Of all the questions I receive about health, those about body ph are the most common. People are starting to catch on that your body ph is one of the key principles to maintaining optimum health.
What is body pH anyway?
The literal meaning of pH is the potential of hydrogen, which is really a measure of alkaline and acidic levels in your body.
The potential of hydrogen to do what?
Hydrogen has the potential to react with other atoms by yielding or sharing its only electron. This forms a weak ionic bond, connecting the hydrogen atom to the atom receiving the electron. This bond is easily broken in solution, when mixed with another substance, like water or blood.
Any substance that yields hydrogen ions in solution is called an acid. The more hydrogen ions yielded, the stronger the acid. The stronger the acid, the more effective it is at breaking down substances. This is the essence of a free radical ~ a substance that produces unstable ions without one or more unpaired electrons. These highly reactive atoms are deeply involved in degenerative diseases such as cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and arterial disease.
Substances that accept or react with hydrogen ions are called bases. The more hydrogen ions accepted, the stronger the base, or the more alkaline.
Our body uses bases to sop up acids and quell the damage they cause. These bases come from the alkaline minerals we take in with food or when necessary, pulled from the stores in our muscles, bones, teeth and organs. The pH of our blood lies between 7.35 and 7.45, which makes it a weak basic solution. Our body prefers alkalinity. Acids make us sick and tired. They cause damage and inflammation to our tissues and cells and precipitate the release of essential minerals from our bones. They provide a fertile environment for yeasts and promote disease in our body.
What disrupts body ph, most commonly causing overacidity to result?
Mild chronic acidosis often results from overconsumption of acid producing foods such as refined carbohydrates, damaged fats, sweets, alcohol, coffee, soda, meats and dairy products.
Fruits and vegetables with natural acids like citrus or tomatoes for example do not result in making our body and tissues more acidic. These acids, such as ascorbic acid or Vitamin C are used in many different processes throughout our body, leaving alkaline minerals behind for absorption and utilization. Although lemon juice has a pH of only 2.0 (from ascorbic acid known as Vitamin C), lemon produces alkalinity through its available minerals and the ascorbic acid is used elsewhere in the body, rather than producing acid residue and waste like damaged fat molecules, denatured proteins or psychotropic drugs.
What are the symptoms of unbalanced body ph caused by acidic bodily fluids?
Your body has natural buffer systems that strive to keep your pH level in the safe range. A constant intake of acid producing foods causes these natural systems to become overworked and buffering substances begin to run out. Now your body begins to breakdown your muscles for alkalizing glutamine and starts to heist alkalizing minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium from your bones, teeth and organs.
When acid levels rise, fermentation takes place, causing oxygen levels within cells to decrease. Improper fat metabolism clogs cell membranes which also has an effect on the amount of oxygen within each cell, by causing cell wall permeability issues. This means nutrients can neither enter nor exit cells properly.
Mild chronic acidosis manifests in symptoms such as inflammation, dry skin, bleeding gums, brittle nails, thinning hair, irritability, fatigue, energy loss, joint pain and weakness, decreased immunity, psoriasis, yeast infections, kidney stones, gall bladder and liver congestion and arterial damage (Brown and Trivieri, 2006). We all know that acid in our body contributes to cancer and other dis-eases like arthritis and inflammation.
How do you know if the pH of your body is out of balance?
Pay attention to symptoms from your body. These are messages from the realm of Optimum Health. If you do not feeel your normal self and suffer from one or more of the symptoms above, test your body pH to be sure, but it will not hurt to add more alkaline foods regardless.
Once you become familiar with how poor you feel when your body pH is on the acid side, and how lively and energetic you feel when your pH is more alkaline, you will come to know your acid alkaline balance without testing. For more information on how to test your pH, go to How To Test My Own pH
In the quick reference guide, The Acid Alkaline Food Guide the authors recommend an eating plan with 20% to 40% acid producing dairy, meat, fish and poultry and 60 to 80% alkaline producing fruits, vegetables, seeds, herbs and spices, with an emphasis on extremely alkalizing green leafy vegetables and root crops like burdock, radishes, turnips, carrots and parsnips (Brown and Trivieri, 2006).
Download the pH scale at pH Scale of Common Foods. Be sure to save it after it loads inside your browser. Print it out and tape it to your refrigerator. Make it larger on a photocopier if necessary.
Focus on the foods on the right side of the scale. These are the foods that will sop up acids in your body with their rich reservoir of alkaline minerals. They will give you energy, oxygen and nutrients. Then you … as well as each one of your trillions of cells, will start to feel better as you become cleansed, nourished and protected.
When making changes to your diet, the most important thing is to focus on what you are putting in your body and how you feeel ~ before you eliminate or change anything.
Make mental note of any symptoms like joint pain or fatigue. Then after one or two days of really paying attention to what you are eating and how you feeel, begin nurturing and healing yourself by adding more alkaline, fresh, raw foods from the right side of the chart. As you find foods and meals that suit your tastes, begin eliminating the foods that don’t serve you anymore, from the left side of the chart. Making positive changes to your diet takes time but as you begin to feel the results, you will be motivated to continue.
For a list of delicious, nutritious and inspiring recipes go to Eat on TheGoodWitch.ca website.
Drinking plenty of fresh non-chlorinated water helps your kidneys flush excess acids, and help to balance your body pH.
To improve alkalinity further, drink lemon water on waking every day. Fresh, raw lemon juice makes a delicious, refreshing, cleansing and alkaline drink when paired with strongly alkaline mineral water. Use the juice of half a lemon to a large glass of water.
Brown and Trivieri tested hundreds of foods and beverages and recorded their results in The Acid Alkaline Food Guide. They found of bottled mineral waters, the most alkaline were Apollinaris, San Pellegrino and Sanfaustino. (Brown and Trivieri, 2006)
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An Introduction to Chemistry for Biology Students. California: Pearson Education, Inc., Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company.