So you may hear people rambling on about alkaline foods, acidic foods, balancing your pH and be thinking “erm..what?”. Here’s the basics!
This article was written by Anna Rozanska
So what’s pH, you say?
pH (or, the full scientific name – potential of hydrogen) is basically just a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. It’s always measured on a scale of 0 to 14.
The simple thing to remember is – low pH is acidic, and high pH is alkaline. (The pH of 7 is actually neither acid nor alkaline so is called neutral).
Our bodies are always trying to balance the pH within our body, and when this balance is thrown off, it can actually lead to many health problems. Many holistic doctors and nutritionists actually believe that most problems we encounter can be explained by the imbalance of pH. Crazy right??!
Ok, so what can happen from an imbalance?
Scary stuff! The most common imbalance is over acidity. That’s because a lot of foods that prevail in today’s society are acid forming. ( Note I say acid forming, not acidic – there’s a difference!). Now, over acidity basically gives a friendlier environment for disease in your body. You see, usually our bodies keep a reserve of alkaline – you know, just for emergencies! But if we are constantly eating acid forming foods, our body ends up using our alkaline reserves to neutralise the body again… this weakens our body and makes us more likely to get ill. Just a few examples of what can happen from over-acidity in the body (technical term – mild acidosis) : immune deficiency, joint pains, lactic acid buildup in your muscles, low energy, hormone imbalance, weight gain, weak bones, and LOTS more! Another really important point to note as well, is that if you have a pH imbalance, your body will not absorb nutrients well. So you can be eating all the healthy foods and supplements you want, but it won’t make any difference because your body will just not absorb them!
Therefore, a pH balanced diet is essential if you want to maintain a healthy body from the inside!
Alright, what do I do?
The best thing to do is change your diet to both increase alkaline forming foods, and decrease acid forming foods. You can check out our list of A-Z Alkaline foods but perhaps I should explain about the whole “acid forming” vs “acidic” foods first:
Acid forming vs acidic
Basically, the actual pH of a food will not have anything to do with how it acts in the body. What that means in simple terms is that what matters is the end-products that a food will product after digestion and assimilations, not what the food actually is. So for example a LOT of people think that lemons are acidic and so stay away from them. In truth, yes the actual LEMON is acidic, but the end-products they produce are extremely alkaline so lemons are super good at alkalising the body. (Also, similarly meat is actually alkaline but it forms lots of acids within the body so isn’t great!)
So there you go – the basics of acid vs alkaline foods! Hope you found this useful and let us know if you have any tips on staying pH balanced!