Not many popular superfoods have such a loyal following decades on end as big as Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).
ACV, like the vast majority of fruits and vegetables, is indeed very acidic when you consume it. However once ACV is inside your body and you metabolize it, ACV promotes alkalinity. This is due to the metabolic and chemical processes which take place to break down and digest ACV.
First, let's look at the pH and acid levels for the most commonly consumed vinegars. Although the pH value of ACV is comparable with white wine, red wine, balsamic, and the other common varieties, they do not behave in a similar manner. All of the other vinegars have an acid-forming effect once they’re metabolized. Not only are they acidic, but they trigger the creation of even more acid when you digest them! They are categorized as acid-forming foods.
Water has a pH of 7. That’s considered neutral, because it has a stable number of protons.
Acidic = too many protons
Basic = too few protons
For humans, the optimal blood pH is between 7.3 and 7.4. Many factors affect your pH and can turn it acidic (which is bad).
Your body is constantly battling to maintain its neutral pH. The further you go outside that tight range, the more your metabolic functions begin to malfunction and even stop working. It can handle periodic episodes of acidity, but not the constant acidity.
Of course what you eat is a major culprit, but so is stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, toxins, and other unhealthy lifestyle factors.
It’s not as simple as just consuming alkaline foods and avoiding those which are acidic.
For the most part, the alkalizing effect of foods is only the case with plant-based foods. Many acidic foods may actually have an alkalizing affect on your body, even though they’re acidic. Take a look at the pH values of some common foods below which are alkalizing to your body after they’re consumed.
pH values of vegetables and fruits which are alkalizing
Food pH value
Cooked Kale 6.4 to 6.8
Spinach 5.5 to 6.8
Tomatoes 4.2 to 4.9
Lemon Juice 2.3
With many of those, especially pure lemon juice, you would probably assume they would be terrible for those following an alkalizing diet, but it’s actually the opposite… They’re good for you because despite being acidic, they alkalize in your body!
Like vegetables, the vast majority of animal products also have acidic pH values to begin with too. However unlike vegetables, their affect in the body is acidifying instead of alkalizing.
To give you a few examples:
Food pH value
Butter 6.1 to 6.4 pH
Milk 6.3 to 8.5 pH
Egg whites 7 to 9 pH
Ground beef 5.1 to 6.2 pH
Chicken 6.5 to 6.7 pH
Cheddar cheese 5.9 pH
Cream 6.5 pH
Those are pH values comparable to some of the plants in the table above, right? Yep. But metabolic processes to digest them are quite different. Plant based foods have fiber, their cells have walls, animal foods have neither of those characteristics.