Balancing Your pH
By Diane L. Victor, N.P.
Did you know that pH plays a vital role in keeping our bodies health? How even the smallest decreases in pH over long periods of time can have detrimental effects on the body’s well being? Taking time to read this article will benefit you in many different ways. Remember that knowledge is power — and power gives you the opportunity to take responsibility for your health! This article explains the importance of monitoring your pH for a long, healthy life. Learn why more and more doctors are teaching patients how to balance their diets with alkaline foods — foods that are the baseline of good health, and could ultimately save their lives!
The pH Factor
Alkaline pH, a Stronghold for Your Wellness
What is the pH factor? pH stands for ‘percentage of hydrogen.’ The factor is simply how pH affects the body in all areas. The pH factor is the acid/alkaline balance within the body’s bio-terrain (the fluids within your body). These fluids transport nutrients, various chemicals and even sound vibrations through every cell in the body. Establishing a slightly alkaline pH within the body’s bio-terrain is of utmost importance for those who want long-term good health. The body’s weight is composed of 50-60% fluid, so when the pH is imbalanced (too acidic or too alkaline), it has a profound effect on body chemistry. The entire metabolic process depends on a balanced pH for survival. According to Dr. Young, PhD and biochemist, all regulatory mechanisms (including breathing, circulation, digestion, hormone production etc.) serve the purpose of balancing the pH. However, the body can only work with what it has. When it has used up its reserves, it becomes more and more difficult to produce optimum results and needs your help!
As we already know, the body is constantly utilizing its innate intelligence to keep itself well or, in other words, keep itself in homeostasis. However, in most cases, the body requires your conscious efforts to assist in this process. When a person suffers from disease (dis-ease), it is because the body can no longer manage on its own. This is when symptoms (minor or major) show up and we begin to look for outside assistance to heal our body. Years of ignoring what our bodies really need creates the scenario. In most cases, by making conscious lifestyle choices, we can avoid the dis-ease in the first place. This is where the acid/alkaline balance becomes so important.
The foods we eat, once digested, produce an ash which is either acidic or alkiline (also called a base). For optimum health, 70-80% of the ash should be alkaline. Too much acid ash in a diet can be dangerous to your health. In fact, many doctors and health practitioners (myself included) call an acid pH the “silent killer”. Current researchers are beginning to look at the link between cancer prevention and cure as connected with an alkaline pH.
Americans currently consume foods high in acid ash more than any other culture, due to an abundance of processed foods, fast foods, and lack of fresh foods in our diet.
Don’t panic; deterioration is a gradual process and it takes years of being highly acidic to break down the body to the point of disease. Also know that the process of rebalancing your body to a slightly alkaline state can take time. The key is to begin now. Don’t get discouraged… it will happen!
An Acid pH
When the internal fluids’ pH becomes too acidic (acidosis), cells become poisoned in their own toxic wastes and die. Toxicities that remain in the body ferment, causing a bio-terrain ripe for fungus, parasites and other unwanted microorganisms. These organisms mutate, migrate and grow as well as add to the already existing acid condition within the body. Here’s a partial list of where these imbalances can lead:
- Cardiovascular disease: Arteriosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure
- All forms of Cancer
- Diabetes, insulin sensitivity, obesity
- Digestive imbalances and weight gain
- Hormonal imbalances
- Immune deficiencies
- Liver and kidney disease
- Neurological disease: MS, MD, ALS, and Parkinson’s
- Senility, Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease
The acid environment within the body gradually eats away at tissues and cells (similar to the acid that eats into your water pipes) until it causes a degenerative condition. If left unchecked, it will interrupt all healthy cellular activities and functions, from the beating of your heart to the neural firing of your brain.
When I talk about acid being dangerous, I am referring to the pH of your body’s fluids from acidic ash developed over a prolonged period of time. Acid alone is not dangerous to your body. In fact, many vital functions within the body are dependent upon healthy acids (proteins etc.).
An Alkaline pH
A slightly alkaline pH is one of the “musts” for the body to be able to create optimum wellness and longevity. The pH is determined not only by diet and supplemental nutrients. A balanced pH is also dependent upon a clean internal environment. When we have too much toxic waste in our cells and inter- and intra-cellular fluids, the acid environment becomes even more acidic and, ultimately, more difficult to alkalize and maintain. When the fluids are properly maintained–meaning that it has the correct balance of electrically charged/bio-active nutrients such as oxygen, fatty acids, vitamins, proteins, and minerals–they can transport and deliver nutrients and clear away toxic waste from the cells. The cells can perform at their optimum level and bring the body back into balance.
The reason that the body responds so well to diet is indicated through research which demonstrates that when food is metabolized and broken down, it leaves certain chemical and metallic residues, a noncombustible “ash” which, combined with our body fluids, yields either acid or alkaline potentials of pH. Certain foods are acid forming in nature, and others are known as alkaline (base) forming. Give the body what it needs and it will meet your expectation of good health and longevity.
The following suggestions are based on years of nutritional expertise, specializing in pH balance. It is a broad compilation of nutritional information based on pH requirements and does not cover all aspects of health and nutrition. Making healthy choices is a lifetime journey, not a temporary fix. Be thoughtful in your choices, taking one step at a time. And, remember, each body has its own weaknesses and strengths. It needs the appropriate guidelines based on the body type, blood type, and genetic structure along with previous and current lifestyle. I highly recommend that you seek out a qualified health practitioner like myself to develop a wellness program specifically tailored for you.
Alkalizing Your Body
Now that we have learned how important it is to balance our pH, it is time to understand just how we can do so through the foods we eat on a daily basis and through the lifestyle we live. Keep in mind that the following information is based on an overall goal. Don’t get overwhelmed. Take one step at a time and make lifestyle choices appropriate to your current situations. But remember that change does not happen without some effort.
The following guidelines will assist you in making those conscious choices. For those who have existing acute or chronic conditions, I recommend starting at the intermediate or advanced level. The detoxification symptoms may be stronger; however, the results will be faster. Remember to see a Naturopath or other practitioner who can assist in minimizing the detoxification symptoms as well as to make sure you are on the appropriate program for rejuvenation.
The Start-Up Program:
For the Novice who has not necessarily had a healthy diet:
- Limit your intake of foods on the “foods to avoid/limit list”.
- Eat additional vegetables every day.
- Probiotics (available at most health food stores — take as directed and work up slowly.
The Intermediate Program:
For those who are already practicing daily, healthful nutritional intake and want to achieve a balanced pH.
- 50% of your daily intake is vegetables.
- 25-30% daily intake of protein (including vegetarian proteins) and a moderate amount of healthy fats (essential fatty acids or EFAs).
- 25-30% daily intake from other foods listed
- Probiotics (available at most health food stores – take as directed, toward the high end of suggested dosage)
The Advanced Program:
For those who have been nutritionally attuned for a very long time and are in extremely good health. It is also for those who are struggling with health issues and want to reverse the disease within their body quickly. This Program is NOT recommended for those with high-energy, athletic lifestyles.
- 65-70% daily intake of vegetables and healthy fats (EFA’s)
- 25% daily intake of proteins
- 8% daily intake of other foods listed
- Probiotics, according to your needs
Begin slowly to allow the changes to be permanent life-style changes. In this way detoxification symptoms will not be as strong and your body will adjust easier to your new changes.
Nutrition for Vitality and Longevity
Minerals & Vitamins
Begin by making sure you are getting a supplemental blend of minerals and vitamins with extra calcium and magnesium. I have found through the years that most people, especially women, are deficient in these areas. It is also important to take supplements that are easily absorbed and utilized. I find ionic colloidal minerals to be the best. When taking liquid formulas, be sure that the vitamins are in one formula and minerals are in another. When formulated together, the vitamins degrade (minerals break down vitamins).
Eat Organic When Possible
Organic farming understands the importance of nutrient-rich healthy soil, foods free of pesticides and herbicides, and non-genetically altered foods.
Drink Pure Structured Water
Drink a minimum of eight 8oz. glasses of water per day. To find your ideal daily intake of water, divide your body weight in half — that’s the number of ounces of water per day for your body, unless there are extenuating health circumstances.
Also, squeeze a fresh lemon into a large glass of water first thing in the morning and drink. This is extremely cleansing and works to alkalize, giving the body a great start for the day. Remember to rinse afterwards with pure water to protect the teeth from the acid’s long-term effects. (Lemon in its natural state is acidic, but it creates an alkaline ash.)
Consistent exercise is just as important as getting the appropriate nutrients. Exercise acts with multiple purposes. Two main advantages are:
1) the elimination of metabolic waste, thus enhancing the alkalization process.
2) toning and firming the body, utilizing the nutrients supplied.
Look at nutritious food as the fuel your body needs to run, and exercise as the spark that ignites the fuel, enabling your body to run strong and efficiently.
Foods to AVOID or LIMIT are:
- Red meats and saturated fats (especially lard and most chemically-produced margarines), bacon, beef, corned beef, pike, pork, veal
- Processed foods and most fast foods including bleached, processed foods such as white breads, white rice, white flours & refined sugars
- Dairy, animal proteins and other foods that have been injected with steroids, antibiotics, preservatives, etc.
- Sodas that are highly acidic and are loaded with chemicals
The following list provides healthy foods that can
assist you as you begin balancing your pH.
Common Alkaline Ash Producing Foods:
Vegetables (clean thoroughly, eat organic)
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Asparagus Beans (dried)
- Beet greens
- Brussels sprouts
- Cabbage (red or green)
- Green Beans
- Green Drinks
- Green Bell Pepper
- Lettuce (dark leaf)
- Lima beans
- Musk melons
- Mushrooms (avoid if you have a candida problem)
- Potatoes (sweet, white, red)
- Soy beans (green, organic)
- Spinach (raw)
- Swiss chard
- Tomatoes and tomato sauce
- Tops (carrots, turnip, beet)
- Vegetable broth
- Vegetable juice (all of the above)
- Apples and apple seeds
- Grapes (especially red)
- Lemons* (cleansing to liver)
- Watermelon and seeds
- Remember to limit your natural fruit sugars if you have fungus, yeast, parasites or sugar imbalances. (Except lemons, limes and avacados)
- Almond milk
- Brazil nuts
- Goats milk
- Seeds in process of sprouting
Very Alkalizing Foods
- Alfalfa Powder (purchase organic only)
- Organic apple cider vinegar (not to be used often)
- Dark leaf vegetable juices (kale, chard, etc. with cucumber as the base)
- Goats whey minerals
- Miso soup with lots of sea vegetables
- Special Note: Lemon water on an empty stomach in the AM flushes the liver and assists in cleansing the body. It is also great any time of day or night – hot or cold. (1-2 whole lemons per day)
Common Acid Ash Producing Foods are:
You can receive the whole proteins needed in your diet through two major sources.
- Combining Proteins:
Combine proteins that make whole proteins such as: Tofu, chick-peas, soybean products especially miso soup, garbanzos, kidney beans and or mung beans combined with whole grains such as barley oats, wheat, brown rice, rye, buckwheat, barley, toasted grains and oats.
- Protein Supplementation:
When supplementing, it is always important to look for quality. Some general guidelines include:
- When sweetener exists it should be at the bottom of the ingredient list. It also gives off a low glycemic response.
- Organic multi-source or non-denatured proteins give the most beneficial balance of amino acids
- There should be at least 18 amino acids in the protein blend.
- Contains only natural food ingredients.
Proteins (Organic Meat, Poultry and Deep Cold Water Fish)
- Turkey sausage
- Winter squash
- Bran (wheat, oat)
- Bread (whole grain)
- Butter (raw)
- Cheese (organic or soy)
- *Corn oil
- *Corn syrup
- Flour (whole wheat, oat, spelt, rice, etc.)
- Grains (most)
- Honey (raw)
- Nuts (most)
- Olive oil
- Peanut butter
- Rice (brown)
- Sunflower seeds
- Wheat germ
- * Most corn in todays world is toxic to the body due to all of the GMO toxicity.
pH Self Tests for Home Use
You can check your pH at home!
It is important to check your pH first thing in the morning after at least 4-5 hours of sleep to accurately determine your level of alkaline reserves. During sleep, your body uses the quiet time to repair and restore at a much greater level than during the day. It cleans house so to speak by working to detoxify the junk from the cellular level. This creates a lot of waste in the cellular fluids and is extremely acid.
Upon waking after at least 4 to 5 hours of sleep, take a strip of the pH paper and dip it into the stream of your first and second urine of the day. Check the results with the color chart on the pH box and note the corresponding number of the color. Your morning (a.m.) minimum pH should range between 6.5.
*Special note: If you have acute or chronic symptoms and your pH is running 6.0 or higher, you still need to go on an alkalizing diet plan. This is due to your body’s natural instinct to survive. When the body’s fluids become too acidic, your body begins to make ammonia to adjust the pH.
PH medical strips can be found in many health food stores and pharmacies.
Need Assistance getting your pH up? Contact Diane.
Now that you have knowledge about the importance of balancing your pH and how to do so, it’s time to take action. The suggestions above are a tool for improving health and renewed energy. If you have any questions about what you’ve read or wish to schedule an appointment to begin your pH balancing program with Diane L. Victor, please contact Diane through her email address at firstname.lastname@example.org , or call Diane directly at or 818-425-9903.
Diane L. Victor is a certified Naturopathic consultant. She is not a Medical Doctor. Information provided on this site consists of dietary suggestions for the purpose of providing the body with the nutrients it needs to perform efficiently, and in a healthy manner. It is not meant to diagnose or cure; instead to allow the body to have the appropriate signals to balance and heal itself — also known as wellness.
© 2002-2018, Diane L. Victor, N.P.