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In the last few years, researchers around the world have increasingly reported the importance of acid-alkaline balance. The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide was designed as an easy-to-follow guide to the most common foods that influence your body’s pH level. Now in its Second Edition, this bestseller has been expanded to include many more domestic and international foods. Updated information also explores (and refutes) the myths about pH balance and diet, and guides the reader to supplements that can help the body achieve a healthy pH level.
The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide begins by explaining how the acid-alkaline environment of the body is influenced by foods. It then presents a list of thousands of foods and their acid-alkaline effects. Included are not only single foods, such as fruits and vegetables, but also popular combination and even common fast foods. In each case, you’ll not only discover whether a food is acidifying or alkalizing, but also learn the degree to which that food affects the body. Informative insets guide you in choosing the food that’s right for you.
The first book of its kind—now updated and expanded—The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide will quickly become the resource you turn to at home, in restaurants, and whenever you want to select a food that can help you reach your health and dietary goals.
Susan E. Brown, PhD, CNS, is a medical anthropologist and New York State Certified Nutritionist. A clinician, researcher, and author, Dr. Brown currently directs the Center for Better Bones and the Better Bones Foundation in Syracuse, New York. Through the foundation, she conducts primary research, lectures widely on osteoporosis reversal, and teaches the use of a holistic, natural program for the regeneration of bone. She is also the author of Better Bones, Better Body: A Comprehensive Self-Help Program for Preventing, Halting & Overcoming Osteoporosis.
Larry Trivieri, Jr. is a leading writer in the field of holistic and alternative medicine. He is the author or co-author of more than 20 acclaimed books on health, including the bestseller The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide, The American Holistic Medical Association Guide to Holistic Health, Health On The Edge, and Juice Alive. In addition, he served as the editor and principal writer of both editions of the landmark volume Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, and has also published more than 200 health articles online and in leading publications. He is also a frequent lecturer on health-related topics, and has been a featured guest on television and radio shows nationwide.
The importance of diet has been a basic tenet of traditional healing systems around the world for many centuries. A wholesome diet not only helps to maintain health, but can also play a vital role in recovery from disease. On the other hand, it is an indisputable fact that unhealthy dietary patterns are a primary contributing factor in most disease conditions.
Our understanding of how and why certain foods can significantly help to improve health, while other foods can accelerate the disease process, grows each year as scientists continue their quest to uncover Nature’s secrets. One of the most exciting nutritional discoveries concerns the effects that different foods have on the body’s pH levels once they are consumed. Simply put, some foods, once they are metabolized, create an acidic effect within the body, while others act as alkalizing agents that can neutralize harmful acids. To be healthy, it is necessary to be in a state of acid-alkaline (acid-base) balance. Humans have, in fact, a genetically encoded requirement for a dietary balance of acid-forming and alkaline-forming foods. Because of our early ancestors’ abundant intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, we evolved on diets high in organic mineral compounds—particularly alkalizing forms of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. We still need these compounds in order to maintain our internal acid-alkaline balance. But, as you will discover, contemporary eating patterns are at odds with our ancient biological machinery, much to the detriment of our health.
It has been rightly said that both health and disease begin in the cells, for it is at the cellular level that the vast majority of the body’s multitude of interactions occur. For example, in order for the body’s cells to function properly, they need to receive life-giving nutrients and oxygen from the bloodstream, and at the same time, they need to release cellular wastes. As it turns out, both of these interactions can optimally take place only when the body is in a slightly alkaline state, which allows for an easy flow of oxygen and nutrients into the cell walls and an equally easy disposal of cellular waste. When the body becomes chronically acidic, however, these and many other cellular processes start to become impaired. Eventually, if acidity continues unchecked, the combination of a diminished oxygen and nutrient supply to the cells and the buildup of wastes inside the cells sets into motion both fatigue and disease.
It’s precisely for this reason that both the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association—along with the American Medical Association and most other health organizations—recommend a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Why are fruits and vegetables so important? Because, as suggested above, most fruits and vegetables are high in compounds that help to keep your body in the slightly alkaline state that medical research continues to demonstrate is the ideal internal environment for achieving and maintaining optimal health.
As you will learn in the chapters ahead, the importance of maintaining proper acid-alkaline balance is not a new concept. In fact, it has been written about in medical textbooks for more than a century. Only in the last few years, however, has the concept of chronic, low-grade acidosis started to make its way to the public at large, primarily through infomercials and select books. Unfortunately, such information is all too often tied into products for which dubious claims are made, or associated with dietary plans that are too restrictive for most people. But, at this same time, a small number of brilliant scientists from around the world have recognized, and are studying, the phenomenon of chronic, low-grade metabolic acidosis. Scientists such as Dr. Lynda Frassetto at the University of California, San Francisco, and Dr. Russell Jaffe of ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies, Inc., have documented that on the whole, the average Western diet is acid-producing, and that it actually creates a low-grade metabolic acidosis in otherwise healthy people. Dozens of such studies have further documented the negative impact that chronic low-grade metabolic acidosis has on health. Osteoporosis, age-related muscle loss, kidney stone formation, gout and other joint diseases, and back pain are among the conditions associated with the move towards an even slightly acidic state. While not life threatening, this low-level acid condition compromises our health.
Since the original publication of The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide, there has been a surge of interest in the relationship between diet and acid-alkaline balance within both the scientific community and the lay public. While this is an evolving science, in the last few years, research has provided a fuller understanding of how and why acid-alkaline balance is so important for maintaining good health, as well as how eating patterns that disrupt this balance can cause or exacerbate many of the chronic disease conditions that are now so prevalent. (For further information, visit Dr. Brown’s websites, www.betterbones.com and www.alkalineforlife.com. Also see the Bibliography, starting on page 185.)
Today, in the United States and other highly Westernized countries, chronic low-grade acidosis is more the rule than the exception. This is largely due to poor eating and lifestyle habits. We are, in fact, forcing our bodies to labor within a less-than-optimal biochemical environment. The body’s adaptation to even mild but chronic metabolic acidosis involves stresses and strains that create a fertile breeding ground for the various forms of chronic illness that are now experienced by more than one out of every three Americans.
Since your diet dramatically affects acid-alkaline balance either positively or negatively, you might ask yourself how you can change any unhealthy eating habits in a safe and practical manner—without having to make drastic changes. The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide was written precisely to answer that question. In the pages that follow, you will find listings of literally hundreds of our most commonly eaten foods—including nearly one hundred entries new to this second edition—along with an easy-to-understand statement of how each food will affect your body’s pH levels once it is consumed and digested. This new edition also includes a range of foods from different nations. Once you know the effects of these foods, you will be able to quickly and effectively create healthy meal plans using the foods you already enjoy.
The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide is the first and only book of its kind to provide this information in such extensive detail. Moreover, the information that it contains is based on hard science—on research conducted specifically to determine the effects that various foods have on the body’s acid-alkaline balance. In this book, you will discover:
- What acid-alkaline balance involves and why it is so important to your health.
- How an acid-alkaline imbalance encourages the development of disease.
- Which health disorders are associated with a state of chronic, low-grade acid-alkaline imbalance.
- How to estimate your own acid-alkaline balance.
- How to quickly determine whether a food will produce an acidifying or alkalizing effect on your body.
- How to use the food tables presented in this book to create healthy meals throughout the day.
- How to use nutritional supplements to speed your journey to vibrant health.
- What the most common myths are regarding diet and acid-alkaline balance, and why these beliefs are wrong.
More than 2,500 years ago, the Greek physician Hippocrates said that food should be our first and most important “medicine.” Now, in the twenty-first century, the truth of that adage has never been clearer. It is our hope that The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide will empower you to make wise food choices that result in good health and vitality for both you and your loved ones.