You might not know it… but that orange full of citric acid you ate with breakfast was actually alkalizing to your system. That is because it is not the acidity of the fruit or veggie isn’t as important as the residue of essential minerals potassium and calcium and magnesium left after digestion.
The residual effect in your tissue and fluids (blood particularly) after all of the digestive processes are complete is what is most important to your health, not the initial overall pH of the fruit itself.
However, too much acidic food can contribute to a weakening of tooth enamel. This could be a good enough reason to drink alkaline water just after drinking coffee, juice or eating acidic foods such as chocolate or citrus fruits, though alkaline water won’t necessarily change your body’s pH.
Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium are required for that. These minerals and others are extracted from food through digestion, and used in the tissue and blood in order to buffer dangerous acidity.
However, if they are not relegated to that task, they become available to provide numerous health benefits!
Different parts of the body have different pH requirements and tolerance levels (for example, the blood has a very narrow window on the pH scale for optimum cardiovascular health.
A body can also be disease ridden when too alkaline. For example, salt is an essential macro-mineral that is alkalizing, but at the same time causes water retention. In the cells it is known as edema and can lead to disease as easily as acidosis.
Though too much alkalinity is dangerous, acidosis is much more common when a diet is prevalent in meats, dairy, simple carbs and sugars, and animal and processed fats. Soft-drinks, and especially artificial sweeteners, are extremely acidifying.
What is Acidosis and Why is it a Health Problem?
Even mild acidosis can lead not only to low energy and weight gain, it contributes to arthritis and joint pain, muscle pain, diabetes, cardiovascular damage, kidney stones and disease, osteoporosis, immune deficiency, and acceleration of free radical damage and premature aging, even contributing to cancer.
Acid waste accumulates in the blood and then the kidneys, which then become overtaxed leading to kidney disease. Acid waste in the blood causes imbalanced pancreatic fluids which then impairs the production of insulin, resulting in diabetes. Crucial enzymes produced by the pancreas are also diminished.
An acidic pH balance inhibits cells from burning energy efficiently, causing toxic residues around the cell, and related inflammation. Think of your cells as engines running on fuel, and expelling exhaust. Finely tuned engines run cleaner. Not-so well tuned engines produce thick, black smoke. Exhaust from cells burning energy is what causes oxidative stress.
A resulting lower metabolism then leads to obesity, as well as cause a host of other inflammatory conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune disorders, even contributing to the onset and/or advancement of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.
Keep in mind that prescription drugs, on which over 80% of our population now depends, leave a trail of acid waste in our bodies.
But we cannot in good health go overboard just blindly alkalizing. The body is not healthy at high pH levels either, but adding the required proteins and healthy fats will often more than adequately offset the alkaline foods often deficient in today’s standard diets.
And remember, the pH scale is logarithmic, where each number is 10 times the next. In other words, a pH of 5 is 10 times more acidic than a pH of 6, and 20 times more acidic than a pH of 7! A pH of 8 is 10 times more alkaline than a pH of 7.
You can easily use home test kits (below for example) to test your , first thing in the morning before any fluids are taken (saliva or urine works to give you a quick result, although your physician should also know your pH baseline through a simple blood test).
Very affordable pH test strips can be found in many drug and online stores, for example these:
A healthy pH levels of the blood is 7.365. But tests of 7.4 are often reported as normal. Is this ok? Maybe not.
Too alkaline a result may indicate acidification in the tissues, and as part of fighting acidity the body is becoming more alkaline in the other bodily fluids.
So around a 7 or 7.2 pH in your self test of saliva and urine should indicate a good chance of your having healthy blood and tissue pH. But have your doctor do a blood pH test next time you have your physical, so that you know how you are doing regarding this important benchmark, and have medical advice.
These should be used a couple of times a week, testing an hour before and a couple of hours after a meal. Both Urine and Saliva pH tests produce indicators which can help you determine how you are doing in your efforts to achieve your pH balance.
What to do?
The best way to balance your pH is to balance your diet with more vegetables and less sweet fruits. Given that most of us have more acid than alkaline in our diets, juicing is an excellent way to maintain a healthy pH.
At least make fresh fruits and vegetables at least 50% and more of what you consume every day. You will feel much better in time and many diseases that thrive in an acid pH (including cancer) cannot thrive in a perfectly balanced alkaline environment!
What you eat will pay off in prevention. Alkalizing foods include vegetables, herbs, and fresh fruits (lemons, limes and oranges for example but not too much, the sugar is acidifying!). Some fish, nuts and seeds are also alkalizing.
Also, if you replace the chips you have with your sandwich to fresh snow peas or carrots (still crunchy, and sweet!) or fruit, and do this for 21 days, then you have created a new habit!
Many acid/alkaline food charts area available, but consult a couple to get a complete picture. One that I like to consult is http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm.
You might think, Tums, Rolaids, or even baking soda would be alkalizing, but you’d be missing out on essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, and causing more toxins and trouble in the long run.