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EVERYTHING IS GOOD, but is it beneficial?

April 22
05:55 2019

By: Dr. Abigail Joseph

They say “money is the root of all evil,” a phase use regularly, but is it really the money or is it what we are able to access with the money? After all, money is just paper. What about food? Can it be said that certain types of foods are root causes of many diseases? For example, if late in the day you started with a bad case of diarrhea or vomiting, the first thing the doctor would ask is “what did you eat earlier in the day?” – this is to decipher if maybe that very food that you ate earlier that didn’t smell too proper or taste right was indeed a contributing factor to this very moment where you feel as if you are going to die from all the colics and trips to the bathroom. While that was a vivid picture of an immediate response to food making you sick, do you believe that certain foods that we have been consuming over time have impacting effects in how our organs function and our overall health? Do you believe that certain foods are healthier than others? Should we avoid processed foods? Are the chemicals in my food making me sick? There are many theories out there, and some are true while others are just schemes put in place to make you buy into certain diet plans.

The late Dr. Sebi created an African bio-mineral balance compound that has been breaking the internet ever since singer and superstars Left-eye and Nipsey Hussle died and were found to be affiliated with his work. Sebi is also known for his self-proclaimed cure for AIDS and other diseases and has been the center of criminal proceedings for “practicing medicine without a license.” But is there some truth to his lifelong dedication and work?

Indeed food plays an important role in our health and I’m not talking about the obvious when it comes to fatty foods leading to obesity and chronic diseases. Rather, I speak of the acceptance of certain diets that are popular and trending. Alkalizing and acidifying diets originated in the East and were based on the concept of Yin & Yang – a principle that focused on balance when selecting food from various groups. Sure enough it was noted that disease was preventable when leaning towards consumption of foods that were particularly alkaline in nature. The western approach adapted the concept of the alkaline diet but twisted the Yin-Yang principle and for promotional purposes expressed that acidic foods are disease causing and alkaline foods are preventative. This is only partially true and because there has been little clarification due to pushing for a trend, we find that people fixate on the categories of these foods and forget to incorporate nutritional value to their diets.

Examples of acidic foods are: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains and alcohol. Neutral foods are considered natural fats, starches and sugars. Alkaline foods are fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables. The Alkaline diet encompasses the belief that certain foods affects the body’s pH differently and as such emphasizes the placement of foods into the categories of acidic or alkaline. But it is not the foods itself that directly affect us but rather the residue after it has been metabolized in the body.

When we eat foods that are acidic or food that leave residual acid, our body experiences something called a chronic low grade metabolic acidosis. Our body has a built in acid-base buffer that ensures that proper pH balance is maintained. However, whenever there is an acid overload the body uses all its protective mechanisms to neutralize the situation. When this occurs chronically it compromises the body and leaves it vulnerable to diseases. THIS is the essence of various diets encouraging an alkaline base rather than a diet with high acidic content. Acid based diets have been noted to produce a deficiency in magnesium, an element that when lacking shows association in the development of osteoporosis, diabetes and hypertension. Having low magnesium also influences sleep patterns, can produce an increase in anxiety and more importantly can reflect on the activation of vitamin D and impacts our immune system.

Let’s get one thing straight, the pH of our blood is NOT influenced by whether we choose to eat more alkaline based food or acidic food. Our body’s acid base-buffer system is responsible for homeostasis (balance) and our lungs and kidneys work tirelessly to maintain our blood’s pH. Food does not affect this and any changes that result in the altering of the pH in our blood can be life threatening and is a display of some underlying disease present in the body. The big fuss about the alkaline diet is not in the acidic foods themselves but understanding how acid overload affects the body’s function.

Changing the way we eat and becoming more selective in our food choices is great – understanding the why is even better. Sometimes taking the time to understand the concept of why we do things makes it easier to choose what is healthy and good for us. I’m not saying that you should join the movement and go alkaline because I’d be damned if I stop eating meat. But, if considering foods and its impact on the pH of your body makes you improve your eating habits then by all means continue. However, it is imperative that you consider its balance and not focus on the alkaline or acidity alone. Consult a dietitian or nutritionist and always remember that things work better when in a balanced state.

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