8 Surprising Health Advantages of Balancing Your Body pH
8 Surprising Health Advantages of Balancing Your Body pH
Though it may not be something you've thought of, having a balanced body pH is essential for protecting your overall health and keeping your immune system in check.
According to many experts, disease cannot thrive in a body with the correct acid/alkaline balance – and diet plays a huge role in maintaining optimum pH.
There are also various supplements you can take if you're worried your pH is unbalanced, and ways you can measure and monitor your pH and the effectiveness of any changes you are making to improve it (more on this later).
Read on to find out more.
What is pH balance?
pH indicates how acid or alkaline a solution is. In your case, this would be a measurement of your body’s fluids and tissues.
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being considered neutral. The higher up the scale it goes, the more alkaline you are and the lower it goes, the more acidic.
The human body needs pH blood (serum) and tissue balance of around 7.35 to 7.45 to survive, with stomach and vaginal pH being more on the acidic side in a healthy individual.
What you need to be aware of is whether your pH levels are chronically straying from the ideal body pH, as this is when health problems can start to arise.
What can interfere with your pH balance?
Your body will always do its best to maintain a healthy pH balance. Unfortunately, these days the stresses and strains of modern life mean that we can often overlook some of our most basic needs like eating right, sleeping well and getting plenty of exercise.
These, along with effective stress management, are crucial for keeping your mind and body in check. If these slide for a prolonged period, your body finds it much harder to stay healthy.
When it comes to your pH, poor diet is a major contributing factor. Sugary, processed and junk foods can all contribute to acidosis (raised acidity) as well as excess alcohol and medication, e.g. repeated antibiotics.
Illness, poor sleep, stress, depression, too much or too little exercise and environmental toxins can also all be responsible.
pH Imbalance may contribute to the following health issues, with symptoms and their intensity can varying depending on how severe your pH imbalance is.
1) Fatigue and lowered immunity
If your blood is too acidic, you can develop signs of acidosis.
Even slight acidity can lead to lower oxygen transfer throughout your body, with fatigue and lowered immunity being the first signs.
2) Electrolyte imbalance, muscle weakness and numbness
Electrolytes are essential minerals with a slight electrical charge. These include calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphate, sodium and chloride, and your body cannot function without them.
Electrolytes play a critical role, generating a flow of electrical signals to power your cells, maintain fluid balance, regulate nerve and muscle function and sustain a healthy body pH.
If your pH is too acidic or too alkaline, it can radically upset your electrolyte balance, causing muscle weakness, aches and pains.
Your nervous system may also become affected, and you could experience symptoms like tingling, numbness and headaches.
So it’s vitally important to maintain a healthy intake of electrolytes.
3) Poor gut health and chronically weak immunity
Poor gut health can lead to increased acidity in the body, so looking after your gut pH is just as important as balancing your blood pH.
Without it, you cannot sustain the delicate equilibrium of digestive enzymes and microbiota needed to keep you and your digestive system healthy.
Over 70% of your immune system lives in your gut. Impaired digestion will create an imbalance of gut microbiota and weaken your intestinal lining, resulting in inflammation, damaging your immunity and overall health.
It will also interfere with your nutrient absorption. In a bid to restore the acid/alkaline balance, your body will have to steal vital electrolyte minerals from other places where they are needed such as your bones, cells, tissues and organs, compromising your immunity and wellbeing further.
4) Bad digestion
High acidity leads to poor gut health and vice versa. If your gut health is compromised, your digestion will be too.
You may experience symptoms like acid reflux, nausea, bloating, indigestion, IBS and colitis.
5) Osteo and rheumatoid arthritis
Some experts believe that there may be a link between high blood acidity and arthritis, and by balancing your body’s pH, it can be prevented or improved.
Acidosis may lead to the body pulling on its alkaline mineral stores to strike a balance, which can impact the joints and bones.
By alkalising the blood, the pressure is taken off vital minerals, and the body can function more efficiently and reduce inflammation.
A study published in 2015 found that participants with osteoarthritis of the hands had significant reductions of pain, stiffness and tenderness when administered 7.5mg of alkaline powder twice daily for 28 days.
Poor oxygen transport and blood acidity are linked. According to the researchers, synovial fluid acidosis occurs in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
This suggests that pH and hypoxia (deprived oxygen supply to the tissues) play an invaluable role in maintaining healthy cartilage.
Acidosis can put regulatory pH organs like the kidneys under immense pressure to maintain equilibrium. Consequently, your body can leach much-needed minerals like calcium from your bones, leading to decreased bone density and osteoporosis.
In his 1995 paper on ‘Minerals and Disease’, Joseph D. Campbell PhD also discusses the possibility that metabolic acidosis may lead to low-level hypothyroidism causing loss of bone calcium.
These two valuable minerals are essential electrolytes which can become severely depleted if your pH is unbalanced.
8) Chronic diseases including cancer
Emerging research is now linking increased acidity and inflammation to a whole host of illness and chronic disease including kidney stones, cancer, metabolic syndrome and impaired glutathione synthesis.
How can you monitor your body pH?
A great way to monitor your blood pH is to measure it using pH test strips. You can get a good indication via your urine or saliva and monitor the effectiveness of any diet and lifestyle changes.
While you’re doing this, it’s best to conduct daily pH tests for 2-4 weeks to ensure you’re on the right track. Ideally, check your urine pH first thing in the morning and take an average reading from the first two times you urinate each day.
The ideal range for both saliva and urine testing is 6.5 to 7.25. If it is consistently lower, you should consider taking action to correct your body’s acid-alkaline balance.
How can you maintain a balanced pH?
1) Ditch heavily processed, junk and sugary foods
Regularly eating these can lead to acidity, digestive issues and chronic disease.
Stick to proper food and avoid anything where you don’t recognise something on the ingredients list.
Stay in the outer aisles of the supermarket which tends to have the fresh, whole foods and avoid anything that comes pre-prepared in a packet.
Eat lots of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, plenty of fibre and include healthy protein and fats and complex carbohydrates with every meal. Cook from scratch whenever possible.
2) Look after your gut health
This is essential for a balanced pH. Again, a diverse, natural diet is crucial for maintaining a healthy gut. Also, make sure you eat pre and probiotic foods every day to encourage the production of and feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. You can promote optimal gut pH by taking these Progurt pH capsules.
3) Increase alkaline foods or take a green food supplement
Alkaline foods include raw and cooked leafy greens, avocado, broccoli, cucumber, radishes, mushrooms, green beans, cabbage, celery, courgettes, asparagus, watermelon, garlic, ginger, alfalfa, wheat and barley grass.
Regularly drink green smoothies and add lots of healthy fats to your daily diet. Hot water with lemon is also alkalising. Add chlorophyll to water or smoothies daily and use raw apple cider vinegar.
You can also take a food supplement that is rich in alkaline pH balancing foods.
pHresh Greens is a vibrant, clean and pure food supplement packed full of some of the most nutrient-dense, raw, organic grasses, vegetables and algae. It’s brimming with vitality, super detoxifying and geared towards neutralising excess acid.
4) Drink alkaline, ionised water
This is possibly one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to maintain good health. It’s far more hydrating than regular tap or bottled water, and helps to neutralise acids and flush them from the body.
We have a unique and quality range of water filters to provide healthy, energised and alkaline water.
5) Prioritise electrolytes
If you eat a varied diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, you should be getting enough electrolytes. You may benefit from focusing a little more on electrolyte foods if you intensively work out or have recently been ill.
6) Stop taking unnecessary medication
Drugs cause acidity in the body. Unless you have to take prescribed medication for a specific condition, consider other natural ways of managing your health.
7) Look after your mental and emotional health and wellbeing
This may not be an obvious one, but it is equally as important as the other suggestions.
Your mental health directly impacts your acid/alkaline balance. The more stressed, depressed or anxious you are, the more acidic it can become.
You need to be aware of your moods and stress levels and manage them effectively.
Diet can help, so make sure you’re adequately hydrated and are getting enough of the right nutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, zinc and omega-3 fish oils.
Get enough sleep, regularly spend enjoyable times with friends and family, get out in nature, exercise, breathe deeply, try meditating, do things you enjoy, and find the joy whenever you can.
As you can see, maintaining a healthy body pH is crucial for your overall health and wellbeing. Chronic pH imbalance can lead to a host of issues with far-reaching effects.
Importantly, you have the power to take control, and can regulate your body pH by making some relatively straightforward and practical changes.
You can also monitor your acid levels using pH strips to make sure the steps you are taking are making the difference you need.
Written by Rebecca Rychlik, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.
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