Did you know that, in your natural healthy state, your body is slightly acidic? Everything is either acidic or alkaline, or somewhere in between. Anything above 7.0 on the pH scale is considered alkaline and anything below is considered acidic. Your body has an ideal pH range between 6.0 and 6.8. Values below 6.3 are considered on the acidic side. Values above pH 6.8 are on the alkaline side.
Why worry about pH levels? What happens when you are too far in one direction or the other? When your body gets too acidic or too alkaline, all sorts of symptoms can begin to plague you. Insomnia, arthritis, low blood pressure, and migraine headaches are all symptoms of acidosis. Nervousness, sore muscles, allergies, and asthma are all symptoms of alkalosis. But that’s not all — when your body chemistry is unbalanced, studies have proven that you are at greater risk for getting cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and other serious medical conditions.
Your body works hard to keep the acid/alkaline balance in check. Your body will try to neutralize and detoxify acids before they act as poisons in and around the cells. When acids are given the chance to act like a poison, they can change the environment of a cell, opening the door for disease. Many medical experts believe that the immune system is the first line of defense for the body. But, in actuality, the importance of pH balance is as the first and best line of defense against sickness and disease, and for maintaining good health and energy.
In a recent study performed at University College London, researchers have discovered that bone health is — in their words — profoundly affected by pH levels. It turns out that bone cells are extremely sensitive to the direct effects of pH: acidosis can inhibit minerals from being deposited into your bone cells. The researchers think that this disruption in mineral absorption can lead to problems such as tumors, fractures and inflammation for
The way to avoid all the problems caused by acidosis (or alkalosis on the other end of the spectrum) is to make sure that you eat a balance of acid- and alkaline-forming foods. That means eating 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods. Most people eat about 60% acid-forming foods and only 40% alkaline foods. It is not difficult to make sure that you are eating enough alkaline foods. Most fruits and vegetables are alkaline-forming. Some examples of alkalizing foods are carrots, lettuce, green peas, sweet potatoes, bananas, grapes, pears, almonds, and vegetable juices. You can go online and look for a list of acid/alkaline foods, or you can talk to your healthcare provider. You may also be able to find a chart in a book in the food and health section of your local library that you can photocopy.
Remember the 80-20 rule: keeping up with the alkaline-forming foods will likely be your biggest challenge, but will be well worth the effort.