Naturopathic experts say that you need to have the correct acid alkaline balance to enjoy good health and the proper functioning of the body. Heartburn symptoms come about when stomach acids back up your esophagus, creating a burning sensation in your chest area.
To know how an alkaline diet can help, you first need to understand the meanings of acidity and alkalinity. An acid is a substance that releases hydrogen into a solution and an alkali or base is one that removes hydrogen from a solution. The amount of free hydrogen is measured on a scale ranging from 1 to 14, called ph. Ph denotes the exact level of acidity or alkalinity. A ph value below 7 is said to be acidic and above 7 alkaline.
Many body functions take place at a certain acidity or alkaline level. Also, enzymes and chemical reactions in the body work best at a particular ph. A small change in ph can have a significant effect on body function. For instance, muscle contractibility reduces and hormones like adrenaline and aldosterone increased as the body becomes more acidic.
Additionally, many of your body functions take part in regulating the acid alkaline balance. These functions include respiration, excretion, digestion and cellular metabolism. Your lungs aid in regulating the acid alkaline balance by eliminating carbon dioxide from the blood. Your kidney also responds to the ph of the blood. If your blood is too acidic, the kidney excretes extra hydrogens into the urine and retains extra sodium. Phosphorus in the form of phosphate is needed for this exchange. The body obtains this phosphorus from your bones if it is not available elsewhere.
The acid alkaline balance is affected by the secretions of the stomach and the pancreas. The secretions are absorbed onto the blood stream and these have an effect on the rest of your body. To digest the foods, your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid. Your pancreas then secretes bicarbonate which neutralizes the stomach acid so that pancreatic enzymes can work properly. Anything that upsets the acid alkaline balance can have an impact on the digestive system.
The saying that you are what you eat holds true. You can prevent heartburn symptoms when you consider the nature and type of the foods that you are eating. Generally, your body becomes acidic in the process when you eat foods that acidic in nature. Examples of highly acidic foods include instant and highly processed foods such as hot dog, potato chips and cows milk, as well as red meats like beef and pork. More stomach acid needs to be produced in order to digest them. However, when this happens, acid reflux can occur because more stomach acids back up your esophagus.
If you consume more alkaline foods, then your stomach produces less acid. Highly alkaline foods tend to include more vegetables such as wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa spouts, broccoli sprouts, kale and parsley, as well as certain nuts and oils.
To reduce heartburn symptoms, you must also give your esophagus a chance to heal. If you refrain from eating foods that are acidic, you would have lessened the impact of irritants to it. You should also avoid any trigger that relaxes the LES (lower esophageal sphincter). The LES is the muscular valve separating your esophagus and the stomach. It is when this valve relaxes, that stomach acid backs up to your esophagus, causing acid reflux symptoms.
You can also derive other benefits of eating more alkaline foods. When you have an acid overload, your body tends to get weakened and drained of energy. Unfortunately, you need this energy to help fight viruses and bacteria. An acidic body allows germs, yeast, bacteria, molds and fungi to breed and flourish. In an alkaline ecosystem, these foreign invaders do not have the slightest chance to thrive or multiply. By keeping your body alkaline, holistic experts say that that you not only can reduce heartburn symptoms but also other types of diseases and ailments.
For optimal health, naturopathic experts recommend that 7.5 ph is best for alkaline body level. You should select the right foods so that you can maintain this ideal acid alkaline balance. Additionally, to prevent heartburn symptoms, you should consume your foods in smaller portions and eat in a relaxed and stress free environment.