Importance of Acidity, Alkalinity of Your Body

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The fact that your body is made up of at least 73 per cent water is an indication of the role the quantity and levels of hydrogen ions in your body would play in maintaining the levels of ions available, which is directly related to the acidity and alkalinity of your body system.

The human blood is a major medium and vehicle for bathing and carrying ions into and between various parts of the body. The overall stability and functioning of your body systems are therefore of paramount importance.

The importance of pH
The pH level of water measures how acidic it is (pH stands for potential hydrogen, referring to how much hydrogen is mixed with the water.) 7 is a balanced pH for water. This is important because the human body has a natural pH of 7.4.

The lower the pH, the more acidic, and the higher, the more alkaline. Neutral pH is 7.0, the pH of water, and your level is in a healthy range between 6.0 to 7.5. Blood that is slightly alkaline, or 7.35 to 7.45, and is optimal for proper body functions.

The human body is designed to maintain a very delicate pH balance in its fluids, tissues and systems. As most biochemical reactions essential to life take place in an aqueous environment, however, it is our blood plasma and interstitial fluids surrounding the cells that are most sensitive to acid-alkaline imbalance.

Why is pH so important?
pH stands for “potential hydrogen.” Generally, pH is the measurement given to determining the acidity and alkalinity of the body. pH is the most basic and fundamental driving force of all our body functions. The pH range goes from 1-14, where 1 is highly acidic and 14 is highly alkaline. A neutral pH is 7.0, so below 7 is within an acidic range and above 7 is within an alkaline range.

The ideal pH level for your blood is right around 7.35 and your body goes to enormous lengths to maintain this level. calcium (a more alkaline substance) from the bones to try to balance out the pH level.
The balance between acidity and alkalinity in your body is referred to as pH, or potential of hydrogen. Different factors can influence whether your blood has too much or too little acid, including food and the health of your organs to filter carbon dioxide from your body.
Achieving pH balance is a complex process that occurs within your body, but you can help regulate it with healthy habits.

Certain digestive enzymes of our body that break down foodstuffs are dependent on being within a specific pH range to function most optimally. Therefore, the pH of our stomach and intestines determine the rate and quality of digestion and absorption of nutrients. A person may in fact be eating healthy, however even healthy foods being digested in the wrong stomach pH level may not yield the healthy benefits from such foods. We want our saliva and urine pH levels to baseline just below neutral (7.0), in a slight acidic range to optimize digestive enzymes, limit bacterial and viral growth, and yield good health benefits.

Red blood cells carry oxygen to every cell in the body for use. When the blood pH is within a slightly favoring alkaline range, more oxygen can be bound and stored with red blood cells. However, too high alkalinity and oxygen saturation in the body is not a good situation either because the red blood cells carrying the oxygen will not sufficiently release the oxygen at a cellular level. The pH of our body is under very tight range of within a few tenths, and if the pH of our blood, urine, and saliva move too far out of range, minor to serious illnesses can occur, up to and including death.

• Kidney and Lung Complications
Metabolic or respiratory acidosis results from excess acid in the blood. In metabolic acidosis, an abnormal metabolism from the buildup of ketones in the blood, which occurs in uncontrolled diabetes, or overuse of alcohol or aspirin doesn’t allow the kidneys to function normally. In respiratory acidosis, your lungs do not expel carbon dioxide properly, which might result from asthma or pneumonia. Symptoms might include vomiting, fatigue, breathing complications, weakness or confusion. If left untreated, acidosis can lead to kidney failure, lung collapse and constriction of blood vessels.

• Alkalosis
Alkalosis is the opposite of acidosis when too much bicarbonate is in your blood, causing excessively low acidity. Overuse of diuretics and hyperventilation can increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. Symptoms of metabolic or respiratory alkalosis include irritability, muscular twitching or cramps. Treatment involves replacing fluids to achieve acid balance or slowing your breathing in the event of respiratory alkalosis.

What causes acidosis?
1. WHAT WE EAT including meat, fish, poultry, dairy, grains, refined or processed foods, fast food
2. WHAT WE DRINK including coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, many types of water (distilled, bottled…)
3. WHAT WE THINK including stress, worries, anxiety, negative thoughts
4. POLLUTION AND TOXINS that are present in the world we live in
5. INTENSE PHYSICAL EXERCISE that produces lactic acid
6. DEHYDRATION which slows down the body’s ability to cleanse itself through the kidneys
7. TOBACCO & DRUG USE

How do you maintain a ph balance ?
• Foods you eat can help you achieve acid/alkaline balance.
Highly acidic foods include prunes, blackberries, chocolate, walnuts, beef and cheese. Foods with high alkalinity include watermelon, asparagus, spinach and olive oil.
• To maintain pH balance, eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains that are middle alkaline or acidic and choose highly acidic foods when you have high alkaline pH.
• Hydrate with water daily,
• limit your alcohol use and
• follow medication instructions on the label to prevent high acid pH.

Foods
1: Eight key acid forming foods:
Yellow cheese, Egg yolk, Prawns, Sardines, Brown rice
Lean beef, Wholemeal bread, coffee

2: Eight key Alkaline forming foods
Raisins, Fresh Spinach, Dried Figs, Parsley, Celery, Carrots, Kale, Banana

Many people are shocked that healthy foods that should be included in our diet are acid forming. Remember though, this is about balance. If you find out that you are eating some foods very regularly that increase acid in the body, then you need to commit to eating more alkalising foods every day.
Your body maintains a pH balance that allows your enzymes — the proteins that carry out chemical reactions needed for cell function — to work properly. While your body has safeguards to keep your pH within a tight range, your diet may slightly affect your pH levels. If you’re thinking about an alkaline diet, which claims to raise your pH, you can still enjoy several healthy drinks, in addition to water.

•Buttermilk and Dairy Alternatives
While most dairy is off limits on an alkaline diet, you can still enjoy buttermilk, which is slightly alkaline forming. Some alternatives to dairy milk, like soy and almond milks, are also alkaline forming. These drinks offer other health benefits, too. Buttermilk is high in calcium — a cup has 28 percent of the calcium and 21 percent of the vitamin D you need each day. Fortified soy and almond milks are also high in calcium — they offer 30 and 45 percent of the daily value per cup, respectively, plus beneficial vitamin B-12.

•Herbal and Green Teas
Herbal and green teas fit into an alkaline diet as mildly alkaline foods. They’re also calorie-free options — as long as you don’t add dairy or sugar — which makes them ideal if you’re trying to lose weight. Green tea comes packed with catechins, natural substances in plants that might help with weight loss. Herbal teas also offer benefits, depending on the type of tea. Peppermint tea, for example, might ease indigestion in some people.

•Unsweetened Vegetable Juices
Vegetables are a staple in an alkaline diet, and you can also drink fresh, unsweetened vegetable juices to up your veggie intake. Leafy greens like cabbage, barley grass, cilantro and kale are especially alkalizing, along with cucumbers, ginger, cayenne pepper, beets and tomatoes. Experiment with different blends of veggies to get a juice that suits your palate. Try beets and tomatoes juiced with ginger and cayenne for a sweet and spicy blend, or celery, cucumber and cilantro for a refreshing, herbal one. Add more flavor with a squeeze of alkalizing fruit juices, like lemon and lime.

Beverages to Avoid
Avoid sweetened beverages on the alkaline diet. Artificial sweeteners and sugar are all acid-forming foods, and sweetened fruit juices and sodas are also acid forming. You’ll need to limit alcohol, too. Beer and liquor are highly acid forming, while wine is moderately acidic. Coffee and black tea count as acid forming as well.
Keep in mind that the alkaline diet allows you to eat acid-forming foods for up to 30 percent of your diet, so you can still enjoy your favorite acid-forming drinks in moderation. Do not make them staples of your diet.

Mild acidosis can lead to such problems as
• Weight gain, obesity and diabetes
• Joint inflammation, arthritis
• Bladder conditions, kidney stones
• Cardiovascular diseases
• Immune deficiency
• Cancer, chronic illness
• Osteoporosis
• Hormone concerns
• Premature aging
• Acceleration of free radical damage
• Low energy and chronic fatigue
• Slow digestion and elimination
• Yeast and fungal overgrowth

Neutralise excess acid
The body’s pH level influences its health. The acid-base balance of your blood is significant for normal daily function, healing and digestion. The acidity or alkalinity level of your body is determined by a pH, potential of hydrogen, scale. The scale ranges from zero, which indicates high acidity, to 14, which indicates high alkalinity. A value of 7.0 means the pH is neutral. Optimal acid-base balance is a pH of 7.35 to 7.45, which indicates the body is slightly alkaline. A slight deviation from this range on either side can result in significant health problems. In the event of acidosis or alkalosis, neutralizing your pH is necessary.

One of the body’s pH control mechanisms is called the acid-base buffer system. Buffers are substances which are capable of stabilizing pH in an aqueous solution. Alkaline (base) buffers are released into the blood stream when the blood becomes too acidic, and conversely, acidic buffers come into play if the blood pH becomes too alkaline.
Unfortunately, however, our Western diet and fast-paced lifestyle put a heavy acidic burden on our body and the blood’s buffer system can’t always keep up. This leads to the gradual acidification of our blood and the body will then turn to other mechanisms to try and protect itself. However, these alternate mechanisms can sometimes trigger other types of problems that can lead to weight gain, premature aging, and the onset of multiple diseases.

Alkaline neutralizes acid
Drinking alkaline ionized water on a daily basis helps neutralize acid to maintain or restore the body’s optimal pH balance. When our body is in equilibrium, our multiple self-regulating control mechanisms are able to operate in ideal conditions to efficiently deliver nutrients to our cells and to dissolve and eliminate waste products through the body’s natural elimination channels.

1. Get a physical health exam and pH test. Before employing neutralizing tactics, determine if your body has a pH imbalance. Symptoms present during acidosis or alkalosis is slight in most cases. Fatigue, nausea or headaches can occur, but symptoms generally appear as a result of other medical conditions impacted by pH imbalance. You can test at home with a urine or saliva test strip, which is available from health food stores. However, if you experience high or low results on your pH test, medical intervention is warranted. Consult your physician regarding pH level testing and course of treatment.

2. Take a sodium bicarbonate solution. Mild and acute cases of acidosis is remedied with baking soda and water. Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to a 4 oz. glass of distilled water. Mix the baking soda until it dissolves in the glass and then drink the solution. To neutralize acid, take the solution four to seven times a day under the supervision of your physician. Do not exceed use of the sodium bicarbonate solution for more than a one week without physician approval.

3. Drink water and electrolyte-containing beverages. Excessive blood alkalinity results from the depletion of carbon dioxide or necessary minerals, such as sodium and potassium. Returning your body to neutral involves replacing the missing fluids either through drinking electrolyte containing water or sports drinks. Severe cases of alkalosis require intravenous administration of fluids from a medical professional. In the event of low carbon dioxide from respiratory problems, acid-base neutralization can be achieved by breathing into a paper bag.

4. Eat a plant-based diet. A 2008 study in the found that using a plant-based supplement increased the research participants’ alkalinity level to neutralize acidity. Eating foods rich in fruits and vegetables is an alternative means for neutralizing acid. Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and beans or fruits such as raisins, bananas and apples are appropriate choices for neutralizing body pH. However, beef, pork and chicken are acid- forming foods. If you are trying to increase your acid, opt for animal-based products or eat plant foods to neutralize an acidic pH.

5. Take prescribed medications. Acid imbalance can result from poorly controlled medical conditions. For instance, diabetes is treated with insulin and taking this medication as prescribed is necessary to prevent metabolic acidosis. Respiratory acidosis is another condition requiring correct use of prescribed medication, such as an inhaler. Consult your physician regarding proper use of your medications to maintain neutral acid in your body.

Note
Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water daily to prevent acid-base imbalance. In the event of indigestion, taking an antacid can help neutralize and reduce symptoms.

BE WARNED :
Bicarbonate solution provides temporary relief of acidosis and overuse may cause harm. Consult your physician regarding alternative treatment.

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