Foods for pH Balance

Fixing Your Acid-Alkaline Imbalance

Part of Step 9 of Dr. Lavine’s Ten Step Program to Conquer Chronic Illness

Your body main­tains strict bal­ance of its inter­nal chem­istry.   That includes keep­ing your tis­sues at an opti­mum pH – nei­ther too acid nor too alka­line.

Acid-alka­line bal­ance is so crit­i­cal that your body will do near­ly any­thing it has to in order to buffer excess acids in your blood, even if cer­tain tis­sues or meta­bol­ic process­es suf­fer in the process.  In extreme cas­es, the body will no longer be able to main­tain nor­mal tis­sue pH — then you’re seri­ous­ly ill.apples

But some health experts believe that a less-extreme ver­sion of this prob­lem is com­mon.  If you con­tin­u­al­ly eat a diet of acid-form­ing foods, you could be strain­ing your body’s cop­ing mech­a­nisms and con­tribut­ing to the risk of chron­ic dis­ease.

If your diet is too acidic (like most Amer­i­cans) your body will pull cal­ci­um and oth­er min­er­als out of your bones to coun­ter­act the acids.  You’re giv­ing your­self a good case of osteo­poro­sis.

Here’s a quote from “Diet-induced meta­bol­ic aci­do­sis,” by Ade­va and Souto, pub­lished in the jour­nal Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion in 2011:

Uri­nary cal­ci­um excre­tion is low­er when the urine is more alka­line, where­as more acidic urine is asso­ci­at­ed with high­er uri­nary cal­ci­um.”

And osteo­poro­sis is only the start.  These experts believe that dietary acid­i­ty, and your body’s efforts to buffer it, are con­tribut­ing to the epi­dem­ic of oth­er chron­ic con­di­tions such as ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis, stroke, kid­ney stones, loss of lean mus­cle mass, and obe­si­ty.

For­tu­nate­ly, it’s easy to test for your­self how much stress you’re plac­ing on your body’s acid-alka­line bal­anc­ing mech­a­nisms.

You sim­ply cap­ture your first urine of the morn­ing and dip in a paper test strip.  You com­pare the col­or of the strip to a col­or chart to read off your pH.  If you test your­self every day for three days you should get an idea of the sta­tus of your body’s acid­i­ty.

If your uri­nary pH is too low (mean­ing your acid is too high) the most impor­tant dietary shift you have to make is to eat more fresh veg­eta­bles and fruits – nine or more serv­ings a day.  And seri­ous­ly cut back on your sug­ar intake.  Beware the sug­ars hid­den in pre­pared foods too.

You can also use potas­si­um and mag­ne­sium sup­ple­ments to boost your alka­lin­i­ty.

To make it easy to improve your diet, here’s a list of top acid-pro­duc­ing foods to avoid and alka­line foods to enjoy:

Acid Foods to Avoid

  • White flour in bread or pas­ta
  • Sug­ar and arti­fi­cial sweet­en­ers
  • Dairy prod­ucts
  • Processed corn
  • Meats & Fish
  • Cof­fee

Alkaline Foods to Enjoy

  • Raw almonds
  • Fresh fruit: apples, cit­rus (real­ly!), water­mel­on, papaya, man­go, grape, can­teloupe
  • Avo­ca­dos
  • Leafy green veg­eta­bles: let­tuce, spinach, kale
  • Broc­coli
  • Car­rots
  • Brus­sels sprouts
  • Olive oil, grape­seed oil
  • Herbs and spices includ­ing cin­na­mon, cumin, and gin­ger

Bal­anc­ing body pH is part of Step 9 of Dr. Lavine’s Ten Step Pro­gram to Con­quer Chron­ic Ill­ness.

Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

More on acid-base bal­ance

Body acid­i­ty leads to mus­cle loss

Fix acid alka­line imbal­ance — one of the ways to improve kid­ney func­tion


About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty five years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods. His website,, provides more information about his approach. Please contact him at or at 212-400-9663.
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