Have you ever wondered what it means to have an acidic or alkaline pH? Or how it might affect your health? All you seem to hear nowadays is eating healthily and avoiding certain foods or beverages. Most of us know that eating well and leading a healthy lifestyle comprises eating lots of fruits and vegetables, minimizing intake of soft drinks, avoiding alcohol, drinking enough water daily and exercising regularly. But what exactly is the science behind this?
Linus Pauling, a two time Nobel Laureate Scientist has established that over 90% of diseases are caused by toxins and deficiencies.
We now live in a world where the foods we eat, water we drink and the air we breath are all toxic to some degree. the liver and kidneys are always working to eliminate these toxins, but when our unhealthy lifestyles introduce more of these toxins in the body, these organs are placed under pressure as they have to overwork to keep the body in a good condition, and before long, they also decide to give up, and the real problem starts.
One very important factor which is affected by our diet and lifestyle which I want like to talk about is the pH of the body.
Basically, pH is a scientific way to measure the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. the pH measurement ranges from 0(acidic) to 14(alkaline). A liquid that has a pH of 7 is considered to be neutral (pure water is generally considered to have a neutral pH). Fluids that have a pH below 7, like lemon juice, are considered to be acidic. And fluids that have a pH above 7 , like human blood, is alkaline.
It’s important to note that on the pH scale, each number represents a tenfold difference from adjacent numbers; in other words, a liquid that has a pH of 6 is ten times more acidic than a liquid that has a pH of 7, and a liquid with a pH of 5 is one hundred times more acidic than pure water. Most carbonated soft drinks have a pH of about 3, making them about ten thousand times more acidic than pure water. So the next time you are popping a can of soft drink, remember this.
What does this mean with respect to food and the body?
When you ingest foods and liquids, the end products of digestion and assimilation of nutrients often results in an acid or alkaline-forming effect, with the end products being referred to as an acid ash or alkaline ash.
Also, as your body undergoes daily metabolic activities, acids are formed and released into bodily fluids, not much can be done about this since the body has to continually generate energy in order to survive. And once this is happening, there will be a continuous supply of acids.
But how exactly does this affect us?
Water makes up 70% of the human body and requires critical pH levels. This water constitutes the fluid in our body; which includes the fluid found in all of our cells, the fluid that makes up our blood (plasma), and the fluid that surrounds our tissues (interstitial fluid).
In order for the cells to function properly, the blood (plasma) needs to maintain a pH of 7.35 to 7.45. When the pH becomes too low ( or acidic), it advances the growth of cancer, viruses, parasites, bacteria, basically all harmful pathogenic invasions. It has been proven by research that majority of disease and sicknesses is associated with excessive acidity, that is a level of pH that is too low.
However, a complex system of buffers are continuously at work to main the pH range which is required for the cells to function properly. But in the case where the pH of the blood falls below 7.35, a condition called acidosis results. Acidosis closely associated with many diseases like cancers, viral infections, typhoid, ulcers, diabetes and many others. Other symptoms include acne, muscular pain, pre-menstrual and menstrual cramping, agitation, cold hands and feet, dizziness , low energy, food allergies, lack of sex drive, mild headaches, loss of concentration, loss of memory, insomnia, asthma and many others. When eventually the pH falls below 7, coma and even death could result.
If the pH of the blood rises above 7.45, the result is alkalosis. Severe alkalosis can also lead to death, but through a different mechanism; alkalosis causes all of the nerves in your body to become hypersensitive and over-excitable, often resulting in muscle spasms, nervousness, and convulsions; it’s usually the convulsions that cause death in severe cases.
The bottom line is that if you’re breathing and going about your daily activities, your body is doing an adequate job of keeping your blood pH somewhere between 7.35 to 7.45.
As I mentioned earlier, the foods and liquids you ingest often result in acid or alkaline forming effects after digestion and assimilation.
So there are two main things that can disrupt the pH of your body fluids, these are the acid or alkaline-forming effects of the foods and liquids that you ingest daily, and the acids that you generate through regular metabolic activities. Fortunately, your body has three major mechanisms at work at all times to prevent these forces from shifting the pH of your blood outside of the 7.35 to 7.45 range.
These mechanisms are:
- Buffer Systems
- Carbonic Acid-Bicarbonate Buffer System
- Protein Buffer System
- Phosphate Buffer System
- Exhalation of Carbon Dioxide
- Elimination of Hydrogen Ions via Kidneys
These systems are in place to prevent dietary, metabolic, and other factors from pushing the pH of your blood outside of the 7.35 to 7.45 range.
The majority of highly processed foods, like white flour products and white sugar, have an acid-forming effect on your system, and after years of eating a poor diet mainly consisting acid-forming foods, you are going to overwork some of the buffering systems mentioned above to a point where you could create undesirable changes in your health.
Let me give you one example..
Your phosphate buffer system uses different phosphate ions in your body to neutralize strong acids and bases. About 85% of the phosphate ions that are used in your phosphate buffer system comes from calcium phosphate salts, which are structural components of your bones and teeth. If your body fluids are regularly exposed to large quantities of acid-forming foods and liquids, your body will draw upon its calcium phosphate reserves to supply your phosphate buffer system to neutralize the acid-forming effects of your diet. Over time, this may lead to structural weakness in your bones and teeth.
Drawing on your calcium phosphate reserves at a high rate can also increase the amount of calcium that is eliminated via your genito-urinary system, which is why a predominantly acid-forming diet can increase your risk of developing calcium-rich kidney stones.
This is just one example of how your buffering systems can be overtaxed to a point where you experience undesirable health consequences. Since your buffering systems have to work all the time anyway to neutralize the acids that are formed from everyday metabolic activities, it’s in your best interest to follow a diet that doesn’t create unnecessary work for your buffering systems.
What happens when you have a balanced pH?
- Healthy Fat metabolism
- Healthy Insulin Production
- Smooth Blood flow
- Blood Pressure regulation
- Cellular regeneration
The factors that cause acidosis include;
- Too much stress
- Too little exercise
- Too little drinking water
- Too much of the wrong foods
- Too much sugar
- Too much carbonated drinks (soft drinks)
STEPS OF CORRECTION;
- You can take organic alkaline supplements that alkalize your acidic body naturally. Though this is not the only way to achieve a balanced body pH, it is faster. The ones I recommend are;
- Acid-2-Alkaline; this is one of the first organic alkalizing supplements produced (1995). It is-
- USDA Certified Organic and Made with Organic
- Natural, Raw, Whole Food and Pure
- Taken With or Without an Alkaline Diet
- Chemical Free, Additive Free, Filler Free
- Phyto-Nutrient Based, Vegetarian and Vegan
- One of the First Alkaline Supplements (since 1995)
- Safe Chemical Free Alkaline Supplements
- No Baking Soda Only Organic Whole Food
- Develop a long term personal health plan ; this new understanding to health requires a long term strategy and sustain efforts on our part to yield long term results that will last for years. These include;
- Drinking more water, at least 8 to 12 glasses every day Boost Your Body pH Naturally.
- Eat more alkaline foods. Example of alkaline foods include; Lemons, Papaya, Seaweed, Vegetable juices, Apples,Avocados, Bananas, Garlic, Ginger, Peaches, Nectarines, Grapefruit, Oranges, Most herbs, Peas,Lettuce, Broccoli ,Cauliflower.
- Avoid too much acid forming foods, which include; Alcohol,Tobacco, Soft drinks and Coffee, White sugar, Refined Salt, Artificial sweeteners, Antibiotics (and most drugs), White flour products (including pasta), Seafood, White vinegar, Barley, Most boxed cereals, Cheese.
- Take time to rest.
- Exercise more.
- In developing a long term personal health, it is important to have a comprehensive knowledge about alkaline and acid forming foods and their effects on the pH of the body. ”The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide – Second Edition: A Quick Reference to Foods & Their Efffect on pH Levels” this book presents this information in a comprehensive and easy to understand manner. Click here to check it out. If you want a more practical and humorous version too, you can check out ”Acid Alkaline Diet For Dummies”
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I would love to have your feedback too, let me know what you think about the post. Also share via the buttons below to create the awareness.