Excess acidity in the body, also known as acidosis, is a medical condition where your body produces more biological acid than it needs to function properly. This can cause serious health problems from the erosion of the throat’s lining and damaged tooth enamel to ulcers and a suppressed immune system.
So how is acidity removed from the body? Excess acidity in the body can be removed by maintaining a well-balanced diet, exercising to purge toxins through sweat, and staying properly hydrated. A person’s acidity levels can be easily tested at home using pH strips to test human saliva or urine to determine acidity levels.
While the solution to excess acidity sounds simple, the condition shouldn’t be taken lightly. Chronic cases of acidosis can wreak havoc on the body’s homeostasis.
Read on to find out more about how excess acidity affects the body and how you can remove it.
How to Remove Acidity from the Body?
Removing or balancing the level of acidity in your body isn’t complicated, and mostly involves just taking care of yourself, making sure you get adequate nutrition and stay in shape.
Excess acidity in the body is often a result of causes such as poor dietary choices, excess body weight, too many carbonated drinks, and dehydration. Water intake can even help ward off the symptoms of acid reflux disease.
The best thing about the following methods is that they don’t just help you remove acidity from your body, they also promote pervasive lifestyle changes that will help you lead a longer and healthier life overall by encouraging good habits.
Note that these methods are not methods for treating a medical condition; rather, these methods are preventative measures that you can use to prevent build-ups of excess acid in your body and ward off acid-based illnesses.
Here are a few of the methods you can use to remove acidity from the body:
1. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
One of the essential parts of maintaining healthy levels of acid in the body is to make sure that you are eating a healthy diet.
This means one of two things—find foods with little to no acid or eat foods that have an alkaline effect on the body.
Here is a printable list courtesy of Greenopedia that lists all the acidic and alkaline foods for your convenience while meal planning for a less acidic diet.
Here are a few strategies you can take to eat a less acidic diet:
- Eat more greens. Incorporating fresh vegetables into your diet, especially those of the dark leafy green variety, is important for helping to keep balanced acid levels in your body.
They contain nutrients your body needs in order to maintain homeostasis. You should be careful, though, because not all fruits and vegetables are acid-free.
In general, vegetables are not acidic. However, there are a few that you might want to avoid because their pH level is low, which means they are acidic.
A few examples of the vegetables you should avoid when trying to remove acidity from your body are sauerkraut, cabbage, and beets.
Instead of those vegetables, you should eat root vegetables such as parsnip and turnips, leafy greens like kale and mizuna, and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli.
These are alkaline vegetables that not only have the effect of lowering acidity in the body, and they are also chock-full of nutrients that can increase your intake of essential vitamins.
- Eat fresh fruit. Eating certain kinds of fruit can help to eliminate acid from the body. Even fruit that we know to be naturally acidic, such as citrus, can have an alkaline effect on the body’s systems once it has been absorbed by the digestive tract.
In her article “Lemon Juice: Acidic or Alkaline, and Does It Matter?” Alina Petre says, “Whether a food has an acidic or alkaline effect on the body has little to do with that food’s pH before it is digested.
Instead, it depends on whether acidic or alkaline products are created once it is digested and processed by your body.”
This means that even fruits that have a reputation of being high in acid, such as lemons and limes, can have an alkaline effect on the body once they have been digested due to the alkaline by-products they produce when broken down.
It’s important to remember that at the end of the day, each person’s body is different and processes food differently. What may work well for one person might not for another.
One way to develop a diet that is most beneficial to you is to keep a food diary and make notes on how foods and beverages you ingest affect your day-to-day mood or physical health.
- Go meatless. Another major source of acid in the average American diet is the result of excessive consumption of meat and poultry. This causes increased levels of acidity in the body for two reasons. One, meat is naturally acidic.
Two, since meat is tough and fibrous, the stomach is forced to produce more acid in order to digest it.
All meats are acidic, but highly processed and cured meats are the worst culprits. This includes items such as salami, pastrami, ham, turkey, etc…
Eating beef especially increases the production of both acid and bile because its high-fat content is difficult to digest.
Along with reducing or removing the consumption of meat from your diet, you should substitute stomach-friendly protein options such as chickpeas and lentils.
Not only are these food items better for your digestion, but they also contain a great amount of nutrition. Beans should be avoided, however, as they are an acid-forming vegetable.
These tasty plant-based proteins are not only healthy digestive alternatives to fatty meats. They are also packed with nutrition, are filling, and have an alkalizing effect on the body.
- Cut out processed food. Processed foods have already been a problem in the Western world for decades, but along with detracting from our general nutrition and health, they are also contributing to excess acidity in our bodies.
Processed foods cause an acidic reaction in the body as a result of the various chemicals used to preserve and refine them.
While additives in processed food are responsible for keeping it well-preserved and improves their color, scent, and taste, these chemicals can also cause adverse reactions in the body and even addictive tendencies.
The biggest issue with processed foods isn’t even the chemicals they introduce into the body—processed foods encourage an excess intake of sugar, sodium, and fat, which are all foods that increase levels of acid in the body.
According to Dr. John Neustadt on nbihealth.com, “…we need to avoid processed, sugary or simple-carbohydrate foods, not only because they’re acid-producing but also because they raise blood sugar level too quickly (high glycemic index therefore fattening), are nutrient-lacking and may be toxic too.”
If you want to remove acidity from the body, you’ll have to not only decrease the amounts of acid that are already present, but you’ll have to stop taking in foods that cause it to form in excess quantities in the first place. That means avoiding processed foods whenever possible.
- Cut out sugary foods and beverages. This could technically be part of the processed foods section, but it really needs its own category for emphasis. Sugary foods and drinks—especially carbonated sodas—have an acidifying effect on the body.
Sugar itself does not necessarily form acid in the body, but it is usually present in trigger foods that do.
These foods should be avoided not just because of the acid-forming effect that they have, but also because of the many other health problems that overconsumption of sugary foods and beverages can avoid.
This ranges from excess weight game and diabetic insulin resistance to cardiovascular disease and chronic inflammation.
Sugar is also an appetite stimulant that often leads people to eat more food than they need to eat. This, in turn, produces excess digestive acid. To remove acidity from the body, consuming food that causes this kind of reaction should be avoided.
Some of the sugary beverages you should avoid reducing acidity include the following:
- Alcoholic beverages: beer, wine, etc…
- Processed fruit juices (with sugar added)
- Sports drinks
- Caffeinated drinks such as sweetened tea or coffee
Instead of consuming the beverages above, there are many healthy options available as a substitute for you to choose from.
Herbal teas make a good stand-in for coffee, and if you’re craving fruit juices, you can make flavored water by slicing up fresh fruit and letting it sit in chilled water until it takes on the flavor of the fruit.
Another good choice, if you want to drink fruit juices, is to blend fresh fruits and vegetables into a juice you can drink in small doses in order to incorporate the vitamins and nutrients they contain without overloading on associated sugars.
Many of these fruits and vegetables can also aid in cleansing the body of toxins.
With regard to alcoholic beverages, they can still be consumed, but they should be consumed sparingly.
A few beers or a glass of wine once or twice a week is fine for normal consumption, but if you’re actively trying to remove acidity from the body, these substances should be avoided entirely since they are not necessary for a healthy diet.
2. Foods to Eat for Healthy Levels of Body Acidity
There are many types of food that you can eat while trying to remove acidity from your body.
Each of these foods acts as an aid to making your body more alkaline so it can balance out any excess acidity and restore homeostasis to the body.
Here are some of the foods you can try. The reason you should eat them is not only because they help remove acidity from the body by adding an alkaline presence in the system, but they also form the basis of a generally healthy diet designed to increase overall nutrition while also reducing inflammation.
- Olive oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains like quinoa and millet
- Fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary, and thyme
- Fresh spices
- Limited amounts of dairy
3. Start Sweating to Reduce Acidity in the Body
Keep in mind that no one is telling you that you need to spend hours in the day in order to reduce excess acidity in the body.
However, you will need to spend a minimum of fifteen minutes at least three to four times a week working out in order to maintain a healthy balance in your body.
This is because exercise helps purge the body of toxins through sweat, which acts in this case as a part of the excretory system. Sweat is naturally acidic, so the more you sweat, the more acid you are leeching from your system.
This means that you don’t have to work out often or long, but you do have to work out hard enough to actually break a sweat. This means high-intensity workouts, not gently plodding along on a treadmill.
You can perform a vigorous workout that can get you sweating in less than ten minutes, so time is no excuse to fitting it in.
According to the research done at Washington University in St. Louis, exercise can not only lower your body’s overall acidity, but it can also help keep you acid-base level.
This research concludes that “The body has developed finely tuned chemical processes based on buffering and acid-base equilibria that work in combination to handle the (pH) changes that exercise produces.”
Another good way to sweat is to use a sauna. Using a sauna is a good way to get drenched in sweat without vigorous exercise, and the more you sweat, the more acid you remove from the body.
However, those who use saunas should be careful not to use them excessively, or they can lead to dehydration and other health issues. Speaking of dehydration…
4. Stay Hydrated to Remove Acidity from the Body
Few people pay attention to exactly how important water is to our diet—after all, our bodies are seventy percent water.
People are prone to either not taking in enough water and becoming dehydrated, or skipping water to drink other substances such as caffeinated drinks and sodas that actually act as a diuretic and serve to dehydrate the body further.
Not only do these drinks have a diuretic effect, but they also prevent people from drinking pH-neutral or alkaline water, which is what is really needed to remove acid from the body.
Diuretic caffeinated drinks will not increase hydration, and they will stimulate the body to produce more of its own acid, while water serves instead to dilute it.
Water can be dressed with fruit slices in order to improve its flavor, but avoid carbonated waters, as these are acidic in nature.
What Are the Symptoms of Acidity in the Body?
The body has plenty of signals it uses to let you know that something isn’t right with it. Many people go through life, ignoring these small signals until they show up in the form of more chronic or serious illness.
If excess acidity in the body is something you have suffered from in the past, it’s even more important that you pay attention to the cues your body is giving you, so you know how it’s doing acid-wise.
Being aware of our bodies is important in general since this is a good way to catch medical issues before they become too serious to solve easily through simple preventative measures like dietary changes or increased exercise.
So, what are some of the symptoms to watch out for when you have excess acidity?
- Fatigue. Fatigue is a constant feeling of exhaustion ranging from mild to severe and can manifest as a feeling of tiredness or even lack of motivation that comes across as lazy. When you’re fatigued, you don’t feel like doing anything at all.
Sometimes fatigue is a natural, temporary result of excess physical work over several hours or days, but it can also be a sign of acidity in the body.
This acid bubbles up in the form of excess stomach acid while we sleep, which can, in turn, cause sleeplessness/discomfort while resting, which leads to chronic fatigue.
If you feel exhausted all the time but you aren’t performing hard physical work, then that might be a sign that something isn’t right with your body.
- Shortness of breath. This is your body’s way of telling you that your heart and lungs are working overtime to compensate for some issue that is going on within the body.
Shortness of breath can be caused by a wide variety of medical conditions (and if you experience it, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible for examination to verify which of them is responsible for it) but in relation to excess acid, shortness of breath can be caused by acid reflux and excess levels of acid in the body.
- Insomnia. Excess acidity in the body can lead to digestive problems such as acid reflux and gastritis, which are known to cause a back-up of acidic stomach contents into the esophagus while we sleep.
This leads to painful and uncomfortable conditions like heartburn that prevent us from resting peacefully.
Whenever the body is not in balance, this causes it to be restless in its attempts to heal itself and return to homeostasis. This, in turn, can lead to issues with sleeplessness and insomnia.
- Headaches. Like shortness of breath, headaches are a medical condition that can be caused by many different variables, but in relation to acid in the body, headaches can be a lesser-known symptom of excess stomach acid and acid reflux disease.
Because headaches are attributed to so many causes, few people think to associate them with GI and acid disorders.
If you are experiencing frequent headaches along with other digestive issues or problems like sleeplessness, you should consider that excess acid in the body might be a possible culprit.
- Suppressed immunity. If you seem to be more prone to catching a cold or sore throat than average, that’s definitely something to look into if you think acidity in the body might be a concern.
A lowered immune system can be linked to digestive issues and excess acid in the digestive system, so if you think yours might have taken a dive, acid could be to blame.
Lowered immunity can be the result of other things, like vitamin deficiencies in vitamin D or C.
But if you’re not vitamin deficient, it could mean your body so busy trying to balance the acidity levels within it that it can’t dedicate proper resources to fighting off infections.
It might be that you’re Vitamin D deficient, or it could mean that your body is busy balancing the acidity levels in your body that it can’t dedicate proper time to fight off these infections.
- Unhealthy hair, skin, and teeth. These symptoms can be a symptom of poor diet in general, but they can also be the result of excess acidity. When excessive amounts of acid are consumed, this can wear down tooth enamel and cause brittle hair.
And while skin is naturally slightly acidic on the outside, excess acidity within the body can cause problems in that arena too.
The thing to keep in mind about these various symptoms is that individually, they may not link back to acidity-related problems—they could either be a one-off symptom of a temporary problem, or they could be a chronic condition unrelated to excess acid in the system.
Some acid-related medical problems like acidosis need to be addressed by a medical professional like a general practitioner or a gastroenterologist, and you should get checked out if you experience any of the above symptoms to see how serious your issue is before proceeding with home cures.
If you are experiencing three or more of the symptoms above, do not fail to see a doctor.
However, many problems with chronic excess acidity in the body can be prevented and maintained through simple dietary changes and exercise.
Not only do these methods decrease acid levels, they also promote good health across the board.
Checking Your Body’s pH for Excess Acidity
One way to prevent chronic health problems as a result of acidity in the body is to keep an eye on your body’s pH levels at home and treat excess acidity before it becomes a medical issue.
This can be accomplished by using test pH strips to test the acidity of either saliva or urine.
The only thing that is needed for this test is a box of pH test strips, which can be found easily online.
To test the body’s acidity, simply gather a sample of either saliva or urine and wet the litmus strip with it. You can then read on the litmus strip the levels of acidity present.
It’s important to keep in mind that your urine will always present as somewhat acidic, while your saliva should present as neutral or slightly alkaline.
If there is any deviation from this, you might be dealing with an imbalance in your system.
Here are some things to keep in mind when testing your urine or saliva for pH:
- When testing saliva, it is important not to eat or drink for two hours before testing pH, and then rinsing the mouth with spit once before collecting fresh saliva to test.
This is to ensure that you have a sample that has not been adulterated by the contents of your mouth.
- When testing urine, be sure to test the second urination of the day rather than the first urination of the day in order to get the best sense of your baseline acidity.
This is because the first urination of the day flushes your system from sleep and will be naturally more acidic than your other urination of the day. The pH of healthy urine should run around 6.0.
- Testing your bodily fluids for pH should be done over a period of several days or weeks to get a much better idea of your body’s overall health trends rather than a snapshot view.
You could incorporate pH charts as a daily or weekly supplement to a food diary to get a comprehensive view of exactly how your body reacts to different kinds of food, drink, and exercise.
Removing Excess Acidity from the Body is Good for Your Health
While too much acidity in the body can present in a variety of symptoms both mild and severe, it’s usually mild enough to be ignored by most people.
This is a mistake, as if this problem is not dealt with properly, it can lead to chronic health problems such as gastric reflux disease or inflammation issues later down the road.
Luckily these problems can be easily staved off by a healthy lifestyle, which can not only treat these medical issues effectively from home but can often prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Eating a nutritious diet, staying hydrated, and working out are vital for maintaining homeostasis in the body and your good health.