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Hope Island, QLD, Australia

The Body Battle

While the health benefits of maintaining an acid/alkaline balance in our diets has been an implored topic, sometimes the maintenance of this balance within our bodies remains unexplored.

When a food is ingested, it is metabolized and broken down into molecules, but to keep things a little simpler, let’s say food is broken down into its base minerals, vitamins and amino acids, which are absorbed by the body.  After the breakdown and absorption of food components occur, a certain “residue” remains within the body which is essentially formed from the minerals within the food.  The acidity or alkalinity of this residue, and hence the food, is determined by the remaining minerals, eg magnesium, potassium and calcium are alkalizing; iron, sulfur and phosphorus are acidic.  The alkalinity or acidity of anything is measured by their pH, which corresponds to the concentration of hydrogen ions.  The cells which make up our bodies require oxygen to function, and here’s the relevance of pH – hydrogen ions take oxygen, depriving the cells of it.  So a high concentration of hydrogen ions or a low pH can manifest in many ways, resulting from decreased cellular respiration.  These symptoms can include fatigue, headaches and muscle cramps.

Our bodies are very organized and technical machines, and have many different systems in place to correct any disturbances that may compromise the balance that our bodies require to survive. This level of balance is often referred to as homeostasis.  Our bodies have a buffering system which helps to regulate our pH levels and keep them at a perfect level, which within the blood is slightly alkaline at 7.35 to 7.45pH.  Commonly, our pH falls to one side of the fence, becoming either too alkaline or too acidic; neither of which are favorable.  To offset the acidic metabolites of food, formed from sugars and alcohols, for example, our bodies give up those alkalizing minerals mentioned previously to buffer the acidity.  This renders the alkalizing minerals incapable of being involved in the hundreds of processes they are required for to maintain that homeostasis we spoke about.  As you can imagine, if calcium and magnesium are being used consistently to buffer the pH of the blood, our bodies will quickly become deficient in them.  Some manifestations of calcium and magnesium deficiencies include; osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and an imbalanced nervous system.  To take the burden off our bodies, which love us so much, we can love them back by consuming a balanced alkaline to acid diet, which is said to be 80% alkalizing and 20% acid-forming foods.

Raw organic apple cider vinegar is a rich source of potassium, probiotics and enzymes, and is alkalizing to the body.  The benefits of ACV are obtained from the “mother”, which is a cloudy looking suspension in the vinegar, containing all the nutrients.  When it comes to ACV, the cloudier and smellier, the better!  Only raw ACV contains the mother, and, as we know, organic is always best.  The alkalizing effects of apple cider vinegar on the body may reduce total blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, increase immunity, reduce mucous and congestion, support healthy gut flora, aid digestion and boost the immune system.

References
Graci, S. 2005. Alive Australia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.alive.com/articles/view/19193/alkalinity. [Accessed 02 May 14].
Shakya, P. 2013. Biochemistry Class Notes. [ONLINE] Available at: http://edusanjalbiochemist.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/alkaline-ph-of-blood-benefits.html. [Accessed 02 May 14].
The Gerson Institute. 2013. The Gerson Institute. [ONLINE] Available at: http://gerson.org/gerpress/recipe-triple-citrus-dill-vinaigrette-dressing-with-apple-cider-vinegar/. [Accessed 02 May 14].
Wong, C. 2014. Alternative Medicine. [ONLINE] Available at: http://altmedicine.about.com/od/applecidervinegardiet/a/applecidervineg.htm. [Accessed 02 May 14].