Acid-alkali balance

Acid-alkali balance

Everything starts with homeostasis! A universal principal in living things which enables them to maintain key factors at healthy levels for the systems affected.

This applies, for example, to temperature regulation or blood pH. Yet our lifestyle promotes imbalances between acid and alkali levels which the diet can help correct.

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.

Acidic environment

pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity in organic tissues and liquids, each having its own pH, an indicator of internal balance. Blood pH, for example, normally varies between 7.38 and 7.42. Below this level we talk of acidosis, and above it's called alkalosis.

Our body continuously and naturally produces acidic metabolites that are regulated by the buffer systems in order to maintain pH at homeostatic levels that best suit our metabolism. Breathing and renal function also play a role, as does the liver.

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.

Restore balance through diet

Our Western diet is very rich 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 stress, overwork, lack of physical exercise, smoking... all of which generate acid*.

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

A change in diet is fundamental.  First of all, the consumption of foods which produce acid during digestion must be reduced.

This includes protein-rich foods, which form the basis of our diet, but we cannot eliminate them altogether.
Refined foods, especially sugars and cereals, low in minerals, are also powerful acidifiers.

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

*Frassetto L et al. Diet, evolution and aging-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


Place fresh fruits and vegetables in the foreground: they provide the essential acid neutralizing bases.

Restrict the amount of acidic and acidifying foods.

In the evening, favour an alkalising diet (no animal protein).

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

Trace element deficiencies

The combination of zinc and silicon promotes acid-base homeostasis.
Zinc plays an essential role in strengthening the body. It is a formidable defender of the cell against what has become known as "oxidative stress".

What happens? The cell, assaulted by free radicals, that are all the more abundant in the event of an acid-base imbalance, initially defends itself by eliminating them. If the aggression persists, or if the aggressors become more aggressive, the cell is literally submerged. Its defensive system begins to fail, leading to an inflammatory reaction or to mutagenesis.

When the body lacks readily available alkaline resources, it draws upon its bone reserves (calcium salts). This perpetually regenerated connective tissue thus becomes unable to renew itself. Silicon, a component element of cartilage and bone, thus compensates for any deficiencies.