Q, Doctors and nutritionists mention the acid—alkaline balance of food! What does it mean?

  1. The human body consist of various organs and parts which in turn consist of tissues and cells.

These tissues and cells consist of 16 chemical elements. The balance of these chemical elements in the body is very vital for maintaining good health. This is known as the acid-alkaline balance. All foods, after their absorp­tion in the body, leave behind either an acidic or an alkaline residue. The normal body chemistry is approxi­mately 20% acidic and 80% alkaline. This is the acid-alkaline balance for optimum health and well-being. Whenever the alkalinity of the blood reduces even slightly acids start accumulating in the tissues. This condition is known as acidosis or hypo-alkalinity of blood. Most diseases including indigestion, headache, nervous disorders, rheumatism, blood pressure, skin disorders etc. are because of acidosis.

  1. What is the main cause of acidosis?
  2. The main cause of acidosis is a faulty diet. When the diet consists of too many acid-forming food and these acids are not properly eliminated through the lungs, kidney and bowels alkalinity of blood reduces and acidosis increases.

The other causes of acidosis are depletion of alkali reserve due to diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera etc., accumulation of carbon dioxide in asphyxia and anoxia as in circulatory and pulmonary diseases and accumu­lation of acetone bodies resulting from starvation, vomiting and diabetes.

  1. How does one prevent acidosis? Which food are acidic and alkaline & how does one indentify them?

Acidosis can be prevented by maintaining a proper balance between the acid and alkaline food in the diet. This food leaves an alkaline residue and increases the alkalinity of the blood, while the food which leaves an acidic residue reduces the alkalinity of the blood. Thus our daily diet should have 20% of acid producing food and 80% of alkaline producing food.

The effect of food-stuff upon the alkalinity of blood depends upon the residue they leave behind after undergoing oxidation in the body. It does not depend upon taste, eg. lime and citrus fruits taste acidic but after being absorbed in the body they leave an alkaline residue.

The following chart shows the common food with add and alkaline residues.


Let’s have a “Scoop”

3 carrots

2 tender turnips

2 potatoes (boiled)

1 small capsicum

1/ 2 kg cauliflower

1 cup boiled green peas

2 teaspoons fresh celery/coriander leaves

For white sauce :

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons plain flour

stock of boiled potatoes

1 cup milk

Freshly powdered black pepper Salt and sugar to taste

Scoop balls from carrots, potatoes and turnips with scooper or cut into cubes. Cut cauliflower into small flowerettes. Mix these vegetables, and squeeze lime. Boil potatoes and retain its water for white sauce. For white sauce – blend butter, flour, potato stock and milk. Put the mixture to heat and continue stirring until it is thick. Add salt, capsicum, pepper and stir. Immediately pour over the vegetables and serve. Garnish with chopped celery/coriander leaves.