How To Balance Your pH Level With Food
When you do some research into getting the right balance in your diet, you will generally find plenty of information about balancing the different food groups. Chances are that the majority of your search results will point you to the standard food pyramid.
While the food pyramid is vital to a healthy diet, what most people don’t realize, is that keeping your pH levels in check is just as important.
You most likely hear of pH levels when it comes to cosmetics and personal hygiene products. And if it’s important to not expose your skin to acidic or alkaline conditions, then surely it’s just as important to protect your internal body as well.
Numerous studies have shown that an off-balance pH level in your body will make you more susceptible to illnesses.
But what do you need to do to bring your pH back into balance? And how should you plan your diet for the long run?
Achieving an optimum pH balance in your body requires the right dietary balance of acidic vs alkaline foods.
We delve into how you’ll find out exactly what the optimum pH level is, why it’s so important and how to adjust your diet to make improvements.
What pH Balance Should Your Diet Have?
This is an excellent question and one that a lot of people struggle with. The first thing you need to do is to assess your current pH levels. Now, it’s important to note that different parts of your body have different pH levels, and your body does a great job at trying to keep them at the right level.
For example, your blood should be slightly alkaline at about 7.4, while your stomach needs to be quite acidic at 3.5 to help with digestion. The best areas to focus on would be your saliva and urine, which should be close enough to a neutral pH of 7.
Measuring your urine and saliva is easy with simple pH test strips. Just make sure you don’t measure first thing in the morning, as you can get misleading readings.
Once you know what your pH levels are, you can adjust your diet to lean more in one or the other direction. If you have a slightly too alkaline reading, then more acidic foods will help the balance and vice versa.
And what is the recommended balance?
Generally speaking you want to favor alkaline food over acidic food in a 7 to 3 ratio. You can make little adjustments to this whenever you see changes on the test strips. But once you have found your balance and stick to your diet, you will find that fluctuations are very rare.
Focusing more on non-acidic foods will also come with advantages of taking in less fats and sugars. The benefit of this is that your body will adjust to processing body fat rather than fat and sugar in your diet. Over time, this will result in a noticeable weight loss and a reduction in damaging cholesterol levels.
Acidic And Alkaline Foods
Unlike the food pyramid, you cannot generalize that one food group is acidic and another is alkaline.
If you look at an acid and alkaline food chart (see below) you will find that almost everything from vegetables and fruit, to herbs and spices, and even nuts and seeds can be either or.
This does make a balanced pH diet a little bit more complicated.
For that reason, we have put together this sample list that can help you understand what you’re actually eating. Once you understand that there are significant differences within each food group, you will be in a much better position to modify your diet.
Sources Of Alkalizing Food
With the exception of meat, fish and poultry, practically everything on the food pyramid is available in alkaline or acidic forms. Generally speaking you want to favor alkaline food over acidic sources, but it’s not as simple as favoring vegetables over meat.
- Fruit: Mango, Blackberry, Grapefruit
- Veg: Lentils, Asparagus, Broccoli, Ginger
- Seeds: Pumpkin, Sesame, Poppy
- Herbs: Garlic, Ginger, Basil
Sources Of Acid Producing Food
If your pH levels are leaning more towards the alkaline end, then the good news is that there are a lot more acidic foods to choose from. This not only includes, fish, meat and poultry, but far more fruit and veg would fall into the acidic range.
However, you shouldn’t just make assumptions, as many people don’t realize that limes and grapefruit would actually be classified as non-acidic fruits. This means you cannot just jump to conclusion based on your taste and should rather always use a food chart to make your dietary plans.
It’s also important to note that even vegans and vegetarians should keep a close eye on their food intake. Just because you don’t eat most or any animal products, doesn’t mean you won’t quickly have an acidic diet.
- Fruit: Cranberry, Plum, Tomato
- Veg: Soybean, Carrot, Peas
- Nuts: Almonds, Hazelnut, Pistachio
- Grain: Barley, Corn, Rice
- All Meat, Fish and Poultry
Why Is A Balanced pH Important For Your Health?
In most cases where the pH balance is off it tends to be towards the acidic range. And this can have some serious health impacts in the long run. When your blood shifts from slightly alkaline to acidic, it is medically referred to as acidosis.
Acidosis can have some serious impacts in the short and long term, because the kidneys will start to filter out more minerals that are not available for vital body functions. The result of this can be as mild as allergies, skin rashes or regular headaches. But in the long term this can contribute to arthritis, cancer and even heart disease.
For the majority of healthy people, keeping a pH balanced diet may not mean major changes in their diet. It’s more an awareness to favor high pH foods on the alkaline side over acidic ones. And once you start keeping track of what you eat on a daily basis you will achieve that balance quickly.