A fantastic book called “The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health” by Dr. Robert O. Young explains how achieving this balance in your body can literally transform your health. I have seen these principles in action not only in my own life, but in the life of others and the results are very clear. It is a great way to understand how great health can be achieved. So what is it about? The first thing to understand is pH and how the body works to maintain and balance pH.
Other fantastic resources that talk about balancing your pH through diet include:
What is pH? It is an abbreviation which means potential of hydrogen, or more plainly it is a measurement of how acid or alkaline a solution is. The pH scale is based upon a measurement of 0.0 to 14.0, where as 7.0 is considered neutral. Pure water for example has a neutral pH of 7.0. Most soft drinks have an acidity of around 2.5. Vinegar is normally 3.0 and the popular artificial sweetener Splenda is one of most acidic substances on the scale registering below 2.5. The lime fruit has one of the alkaline food registering a 12, and adding a lime to drinking water is a great way to alkalanize it. The pH level of our blood is critical and is maintain in a range of 7.35 to 7.45 at all times. If this number goes in either direction above or below this, the result of fast deterioration. The idea behind this is that through diet, one can help the body to maintain a balanced pH.
So how does food affect our pH and ultimately the health of our body?
Think of your body as a fire and when food enters in, the body begins to burn (breakdown, utilize) what you have ingested. When you put a log of wood on a fireplace does the fire completely burn up the wood? No. It leaves behind ash. Some substances leave behind more or less ash or different “types” of ash. The same is true of the food that goes into the body. Some neighsayers will say that food doesn’t affect body pH, because the blood pH always remains fairly constant. But this simply is not true. The body will compensate in different ways to maintain this as we will see below.
Each food “burns” and leaves behind an “ash” that is either acid or alkaline. When you ingest food that burns and leave an acid ash behind, the body must utilize certain minerals in order to neutralize the acidity. The body favorite minerals to do this are Sodium, Calcium and Magnesium. The body maintain a “reserve” of these minerals in the body so that it can properly neutralize these foods. Unfortunately, many of the foods that are a part of the SAD (Standard America Diet) are acid forming. All meat, sodas, french fries, etc… are acid forming. Therefore, over time, which could be years or decades for some, the level of these minerals is depleted until one day serious disease begins to appear. One common condition that is affecting more and more women these days is Osteoporosis. When the body’s reserves of calcium is gone in order to maintain proper pH, it will begin to draw it from the bones. That is why it is critical to always be replenishing these minerals through eating alkaline ash forming foods. Almost all vegetables and fruits are alkaline ash forming and constantly help to replace organic levels of these key minerals.
In society today very few people suffer from over alkaline health conditions. However, the last century has seen a dramatic rise in many ailments and this pH balance is one of the most critical and crucial factors contributing to this. It is estimated that 60% of most Americans eat more than 2 raw fruits or vegetables daily. In addition to this, one of the most acid forming things in the body is actually stress. Here are some of the major consequences of consuming to many acid forming foods:
Headache, sleepiness, confusion, loss of consciousness, coma, seizure, weakness, diarrhea, bloating, gas, nausea, vomiting, coughing, arthritis, weight gain, joint pain, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, heart attack, allergies, acne, colds, bronchitis, infections, osteoporosis, weak, brittle bones, hip fractures, bone spurs and calcium deposits, various forms of cancer, higher blood pressure weight and fat gain, obesity, insulin disorders, diabetes, a compromised immune system, and increased stress.
– Neurological diseases: MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s
– Auto-immune disorders: Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Shogrens
– Cardiac and vascular damage, including the constriction of blood vessels, clogged arteries, clots, weakened veins, and the reduction of oxygen
– Acceleration of free radical damage, possibly contributing to cancerous mutations
– Liver, Bladder and Kidney conditions, including kidney and gallstones
– Premature aging, frequent headaches, sinusitis, constipation, hemorrhoids
– Osteoarthritis, joint pain, aching muscles and lactic acid buildup
– Hormonal imbalances
– Prostate problems and adult acne Low energy and chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, acid indigestion and flatulence
What is the optimal mix of each? The optimum ratio of alkaline forming foods to acid forming foods is basically 3:1. In other words, 75-80% of the diet should be alkaline forming food and 20-25% acid forming foods to maintain optimal health. As mentioned above most fruits and vegetables are in the alkaline forming category. Meat, dairy, grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, and pharmaceutical drugs are some of the things that are acid forming in the body.
Acid Alkaline Food Chart
How can you test the pH of the body? One of the ways that you can test the pH of the body is through the saliva and the urine. In a typical consultation, I show my clients how to test, when to test, and also what to do depending upon what the readings are. Testing the pH of urine and saliva can be done very easy and inexpensively through the use of test strips that can be purchased here or in other places online.