How to avoid acid overload

Are you fed up feeling tired and lacking in energy? Constantly feeling           bloated? Struggling to shake off a cold or even sleep at night? You could be suffering from acid overload. Maybe it’s time to redress the balance                      and get your gut back on track.

Maintaining the correct acid/alkaline balance

Most foods can be classified as either acid-forming or alkaline-forming, meaning the foods release an acid or alkaline residue during the process of digestion depending on their nutritional make-up.

Both of these types of foods are important but it is when this acid/alkaline balance is upset that problems affecting our digestion, and therefore our wellbeing, can occur.

Most foods release an acid or alkaline residue during digestion

Signs of acid overload include:

  • Lack of energy and focus
  • Cellulite
  • Eczema
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Bad breath
  • Depression
  • Dry, brittle hair and nails
  • Wrinkled and sagging skin

What ratio of alkaline to acid foods should we be eating?

According to Dr Stephan Domenig, Medical Director of the FX Mayr Health Centre, Austria, the ideal ratio of acid to alkaline foods is 4:1 or a minimum of 2:1 to achieve the correct pH balance in the body.

What causes acid overload?

Eating too much - overloading the digestive system means it cannot process food properly, leading to increased acid and a range of digestive problems.

Eating the wrong foods - including a lot of processed, convenience foods with added salt, sugar and fats, puts the digestion under pressure.

Eating too fast and too late in the day - eating too quickly means the brain doesn’t have time to register that we are full, which results in overeating. Eating a meal late at night also puts more pressure on the digestive system at a time when it should be resting.

Too much stress - long-term, chronic stress promotes the formation of acid in the body.

Not enough exercise - a healthy digestive system needs a healthy body that isn’t overweight.

Dr Stephan   Domenig FX Mayr Health Centre, Austria

Rebalancing the digestive system by increasing alkaline foods, helps the metabolism to function properly and your body to return to its normal, healthy self

Know your food groups

Acid-producing foods include:


sugars, including artificial sweeteners and refined sugar



refined and processed foods

dairy - highly pasteurised products such as most cow's products

Alkaline-forming foods include:


healthy fats found in nuts, seeds and cold-pressed oils

whole grains

ripe fruits

fresh dairy - such as goat and sheep products are easier to digest

fresh herbs and spices

Help your digestion by:

Eating mindfully. Be aware of what you are eating. Take your time and chew each mouthful at least 30 times to break down the food properly and aid digestion.

Ensuring your meals are balanced. Aim for a ratio of 4:1 alkaline-forming to acid-forming foods or a minimum of 2:1.

Eating your most substantial meal at lunchtime. This allows plenty of time for digestion. Finish the day with a light dish, such as soup, to allow for the slowing down of the digestive system.

Drinking around 2 litres a day. Stick to water or herbal tea. 

Avoiding raw foods in the evening. This is when your digestive system should be calming down.

If you have overindulged for a few days, them simply be mindful of this and increase your intake of alkaline foods over the following few days.

Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger, Garlic, Chilli and Coconut Milk

The sweet potato is a wonderful alkaline staple. This is a Thai soup that uses coconut milk and stock. Use as much or as little chilli as you like. The coconut butter has a high heat threshold, so is useful in Asian cooking.    

1 tblsp coconut butter

1 tblsp ginger root, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced

Chilli to taste, deseeded and chopped

200ml coconut milk

300ml vegetable stock

450g sweet potato, peeled and cubed

Rock salt

Coriander, roughly chopped

  • In a wok or wide, deep frying pan, melt the coconut butter (you can use the thick cream layer found on the top in the tin of the coconut milk) and let it warm through.
  • Dice the ginger, garlic and chilli and slow-fry for 2-3 minutes - don't let them burn.
  • Add the coconut milk and stock.
  • Add the sweet potato to the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Carefully pour mixture into a blender and blend until fine.
  • Pour into warmed serving bowls and season with rock salt.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander.

This is just one of the 100 plus delicious recipes found in The Alkaline Cookbook by Dr Stephan Domenig and Heinz Erlacher, £14.99, Modern Books

DISCLAIMER: The material presented on this website is not intended to replace the advice and recommendations from a qualified doctor or other health practitioner. Always consult your doctor or health practitioner if you have any health concerns and before embarking on any health, fitness or wellbeing programme. See my full Disclaimer here

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