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pH and You
A Guide to Understanding pH
You may have heard about pH levels before, but never knew the actual meaning. pH stands for potential (or power) of hydrogen. It is the measurement of hydrogen concentration in a solution, the acidity or basicity of the solution. In other words, whether the solution is acidic or alkaline. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being a strong acid and 14 being a strong base; battery acid and liquid drain cleaner, respectively. An acidic environment is rich with hydrogen ions while a basic (alkaline) environment is relatively depleted of hydrogen ions. The pH scale is logarithmic, with each level being separated by a factor of 10. A pH level below 7 is considered acidic and above 7 is considered alkaline. Here’s some perspective, pure water is neutral with a pH of 7, natural green tea has a pH of around 7.2. Coca-Cola Classic has a pH of 2.5, and black coffee is around 5.5 pH. The optimal range for the human body is between 7.35 – 7.45, slightly more alkaline than acidic.
Having balance is key to good health, or should we say, a little unbalance is key to good health. In terms of pH levels, you want your pH to be around 7.4 for optimal health. When your pH level goes too high or too low, 7.8 and 6.8 respectively, health complications arise. Cells stop functioning properly, resulting in a loss of consciousness, coma and possible death, if imbalance is indefinitely prolonged. Luckily, it’s very difficult to have the pH level of the body dramatically raise or drop, since the body will naturally maintain the proper level.
Alkalinity and Acidity
Alkalinity and acidity levels both play an important role in our bodies. Having pH levels too high (alkaline) is called alkalosis while levels too low (acid) is called acidosis. Symptoms of alkalosis include muscle spasms, nausea and vomiting, light headedness and facial numbness. More severe alkalosis symptoms include difficulty breathing, seizures and even loss of consciousness. While symptoms of acidosis include fatigue, confusion, headaches, sleepiness, difficultly in breathing, lack of appetite and fruity smelling breath. And extended acidosis can result in high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, lupus and even cancer. Luckily, it is very difficult to reach these extreme states and getting back to an optimal pH range can be achieved in a few hours with simple home remedies like; drinking alkalinized water with a pH between 8.5 – 9.5, a home remedy is to combine 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a little honey in 6 ounces of hot water.
Tips for Alkalizing
Drink water throughout the day. Start your day with a tall glass.
Eat your greens! Replace a meal with a salad. (Go light on the dressing and toppings) Salads are nutrient rich and contain many alkaline minerals.
Fill your plate with vegetables like sweet potatoes, bell peppers, asparagus and squash.
Choose milk alternatives, such as almond and coconut, over dairy milk. This is because dairy milk is naturally acid forming in the human body.
Find healthy snacking options, such as: raw almonds and fresh, organic fruits.
Exercise more. Exercise naturally rids the body of stored acids.
SKIP THE SODA! Soft drinks are acid rich and high in sugar, both of which wreak havoc on your body. (It takes 30 glasses of water to neutralize the acids of a single soda!)
For More Information:
Alkalize Your Body Today [care2]
Benefits of an Alkalized Body [care2]
Balance Your pH [Mind Body Green]
Alkalize! [Bel Janski Blog]
Can You Be Too Alkaline? [Natural News]