pH—Health in the Balance
The measure of acidity or alkalinity of a solution is known as “pH,” which stands for potential of hydrogen. The scale for measuring pH is from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Below 7 is acidic; above 7 is alkaline. The optimal pH of the body’s fluids, such as the blood and urine, is 7.4, slightly alkaline.
An acidic pH—referred to as acidosis—is caused by a diet of acid-forming foods, emotional stress, toxic overload, and any other process that deprives the cells of oxygen. The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals. If the diet does not contain enough minerals, a buildup of acids in the cells occurs, which impairs nutrient absorption and weakens the immune and detoxification systems.
Acid buildup also impairs cellular energy production, promotes tumor cells, and increases the body’s susceptibility to fatigue and illness. Furthermore, the depletion of minerals contributes to a long list of disorders, including arthritis, osteoporosis, and neurological impairment.
Acidosis is common in our society, given the typical diet that is far too high in acid-producing animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy, and far too low in alkaline-producing foods like fresh vegetables. Many of us tend to eat acid-producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink acid-producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks. We also use too many prescription drugs and artificial sweeteners, both extremely acid-forming. One of the best things you can do to correct an overly acid body is to clean up your diet and lifestyle.
The process of pH balancing your body starts with diet and nutrition, including adequate hydration and eating a higher percentage of alkaline foods. As a general rule, your diet should consist of 60 percent alkaline-forming foods and 40 percent acid-forming foods. Alkaline-forming foods include most fruits, green vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, spices, herbs and seasonings, and seeds and nuts. Acid-forming foods include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, refined grains, sugar, some fruits (bananas and plums in particular), and processed foods.
Common foods that support an alkaline state include green vegetables, almonds, unpasteurized honey, bee pollen, maple syrup, figs, dates, goat and sheep dairy, root vegetables, apricots, avocados, coconut, grapes, molasses, raisins, and lemons.
Alkalinity is not just about what you eat but how you feel and think.
Your emotions greatly influence the body’s pH. Joyous, happy, love-filled emotions tend to create alkaline-forming chemical reactions in the body. Conversely, negative emotions such as anger, fear, jealousy, and hate create acid-forming chemical reactions in the body. This is done through the brain’s master gland, the hypothalamus, which is controlled by thoughts, emotions, and attitudes. This gland controls the entire hormonal system and the parasympathetic nervous system. With these systems out of synch, pH tends toward an acidic state.
One of the key factors is the water you drink. Unfortunately, most of the water we consume is acidic—including water treated with distillation, reverse osmosis, and deionization, all processes that remove minerals. Alkaline water is not readily available in most communities. However, you can solve this problem by adding minerals—in the form of unrefined sea salts—to your drinking water.
Unrefined sea salt contains not only sodium chloride but also 80-plus trace elements and minerals from the ocean that are in perfect symbiosis with each other and the human body matrix. Unrefined sea salt offers a remarkable mineral balance relative to the internal environment of the human body. All of its elements are dosed naturally in proportions close to those of the internal human environment.
It is important to note that pH will not stabilize at an alkaline level on diet alone. If you are harboring chemicals or metals in your cells, you might tend toward an acidic state despite efforts to control pH through smart eating. This is also true if you have parasitic infections and inflammation.
Being aware of the pH condition of your body is a good practice. You can measure your pH using urine or saliva. The test is simple and requires less than a minute of your time. The best pH testing strips are available here. When using these test strips as your guideline, balance the body pH between 7 and 7.5. If the test strips read above 7.5, consume acid-forming foods or beverages until it stabilizes between 7 and 7.5. While not always practical, the effort alone can greatly improve your health.