If you've ever taken a simple chemistry class, most likely in high school, you're probably familiar with the pH scale.
The measurement pH is used to indicate the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution (a solution in which the solvent is water) by measuring the concentration of hydrogen ions. Remember, a solution is a homogeneous mixture of 2 or more substances - the solute completely dissolves in the solvent. On the pH scale, 0 describes solutions that are acidic and 14 describes those that are basic (or alkaline).
Enough for the review. Now that we've got the language down, let's talk about how this relates to health.
The human body is 70% water - hence we are one big opportunity for potentially aqueous solutions. Proponents of an alkaline diet believe that maintaining a bodily pH on the slightly alkaline side (about 7.45) contributes to optimal wellness by supporting enzyme reactions and the healthful function of organs in the body. The foods we eat occur along the pH scale and promote either acidity or more alkaline composition.
Eating too many acid-forming foods can cause blood and tissue to become acidic which potentially contributes to disease in the body, while eating more alkaline foods is said to set the body up to better suited to combat illness.
Unfortunately, the standard American diet is full of highly acidic foods and due to the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, our environment as a whole is trending toward acidity.
The idea with an alkaline diet is to combat this overwhelming acidity with alkaline food sources, however, if you choose to try this wholeheartedly it's a good idea to test your own personal pH levels daily. Depending upon the individual, it is totally possible to become too alkaline. Remember, this is all about balance.
Check out these alkaline foods and add them to your diet this week!
Lemon (acid on its own, but has an alkalizing effect when metabolized by the body)
And for more information and further details about which foods fall where on the pH scale take a look at this helpful chart: