To maintain good health, the chemistry of the human body requires a balanced pH level that is not overly acidic or extremely alkaline. 7.0 is neutral. Low pH, 6.8 or less is in the acidic range, and is considered unhealthy. The human body is generally apt to be slightly acidic. In an acidic state, the body becomes prone to chronic illnesses such as gout, arthritis, kidney stones, cancer and more. An improper diet, medications, lifestyle, and stress can contribute to acidosis. This condition is far more common than its inverse - alkalosis. When alkalosis occurs, it is often attributed to excessive intake of sodium bicarbonate, used in the treatment of peptic ulcers, etc. Health experts suggest striving to maintain a slightly alkaline pH ranging from 7.2 to 7.5.
Test Your Body pH
The alkalinity and acidity of our bodies can be easily measured at home. pH test strips are available from online and local health food stores. Self-testing is usually done first thing in the morning, before drinking or eating anything. It involves applying saliva or urine to a strip of pH test paper. The color of the test paper is compared to the pH color chart that comes with the test kit. Once you’ve determined if your body chemistry is too acidic or too alkaline, you can determine which foods you should eat to help reach a healthy pH.
Eat your way to a healthy body pH
The foods, beverages, supplements, and medications we consume have a mildly, moderately, or highly acid-forming effect when ingested, or they can have the opposite effect and be mildly, moderately, or highly alkaline-forming. Highly acidic foods not only alter our body pH, but are inflammatory. To reach a healthier level, it is important to eat a variety of whole, nutritious foods instead of processed, refined foods. When your body pH is overly acidic, reducing the consumption of highly acid-producing foods, and increasing your daily intake of alkaline-forming foods should help you achieve a healthy pH.
Some foods like lemons are acidic, but when consumed, like most fruits, it has an alkaline-producing effect. Balancing your pH is important to prevent disease.
Water is generally neutral with a pH of 7.0. Spring water with its naturally occurring minerals can be slightly alkaline. Purified or distilled bottled waters often have a lower pH in the acidic range. To check the pH of your favorite bottled water.
Highly Acid-Forming Foods: alcohol, artificial sweeteners, black tea, cocoa, coffee, corn, cranberries, legumes, lentils, meat, milk, oatmeal, plums, shellfish, soft drinks, sugar and sugary foods, refined grains, wheat flour and wheat-based products: bread, noodles, pasta, and pizza.
Aspirin, tobacco, and most drugs are also acid-forming.
Alkaline-Forming Foods: almonds, apples, avocados, most berries, citrus, coconut, dates, and most fresh fruits, broccoli, cabbage, garlic, onions, spinach, lettuce, greens and most fresh vegetables, Himalayan sea salt, sprouts, sprouted bread and wraps, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and non-dairy almond milk.
In addition to eating alkaline-producing foods, you can help reduce an acid pH imbalance by consuming these beverages.
How often do you test your body's pH?
About the Author:
Deborah Tukua is the editor of Journey to Natural Living and the author of the healthy fresh from the blender recipe book, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She is a freelance writer for the Farmers' Almanac and Chiropractic Economics magazine and author of the book, Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success.
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