The body is constantly working to maintain a neutral pH balance; excess acidity is a condition that weakens the body systems. The body has to bring the acidity levels back to normal and in order to do so it leeches minerals from the bones and vital organs. Calcium is leeched from the bones, magnesium from the nerves, potassium from the muscles and sodium from the joints and digestive tube.
The result? A body that is depleted of essential minerals and is very prone to osteoporosis as calcium is lost from the bones. As stated in a previous article, acidity is one of the causes of muscle cramps.

The body is also in a weakened disease prone condition. It can suffer severe and prolonged corrosion, due to high acidity, a condition that may go undetected for years. This results in increase in cavities, joint problems such as bursitis, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, etc.

A body that is overly acidic is the ideal terrain for disease and illness to develop; most sick people have a body that is overly acidic. The food we eat, the thoughts we think, our lifestyle, the environment we live in, all effect our internal terrain. A highly acidic diet creates a terrain that is highly favorable for inflammation to occur.

Richard Béliveau author of, Cooking with Foods that Fight Cancer, 2006. states “It is therefore vital to not only keep chronic inflammation to a minimum by adopting a diet richer in plants, but also to avoid at all costs the factors that favor chronic inflammation. In this context, the excessive consumption of transformed foods that are loaded with harmful fats and sugars, and the obesity which may be its outcome, are the principal lifestyle factors that promote inflammation and the progression of microscopic tumors towards an advanced stage[of cancer].”
"It's not magical or mystical: It's biochemical," Béliveau says. "We are what we eat. And when we eat healthy foods, we feel better."

How to decrease acidity?

1. Proper nutrition
Eat whole foods, fresh foods, lots of vegetables as they are very alkalinizing, some fruits. Whole grains, nuts, beans seeds, good sources of protein.

It may seem quite complicated when a freshly picked lemon and lemon juice which is indeed acidic, when eaten, leaves an alkaline residue in the body. We are not necessarily looking at if the food is acidic to begin with we are looking at the effect it has after being digested. It is important to remember that in Montreal we live in a climate where citrus fruits are unavailable ripe. They are picked when they are green so they have an acidifying affect on the body. This includes pineapples, oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, and tomatoes.
• White sugar, white flour and anything that contains it
• Processed foods
• Fried foods, food that is high in fat and refined oils, choose extra virgin olive oil or first pressed cold oils
• Coffee, tea, and soft drinks and alcohol are highly acidifying.
With a pH of 2.5 and the blood having a 7 pH, it is no wonder soft drinks give us a rush! All the alarm bells are going off at once as the body has to deal with this substance. It would take approximately 30 glasses of water to neutralize carbonated soda. In addition, the carbonation process effortlessly leaches minerals out of the digestives system promoting osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
• White vinegar and refined vinegars and the foods that contain them such as ketchup, mustard, relish, commercial salad dressings, pickles etc. White vinegar should only be used to wash the windows. It blocks the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach, therefore blocking your digestion as well as increasing acidity levels. Replace these vinegars with unrefined non pasteurized vinegars, especially apple cider vinegar as it mimics hydrochloric acid aiding digestion
* Increase vegetables and especially dark green leafy vegetables as much as possible!
Buy a juicing machine and make fresh green juices every day.

2. Proper Digestion
Obviously each person’s digestive system and metabolism function in a particular fashion, at certain levels, according to how healthy they are, how well their glandular system is working, if they smoke or exercise etc. Some stomachs may be overproducing Hydrochloric acid, others not enough. It is important to be aware of how you feel after a meal and how certain foods affect you. Often a fresh locally grown organic tomato will be easily digested, but a tomato sauce made with canned tomatoes will greatly increase acidity levels and be hard to digest for many.

3. Eliminate toxins
The body has 5 different means to eliminate toxins
• the skin
• the urinary system
• the lungs
• the digestive system
• the liver
When one or more of these means are blocked the others have to work harder to eliminate toxins which can accumulate, acidity increases and disease develops.
Ensure that there is no constipation, increase fiber and ideally you will have 3 bowel movements per day.

4. Dry Brush the skin
Use a natural vegetable fiber dry brush and dry brush the skin every morning for 2 minutes before your shower. This is excellent for reducing acidity.

5. Drink plenty of pure water

6. De-Stress

7. Exercise

8. Don’t worry, be Happy!

Negative emotions and anger can flood the body with acidity.
9. Avoid Excess Exercise
While moderate exercise can help reduce acidity excessive exercise (past the point of exhaustion) causes lactic acid build up and hence increases acidity. – Marathons, long, endurance activities.

9. Supplements
Chlorophyll and aloe vera juice are 2 supplements that are excellent to reduce acidity while you work at making the necessary changes to permanently reduce your acidity.
A coupe of years ago my acidity levels were very high, and by following many of the recommendations above, my body is now balanced.

There is a simple test that can be done over 5 days to test your acidity levels.
No matter where you are at, as you can see there are many ways to get back on track, reduce acidity and obtain optimal health.

Author's Bio: 

Sue-Anne Hickey is a Naturopath and yoga teacher. Her passion is in helping others obtain optimal health and wellness. Do you want more energy? Want to lose some weight? Is there a craving you’d like to kick, or, are you struggling with a chronic health challenge? As a Naturopath Sue-Anne will work with you to help you overcome your health problems and to achieve your health goals.

Her specialty is in determining your body’s specific metabolic-energy-type. A consultation will help you re-learn what your body naturally wants and needs and find a personalized plan, tailored to fit your needs, so that is easy for you to implement. Imagine looking and feeling totally vibrant, balanced and full of energy all day, every day! This can be yours.