Foods can be categorized as either acid forming or alkaline forming. Our bodies prefer to be in a more alkaline state, as a healthy blood pH is at 7.35 to 7.45, slightly on the alkaline side. While you can’t survive if your blood pH veers too far up or down, the pH of your saliva and urine fluctuates all the time depending on your diet and lifestyle.
The Standard American Diet is largely composed of foods that create an acidic state in the body — refined flour, sugar, meat, and dairy. While these foods may be fine in moderation (or small amounts), an excess of them contributes to inflammation, which can lead to pain. Pain is just another word for inflamed tissues.
But that’s not all. Acid forming foods rob the body of essential nutrients, especially calcium salts and magnesium that help neutralize the acidic affect on the body. Magnesium not only helps control excessive acidity, it also helps to support joint and tissue functions. Thus a high acidic diet translates to less magnesium available.
On the other hand, alkalinizing foods calm inflammation, reduce pain frequency and severity, and even contribute to faster healing and recovery. The primary foods in this category are vegetables and fruits, especially green leafy vegetables.
By eating a diet that has an alkaline effect on the body, you create less stress on your organs which have to work overtime to create balance within the body. You will also have more nutrients available – like magnesium – to help reduce tissue and joint pain and inflammation.
Please keep in mind that an alkaline diet isn’t referring to the pH level of the food itself. Some foods which are highly acidic in their natural form, such as lemons and limes, actually have an alkaline effect on the body. An alkaline diet usually refers to eating minimal amounts of meat, dairy products, wheat, refined flours, and sugar; and focusing heavily on fresh fruits and vegetables.
Try it for a week, and see if you don’t notice a change in your pain.