What Effect Do Acidic Foods Have on the Body?
Side effects associated with consuming foods that are too acidic include listlessness, depression, headaches, acne, dry skin, mood swings, poor digestion, brittle nails and hair, and sensitive gums. A mild case of acidosis can increase free radicals in your body, decreasing your cellular energy.
In a constant state of acidosis, your body uses its available minerals to help balance its pH levels. Calcium is the most important mineral your body uses to neutralize acid. When your body repeatedly leaches calcium from your bones, you may start to develop conditions such as osteoporosis. Acidosis is also a major factor in stressing your body and increasing your cortisol levels, which affects sleep patterns. Acidosis can cause kidney stones, lower growth hormones, increased body fat and a reduction in muscle mass.
Foods That Form Acids
Some foods are more acidic than others. By avoiding overly acidic foods, you can help balance the pH levels in your body. Dairy products, including all types of cheeses, butter and milk, are acidic. Meat from venison, wild game, poultry, shellfish, coldwater fish and cattle is also acidic. Other acidic products include many prescription drugs, coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, soy and whey protein isolates, margarine and synthetic vitamins.
Creating a Healthy Balance
Just because a food is acid-forming doesn't mean you shouldn't eat it. You need some acid-forming foods in your diet because they are sources of important nutrients such as heart-healthy fatty acids from fish and B vitamins from grains. The key is to eschew unhealthy acid-forming foods like potato chips, refined grains, sweeteners and colas, and choose healthy sources like lean meats, whole grains and plain dairy. Make sure to eat plenty of alkalizing fruits and vegetables. If you fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal, you're on your way to better health.