pH, OR ACID ALKALINE BALANCE
When we are young lacking an acid alkaline balance is not as evident as later in life. Generally our youthful bodies have a large reserve of minerals in our bones, a strong buffering system, strong lungs and well functioning kidneys. These all aid the body in regulating the Acid Alkaline Balance of our internal body fluids. As we age, the bodies pH regulating system begins to decline in efficiency.
Excess Acids can not and do not stay in the blood. In order to survive our pH must remain in a very narrow range. Therefore the body has a variety of mechanisms to maintain this range and eliminate excess acid. (a buffering system)
The Buffering system allows the body to borrow minerals from body tissues, either from our “interstitial fluids” (lymphatics) or from our bones to neutralize the excess acid. Our body uses our organs, (kidneys, lungs, colon and skin) to excrete acids, when these organs are working efficiently. The body also can store the excess acids in tissues, muscles and arteries.
An imbalance in our Acid/Alkaline state, over time, can weaken organs and bones leading to a variety of health concerns.
Although it is possible for our bodies to be “over alkaline” (called alkalosis, urine pH over 6.8) and this state will take longer to correct, it is much more common for people to become “over acid”.
The five major factors that cause over acid production (acidosis) in the body are: excess stress, poor digestion, lack of oxygen, (due to poor breathing techniques or lack of exercise), excess insulin and insufficient vitamins and/or minerals.
This state of acidosis can affect all major body systems causing such things as low energy, cardiovascular weakness, immune deficiencies, weight gain, bladder and kidney disorders, a weakening of the structural body (brittle bones) and damage from free radicals.
High Alkalinity can cause similar types of problems. An alkaline body is often lacking in the digestive acids necessary for proper absorbtion of nutrients. With the addition of digestive enzymes the bodies pH may then drop very low,(acidic) indicating a deficiency in minerals.
Our bodies help us to regulate this balance by sending out signals. These signs include, exhaustion, easily catching any cold/flu going around (weakened immune system), slow recovery from illness surgery or exercise, morning stiffness, increased health challenges surrounding allergies or fungal infections, parasites, trouble sleeping (insomnia), and digestive challenges.
We can test our pH using two different tests, one on urine, the other on saliva. These tests, taken over a period of time, establish our Acid/Alkaline balance and help direct us to making correct choices.
When testing for pH balance test your pH levels in the morning, prior to eating or drinking and again in the evening, at least one hour after eating or drinking, just before bed. Always test both saliva and urine. After testing for several days add up the numbers for morning urine, evening urine and all saliva results. Divide the sum totals by the number of tests done for an accurate reading of your present pH level.
Average morning urine pH should be approximately 6 – 6.4. Average evening urine pH should be approximately 6.4 – 7. Average saliva pH should fall between 6.4 – 7.2
If you find your pH balance is off, make necessary life style changes, (amending diet, adding digestive enzymes and a quality vitamin/mineral supplement as well as reducing stress) allow time for these changes to take affect (1 - 2 months) and begin testing again.
Once you have got your pH level balanced, take note of how you feel and watch for the signs as noted above for any changes in pH balance. Do not become fixated on testing after you have established what’s normal for your body, testing occasionally just to ensure you are in tune to how your body signals changes in pH.
pH strips can be purchased at any health food store.
For your convenience I have listed some foods and where they fall in the Acid/Alkaline scales. Please keep in mind this list is just for a general overall idea, and that foods can be more acid/alkaline depending on how your body tolerates each food. If you have trouble digesting an alkaline food, or have some type of intolerance to a food, then it should be considered acidic to you.
To maintain health, the diet should consist of 70 - 75% alkaline forming foods and 25 - 30% acid forming foods. To restore health, the diet should consist of 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods.
Generally, alkaline forming foods include: most fruits, green vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, spices, herbs and seasonings, and seeds and nuts.
Generally, acid forming foods include: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, grains, and legumes.
Parsnips (high glycemic),
ALKALIZING ORIENTAL VEGETABLES
Banana (high glycemic),
Grapefruit (techniquely speaking, could be on acidic chart),
Whey Protein Powder.
ALKALIZING SPICES & SEASONINGS
Alkaline Antioxidant Water,
Apple Cider Vinegar,
Fresh Fruit Juice,
Soured Dairy Products,
Calcium: pH 12,
Cesium: pH 14,
Magnesium: pH 9,
Potassium: pH 14,
Sodium: pH 14.
Note that a food's acid or alkaline forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For example, lemons are very acidic, however the end products they produce after digestion and assimilation are very alkaline so, lemons are alkaline forming in the body. Likewise, meat will test alkaline before digestion, but it leaves very acidic residue in the body so, like nearly all animal products, meat is very acid forming.
Canned or Glazed Fruits,
ACIDIFYING GRAINS, GRAIN PRODUCTS
Hemp Seed Flour,
ACIDIFYING BEANS & LEGUMES
ACIDIFYING NUTS & BUTTERS
ACIDIFYING ANIMAL PROTEIN
ACIDIFYING FATS & OILS
Hemp Seed Oil,
ACIDIFYING OTHER FOODS
ACIDIFYING DRUGS & CHEMICALS
ACIDIFYING JUNK FOOD
Beer: pH 2.5,
Coca-Cola: pH 2,
Coffee: pH 4.
Keep in mind that we are aiming for a pH of about 7 to maintain health.
** These foods leave an alkaline ash but have an acidifying effect on the body.
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This information is not designed as or intended to be used as medical diagnosis or advice. Patients should consult their physicians about diagnosis and treatment