Acidic environment

Acidic environment

Our body permanently produces acid metabolites. Its acid-alkali equilibrium is regulated by powerful buffer systems. Breathing and renal function also play a role. Food also produces acid, especially proteins.

In spite of the presence of these buffer systems, regulation of blood pH is nowadays frequently disrupted.

The root of the problem, our Western diet , very high in acid-producing products (meat, salted food, processed food, sugar) and low in alkali-producing foods, especially fruit and vegetables. To this can be added overwork, lack of physical exercise, smoking... all of which generate acid.

Close-up on acid physiology and appropriate dietary advice…

Acidic environment

Our body, naturally a producer of acids, has physiological mechanisms to maintain an ideal pH for its metabolism.

If these regulatory systems become overloaded, acid will accumulate in the tissue and over time the body will eat into its mineral reserves in order to neutralise them: this is what is known as an acidic environment.

The diet also contributes to the process of acid regulation. But our Western diet, high in meat, processed food and salt creates an acidic environment*.

Fruit and vegetables conversely, being particularly high in alkaline salts, magnesium and potassium, have an alkalising effect.

* Frassetto L et al. Diet, evolution and ageing-the pathophysiologic effects of the post-agricultural inversion of the potassium-to-sodium and base-to-chloride ratios in the human diet. Eur J Nutr. 2001 Oct ; 40(5) : 200-13.

How to combat an acidic environment

Correction of the diet is fundamental; first of all the consumption of acidifying foods must be reduced.

Producers of acids during digestion, they are mainly composed of food rich in protein which are basic foodstuffs in our diet; they cannot, therefore, be completely withdrawn.

Refined foods, especially sugars and cereals, cannot sustain life as they are low in minerals.

Alkalising fruit and vegetables provide the bases required (magnesium, potassium, etc.) to neutralise acids (alkaline salts, etc.).

Acidifying foods Mildly acidifying foods Alkalising foods
Meat Fromage blanc Potatoes
Poultry Foods based on wholemeal flour Raw or cooked green vegetables
Deli meats Nuts Coloured vegetables except for tomatoes, sorrel, rhubarb
Meat extracts - Fruit and vegetable juices
Fish - Corn
Seafood - Pulses, legumes
Eggs - Liquid or powdered milk, curd cheese, cream, butter
Cheese, dairy products - Bananas
Animal fats (lard, suet) - Almonds
Refined vegetable oils, solid fats - Chestnuts
Products based on white flour - Ripe or dried fruits: dates, raisins (except those that are acidic in taste: apple, apricot)
White sugar - Alkaline mineral water
Sweet foods (syrup, pastries, chocolate, etc.) - Almond drinks
Processed sugared drinks - Soya and derivatives
Oleaginous fruit except for almonds - Aromatic herbs
Coffee, tea, cocoa, wine - -

Dietary adjustments for an acidic environment

Légumes1. A healthy diet should be predominantly based on vegetables, which provide most alkalis to neutralise the acids. For an acid-alkali equilibrium, prepare your meals with fresh vegetables rich in base minerals, especially potassium.
2. Restrict the amount of acidic and acidifying foods.
3. In the evening, favour an alkalising diet (no animal protein).
4. Which foodstuffs should be favoured?

  • fruit: bananas, dates, figs, chestnuts, apples, pears, almonds, prunes, grapes
  • vegetables: potatoes, corn, cabbage, carrots, beetroot
  • dairy: goat's and ewe's cheese
  • cereals: wholemeal or semi-wholemeal
  • condiments: aromatic herbs, spices, mustard
  • protein: chicken, rabbit, veal, turkey, fish, pulses
  • sugar: unrefined sugar (not brown!)
  • oil: first cold-press oils
  • drinks: grain-based drinks, chicory, plant infusions, green tea