Can High Acidity Cause Inflammation in the Body?
From the common cold to cancer, inflammation is a major component of disease. Learning ways to prevent inflammation not only helps ease symptoms of disease, but it helps to slow aging, keeping the body young and healthy for as long as possible.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural protective response by the body. It can be beneficial in some instances as with a cut finger -the inflammatory process helps to block harmful microorganisms and repair the wound - but lasting inflammation can be very harmful to the body. Chronic inflammation produces continual free radicals that can potentially damage DNA – speeding the aging process and contributing to disease.
What are the causes of inflammation?
In addition to infection and injury, the modern American diet is a common source of inflammation. Fats and oils are a problem because there tends to be an imbalance between omega-6 (inflammatory) and omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) fatty acids.
Americans generally consume 20 to 30 times more omega-6 fatty acids - found in grain-fed beef, poultry, farmed fish and corn, sunflower and canola oils- than omega-3 fatty acids - found in walnuts, flaxseed, wild-caught salmon, sardines, grass-fed beef, soybeans and tofu.
Many Americans also regularly eat foods that are highly acidic such as white flour, dairy, meats and processed foods that contain too much salt or sugar. Many experts, in fact, deem an overly acidic diet to be a key cause of chronic inflammation.
In a healthy body, the natural biochemical balance is four parts alkaline to one part acid. To achieve this balance, a person needs to consume roughly 80 percent alkaline foods and 20 percent acidic foods.
Here are some types of acidic foods that may contribute to inflammation in the body:
- Wheat and other grains that contain gluten
- Beef, pork and chicken
- Nightshade plants like tomato, eggplant and potato
- Coffee, tea and chocolate
These foods are high in alkaline and can reduce inflammation:
- Gluten-free grains like amaranth, brown rice and quinoa
- Vegetables like broccoli, cucumber and asparagus
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale
- Fruits like apples, apricots, avocados and bananas
Keeping inflammation at bay can sometimes be hard to maintain – here are some tips:
- Try an alkaline-diet, superfood supplement. These typically contain no wheat, MSG, yeast, egg, dairy, animal products, alcohol or preservatives. Alkalizing fruits, vegetables and healthy herbs in these supplements help to flush acids and toxins through the kidneys and out of the body - ensuring a better pH balance and less inflammation.
- Because overeating can boost inflammation, try several smaller meals throughout the day in place of three large ones.
- Lightly cook vegetables, or eat them raw for optimum alkaline benefit and a healthy dose of enzymes.
A healthy pH balance can reduce inflammation that arises from all sorts of health conditions. A better alkaline-acid balance can also help in the maintenance of a healthy body weight, keeping blood sugars in check and boosting energy levels!