Eat Alkaline Foods to Maintain a Healthy pH
What is pH?
Recently, there has been a lot of talk in the health world about the importance of a good pH in terms of maintaining a healthy body. So, just what is pH? pH stands for potential of hydrogen. There is a scale for pH that runs from 0-14. It is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution and is based on the concentration of hydrogen ions present in that solution. A positively charged hydrogen ion is acidic (0-6.5 on the scale) and a negatively charged ion is alkaline (7.5-14). A measurement of 7 would indicate a neutral solution, neither acidic nor alkaline.
So let's take a look at the human body, which we could call a solution because it is 70% water. This water takes the forms of fluid running throughout our organs and blood vessels. The body functions properly when it is in a balanced pH range. Most scientific models have the ideal body pH at 7.4 or slightly alkaline. The human body must have a healthy reserve of alkaline to neutralize excess acids and safely remove them from the body. When our reserves are depleted, then the body resorts to borrowing alkalines from our vital organs, weakening them and leaving the body wide open to disease.
Health Risks of High Acidity
When the body is operating at the acidic extreme of its pH range, it becomes more open to bacteria and viruses. There are many symptoms of a body that is out of balance in terms of pH. Here is a list of just a few.
- High Levels of Mucous Build Up
- Low Energy or Fatigue
- Decreased Libido
- Joint Pain and Stiffness
- Aching Muscles
- Trouble Sleeping
- Persistent Headaches
- More Frequent Colds and Flu
- Depression and Irritation
- Weight Gain
Many experts contend that all disease can be linked to an imbalanced pH body chemistry. In his book Alkalize or Die, Dr. Theodore A. Baroody says; "The countless names of illnesses do not really matter. What does matter is that they all come from the same root cause...too much tissue acid waste in the body!"
Test Your pH Level
To test the pH level of your body all you need are pH strips, a little bit of your saliva and a urine sample. Remember doing those experiments in your high school Science class where you dipped little sheets of paper in a solution and watched it change color? Well now you can put that to a practical use. It is very easy to use and can be done at home. Just check the color that appears after you dip it in the bodily fluid. If your urinary pH is between 6.0 to 6.5 in the morning and between 6.5 and 7.0 in the evening, your body is functioning within a healthy range. If your saliva stays between 6.5 and 7.5 all day, your body is functioning within a healthy range. The best time to test your pH is about one hour before a meal and two hours after a meal.
If you subscribe to a sedentary lifestyle that includes mostly acid forming foods, then your pH is most likely unbalanced. If your pH levels fall below the ranges mentioned above, then your body is in a state of "autotoxication", meaning that it is borrowing minerals from your vital organs to neutralize the acid and safely remove them from the body.
Factors Linked to Acidity
So what causes acidity? More or less, it is a lifestyle based on poor dietary choices, high levels of stress and little or no exercise. A diet that consists mostly of grains, alcohol, tobacco, meat and dairy products will have the body teetering on the brink of acidity, without a doubt. Consuming a lot of processed foods, white flours, sodas, coffee, refined sugars and artificial sweeteners will keep the body at a low pH and acidic. Some one always tense and stressed out causes their body to work extra hard and ends up depleting their cells and organs of alkaline reserves. Also, a sedentary lifestyle in front of the television (which emits positively charged ions) with no cardiovascular activity, is a strong contributer as well.
Is there anything we can do to prevent our organs from being depleted and more prone to disease? A proper diet, high in alkaline producing foods, is the first and best step one can take to make sure the body is operating properly. Most prescriptions call for a diet that is 80% alkaline and 20% acidic for optimum functioning and health. Most fruit and vegetables are going to produce an alkaline pH in the body. Below I've included a chart to get you started on gearing your diet towards alkaline producing foods. Of course relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and proper exercise are important too. Fresh air and sunlight emit negatively charged ions, so getting outside and working your lungs will aid in proper pH balance.
A very good remedy I've experienced is drinking a lot of Kombucha. Kombucha is highly alkaline, has helpful probiotics, and many enzymes and amino acids. You will feel an immediate difference in the way you feel if you have never drank it before. I've included some websites below that have information about Kombucha, where to buy it and how to make it. Also, getting enough Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium and Sodium is important if your pH is acidic, as these are the minerals the body borrows from the vital organs to eliminate acids.
If you are eating mostly acidic foods right now and wish to have a healthier pH balance, switch your diet gradually. If you move too fast to a mostly alkaline diet you may feel discouraged by the intensity of the elimination of toxins from your body. On the other hand, you may be into that kind of thing. Either way, may your journey to a more balanced pH and healthier lifestyle be rewarding and full of insights. I wish you the best and thank you for reading!
- Kombucha Recall: Why Did Whole Foods Remove Kombucha?
Last Thursday, June 17th, Whole Foods pulled down all of the Kombucha from their shelves. Citing a concern about levels of more than 0.5% alcohol in the drink, Whole Foods across the country have had their...
- Organic Kombucha Tea - LoveToKnow Organic
Information on Kombucha and popular manufacturers.
- Kombucha History - The History of Kombucha tea - Kombucha story
The History of Kombucha Tea. Kombucha History. Stories of the spread of Kombucha
- Making Kombucha
Kombucha seems to be the new it drink (although I live in the Bay Area, so this info may be biased). Of doubtful origin, this fermented tea has a pa...