Many of us never consider the acid/alkaline balance of our blood, but a proper pH is an important aspect to overall health. A balanced pH helps to protect our health from the inside out. The pH balance refers to a proper equilibrium in the body between acidity and alkalinity.
What is pH balance?
The body works constantly to carefully control the pH levels of blood and other fluids. pH is short for “potential of hydrogen” and is a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration in the body. The total pH scale is measured on a scale that ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. A pH level lower than 7 is acidic while above 7 is basic or alkaline. The ideal pH level in the body is around 7.30-7.45. You can test your pH levels regularly, before eating or drinking anything, by using a piece of litmus paper in your saliva or urine or you can ask your medical doctor for a ABG blood test.
What causes the pH levels to become abnormal?
Problems occur when our diet is overloaded with very acidic foods because it causes inflammation in the body. In fact, pathologies are worsened when inflammation levels are high. Our body does a good job of keeping the pH levels balanced. But, we hold the key to determine how hard our body must work to achieve this. When we eat foods that are highly acidic, we force our body to work harder to keep a neutral pH level.
When the immune system over-reacts to excessive levels of acidity, it begins to attack healthy body tissues. Thus we are faced with an autoimmune disease such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as an irritable celiac and intestinal disease. Reducing the amount of acidic foods that we intake help to not only protect the stomach and digestive system, but preserve our health.
What are the acidic foods?
Foods and drinks such as refined sugars, processed meat, dairy products, grains, alcohol and caffeine tend to increase the acidity levels of blood and tissues. Since today’s diet is strongly linked to the consumption of foods that produce acids, the body must use increasing amounts of minerals to eliminate them. This is the perfect storm that can compromises the balance of our body and thus our overall health.
High inflammation diets are one of the reasons why many nutritional experts believe that the health of many individuals are well below optimal levels. An acidic blood condition negatively affects the body’s enzymatic reactions, thus contributing to the development of several disorders.
How to best support a proper pH balance?
First of all, take a look at your overall lifestyle and eating habits that may be effecting your health. While some members of the medical community doubt that changes in your diets or a balanced pH level play a crucial role, I beg to differ. In my personal life, I have found that when I cut certain foods and beverages, I feel better and my body functions better. When I give my body the proper foods and drinks, my body doesn’t have to work so hard to give me the energy to be health that I need in my busy life.
What you can do to help balance your pH balance
1. Fresh air and sunlight
I recommend deep breathing clean, fresh air to help oxygenate the tissues.
2. Eat LESS acidic foods
You don’t have to stop eating these foods, just decrease the quantity and you will notice a big difference! For example:
- Processed meats
- Foods high in sodium
- Added sugar
- Processed and refined grains including pasta and white bread
- Milk and dairy products
3. Eat MORE alkaline foods
- Green leafy vegetables
- Non-starchy vegetables like mushrooms, avocados, cucumbers, zucchini, asparagus, and broccoli
- Raw foods; I like to juice my fruits and vegetables for a healthy shot of energy
- Healthy fats like virgin olive oil and coconut oil
- Starchy plants like sweet potatoes and beets
- Plant proteins like almonds and beans
- Most fruit: acidic fruits like lemons and tomatoes do not create acidity in the body! They actually help contribute to a more alkaline environment.
4. Drink filtered water
We take a shower every day to clean the outside of our body. When you drink filtered water, it acts like a shower for your insides and flushes out many of the acidic toxins that might be accumulating in your body.
5. Reduce your stress levels
Needless to say, everyday stress causes tension in the body and this can cause a buildup of lactic acid in the joints. While it’s near impossible to reduce all levels of stress, I notice that I can find balance through a daily routine and stretching.
6. Coffee enemas
Yes, you heard me correctly. Get that crap out of your body, literally! Intestinal toxicity tends to have an acidifying effect and is a common problem among our population today. A coffee enema helps to remove toxic materials and alkalinized the small and large intestines by enhancing bile flow.
The goal is to find a healthy balance where pH is concerned. Along with sunshine, filtered water, clean air, and coffee enemas, eating a more alkaline diet is a quick and easy way to help balance the pH levels and reduce the inflammation in your body. The foods we consume daily can either rapidly deplete (acidic foods) or invigorate us (alkaline foods). Don’t forget, you are what you eat. Buon appetite!