The Acid – Alkaline Conundrum

For good health, the body needs to maintain a certain acid-alkaline balance. Keeping this balance is crucial to remaining healthy and slowing the ageing process. Cells function more efficiently when they are alkaline. In an ideal world, the body should be 70% alkaline and 30% acid. In the western world the average person is about 80% acid and 20% alkaline. Excess acid in the body leads to disease.

A number of factors affect the acid-alkaline balance in the body. Foods are a big factor, as is stress and anxiety. Accordingly, a combination of poor diet and a stressful life style will make the body very acidic. This acidity leads to anything from simple problems such as poor absorption of foods to more sinister degenerative diseases such as arthritis and even cancer.


Not all acid forming foods are bad for you. Protein, for instance, is acid forming; but we need it to build tissue and stay healthy. We do, however, tend to eat far more protein than is necessary. So try and cut down on meat and replace it with fish and pulses which are also rich in protein. The biggest animals on earth, lest we forget are herbivores….

  • All animal produce including eggs is acid forming, but red meat has a much higher uric acid content. So stick to fish,turkey and chicken.
  • Dairy produce such as milk or yogurt is alkaline on the way in but becomes acidic once digested. So it still has a negative affect on the body.
  • All nuts are acid forming except for almonds, fresh coconut and chestnuts.
  • Most grains are acid forming, but very healthy, so it’s all about balance. Millet, buckwheat and quinoa are alkaline.
  • Refined sugar, chocolate, alcohol, coffee, tea and fizzy drinks are very acid forming.
  • All drugs, prescription or recreational are very acid forming.


  • All vegetables are alkalising. Especially: Cabbage, broccoli, spring greens, green beans, carrots, kale and asparagus. These are high in magnesium which is highly alkalising. Seaweed, kelp, wheat grass and alfalfa are also great.
  • All fruits are very alkalising and a great source of vitamins and minerals. Plums and all berries are acidic, but still very healthy as part of a balanced diet. The most alkalising fruits are melon, mango, papaya and dates.
  • Citric fruit such as grapefruit, pineapple, and kiwi are acidic on the way in but turn alkaline after digestion, so good for your alkaline balance but not so good if you suffer from stomach acidity.
  • Sea salt is very alkalising as is apple cider vinegar, so use these when preparing salads or cooking.
  • Lemons and limes are very alkaline, orange juice is the devil … Its a long story.


UltraClear PLus PH: This alkalising metabolic clearing program is a great way to detoxify the liver and gastro intestinal tract and re alkalise the body. (3 scoops in water first thing in the morning)

Spirulina Pacifica: This is an excellent vitalising blend of very absorbingly blue-green algae and a true alkalising super food.(2 tablets 3 times daily with water).

(Available through NUTRI: 0800 212 742)

Most health shops will carry an array of green powders which are all alkalising.


  • Have a cup of warm water with lemon, apple cider vinegar and a little honey in the morning. This will help to re-alkalise the body that is often acidic when we wake up.
  • Drink at least 2 litres of water a day, dehydration leads to acidity.
  • Deep slow breathing will fill the lung bases with oxygen and flush out the stale acidic carbon dioxide.
  • Exercise, and take up some relaxation technique like meditation. Stress makes us very acidic and needs to be managed properly.
  • Drink diluted fresh juice in the morning. Add ginger which will keep you alkaline.
  • Cut down on your meats and eat your greens and you are half way there.
  • Dr Marc Farah