When it comes to health, one of the hardest things, in my opinion, is being able to sort through the vast information available on the internet. It’s one reason I became a Holistic Health Coach. Health (and weight loss) really boils down to eating more nutritious whole foods and less processed foods. One big topic going around right now is acidity and alkalinity in the body and how that relates to Health.
Don’t worry, it’s not complicated and not a fad diet.
You may have heard the terms “acidic” and “alkaline” before, but do you know what they mean? And how it applies to the human body?
The pH scale is a measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. A pH level less than 7 is acidic, while a pH level greater than 7 is alkaline. Our bodies are meant to be slightly alkalizing so it’s important for us to maintain an ideal balance between acidity and alkalinity in the body. When your body is in an alkaline state, it heals and functions at its best.
The best way to do this is by taking a whole foods nutrition approach and adding in more fruits and vegetables everyday.
Is it better for the body to be acidic or alkaline?
It is better for the body to be slightly more alkalizing than acidic. The body has a perfect pH of 7.365, but the blood prefers to be above 7.45 and muscles run optimally around 7.2 to 7.4 (slightly alkalizing). Even though the body likes to stay slightly alkaline, it does well at staying near neutral as long as it has enough “alkaline reserve.”
In other words, the body wants balance. If the body gets too acidic, the alkaline reserves will helps restore the balance of acidity and alkalinity in the body.
pH refers to the measure of the hydrogen-ion concentration in a solution, typically water. The pH scale runs from zero to 14 and is divided into levels that are represented by different colors. When the pH is lower than 7, it is acidic and when it is above 7, it is basic or alkaline. Alkaline food helps balance the system and reduce inflammation while acidic foods make your body more prone to pain, stress, and illness.
Alkaline is a chemical term that describes substances with a pH greater than 7. The opposite of alkaline is acidic, which has a pH below 7.
Alkalis can neutralize acids by reacting chemically with them in what’s called an “alkali reaction” or “acid/base reaction.” This type of reaction occurs when one substance changes another substance’s concentration of hydrogen ions (i.e., H+). In this case, hydroxyl ions (OH-) act as the reactant and they come from water molecules that have been split apart.
An acidic compound is one that has an excess of hydrogen ions, which can be more easily recognized as a low pH since hydrogen ion concentrations are given by negative logarithms. If you have ever had to add baking soda (a common alkaline) to vinegar (which is very acidic), you may have noticed that the resulting chemical reaction between the two compounds results in carbon dioxide gas being produced, making them bubbles up and fizz.
How do you know if your body is alkaline or acidic?
In order for your body’s systems to work at peak efficiency, you must achieve and maintain the ideal pH balance.
According to Healthline, if your body is more acidic, you may start to experience the below short term symptoms:
- Low energy/fatigue
- Nasal congestion
- Muscle Pain
- Becoming easily confused
- Headaches or Migraines
When the body is chronically acidic, there is more potential for disease and illness to thrive.
- The body destroys its own cells
- Promotes a weakened immune system
- Ages faster
- Can’t effectively absorb nutrients and vitamins
- Can cause hair loss
- The body will have issues disposing of toxins
- More prone to high cholesterol
More and more research is linking lower pH levels and cancer. Cancer thrives in acidic environments and cancer cells produce lactic acid, making the body more acidic.
In order for your body’s systems to work at peak efficiency, you must achieve and maintain the ideal pH balance. To accomplish this, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet that is higher in alkalizing foods and lower in acidic ones. Unfortunately, the majority of foods in the grocery stores are more acidic than alkalizing.
What can cause an acidic environment in the body?
Overeating, eating too much animal meat and sugar, not consuming enough fiber, drinking alcohol in excess, being exposed to chemicals and pollution, and eating foods high in hormones and chemicals: all of these things can all contribute to an acidic environment. And that’s bad news for your health.
For one thing, an acidic body is a breeding ground for inflammation which can lead to chronic disease like heart disease or diabetes. It also makes it harder for you to fight off infections because the acidity creates a hostile environment where bacteria thrive and grow quickly. The more acids there are in your system, the less alkaline minerals will be available to neutralize them.
Does Acid turn to Alkaline in the body?
Yes, it’s possible to change your body chemistry between acidity and alkalinity in the body. It really boils down to the foods you eat. It’s best to aim for 80% alkalizing foods and 20% acidic.
Benefits of an Alkaline Diet
The whole foods diet is often said to be the best way to optimize health. There are many reasons why this type of eating plan can help you achieve better wellness, and a few may not have occurred to you yet.
- Reducing inflammation with eliminating processed foods, sugars, artificial ingredients
- Reducing gluten or dairy to regulate immune response
- Prevent onset of autoimmune diesease
- Achieving weight loss goals through balanced body pH levels which helps balance blood sugar levels over time
- Increased energy
- Improved skin and hair condition
- Better mental attitude
Top 10 Alkaline Foods
The alkaline diet is a way of eating that focuses on the balance of acidity and alkalinity in your body. It’s based on the idea that certain foods can either make you more acidic or more alkaline, depending on how they’re metabolized by your body. The goal of this diet is to eat mostly alkaline-producing foods while limiting or avoiding acid forming foods. So don’t be surprised when you see the majority being a bunch of fruits and vegetables!
Here are the top 10 alkaline foods you can easily add in to your diet today!
- Lemons 9 pH
- Watermelon 9 pH
- Spinach 9 pH
- Asparagus 8.5 pH
- Bananas 8.0 pH
Are these benefits worth pursuing? I think so, and you are crazy if you don’t agree with me! Fortunately, it is not hard to slowly alkalize your body. Take it one day at a time, add more and more green food to your diet, reduce the number of cups of coffee you have every day and you’ll soon reap the benefits.
To make it easier, download my FREE meal plan to take you from Acidic to Alkalizing in just 3 days!