There is a lot of talk about being over-acidic, alkaline foods, and expensive alkaline waters popping up more and more in your local grocery stores. But what does it mean, and what is a pH balance?
The pH scale determines whether something is acidic or alkaline by measuring hydrogen levels. It ranges from 1 to 14, 1 being very acidic and 14 being very alkaline, 7 being neutral. In a perfect world our bodies would be a 7 on the pH scale. When we refer to ‘body’ we are really referring to the main fluids in our body: lymph fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, and blood.
Our digestive tract isn’t as steady because of the changes in foods that are constantly introduced. Our mouth and esophagus are slightly acidic with a typical pH of 6.8. Our stomach is very acidic with an average of 1.3, but that is to be expected. Our small intestine should be around 7.4, while the colon can range from 5.5 to 7.
Why Is This Important?
Back in 1931, one scientist proposed that cancer thrives in an acidic body, and current research now supports that theory. An acidic body is much more susceptible to disease, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. When our pH balance is off, our digestive system is not operating at its highest capacity, meaning we can’t absorb the nutrients from the food we eat effectively.
When the digestive system is out of sync with the rest of our body, insulin levels and cholesterol, not to mention your immune system, do not work properly. If you are currently suffering from disease it may help to look at your pH balance to see how acidic you are and get yourself back to a level that is intended by nature.
Home pH Test
You can test your pH balance at home, and it’s very simple and inexpensive. You will need litmus paper which can be purchased at your local pharmacy without the need for a prescription. First thing in the morning, collect a clean sample of urine in a clean container. Dip the litmus paper into the urine. You will see the litmus paper begin to change color.
The color on the litmus paper will tell you where your body rates on the pH scale. The litmus paper will come with a color scale so you can see the exact range. Continue doing this for a week and track each day to get an appropriate average of your pH balance. Once you determine how acidic you are, you can take steps to make your body more alkaline.
Alkalizing Your Body
There are many different methods to making your body more alkaline. You can take chlorophyll supplements; take them as directed and keep testing your urine to see how it affects your pH balance. Once you determine its effect, you can adjust your intake of the supplement accordingly.
You can eat more foods that are alkaline. Many fresh fruit and vegetables can help make your body more alkaline, even fruits you think are naturally acidic. Lemons, limes, and grapefruits can help alkaline your body, but avoid pineapple, pomegranate, as they are acidic in the body.
Limit your consumption of bread, rice, tortillas, and other gluten foods. While whole grains do have health benefits, consuming an excessive amount of these foods can create an acidic environment in your body. Also avoid commercially made condiments as they can be very acidic, instead try making your own! They taste just as good and are better for you.
Eat less meat, as it can be very acidic in your body. Try and get more protein from beans, such as navy, black, and lima beans which are very alkaline. Nuts and seeds are highly alkaline and make great snacks. Also, turn to stevia instead of artificial sweeteners as they can be very acidic as well as having other negative effects on your health.
Another major cause of an acidic body is stress. Stress has a negative effect on our hormone levels which can increase the acid levels in our stomach. Find natural ways to relieve your stress. One great way is exercise, which reduces stress and fills your body with feel-good endorphins.
An acidic body is an unhealthy body. It’s easy to determine your pH balance at home, so give it a try and get your body to where nature intended it to be.