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Do You Know Nutrition: The importance of keeping your pH balanced

By By Phylis Canion
Aug. 20, 2013 at 3:20 a.m.

Phylis Canion

I was recently diagnosed with cancer and was told that my system was acidic. I have since read that your pH must be balanced in order for your system to be healthy. My questions for you are: Can you please explain what pH is? Is there a general rule on what foods are acidic or alkaline? And is there any suggested reading regarding pH balance that you could recommend? My husband has gout and kidney stones, and I wonder if that has to do with pH balance also.

The acid/alkaline balance of your system is referred to as pH, which is an acronym for potential of hydrogen. Body pH measures the number of hydrogen ions in solution within the body.

An acidic system has a low ability to attract ions while an alkaline system has a high ability. The more stable the potential of the body is to attract hydrogen ions, the better the balance will be resulting in better health.

Without going into the chemistry detail, the most important factor to remember is that ideal pH is neutral at 7.0. A pH below 7.0 is considered acid, while a reading at 7.0 or above is considered alkaline. It is critical that the body stay balanced at 7.0.

Because so much of the Western diet contains highly processed and genetically modified foods, it can cause an imbalance in the blood pH ,which can lead to irritation, inflammation (a major role in cancer) and sets the stage for sickness.

The movie "Super Size Me" is a prime example. Countries where individuals consumed diets of live, alkaline foods rather than overprocessed, acidic foods meant their pH normally maintained a balance and, therefore, their health was exceptional.

Foods are classified as acid forming or alkaline forming. Acid-forming foods include animal meats, processed foods, dairy, wheat, corn, rice, barley and rolled oats.

Other acidic foods include cashews, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, pasta, potatoes, most oils and alcoholic beverages. Alkalizing foods include vegetables and most fruits.

Other foods with high alkaline levels are eggs, sweet potatoes, millet, cottage cheese, almonds, yogurts, all herbs and apple cider. Depending on the effect they have on the body, it is important to eat 80 percent alkaline foods and 20 percent acid-forming foods.

For more information, you can visit my website, docphyl.com. Also, I highly recommend reading "The pH Miracle" by Dr. Robert O. Young.

Thought for the week:True happiness is not made by getting something - true happiness is becoming something.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at doc.phyl@yahoo.com. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.

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