Beginning in the late 1800"s and continuing through today there has been a growing natural health and healing movement in the United States and Europe. American naturopathic doctors practicing between 1920 and 1960 were pioneers in the art of healing with natural means, and contributed great knowledge and wisdom through their experience of the use of diet, herbs, fasting and lifestyle changes to heal the sick and promote and maintain health. Ragnar Berg (1873-1956) was a Swedish born German biochemist and nutritionist who first developed and promoted the concept of the importance of an alkaline diet. Building on theories of Ernst Leopold Salkowski whose work in the 1870's promoted the concept that acids which build up in the body during normal metabolic function must be neutralized with alkaline elements in ordered to be eliminated from the body by the kidneys. He believed that acids that remain in the body are causes of disease. Berg took this further to promote the importance of a diet that is high in alkaline producing foods and low in acid producing foods.
The theory is that foods can be classified in relation to their end products in the metabolic process as acid or alkaline. A balanced diet contains approximately 20% acid forming foods and 80% alkaline forming foods. It is important to eat the proper proportion of acid forming foods as all of the protein containing foods are acid producing. It is recommended that one try to balance their diet with mostly alkaline foods referring to the table below for easy reference.