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Nutrition and Alkaline Foods


Books by Anne Hart.


You may wish to check out the April 14, 2014 news article by Brendan Brazier , "Benefits of Alkaline-Forming Nutrition." It's about health as related to your body’s pH level. The article explains how the foods you eat affect affect your body’s pH – can impact a variety of health issues, from sleep to bone health to body composition.


The article suggests that by adding more alkaline-forming foods, primarily from minimally processed plant-based foods, you can combat inflammation, reduce stress and protect bone health. Certain alkaline-forming foods do have health benefits. But don't put alkaline chemicals or salts directly on your teeth as they could be harmful to your tooth enamel.


If you keep brushing with baking soda, will the alkaline damage your tooth enamel? Some dentists say brushing with baking soda or rinsing is okay, but others say alkaline substances can damage your teeth. You could check out some of the studies, and you can talk to a holistic dentist to see what is and is not harmful to put on your teeth or gums. Then again, there's the study that did look at the harm alkaline chemicals did to the teeth. See the news release, "Exposure to alkaline substances can result in damaged teeth."


As far as eating alkaline foods, you can check out the site, acid-forming or alkaline forming. The article notes how the standard America diet is acid-forming when it's rich in diary, meat, and processed foods. If your body is pH 7.35 or slightly alkaline, when you eat acid, the body then has to work to get back to the balance in a type of neutral alkaline state.


Foods are not going to change that pH 7.35 zone. But when you keep eating acid-forming foods, the body uses calcium because it's an alkalizing mineral. To use it, the body takes it from your bones and teeth. The result is mineral loss and eventually bone loss. Who wants that type of stress? It only results in inflammation. And when you get inflammation, you get higher cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone. The result is premature aging from a constant state of too much stress hormone (cortisol) in your body.


If you look at the alkaline-forming foods, they're plant-based (vegan/vegetarian). What you could do is just add more plant-based foods to slow down the loss of calcium that's being leached out of your bones and teeth. Check out the site, "Acid Alkaline Diet: What You Need to Know." You also can check out another article, "A Plant-Based Diet for a Competitive Edge." These articles are mentioned in the article, "Benefits of Alkaline-Forming Nutrition."


You can check out the sites of various athletes who use alkaline-forming foods for body building or running. When athletes eat certain plant foods, their goal is to reduce inflammation so their bodies can build stronger muscles. For example, instead of the type of carbs you find in pasta, you can use a special slicer to slice vegetables in the shape of pasta, eat them raw, or put Marinara sauce over the spaghetti-shaped sliced vegetables that look like noodles or pasta. You could try the Vegetti, which is a small round cylinder with 12 very sharp little blades on each side so you can make thick or thin pasta strands out of vegetables such as zucchini squash.


Acid-forming foods reduce muscle efficiency so that more energy is spent for each muscle contraction


The goal here is to use alkaline-forming foods help reduce inflammation in your muscles by eating more plant-based meals. If the food has chlorophyll, it's alkaline-forming. So you want to eat those raw greens. If you cook broccoli, you also destroy the anti-cancer antioxidants in the broccoli. So instead of stir frying all those greens, puree them in a blender and drink them as a juice beverage with your meal.


You might juice bok choy with broccoli, spinach, and kale, cucumber, Romaine lettuce, celery and a few pieces of red onion. You also could add a teaspoon of spirulina, just be sure to pick a brand that has been tested to make sure any green powder doesn't contain excess lead or other heavy metals. Another alkaline food is sea vegetables or chlorella. Just don't over-eat sea vegetables because they have natural iodine. You may need a balance of iodine and iodide in your diet. Check with your health care team. Too much sea vegetable sprinkled on your food can overstimulate your thyroid.


The whole idea is to eat fewer processed foods. See the site on the benefits of plant-based nutrition. Lemons, are acidic but are alkaline-forming once digested. The only problem with lemons is if you chew them, you hurt the enamel on your teeth. If you can manage one alkaline-forming meal or snack a day, it helps. You can always hide spinach in a smoothie made of cooked black beans, unsweetened almond milk, a spoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, a few spoons of cooked amaranth, coconut water, and ground flax seeds.


Some people drink lemon juice in warm water. Others prefer a smoothie made of two apples, coconut water, a handful of green leafy vegetables, unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup of cooked amaranth, and a cup of frozen strawberries or other berries. If you need to dilute it more, you can use decaf green tea brewed in filtered water. Check out the link mentioned in the article, Acid Alkaline Diet: What You Need to Know, "Green Smoothies 101: Health Benefits and Recipes." On the other hand, alkaline substances on or around your teeth all the time can damage your teeth. So can sucking on a lemon or swishing lemon juice around your teeth.


Exposure to alkaline substances can result in damaged teeth


It has long been known that acids can erode tooth enamel but a new Swedish study, "Morphological and chemical characterization of tooth enamel exposed to alkaline agents, " from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that strong alkaline substances can damage teeth too - substances with high pH values can destroy parts of the organic content of the tooth, leaving the enamel more vulnerable. Researchers carried out the study at the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy and results were published in January 2010 in the Journal of Dentistry.


The findings in this study show that exposure to alkaline solutions results in a degradation of enamel surfaces very dissimilar from acidic erosion. No significant erosion or chemical substitution of the apatite crystals themselves could be discerned. However, significant loss of organic carbon at the enamel surface was found in all exposed samples. The degradation of the protective organic layer at the enamel surface may profoundly increase the risk for caries and dental erosion from acidic foods and beverages, notes conclusion in the study's abstract.


"The study shows that exposure to alkaline substances can result in damaged teeth, but that the process is different to that caused by exposure to acidic drinks or acidic industrial vapors," says Fabian Taube, according to the October 27, 2009 news release, "Exposure to alkaline substances can result in damaged teeth." Taube is an occupational hygienist and one of the researchers behind the study.


It was occupational injuries from reconditioning of cars that attracted the attention of the researchers. The common denominator was exposure to an alkaline degreaser that was sprayed onto various parts of the cars: The spray turned out to have a pH value of between 12 and 14, which is very alkaline


"Exposure to this substance damaged the surface of the teeth resulting in "flaked" enamel," says Jörgen Norén, according to the news release, "Exposure to alkaline substances can result in damaged teeth." Norén is a professor/senior dental officer at the Sahlgrenska Academy. "This type of damage markedly increases the risk of caries and other dental damage."


Alkaline degreasers are used in the food industry, among other things to clean professional kitchens, but are also common in car care industry and to remove vandalism painting. "Occupational damage to teeth from exposure to alkaline substances is probably not as common as damage from acidic substances, but it becomes a problem when employers fail to inform employees of the risks or do not give them access to the right protective equipment," says Taube, according to the news release.

The study exposed extracted teeth to degreasers and other alkaline solutions. Enamel samples were then examined with a scanning electron microscope and analyzed using various spectroscopic methods.


The researchers found that organic material on the surface of the tooth dissolves rapidly. The results indicate that the organic components of the enamel are also affected, as the enamel becomes more porous. "However, we were not able to show that alkaline substances change the composition of the minerals that constitute the main component of enamel," says Taube. "In that sense, it differs from the effects of exposure to acids." The study was carried out with funding from the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS) and the Magnus Bergvall Foundation, among others.


What's tooth enamel made of?


Enamel, the body's hardest tissue, forms a layer over the teeth that is up to two millimeters thick. Just two per cent of the enamel is organic material, with the rest comprising various minerals and water. The organic component is made up of protein, lipids and citrate, whilst the inorganic component is made up of calcium hydroxylapatite and calcium fluorapatite.


Interestingly, people who gain weight mostly in the abdomen usually have a problem with acid reflux, particularly when they're overweight, but not always. Thin people can lose muscle tone in their esophagus and suffer from acid reflux, especially when lying flat. Sometimes elevated their pillows so they're almost sitting up in bed helps. But can alkaline juices such as green leafy vegetables juices, carrot juice, or cabbage juice also be of help? Can food change your destiny? Or can acid reflux damage your teeth or various organs or other parts of your body such as your esophagus or stomach?


Too many people suffer from acid reflux conditions or the frequently occurring acid reflux disease


For example cabbage with carrots may help your acid reflux. If your child has acid reflux, you may want to check out the site of the, Pediatric Gastroenterologists. Or for adults with acid reflux issues, check out the site of the Digestive Health Center - Gastroenterology, Stomach. Choose a site from your own city and state.


Have your doctor examine you to find out whether your acid reflux condition is due to a disease or due to losing your digestive enzymes as you age or perhaps due to bacteria such as H. pylori or ulcers of your esophagus or stomach. Acid reflux also can happen when a person eats too much, particularly after 3:00 p.m.


Some older adults who wanted a food-based solution to pylori and acid reflux turned to pine nut oil because it has been used in the Slavic community as a traditional folkloric medicine for centuries. Others turn to liquid aged garlic extract, for example the Kyolic brand. In traditional folkloric medicine, pine nut oil decreases food intake. You may wish to see the study's abstract, Cholecystokinin decreases food intake in man. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 34: 154-160, 1981. (Kissileff HR, Pi-Sunyer FX, Thornton J, and Smith GP.)


Why do so many people complain of acid reflux or hiatal hernia? And what help is out there locally? Can you find which chiropractors in Sacramento have been trained in adjusting hiatal hernia? Some doctors have pretty good tips on how to treat acid reflux with foods. You can read in the November 8, 2010 issue of Woman's World, the article in the "Your Good Health" section, "Sore throat remedies doctors swear by." Also see the sites, Can chiropractic adjustment fix a hiatal hernia? - Yahoo! Answers. How is sore throat related to acid reflux issues?


You may think you have a sore throat, but what it might be are lesions in your esophagus. Acid reflux can burn your esophagus and stomach, leading to ulcers or even cancer. That's why you need to treat your acid reflux if it happens frequently. So get checked out by your health care team.


When it comes to acid reflux, by eating fruit on an empty stomach instead of right after meals or with meals, it may help acid reflux that's burning out your esophagus


Also in that article is a tip to take 5,000 I.U. of vitamin A daily. But please check with your doctor or health care team to prevent any toxic effects of taking excess vitamin A, since it builds up in the body.


The idea of eating fruit, such as a papaya, on an empty stomach is that when you eat fruit as part of meals, the fruit begins to ferment along with the fat in the foods while in your stomach. The stomach then expands from the fermenting fruit and fat in any food being digested by stomach acids in your belly.


As the fermentation process continues, the gas produced from the fermentation process in your stomach expands. Soon the expanding gasses from the fermentation puts a lot of pressure on the valve that connects your stomach to your esophagus. The result is worsening acid reflux that steadily erodes your esophagus, burning lesions.


Then you get more pain, more burping, and more acid reflux with more wounds on your esophagus


You can help by just eating a piece of fruit on an empty stomach. Also check with your doctor to see whether it's safe to take a little vitamin A to speed healing of those seared membranes, which are wounds in your esophagus caused by your stomach's acid.

If you're an older person, also take a test to see whether you have H. pylori bacteria which destroys the mucous lining of your stomach. You'd also feel acid reflux, coughing from acid reflux, which sometimes looks like asthma symptoms or wheezing, and problems with wounds from your stomach's hydrochloric acid burning lesions in your esophagus.


Check your stomach also for bleeding ulcers and other problems such as hiatal hernia. It's a condition in which a portion of the upper part of your stomach protrudes upward into your chest, through an opening in your diaphragm. Acid reflux disease shows symptoms of acid reflux usually on a daily basis and grows worse when you lie down.


Acid reflux often disrupts sleep


You may wish to find out whether any natural remedies can help such as a change in diet or various vitamins or digestive enzymes before you take a drug you'll be on for years. Perhaps digestive enzymes may be of help. See your doctor to find out what can be done for hiatal hernia and learn what caused it. Also see the Mayo Clinic article, Hiatal hernia - MayoClinic.com. The site contains a comprehensive overview covers symptoms, surgery and other treatments for this stomach hernia. By age 60, up to 60% of people have it to some extent.


See the site, How To Live With a Hiatal Hernia. Hiatal hernia can be caused by constipation. Or increased pressure in the abdominal cavity also can be caused by constant hard coughing--for example from a bout of flu, or from vomiting, or simply straining during bowel movements can tear a whole in your diaphragm.


Don't leave it at that if all you're told is that you're getting older or your body is falling apart because you're over a certain age. Find out what caused the hole in your diaphragm, if that's your doctor's diagnosis. See what happens if you eat a papaya on an empty stomach. Does your acid reflux decrease by the time you go to bed at night?


Notice that most of the foods that may be of help to acid reflux not caused by serious stomach problems are made without added fats or oils that can cause more acid to be produced to digest them


To fight acid reflux, keep a food diary to identify foods that trigger heartburn. Some people have too little stomach acid rather than too much, or the stomach acid isn't producing enough digestive enzymes as people age. For example, people with type O blood produce a stronger stomach acid than people with type A blood, according to numerous naturopaths. For more information see the site, "Eat Right For Your Type:Change Your Genetic Destiny."


Pay close attention to portion size for all foods you eat each day. Note what quantities, if any, your stomach tolerates without acid reflux symptoms. According to the Heart Burn Alliance Organization website, "Use your “personal serving sizes” as a guide. Larger portions of any food are more likely to cause acid reflux, especially when you lie down.


Foods That May Help Acid Reflux Issues: Eat Small Portions of Food


Green beans
Baked potato

Multi-grain bread
White bread
Corn bread
Brown rice
White rice
Graham crackers
Saltine crackers
Rice cakes
Oatmeal cereal
Frosted cereal
Bran-based cereal

Cream cheese,

Feta cheese
Goat cheese
Sour cream, fat-free
Soy cheese, low-fat

Ground beef, extra-lean
Steak, London Broil
Chicken breast, without skin
Egg whites/egg substitute
Fish, fresh, prepared without added fat

Potato chips, baked (not fried)
Cookie, fat-free
Jelly beans
Red licorice
Salad dressing, low-fat


Foods to Avoid if You Have Acid Reflux: Always Talk to Your Doctor First if You Have a Stomach Condition


Tomato paste

Tomato juice

Marinara Sauce

Orange juice
Grapefruit juice
Cranberry juice
Tomato, whole

Mashed potatoes
French fries
Onion, raw
Potato salad

Macaroni and cheese
Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce

Sour cream
Milk shake
Ice cream
Cottage cheese, regular

Ground beef, chuck
Marbled sirloin
Chicken, nugget-style
Chicken, buffalo wings

Corn chips
Potato chips, regular
Butter cookie, high-fat
Salad dressing, creamy
Salad dressing, oil & vinegar


Mineral water