Don't Die Early - The Life You Save Can Be Your Own

Did you know that our blood pH must stay within a very narrow range or serious illness and death can result?

This is so essential to being human that our bodies have a wonderful maintenance mechanism to keep our blood in balance.

This mechanism protects our blood at all costs, sometimes at the expense of our tissues.

When our tissues become acidic, that in turn can result in impaired function of some major systems, including organ, digestion, skin integrity, and repair from injury.

At the same time, lifestyle choices like stress, taking prescription drugs and not getting enough sleep can create acidic blood. Paying attention to a balanced lifestyle is also key to your health and longevity.

The Principle of Acid and Alkaline

To maintain health, your blood must be slightly alkaline. The foods we eat and the lifestyle choices we make impact our body's ability to maintain that alkaline state.

Foods can be alkaline, acidic or neutral in your body. Your goal would be to have a balance of alkaline and acidic foods so that you can maintain the alkaline state of your blood. If you get out of balance and your blood becomes too acidic, you become more susceptible to illness and disease.

Our body’s internal system needs a pH just above 7.0. We call this range alkaline. (As an example, dogs maintain an acid pH range, which is much lower on the scale.)

Since we are human, our enzymatic, immunologic, and repair mechanisms all function their best in this alkaline range. However, our metabolic processes--the processes of living, tissue repair, and the metabolism of food--produce a great deal of acid. In order to maintain our internal alkaline state, we need a few tools.

Exercise - When we exercise or move around, we produce lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Lactic acid is by its nature acid and the carbon dioxide becomes acidic, turning into carbonic acid and water.

Digestion - Digestion of foods generates acids. For example, phosphoric acid and sulfuric acid are produced from the metabolism of the phosphorus and sulfur contained in many foods, such as, meats, grains, and beans.

Immune Responses - Immune system responses, such as allergies and hypersensitivities, directly and indirectly generate substantial amounts of acidic products. Many lifestyle and environment factors also influence acid-alkaline balance. 

Let’s look at stress as an example. 

When we are under tremendous stress, our acidity will likely increase because of the demands on our cells to become more active. Chronically hectic schedules (sound familiar?), inadequate sleep (any parents out there?), and rushed, imbalanced meals (anyone eating their To-Go meals on-the-run?) can all contribute to this unhealthful condition.

And here’s the kicker… An underlying metabolic acidity (low pH) is a common denominator and likely contributing factor to all degenerative and autoimmune diseases.

Why? Because an acid environment, for us humans, has several adverse effects on cell metabolism including:
  • impaired energy production
  • fluid accumulation and edema, and
  • a likely increase in free radical production.
Since the correct pH is so essential to our daily lives (and to all the countless chemical reactions necessary for life), the body has many checks and balances to maintain the correct pH, within a perfect but narrow range.

Know Your PH

A good measure of average body pH is easily obtained by using pH paper to assess the pH of your first morning urine. Ideally, the first morning urine is between 6.4 (slightly acidic) and 6.8 (slightly alkaline), which indicates that the overall cellular pH is appropriately alkaline.

You can also test your urine pH later in the day, and this will indicate the impact of foods and supplements which you have taken earlier in the day.

Another way to check pH is through saliva (also using pH paper). You should check your morning saliva pH immediately after arising, before you think about or eat your breakfast, and while in a calm state of mind. (Even thinking about food changed your pH.) 

After a meal, your saliva should normally become alkaline. Checking saliva pH after a meal can indicate whether or not this normal mechanism is intact. Optimal range for first morning saliva pH is 6.8 to 7.2.

So, what do you do, when your pH is not perfect? You take steps to re-establish your health-promoting alkaline state so that you can regenerate your immune system and improve your overall health.

How to Control the Body’s PH Levels Through Diet
Ironically, the Food Guide Pyramid recommended by the USDA, if followed as designed, actually promotes an acidic pH

The pyramid recommends two to three servings per day from the milk/dairy group, two to three servings from the meat group, three to five servings from the vegetable group, two to four servings from the fruit group, six to eleven servings from the bread/starch group, and to use fats, oils, and sweets sparingly. 

Thus, 65–67 percent of the pyramid is from foods that are acid-forming and 33–35 percent from alkaline-reacting foods. There has been much controversy surrounding the Food Guide Pyramid, with many opponents arguing that it should promote a healthier, plant-based diet. 

In addition, proponents argue that it was biased from the start, because it was developed by a group of people with strong ties to the dairy and beef industries whose goal was to promote their own products. 

In fact, in 2000, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) won a nine-month legal battle against the USDA for this very reason.

The best way to support a healthy acidic-alkaline balance within the body is to consume a diet that is composed of 50% to 80% alkaline foods. For proper nutrition, it is still necessary to consume some acidic foods. These foods should just be limited to less than half of one’s diet.

Therefore, one’s diet should consist mostly of alkaline foods, including:

● Dried fruit, such as raisins, apricots, dates and bananas
● Potatoes
● Salad greens, including lettuce, spinach, and both red and green cabbage
● Leafy, green vegetables
● Assorted vegetables, like beets, peppers, garlic, squash, zucchini, and cucumber
● Natural fats, like nuts and black olives
● Certain grains, like buckwheat and corn
● Dairy products, including fresh butter, unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, and whey protein
● Herbal teas and fresh vegetable juices

While alkaline foods are extremely healthy, it can be very difficult to maintain a high alkaline diet. A human must limit highly processed foods, sugary foods, fruits, meat, alcohol, and soda, as these foods are acidic.

Unfortunately, these foods can be difficult to cut back on, since they make up the majority of many people’s diets. 

However, it is important to remember that people who consume a great deal of acidic foods are generally those that are constantly ill or suffer from disease. "Dieters" must also remember that they do not have to avoid acidic foods completely, but simply limit them to around 20% to 40% of their diet.

What Can a Dieter Expect From a High Alkaline Diet?

Consuming a high alkaline diet can do wonders for one’s health. People that are frequently lethargic, anxious, irritable, and/or suffer from frequently colds or nasal congestion can benefit from a high alkaline diet. An alkaline diet can help prevent against the flu and even help the body produce less mucous.

Women that suffer from benign breast cysts or ovarian cysts can also benefit from a high alkaline diet. This diet can also protect the bones from osteoporosis, the muscles from losing mass, and help to prevent kidney stones. 

There are so many benefits from a high alkaline diet that many people never stop to consider. Even those concerned with losing weight will be happy to see what this diet can do for their body.

Eating to support a healthy alkaline body balance will help dieters lose weight, prevent disease, and support great overall health.