What Is pH Balancing?

How to make your body less acidic and healthier

In 1933, William Howard Hay, a New York doctor, claimed that all disease is the result of “self-poisoning.” He wrote, in his groundbreaking publication A New Health Era, that physical problems and illnesses are caused by “autoxication,” or the accumulation of acid in the body. A balance of the pH levels in your body is important to maintaining optimal overall health.

What is pH?

The measure of acidity or alkalinity of a solution, including body fluids, is known as pH, or potential of hydrogen. It is measured on a scale of 0-14, and a pH balance of 7.0 is considered neutral. A lower pH is considered more acidic, while the higher the pH, the more alkaline the liquid.

The human body contains a variety of liquids that can be more or less acidic. Water makes up approximately 70 percent of the body. Other bodily fluids include saliva and blood. The Reynolds Office of Health in Santa Barbara, Calif., reminds us that this does not include stomach acids. pH balance refers only to the body’s fluids and tissues. It involves bringing your blood's pH level to the healthy range of 7.35–7.45 on the measurement scale.

What problems can occur from an imbalance in the body's pH?

Hay first noted it, and researchers concur, that an imbalance in pH levels can lead to several health issues. Dr. Janet Starr Hull, creator of the Aspartame Detox Program, lists such health concerns as constriction of blood vessels, weight gain, diabetes, bladder and kidney issues and fatigue as common ailments associated with pH imbalance. Researchers have also found a strong link between unhealthy pH and arthritis. A connection has been found between pH and hormone concerns, premature aging, the weakening of bones, hip fractures and bone spurs.

How do you balance body pH?

Diets high in acid — such as those containing sugar, caffeine, animal protein and manufactured processed food — make it difficult for the body to maintain pH neutrality. Robert O. Young, author of The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health, suggests that meals should be 75 percent alkaline and 25 percent acidic food and beverages to gain and maintain health.

Foods that are more acidic include: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, food chemicals and refined sugars. Alkaline food examples are: fruits, vegetables and sprouts. Balancing your body's pH involves combining these foods in the recommended 3:1 ratio suggested by Young.

Ingesting acidic foods, high fat and toxic food residue causes the body to become too acidic. Hull and Young suggest that the body should be slightly alkaline. This enables the body to build a reserve for acid-forming events such as poor diet, lack of exercise or stress.

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