"All sickness and disease can be attributed to the over-acidification of the body."
~ DR. YOUNG
Over-acidity is very common today. It gives rise to an internal environment conducive to disease, as opposed to a pH balanced environment which allows the body to resist disease.
pH (potential of hydrogen) is the measurement of the acidity and alkalinity of the body. The scale ranges from 1-14 with 1 being very acid, 7 being neutral, and 14 being very alkaline. It is important to understand that we are not talking about stomach acid or the pH of the stomach, but rather of the blood. The ideal blood pH level is 7.35, or slightly alkaline.
Our pH is one of the most important elements affecting our health and bodily functions. In fact, pH influences every physiological activity in the body. When we become too acidic, it draws alkaline minerals from the bones and tissues to neutralize these acids — leading, in the long term, to thinner bones and lower muscle mass. Overly acidic tissues also make one susceptible to inflammation (a known risk for many chronic diseases), impair enzymatic reactions in cells, and overload the lymphatic system, impeding the body's natural detoxification process. The body also tries to excrete these toxins, but when it becomes overloaded, it leads to all kinds of aches and pains, health problems, and weight gain as it tries to protect itself by surrounding these toxins with fat and water.
The pH scale is logarithmic - so pH 6 is 10 times more acidic than pH 7, meaning pH 5 is 100 times more acidic than pH 7, and pH 4 is 1,000 times more acidic and so on. Can you imagine how much more alkalinity it takes to neutralize/buffer something that is 1,000 or 10,000 times more acidic than pH7?
Diet, stress, emotions, lack of exercise, and over-exercise all lead to over-acidity. Anything that is stimulating can leave an acidic residue in our body, and any activities that are calming and relaxing can make us more alkaline.
What we eat and drink plays a major role in determining our pH level. The reason acidosis is more common in our society is mostly due to the Standard American Diet, which is far too high in acid-producing foods like meat, eggs, and dairy, and far too low in alkaline-producing foods like fresh vegetables. Additionally, we eat acid-producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink acid-producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks. We use too many drugs, which are acid-forming; and we use artificial chemical sweeteners which are extremely acid-forming.
While some acid forming foods are good and necessary for health (like most sources of protein), balance is the key. A good balance would be approx. 70% alkaline forming to 30% acid forming. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet is the opposite of this and is a major factor in the health challenges we experience. One of the best things we can do to correct an over-acid body is to clean up our diet and lifestyle.
DOING A pH SELF-TEST: It's easy to test your pH balance on your own. I suggest that you test your first morning urine for 7 days to determine your average pH.
You can get pH test strips at health-food stores or pharmacies. They are inexpensive, around $10 for a roll. When exposed to urine, the strip will turn a color, which you then compare to the chart accompanying the strips on which colors are assigned a number.
If the average of your 7-day pH levels is between 6.6 and 7, that's good. Keep in mind that stress can make one acidic, as can some medications, toxins (such as mercury and lead) and intestinal infections (such as yeast or parasites). If you find your readings are too acidic, increase your intake of vegetables and fruits, and pure water.
Whether you are new to cleansing or an old pro and just want to tune-up your diet, the Nutritional E-Cleanse Program is a gentle, easy, effective, and pleasurable way to cleanse the body from the inside out and transition to a more healthy way of eating for the rest of your life.
This 23 day on-line program will guide you, step by step, to reduce and then eliminate the foods that rob you of your health, and replace them with lots of delicious, nutritious, whole foods that will satisfy you completely while helping your body to remove toxins, rejuvenate, and heal.
I invite you to alkalize your body and join me for the next Nutritional E-Cleanse Program and 23 days to a healthier you!
Happy, Healthy Living!
JoAnn Newton is a Holistic Nutrition Educator and Master Massage Therapist with a private practice in Graton, CA.
Passionate about helping people transform their health through holistic nutrition, she facilitates the 23 day online Nutritional E-Cleanse Program with coaching, compassion, and humor.