One of the most effective ways to determine appropriate balance levels in the body is to measure its pH. The pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity in the body and is rated on a scale of 0-14; the lower the reading, the more acidic the internal environment and the higher the reading, the more alkaline the environment.
7 is in right in the middle and is considered as neutral. Most people are naturally alkaline in their younger years but as we start to age, many of us will become overly acidic.
Typically, the pH is measured by finding the acidity levels in the saliva, urine or blood. And as each part or organ of the body has different acidity levels, the pH will vary also. However, the most accepted measure is by determining the pH of the blood. Being the most critical pH balance, normal blood pH reads between 7.35 and 7.45 which is slightly alkaline. This reading ensures that there is a the correct percentage of oxygen present in the blood as anything above or below these levels demonstrates fluctuating oxygen presence and can lead to severe health hazards, even proving to be fatal.
While most of the body tissues and fluids maintain marginally alkaline pH levels, the stomach has a more acidic pH reading. This is because the stomach requires an acidic setting to effectively breakdown food. When imbalances are detected in pH balances through urine readings, there might be a chance that we are consuming more foods that have an acidic effect on the body. Urine being the naturally excreted fluid from the body can indicate the effect certain of these foods may be having on the body.
Therefore, diet is a crucial change that can help in regulating natural pH levels. It is recommended that the diet should consist of 75% alkaline forming foods; instead, the typical diet has around 80% acid forming foods.
Most of these are processed and refined dietary products whose consumption causes leaching of important minerals from the body. For protecting the body from the acidic effects of these foods, minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium are drawn out to devise a buffering system that neutralizes this acidic effect. This excessive extraction of minerals can lead to many health conditions that are degenerative in nature like osteoporosis, inflammation and cardiovascular damage. Other health concerns like weight gain, bladder and kidney conditions, as well as immune deficiency can also occur.
Testing pH levels through measuring urine readings can assist in determining if the body’s pH needs to be regulated. Urinary pH readings that read between 6-1.5 in the morning and between 6.5 and 7 in the evening indicate a well functioning body. Likewise, if salivary pH readings are between 6.5 and 7.5 then the body is doing well too.
Urinary pH testing can also be a good indicator of how efficiently the body is getting rid of acidity. When the urine has very high acidic levels, it might be resultant from assimilating too many minerals which are then excreted through the urinr. At this point, attention should be paid to lowering the pH levels.
A diet that is low in essential vitamins and minerals and high in acid forming foods will reflect results in acidic urine. And since an imbalanced pH is a straight forward result of dietary consumption, changing your diet at this stage may be a good idea. Typically a greater variety of fresh vegetables, especially the dark green leafy ones should be incorporated in the diet. Root vegetables also have alkalizing effects and should be consumed. Along with vegetables, servings of fresh fruit that have a low glycemic index should be eaten.
Refined carbohydrates should be avoided, animal meats and eggs also have acid forming effects and should be kept to the minimal until healthy pH levels are restored.
Most high protein foods and different carbohydrates and fats have an acid forming effect. Vegetables and fruits are generally alkaline and although the misconception that citrus fruits are acidic is still prevalent, that fact is that once these fruits are metabolized, they have an alkaline forming effect on the body.