When evaluating a person’s degree of health (or lack thereof), many different numerical indicators can be a part of the assessment process including:
- Blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89
- Total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL.
- Triglycerides below 150 mg/dL.
- Fasting blood glucose between 70-100 mg/dL.
- BMI (body mass index) of 18.5 to 24.9
But one of the most telling indicators of your level of health is your blood pH
The term pH (potential of hydrogen) is a measure of how acidic or alkaline
a substance is. Zero is pure acid, 7 is neutral and 14 is pure alkaline.
The pH ranges of the human body vary according to the specific body area in question:
The pH of your mouth and saliva is alkaline at about 7.1 – 7.4.
In the stomach, things are more acidic. The pH inside your stomach is typically in the 1.2 – 4.5 range.
In the small intestine the environment becomes alkaline again. In the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine) the pH goes up to 6, and eventually further down in the jejunum it reaches an alkaline level of about 7.4.
In the colon (large intestine), the pH again swings to the acidic range. The typical pH range for the colon is 5.7 – 6.7.
But the optimal pH of the blood
is a much more narrow and specific range. Ideal blood pH is slightly alkaline between 7.3 and 7.4, with 7.365 being the target number.
The importance of the right blood pH
Maintaining a slightly alkaline blood pH within the 7.3--7.4 range is crucial
. All of your cells, tissues, bones, joints and organs are better able to function as they were designed to when they are nourished by blood with a pH of about 7.365.
When your blood pH dips down toward the acid range, that's when your body can literally begin to break down (a condition called acidosis). The cells become sluggish and unable carry out proper metabolism. Wastes begin to build up in the cells and toxins aren't excreted like they should be. Cellular messages are not sent and received and nutrients can’t be properly used.
Eventually irritation then inflammation can result, tumor cells can thrive, chronic aches and pains can manifest and the body can ultimately become an environment that is hospitable to sickness and disease.
Note that having a blood pH that is too alkaline (called alkalosis) is similarly harmful. When blood pH exceeds 7.8, the following symptoms may manifest:
- Confusion (that can progress to stupor or coma)
- Hand tremor
- Muscle twitching
- Nausea, vomiting
- Numbness or tingling in the face, hands, or feet
- Prolonged muscle spasms (tetany)
However, alkalosis is extremely rare and is typically the result of kidney malfunction, prolonged vomiting and/or hyperventilation.
Here are 4 steps to help make sure your blood pH stays in the range that will help YOU to stay healthy!
Step 1- Check your pH at regular intervals
In order to know where you may be starting from, as well as to properly monitor changes in your pH in the future, it’s important to check your pH at regular intervals. There are three options to measure pH—through the saliva, the urine and the blood.
At-home saliva or urine test kits may be obtained at many drug stores and health food stores. A blood test must be performed by a physician.
Desirable ranges for the various forms of testing are as follows:
- Saliva: 7.0 - 7.4.
- Urine: 6.5 - 6.8
Blood: The ideal number is 7.365, although any value between 7.3 and 7.4 is a good sign.
You should be drinking at least eight 8-oz. glasses of pure water a day at a minimum, and even more if you are:
- Working outdoors in hot weather
- Over age 65
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Prone to heavy menstrual periods
Step 3- Incorporate sources of Vitamin C into your diet
Among its numerous health benefits, Vitamin C has been shown to help promote alkalinity in the body. Good food sources of this crucial antioxidant include bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, cauliflower, lemon juice, romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts, kale, kiwifruit, oranges, grapefruit, cabbage, tomatoes, raspberries, asparagus, celery, spinach, pineapple, green beans and summer squash.
Step 4- Help promote efficient digestion
Efficient digestion is crucial to the removal of acid wastes from the body as well as the proper assimilation and absorption of nutrients.
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Remember, a lot of “numbers” are telltale signs of your level of health—and pH is one of the most important!
Do what you can to help keep yours where it should be for optimal health.