Most diseases, such as cancer, thrive in an acidic body. It is imperative to maintain a ‘slightly’ alkaline environment in our body to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are the ins and outs.
What does it mean to be Alkaline?
As humans, a normal pH of all tissues and fluids of the body (except the stomach) should be slightly alkaline.
The most important pH is in the blood.
All other organs and fluids will fluctuate in their range in order to keep the blood a strict pH between 7.35 and 7.45 (slightly alkaline).
Certain food groups are considered acidic, alkaline or neutral.
- Acidic: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains and alcohol. Refined sugar and processed foods.
- Neutral: Natural fats, starches and sugars.
- Alkaline: Fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables.
What does ph mean?
Ph stands for ‘potential of hydrogen’. A pH value is a number from 1 to 14, with 7 as the middle point. Values below 7 indicate acidity which increases as the number decreases, 1 being the most acidic. So, in other words a ph of 3 would be more acidic than a ph of 5 and a ph of 9 is more alkaline than a ph of 6. The optimum ph in the body should be 7.35 -7.45
Why is it important to maintain a Balance with regard to Acidity and Alkalinity?
- If the blood is too acidic it removes some of the alkaline forming elements from the enzymes in the small intestine to stay balanced. Resulting in an acidic small intestine which can then not digest food optimally. The pancreas, gallbladder and liver are then forced to work harder. Enzyme production becomes compromised. The result is an immune system which becomes weak. Fatigue, hormonal imbalances and digestive problems follow.
- Acidic blood will cause the bones to leach calcium. Calcium is the most alkaline mineral. This can lead to bone density problems.
- Insulin levels increase and fat is stored instead of metabolized.
- If you are a regular yoyo dieter and deprive yourself of food, your body becomes acidic and as a safety, insulin is over produced resulting in all available calories being stored as fat. The result is weight gain and it becomes more difficult to lose weight.
- Electrolyte imbalances occur.
- Stress is placed on the kidneys, gallbladder, pancreas and most other organs. This will also happen in an environment that is too alkaline.
How do you know if you are either too Acidic or too Alkaline?
Some of the symptoms are –
- Acid reflux
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
- Poor metabolism
- Mineral deficiencies
- Brain fog
- Frequent urination
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Sore Muscles
Other factors that contribute to Imbalances
- Environmental pollution
- Not enough or too much exercise
- The most important factor is what you are eating.
How can you test your ph?
The best way to test is through your urine. If we become too acidic, our kidneys will eliminate excess acid in your urine as this will help to keep the blood more alkaline.
Buy a pack of ph test strips from the chemist. It is best to test regularly over a period of 24 hours and average out the ph.
Keep a diary of what you eat and when you test.
Run the test over a few days and keep a food diary, this will be a good indicator of how different foods affect you.
The optimal urine ph is between 6 and 7. If the average is below 6, you are acidic. If you are above 7, you are too alkaline. In either case, it is best to start making lifestyle changes.
The most important is in the food you eat. You will find a lot of lists of alkaline and acidic foods on the web. I would not become too obsessed with studying these lists as different foods have different effects on people.
Refer to the simple guide at the top of this document. See what works for you through experimentation and ph urine testing.
Moderate daily exercise. Over exercising creates lactic acid which will make us acidic.
Reduce or manage your stress.
You can see how important it is to maintain a proper ph in the blood, digestive tract, tissues and fluids in order to maintain optimal health.
Your immune system could otherwise become very compromised and hence the risk of contracting something sinister is greatly increased. If you are diagnosed with a disease like cancer it is vital to immediately adopt an alkaline eating plan.
Make it part of your healthy eating plan. Remember everything in moderation!