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Probiotic Nutrition: The Yin and Yang of Acid and Alkaline Food

An excerpt and recipe from The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates with Linda Schatz

The Principle of Acid and Alkaline

Just as our normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees F, there are other measures of a normal condition or homeostasis within the body. The levels of sugar, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood must all be stable; and the pH (the balance between acid and alkaline) of the bodily fluids, including the blood, should be 7.4, slightly alkaline.

Knowledge of how to keep your blood in a slightly alkaline condition is vital to restoring your health. An imbalance toward too much acidity allows yeast, viruses, rebellious (cancer) cells and various other parasites to thrive. Acidity also leads to conditions such as chronic fatigue, arthritis and allergies. The typical American diet is high in foods that cause our bodies to become acidic. It is no wonder, then, that these serious conditions are becoming more prevalent. If you have an acidic condition from eating an acid-forming diet, your body is constantly trying to return to a more balanced state by calling on your stored reserves of alkaline minerals: sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. If you continue eating foods that are highly acid-forming, you deplete even more alkaline minerals from your body, creating a mineral deficiency that becomes severe over time.

What Causes Acidity?

Acidity in the blood/body fluids can be due to:

• Constipation.

• A deficiency of minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, etc.).

• Liver and/or kidney weakness.

• Overconsumption of protein from animal foods.

• Improper food combining.

• Overeating. People with body-ecology imbalances almost always overeat. They can’t seem to satisfy their cravings, especially for sugar, bread, dairy and fruit. This is partly because of the insatiable appetite of the yeast. Also, the lack of an inner ecosystem to help us properly digest food causes us to have nutritional deficiencies … some quite severe. So the body is desperately signaling us to feed it real food.

• Drug use (both medicinal and recreational). This stimulates the organs, releasing hormones and increasing the blood sugar. Taking drugs has the same negative effect as eating sugar. The body needs a large amount of minerals to return to balance.

• Exercise. This makes the blood acidic, but when you breathe deeply and rapidly as you exercise, your body releases carbon dioxide, and the blood then becomes more alkaline.

• Stress.

• Negative emotions, such as anger, resentment, guilt and fear.

• Fatigue caused by stress. Excess blood acidity weakens the respiratory system, resulting in less breathing, less oxygen inhaled, and, therefore, less oxygen available to your cells. This leads to further fatigue. No wonder that exhaustion is a common symptom of candidiasis, chronic fatigue, AIDS and cancer. That’s why we strongly recommend deep breathing and aerobic exercise to get more oxygen into your system.

If you feel that you are forgetful, spacey, or constantly disorganized, it could be because an acidic blood condition causes a lack of mental clarity. An alkaline body contributes to clear thinking and precise action.

When cells live too long in an acidic condition, they adapt to it by mutating and becoming malignant. Long-term acidic conditions in our bodies provide perfect environments for cancer and autoimmune diseases like AIDS to flourish. Most people with these disorders also have candidiasis.

The Simple, Obvious Solution

To overcome an acidic condition, eat alkaline-forming foods. But with candidiasis— an overgrowth of yeast — we can eat only those alkaline-forming foods that do not feed yeast or parasites but that do rebuild the immune system. There are ten categories of alkaline-forming foods that satisfy these requirements.

Alkaline-Forming Foods You Can Eat:

• Most land vegetables

• Ocean vegetables

• Millet, quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”), and amaranth (available in health-food stores)

• Sea salt (good quality)

• Herbs and herb teas (organically grown)

• Seeds (except sesame)

• Mineral water (sparkling and plain)

• Lemons; limes; berries; and sour, unsweetened juices from pomegranates, unsweetened cranberries and black currants

• Raw apple cider vinegar

• Cultured vegetables and probiotic liquids

• Milk kefir — if dairy works for you

• Soaked and sprouted almonds

Alkaline-Forming Foods Not on the Diet:

All other fruits.

Fruits create an alkaline condition when metabolized and are usually very good for us. However, when you have immune system disorders, they are too high in sugar, and they feed yeast and other parasites.

Are Acid-Forming Foods Bad?

No. On the contrary, some acid-forming foods are necessary because of their nutritional value and for proper pH balance. The ideal acid-forming to alkaline-forming ratio by volume for any given meal should be:

Approximately 20% of the foods on your plate should be acid forming, and approximately 80% should be alkaline forming.

Acid-Forming Foods You Can Eat:

• Animal foods, such as beef, poultry, eggs, fish, and shellfish

• Buckwheat

• Organic, unrefined oils

• Stevia — liquid concentrate and white powder

Acid-Forming Foods You Should Not Eat:

Highly acid-forming foods not on The Diet include: sugar, candy, soft drinks, flour products, beans, soybean products and tofu, nuts (except almonds) and nut butters, wine, beer, saccharin, NutraSweet, alcohol and commercial refined vinegar. Since all processed foods with preservatives and chemicals are acid-forming, please avoid them.

Can I Eat an All-Alkaline-Forming Meal?

Yes. Absolutely. All-alkaline-forming meals heal and balance. They are especially recommended for the first three days of The Diet to quickly restore the body to a more normal condition. We also recommend an all-alkaline meal whenever you are cleansing.

Don’t feel you have to master the science of acid/alkaline in order to get well. Yes, it takes some reading, study, and practice to feel comfortable with it, but the Body Ecology Diet has the acid/alkaline principle built right into it. Once you become familiar with all the elements of The Diet and learn the wonderful variety of foods available to you, you will soon be incorporating this principle easily into your menu planning.