Is Your Body's Ph Balance in Balance?
Why pH Levels are Important
Your body is composed of 78% water as a baby, dropping to about 55% as an adult. The pH balance of the water in your body has alot to do with many health conditions that can occur- or not. So how exactly does your body's pH balance relate to your health? Simply stated, the components of disease cannot flourish in an alkaline environment.
There is an important defense system at work in your body along with your immune system. It is the pH balance of your cells, bloodstream and organ systems. Certain dangerous germs and other harmful micro-organisms (viruses, molds and fungi) reproduce best under certain specific conditions- and the ripest conditions for their growth are warm, moist and slightly acidic.
But what constitutes optimal pH balance in your body? How can you determine your pH balance? And how can you ensure the optimal healthy balance on a day to day basis?
Normal Body pH
Your cells require oxygenation to function normally, cleanse themselves of waste and other potentially toxic buildup and to take in calcium and other nutrients. The optimal pH necessary for this normal functioning to occur is slightly alkaline (at between 7.3 and 7.4). Acidosis is a state of low pH (below 7.3) which causes low oxygen delivery to cells, reducing their ability to perform these necessary functions.
Most people don't get enough oxygen into their bodies, leading to a slightly more acidic body pH. How does this happen? Not breathing deeply enough, not getting enough exercise, poor diet. It can be a combination of all of these.
In the morning (when you first get up) your overall pH level is more likely to be slightly acidic, leveling out and becoming more alkaline late afternoon or early evening. Your body regulates the pH levels through cellular activity (all day, every day) and these minor fluctuations are perfectly normal and harmless.
The Best Alkaline Diet
You may have seen articles or information online touting certain foods as being "the right food" for pH balancing your body. The truth is, a variety of different whole foods containing vitamins and minerals in your daily diet is the healthiest way to affect your pH balancing system in a positive way. No single food has the capability of performing this all by itself. So eating one alkaline food a day is simply not enough to balance your overall Ph. About 80% of the food you eat daily should be fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables.
Keep in mind that the best type of diet is one that provides foods that break down to create alkaline as well as acidic waste products. You do need some acidity in your body for certain natural functions that require it, such as digestion. Acids perform necessary functions and create optimal environments for certain chemical processes to occur. The danger is that many people eat so much acidic food, which is mostly over-processed food and sodas, that too much of their diet breaks down to acidity. This causes the natural buffering system to become overworked and their natural pH balance to become out of balance.
The kidneys are part of the renal system, and are instrumental in keeping blood Ph at the correct level. The renal system can become overworked, and when that happens the buffering system can't properly handle the job. The key is to eat a healthy mixture of foods, consisting of more alkaline-producing food than acid-producing food. Fruits and vegetables break down to "alkaline ash", whereas animal proteins and processed foods break down to "acidic ash"- ash being the byproduct or residue of everything you consume. That is the reason you are always hearing and reading about how important it is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day. There is a little saying that goes like this: "If your great-great grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, don't eat it."
Alkaline Foods Chart
Your Mood and pH
Another enemy of healthy pH balance in your body could be your thoughts and reactions. Your emotional responses can trigger the release of certain hormones that can create a higher level of acids to be absorbed into your cells, which then need to be neutralized. Repeated or chronic levels of negatively emotional responses (including chronic stress) adds to the acid levels that must be buffered and neutralized, raising the likelihood that pH imbalances will occur.
This means that poor dietary choices is not the only critical factor linked to pH levels in your body. A lifestyle full of chronically stressful or highly emotional responses (of the negative kind) can be equally harmful.
Alkalize Your Body
Supporting a healthy pH in your body by eating more alkaline foods is one way you can take responsibility for your health in a positive way. More and more people are becoming aware of the importance of educating themselves on good health and developing a "stay well" or a "get well" plan. I'm sure you are aware of the health crisis facing our nation today, and the reasons it is important to take the necessary steps as individuals to turn the tide on the unhealthy habits that created that situation. Our healthcare costs can be reduced if we all make an effort to eat more naturally.
The main considerations are the foods we eat, the liquids we drink and the stress we face day to day. If we can control those three aspects of life with food wisdom, self-care and exercise, our lives can be extended appreciably and our contact with the medical profession can be reduced to a yearly exam and an "attaboy" from our healthcare professional.
How do I Achieve Healthy pH?
Healthy pH Resources
If you read all the way to here, you are probably pretty concerned about your health- serious enough to implement your own "get well" or "stay well" plan. Here is a handy food chart resource to refer to when choosing food based on alkalinity/acidity:
If losing weight is your goal and you want to keep a healthy pH at the same time, this diet plan uses only natural, whole foods and exercise- proven to be the healthiest way to lose weight and keep it off forever.
When life's stresses get the best of you and you just need to get away for some relaxation, take ten minutes (or more), shut the door, turn the lights down low and go here.