Pure Alkaline Water Drops - A Primer On pH And The Body

pH Testing: Are You Too Acidic?

What Is Acidosis?

What Are Alkaline Foods?

10 Ways To Alkalize Your Diet

Why Drink Alkaline Water?

Numerous processes in the human body depend on the pH levels of fluids falling into a given range. For example, pH is usually lower in the stomach because acid (hydrochloric acid) helps break down food and acids have a low pH.(1*) However, like all things in the body, balance is required. If the stomach becomes too acidic, it can cause pain and health problems. Not all tissues and organs need the same pH balance. Different organs in the body require different pH levels.

When it comes to our health, pH is truly a matter of life and death.(2*) Blood pH must stay in the range of 7.35 to 7.45 with the optimum blood pH being 7.40. This slightly higher pH (or more alkaline) level benefits blood because at higher pH levels a substance in red blood cells called hemoglobin binds to oxygen more efficiently. 

Because blood pH is so important, your body does a fantastic job of monitoring it closely and making adjustments when needed. However, your diet could still have a huge impact on the relative acidic or alkaline reading of your blood. The Western diet consists of many processed foods that are high in acidity. Eating a healthy balanced diet can be the difference between surviving and thriving as a healthy human being.

You are alive right now because of an incredibly complex set of chemical reactions that are continually going on inside of you. From the neurons that fire in your brain to the cardiac cells that expand and contract -  none of which would be possible without a dazzling array of biochemical processes.

The building blocks of those chemical reactions include amino acids, a few different sugars, minerals, and vitamins - all required for proper nourishment for the body.

Amino acids, sugars, vitamins and minerals work together to ensure a balanced dichotomy between acidity and alkalinity.  When the right proportion of the two is achieved, the body can function properly. If the body becomes too acidic or too alkaline—referred to as acidosis(3*) and alkalosis,(4*) respectively—serious health complications can arise.

 

Alkaline Foods

In a “pure” glass of water, the amount of H+ ions and OH+ ions are equal. Alkaline and acidity are also known as "bases." If you were to introduce an alkaline base into that glass of water, the balance of ions would be skewed because the alkaline base is receptive to the hydrogen. The balance of ions would shift towards the OH- end of the spectrum and the pH would become more alkaline. So, as you may have guessed, the measure of something’s pH is a measure of a number of hydrogen ions in the solution.

Some examples of alkaline minerals include calcium, magnesium and copper. Which can be found in alkaline foods such as root vegetables (radishes, beets, and turnips), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli and brussel sprouts) and leafy greens such as kale and spinach.

 

Acidic Foods

An acid is a substance that repels hydrogen. Remember, in a pure glass of water there is an equal amount of OH- and H+ ions. If we were to introduce an acid into that glass of water, there would be an influx of H+ ions. With no alkaline base to neutralize all of those extra H+ ions, the solution would become acidic.(5*)

Acidic substances can be recognized as having a “bite” to them and tasting sour. Think of biting into something tart like a cranberry or a lemon, and you’ll know what an acid tastes like! However, just because a compound is acidic doesn’t mean the net effect of eating that food will be an acidic one. Lemons are very acidic by nature but once eaten; they have an alkaline effect on the body (they contain significant amounts of alkaline minerals). Further, food doesn’t have to taste acidic to be acidic. Sugar can obscure the sour taste of many acids—this is why key-lime pie doesn’t have the same bite to it as raw key limes.

Just as there are alkaline minerals, there are acidic minerals such as sulfur, fluorine, chlorine, phosphorus and silicon which can influence the body's pH level. For example, the production of sulfur compounds during the process of digesting meat will shift the body towards an acidic state.

Now you know a little about the science behind pH and which foods are acidic or alkaline. Always remember, alkaline is not better than acidic, it’s finding the right balance between both that will keep the body in tip-top shape and keep you feeling great.

Learn More About Alkaline Foods

     Source References
(1) Branch Basics - Do You Have Enough Stomach Acid
(2) Wikibooks: Blood Physiology
(3) Medline Plus: Alkalosis
(4) Medline Plus: Acidosis
(5) Science Buddies: Chemical Acids and Bases

 

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