What is pH and why is it important to my body? Chances are you have visited a swimming pool and experienced skin irritation and burning eyes as a result of a too-acidic pH water level. Conversely, if the water is too alkaline, bacteria and algae in the pool will thrive and bloom. So it is with our bodies. Neutral pH is absolutely essential to good health and wellness; out-of-balance pH is potentially health-threatening. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease, for example, are known to take root and flourish in an out-of-balance pH environment.
An imbalance in either direction can be damaging, however, an overly acidic system is the most common and is a breeding ground for disease. The long list of maladies related to an acidic system are astonishing: acid reflux, weight gain, diarrhea, constipation, premature aging, bladder and kidney conditions, immune deficiency, free radical damage, joint pain, headaches, chronic fatigue and frequent colds and flu. Research has shown that unless the body’s pH level is slightly alkaline, it cannot heal itself.
How do our bodies fall out of balance?
The abbreviation “pH” (potential hydrogen) refers to a solution’s measure of its hydrogen-ion concentration. The higher the pH reading, the more alkaline and oxygen-rich the fluid is. The lower the pH reading, the more acidic and oxygen-deprived the solution is. A measurement of 1.0 to 6.9 is considered acidic, 7.0 is neutral, and 7.1 to 14.0 is alkaline. The lower the pH number, the greater the acidity, and the higher the pH number, the greater the alkalinity.
It is clear that the highly acidic standard American diet (SAD) plays a significant role. Protein, starches and grains (that of most Americans) are acidic. Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, are alkaline.
So how do you know if your pH is balanced? And how does one go about restoring this balance if it is too high or too low? Testing your pH is simple. Testing strips are commonly available. For the most accurate reading you will want to test your first urine of the day. Eating more alkalizing foods and reducing your intake of acidic foods can help rebalance the pH.