The term "pH balance" may sound familiar, but what does it really signify and why is it significant? It may come as a surprise, but maintaining a proper pH balance is essential for nearly all bodily functions, such as the immune system, digestive, muscle and joint health.
Diet is typically the primary culprit for pH imbalances, but other factors such as alcohol abuse, stress, antibiotics, and excessive or inadequate exercise may also contribute. In this article, we will look at why balancing your pH is so important for your health and how you can implement dietary and supplemental struggles to do so.
pH balance is a measure of hydrogen ion concentration in your body on a scale of 1 to 14, where 7 is neutral. If your pH is below 7, you are acidic, and if it's above 7, you are alkaline. The ideal blood pH for humans is slightly alkaline, ranging from 7.30-7.45, and deviations from this range can have negative effects on various bodily functions[I].
Electrolytes are essential charged particles that regulate fluid balance, support muscle function, and generate electrical impulses in your body. Acidic blood can cause the depletion of electrolyte minerals from other body parts, leading to bone and joint problems, making it crucial to maintain a healthy intake of electrolytes to combat acidity and maintain proper balance.
The human body possesses buffer systems that work tirelessly to maintain the ideal pH balance. However, due to modern-day lifestyles, these systems often struggle to cope with the demand of neutralising excess acids. As a result, our blood can become overly acidic, leading to the accumulation of acid in our body tissues over time - this state is known as ‘hyperacidity’.
Certain foods like sugar, grains, dairy products, processed foods, and fresh meats are highly acidic and overconsumption can upset the stomach's pH balance, leading to acid reflux. Additionally, the body's overall pH balance can be affected by the metabolism of these foods[ii].
Introducing more friendly bacteria into your gut through probiotics can establish a balance that prevents the proliferation of unfriendly bacteria and reduces pH levels. Probiotics with lactobacillus are especially beneficial as they can survive in highly acidic environments and produce lactic acid, which aids glucose metabolism[iii]. A Vogel Molkosan The Beauty Chef Cleanse Inner Beauty Powder
Spirulina: Spirulina contains chlorophyll, which is a natural alkalising agent that helps to balance the pH levels in the body. Additionally, spirulina is high in minerals like potassium and magnesium, which also have alkalising effects. Incorporating spirulina into your diet may help to promote a more alkaline environment in your body, which can have numerous health benefits[iv].
Wheatgrass is another natural food that is believed to have alkalizing properties. Alkalizing refers to the ability to increase the pH level of the body, making it less acidic and more alkaline. Wheatgrass is high in chlorophyll, which is a natural alkalizing agent that can help to balance the pH levels in the body. Additionally, wheatgrass is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are also known to have alkalizing effects. Consuming wheatgrass may help to promote a more alkaline environment in the body, which can have various health benefits, including improved digestion, increased energy, and reduced inflammation[v]. Kiki Health Organic Wheatgrass
Barleygrass is a type of young barley plant that is believed to have alkalizing properties. Alkalizing refers to the ability to increase the pH level of the body, making it less acidic and more alkaline. Barleygrass is high in chlorophyll, which is a natural alkalizing agent that helps to balance the pH levels in the body. Additionally, barleygrass is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are also known to have alkalizing effects. Incorporating barleygrass into your diet may help to promote a more alkaline environment in the body, which can have numerous health benefits, including improved digestion, increased energy, and reduced inflammation[vi]. Viridian Soul Food Organic Greens, containing barleygrass, wheatgrass, spirulina.
Chlorella is a type of freshwater algae that is believed to have alkalizing properties. Alkalizing refers to the ability to increase the pH level of the body, making it less acidic and more alkaline. Chlorella contains a high concentration of chlorophyll, which is a natural alkalizing agent that helps to balance the pH levels in the body. Additionally, chlorella is a rich source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are also known to have alkalizing effects. Consuming chlorella may help to promote a more alkaline environment in the body, which can have various health benefits, including improved digestion, enhanced immune function, and reduced inflammation[vii]. Dr. Schulze's Superfood, containing spirulina, wheatgrass, barleygrass and chlorella.
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Rest and relaxation: Yes, R and R is super important for your health, especially for your pH balance. Stress can cause an acidic impact on your body, triggering the release of inflammatory chemicals and hormones as part of the innate 'fight or flight' response. When combined with an already excessively acidic environment, these factors can lead to various symptoms, such as elevated heart rate and headaches. So make sure you make some ‘you time’ into your routine.
[i] Posencheg, M. A., & Evans, J. R. (2012). Acid-Base, Fluid, and Electrolyte Management. In C. A. Gleason & S. U. Devaskar (Eds.), Avery's Diseases of the Newborn (9th ed., pp. 367-389). W.B. Saunders. ISBN 9781437701340.
[ii] Schwalfenberg GK. The alkaline diet: is there evidence that an alkaline pH diet benefits health? J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:727630. doi: 10.1155/2012/727630. Epub 2011 Oct 12. PMID: 22013455; PMCID: PMC3195546.
[iv] Karkos PD, Leong SC, Karkos CD, Sivaji N, Assimakopoulos DA. Spirulina in clinical practice: evidence-based human applications. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:531053. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nen058. Epub 2010 Oct 19. PMID: 18955364; PMCID: PMC3136577.
[v] Gore RD, Palaskar SJ, Bartake AR. Wheatgrass: Green Blood can Help to Fight Cancer. J Clin Diagn Res. 2017 Jun;11(6):ZC40-ZC42. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2017/26316.10057. Epub 2017 Jun 1. PMID: 28764290; PMCID: PMC5534514.
[vi] Zeng Y, Pu X, Yang J, Du J, Yang X, Li X, Li L, Zhou Y, Yang T. Preventive and Therapeutic Role of Functional Ingredients of Barley Grass for Chronic Diseases in Human Beings. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 Apr 4;2018:3232080. doi: 10.1155/2018/3232080. PMID: 29849880; PMCID: PMC5904770.
[vii] Nishimoto Y, Nomaguchi T, Mori Y, Ito M, Nakamura Y, Fujishima M, Murakami S, Yamada T, Fukuda S. The Nutritional Efficacy of Chlorella Supplementation Depends on the Individual Gut Environment: A Randomised Control Study. Front Nutr. 2021 May 31;8:648073. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2021.648073. PMID: 34136514; PMCID: PMC8200412.
Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.