pH: Acid-Alkaline Balance & Your Health!
You may have heard about pH or the acid-alkaline balance in your wellness travels. The body maintains a delicate acid-alkaline balance. Everything from healthy cells to cancer cells to soil quality and ocean life is affected by pH. The term pH stands for “potential hydrogen” which is the measure of hydrogen ions in a particular solution. I’ll make this easy to understand!
The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is and ranges from 0 to 14. Seven is neutral. Below 7 becomes increasingly acidic, above 7 increasingly alkaline.
As with most health-related barometers, balance is everything. Proper pH varies throughout your body for many reasons. For example, your bowels, skin and vagina should be slightly acidic–this helps keep unfriendly bacteria away. Saliva is more alkaline, while your urine is normally more acidic, especially in the morning. In addition, your body regularly deals with naturally occurring acids that are the by-products of respiration, metabolism, cellular breakdown and exercise. So clearly the goal is not to think of acid as “bad” and alkaline “good.” Again, it’s a delicate balance.
By far the most important measurement is your blood. For optimal cellular health, your blood pH must be slightly alkaline with a pH between 7.365 and 7.45. Our bodies are programmed to maintain this range no matter what, since even the slightest dip or rise in pH can have seriously dangerous consequences. Now here’s the possible problem: The Standard American Diet (SAD) is rife with acidic substances and foods—meat, dairy, highly processed food products and refined sugar. Environmental toxins can be acidic, too, and sadly, those are pretty dang hard to avoid.
Top 3 Ways to Support pH Balance
1. Start your day with a tall glass of lemon water and stay hydrated.
While lemons are acidic in their natural form, lemon water is alkaline-forming in the body. Drench your cells in alkalinity each morning with two cups of lukewarm, filtered water with ¼ fresh-squeezed lemon. Yes, there are fancy (and expensive) water ionizers out there, but you can also alkalize your water by simply adding lemon.
2. Eat more raw foods and drink green juices and smoothies.
Organic green juice, green juice, green juice and green smoothies! As mentioned above, leafy greens, wheat grass, veggies, sprouts, certain fruits, nuts and seeds, certain grains and seaweeds flood our bodies with vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and phytonutrients—and alkalinity. Unhealthy cells (like cancer cells) or viruses, bacteria and other nasty microorganisms hate oxygen. They prefer an acidic diet high in animal products, processed and refined foods, and synthetic chemicals.
3. Exercise, manage stress, sleep better and avoid nasty chemicals and cigs.
It’s not just diet that affects your pH. Lack of exercise and an overage of anger, drugs, cigs and stress can create inflammation and acidity in the body. Stress isn’t a laughing matter or a badge of courage. The work-hard, play-hard, deal-with-it-later approach is a big pH no-no. Emotional stress releases acid-forming hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that flood your system and muck up your soil. Whether it’s through more yoga, cat naps, meditation, breathing exercises, strolls in the woods or stress management counseling, reducing the negativity in your day-to-day is a powerful way to improve your cellular health.