If the term “pH balance” brings you right back to your high school science class, you’re not alone. Our pH balance isn’t exactly something that we tend to think about very often but it’s more important than you think. An optimal pH balance is vital for your body to function properly and it can affect everything from your immune system to your digestive process! Unfortunately, the modern diet of processed foods combined with a stressful lifestyle can throw your pH balance out of whack, and make you feel just as out of whack too!
Let’s look at what exactly your pH balance is and how you can ensure it’s working for you rather than against you.
What is pH Balance?
The abbreviation “pH” stands for “the power of hydrogen” (save that for your next table quiz!). This is in reference to the concentration of hydrogen ions you have in your body. On the pH scale of 1 to 14, 7 is the “neutral” baseline. Generally, you’re “acidic” if your pH balance falls at the lower end of this scale and you’re alkaline if it goes over 7. Experts recommend that your pH balance should actually be slightly alkaline, so around 7 – 7.5 is the ideal level to be at. Once you go over or under that level, your body will start to suffer. This especially applies when your pH balance becomes too acidic as your system can’t control the excess acid in your body. When this happens it often leads to inflammation and disease.
However, if you keep your pH balanced, your body stays alkaline which means it can keep functioning optimally. In a body that is performing properly, pH levels are regulated by sweating, breathing, and by our kidneys. These are known as “buffer systems” that work hard to filter out any extra acid and keep your levels within the safety zone. But as I mentioned earlier, our modern-day diets and lifestyles can make it difficult for these buffer systems to stay on top of neutralizing all of the excess acids. Things like comfort eating after a stressful day, not drinking enough water, excessive alcohol use, and getting overwhelmed by daily stressors, can make acidity levels soar regardless of how hard our buffer systems work to keep it under control.
If you’ve read through our science page, you‘ll know that we believe it’s very important to ensure your stomach is producing sufficient acid, and that insufficient acid can often be the underlying cause behind acid reflux. Your stomach has to have an acidic environment in order to break down the foods you eat, whereas your small intestine should be slightly alkaline to neutralize the acid in your body.
If your pH levels are imbalanced this can have a pretty significant impact on your overall health, such as:
Poor digestion: acid reflux, indigestion, bloating, and nausea can all be a result of either insufficient or excess acid. If your pH balance stays imbalanced, you won’t be able to absorb nutrients from your food properly which will lead to pain and inflammation.
Compromised immune system: over 70% of your immune system is located in your gut so any problems that happen in your digestive system are going to impact the health of your immune system also. When your immune system is weakened, you’ll be fatigued, rundown, and more likely to pick up viruses such as colds and flu.
Joint and muscle pain: excess acid can build up in your joints which can lead to (and exacerbate) conditions such as arthritis.
Acne: your skin’s barrier helps to lock in moisture and keep out toxins and bacteria. But when your pH level is imbalanced, it’s not able to do its job. This is when inflammation can occur causing your skin to weaken its defense against infection or damage, which leads to pimples, blemishes, and even premature aging.
Chronic inflammation: when your body is constantly fighting (and failing) to maintain the pH balance it needs to perform properly, this increases the levels of homocysteine in your blood. This is a pro-inflammatory acid that can double your risk of stroke, heart attack, and even Alzheimer’s disease when there are high levels of it in your blood.
Osteoporosis: your bones contain alkalizing minerals that your body has to use up when it needs to regulate your pH balance and reduce the amount of acid in your gut. When these minerals are used up, it can lead to bone loss and serious conditions such as osteoporosis.
How to Improve Your pH Balance
There are a number of things you can do to ensure your pH stays healthy such as staying hydrated, avoiding stress, and getting enough sleep. But a retaining nutritious diet is one of the best ways to ensure your pH marker stays in the safe zone. Generally, the food we eat can be divided up into two camps: acid-forming and alkaline-forming. If your diet isn’t very nutritious, you’re probably going to be either too acidic or too alkaline
Try these tips to keep your pH balance optimal, maintain healthy bones, and support digestion so you don’t have to deal with the symptoms of an ill-functioning system:
Eat more root vegetables: root vegetables such as leeks, sweet potatoes, and turnips, will actually decrease your risk of osteoporosis by helping your body to absorb the calcium in the food you eat.
Ditch refined sugar: it’s best to avoid refined sugar that you find in soda drinks and fruit juice as it makes your urine very acidic and potentially damaging to your urinary tract. When this happens, your body needs to use large amounts of buffering minerals to allow the acid to pass out of your body without causing damage.
Swap red meat for vegetable protein: red meat is very acidic so it’s best to monitor how much you consume (about 4 ounces each meal). There are lots of vegetables and legumes that are relatively high in protein so make sure you add these to your diet to ensure you have a sufficient intake.
Take a daily probiotic: a daily probiotic will add more “good” bacteria to your digestive system to restore balance to your gut microbiome, prevent the spread of bad bacteria, and help to reduce your pH levels.
Add a daily pH balancing supplement to your diet: our all-natural pH Balancer contains zinc to increase your natural pH balance and marshmallow root to soothe the gut and combat inflammation. Taken daily, this will help you to get your pH levels back on track in no time at all.
Reduce stress: the effect of stress on your pH balance is definitely underestimated. Stress can have a super acidic effect on your body by stimulating an inflammatory response that causes symptoms such as headaches and fatigue. In addition, the stress hormone, cortisol, will make you crave acidic foods that are high in sugar and carbs. It’s important to ensure you have some time to yourself during the day to chill out and have some time for self-care, whether it’s sitting down to read a book or soaking in the bath.
The Sooner You Act, the Better You’ll Feel
If you’ve been experiencing symptoms such as acid reflux and fatigue for an extended period of time, it’s likely you may have a pH imbalance and it won’t do you any harm to start adapting your diet to rectify this. If you want to be 100% sure, you can pick up some pH test strips from your local pharmacy or health store. These will give you a good indication of your pH balance but bear in mind that it can fluctuate during the day and it’s natural for it a little more acidic in the morning and more alkaline at night.
You’ll notice your pH levels have started to normalize when your skin clears up, your energy sleep improves, you feel more energized, and you’re better able to fight off infection. In addition, you’ll also notice that the “foggy brain” effect of a pH imbalance disappears and your mind will be sharper as a result.
Get Your pH Levels Back to Normal Today
Improving your pH levels is one of the most important things you can do to dramatically improve your overall well being and it’s also one of the easiest, so why not get started right now?
Our pH Balancer will deliver the powerful healing benefits that you need to combat your digestive problems, heal your gut, resolve acid reflux, alleviate heartburn, and help you to feel like yourself again.
Want the extra good news? We’re offering Terra Health readers a 30% discount on your first order! Just use the code: PHBlog30 when ordering your pH Balancer to avail of this special offer.