The pH level of a substance is the measure of potential hydrogen on a scale of 0 to 14. On this scale, a measurement of less than 7.0 is acidic, and greater than 7.0 is alkaline. The acidity or alkalinity of everything can be measured, from the soil in your garden, and the water in your swimming pool, to the blood cells in your body.
Why is Alkaline Better than Acidic?
Why is it so important to keep your blood pH on the alkaline side? Basically, because extensive research has shown that an alkaline pH increases the amount of oxygen in your blood. This is a good thing since the lack of oxygen in your blood cells causes disease.
When our blood becomes too acidic we enter a state of acidosis. Even slight deviance from the ideal pH of 7.4 can cause problems. Loss of energy and concentration, tiredness, even exhaustion can be common. Long-term effects include acid build-up in our organs, loss of muscle mass, and loss of bone density when the calcium stored in our bones leaches out to try to compensate for the acidosis.
Bacteria and viruses thrive in acidic conditions causing bodies in acidosis to be vulnerable to disease. Acidic toxins we ingest from food, water, and even the air that we breathe produce disease-causing free radicals.
An alkaline pH, on the other hand, is believed to have many health benefits. These include boosting metabolism, slowing the aging process, and slowing bone loss in menopausal women. Other benefits include neutralizing acid, helping your body absorb nutrients better, and preventing disease. An alkaline pH prevents disease by removing the free radicals that your body does encounter in day to day life.
How do we Ensure our Blood pH stays Alkaline?
So, how do we go about alkalizing our blood cells? The easiest way is to monitor what we eat and drink. Chlorinated tap water is acidic, and although most city water is alkaline to prevent acid corrosion in the pipes, toxic chemicals are used to make it alkaline. Mineral water is alkaline due to the addition of health-promoting minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium potassium, iron, zinc, nickel, and manganese. Ionized water is adjusted mechanically to make it more alkaline.
Many brands of mineral and ionized water are on the market today, ready to drink. Alternatively, you can purchase a system to ionize tap water yourself. Methods range from a small, inexpensive stick you put in a water bottle to a more extravagant under the counter unit.
Many common foods and ingredients cause our blood pH to slip into the acidic zone. These include sugar, flour, and protein from animal sources such as dairy products and meat. Remember, it is the effect the food has on your body after digestion that makes it acidic or alkaline. For example, lemons are acidic in taste, but one of the most alkaline foods.
To keep your body feeling and looking its best, choose foods from the alkaline side. and reduce foods from the acid side in the following chart:
You can keep track of your blood pH by testing your urine or saliva with these simple pH test strips.
Some people believe the alkaline food theory is just another “fad diet” encouraged by the alkaline/ionized/mineral water companies. As usual, I encourage you to be the judge. Try it for yourself, especially the simple, no cost, no risk, food chart version. Be sure to let me know what you think and how you feel.