Producing an alkaline environment in your body is highly desirable. Why? Because most viruses and bacteria cannot survive in an alkaline environment.
Your body is designed to keep your pH balance tightly in check. But a lot of factors can impact your body's pH balance. Knowing what affects your body's pH is the first step in making a change.
Whether you’re an advocate of the alkaline diet or not, there’s no disputing that there are some serious conditions that can develop if your pH is not balanced. Not least ketoacidosis (not to be confused with ketosis), metabolic alkalosis and acidosis, and respiratory acidosis.
In all cases, the reason for the pH imbalance is an inability for your body to efficiently excrete waste products. All waste products produced in the body are acidic and must be transformed and excreted.
Unfortunately, modern lifestyle practices can overwhelm the body's inbuilt detoxification and buffering systems. The modern foods that we eat often create an acidic environment in your body, making it hard to release acidic waste.
In this article, we’ll explore the role that pH has in overall health, how to restore your pH balance naturally, plus 7 things that can mess up your pH balance.
Why is it Important to Maintain pH Balance?
pH balance is important for just about every bodily function.
pH is the power of hydrogen and refers to the concentration of hydrogen ions in your body. If your body is overly acidic, it will use up your electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium), which in turn can make it harder for your body to absorb water, and lead to dehydration.
At a cellular level, an acidic environment equals a lack of oxygen, and often a build-up of excess CO2. If your pH is below 7.35 then you are putting yourself at risk for contracting all manner of disease. From infectious diseases like viruses or bacterial overload to chronic diseases, fuelled by inactivity and the wrong foods.
A healthy pH is between 7.35 to 7.5 (slightly alkaline).
How Does Your Body Regulate pH?
Metabolic waste products and waste produced by what you eat can impact all areas of your body. Such as the fascia (also known as the chemical buffer), the interconnected matrix that helps your lymphatic system drain waste products from your blood and tissues.
CO2 plays a major role in balancing your body’s pH. To put it in perspective, when CO2 dissolves in water it creates carbonic acid that acidifies the water. Since your body is made up of more than 60% water, and your lungs are 83% water. It begins to make sense that proper breathing can help detoxify the body and balance pH.
The pH of the body is maintained by removing waste products like cellular waste, and carbon dioxide, through sweating, breathing bowel movements and urine.
If any of your detoxification pathways are blocked, either by inflammation or excess toxic waste, then your body will become acidic.
7 Things That Can Mess Up Your pH Balance
As explained above, your pH balance is tightly regulated. If your kidneys are not working properly, then your blood pH can be thrown off.
Your lungs also play a key role in maintaining a healthy pH by expelling carbon dioxide, which is slightly acidic. If your lungs or kidneys are not healthy, then you could develop acidosis or alkalosis. Which are both serious conditions.
You can throw your pH off if you are:
- Consuming (or breathing in) chemical/ artificial products
- Eating an abundance of sugary foods
- Overly indulging in a few too many glasses of wine/ alcohol
- Suffering from a severe respiratory disease
- Taking narcotics or sleep medication
- Have low bicarbonate levels
- Overly stressed (overactive adrenal glands)
How to Restore pH Balance Naturally
There are a few situations where you may need to go to a physician to assist with body pH. These can include if you’re suffering from diabetes or are taking medication.
If you think that your pH is out of balance, and your symptoms aren’t severe, then you can do an at-home urine pH test first thing in the morning to measure your pH levels.
Lactobacillus is a good bacteria found in the mouth, intestine and vagina. When this bacteria isn’t present in large quantities, then there can be an overgrowth of bad bacteria like Gardnerella bacteria.
Therefore one natural remedy that you can take to restore pH balance is a probiotic that includes healthy doses of lactobacillus.
Other ways to balance your pH include drinking alkaline water, eating lots of alkaline foods and staying away from acidic foods.
Acidic foods are meat, fizzy drinks, white bread, white pasta, refined sugar and alcohol. The alkaline diet comprises alkaline water, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, some nuts eg. almonds and seeds.
Related: Top 10 Alkaline Foods
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help With pH Balance?
Although apple cider vinegar is acidic, it produces an alkaline environment inside your body.
Apple cider vinegar is a miracle substance for natural healing. It can be used on your skin (diluted) to remove debris and reduce acne and spots. My teenage daughter swears by it. You can also drink diluted ACV.
The ideal ratio is two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar dissolved in one glass of alkaline water.
What’s more, ACV can help reduce the symptoms of candida. Which is a bacterial overgrowth that can happen when you consume too much sugar.
How do you know if you’ve got a candida overgrowth (A.K.A a yeast infection)? Symptoms can include thrush (oral or vaginal), bad breath, fatigue and digestive problems.
Why not double the effectiveness by dissolving ACV in alkaline water?
The Bottom Line
Junk food is addictive. In fact, acidic foods, in general, are addictive. So it’s best to steer clear of them as much as possible. Especially if you’re working to balance your body’s pH.
Creating an alkaline environment in your body promotes health and fights disease. When your body is more alkaline, you’ll be boosting oxygen absorption and reducing free radicals.
Written by best-selling author and integrative nutrition health coach Rowanna Watson, who has a passion for natural health. Rowanna is an expert in all areas of holistic health, plant-based nutrition, detoxification and personal development.
Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.
Your pH balance is tightly regulated. If your kidneys are not working properly, then your blood pH can be thrown off.