spices, Seasonings, and Herbs and re Alkaline

All herbs are alkaline. In addition to many other health benefits, most spices and seasonings help lower the body's pH. So use them freely in your cooking. Beneficial herbs and spices include cinnamon, curry, ginger, miso, tamari and chili pepper, just to name a few. However, nutmeg, mustard and salt are generally considered acidic.

Clean, pure water is a cornerstone of good health. Your body is mostly water, so the ongoing intake of water is essential to your every function.

The number one source of calories in the U.S. comes from high fructose corn syrup primarily in the form of soda.