pHabulous Life of the Nutrient-Rich and Alkaline: A Guide to Managing Your pH

The secret to a life with glowing health is to maintain a slightly alkaline pH in your body. Let’s go back to high school science class and get a refresher course on the pH scale.

The body works to maintain a delicate pH balance. Technically, pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration in solution. Huh? Don’t worry, I won’t get too scientific. For now, all you really need to know is that the pH scale runs from 0 to 14. A neutral pH is 7.0. The higher the pH (meaning greater than 7), the more alkaline the substance is. The lower the pH, the more acidic the substance.

The pH Scale

0 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 – 11 – 12 – 13 – 14
acidic <————-neutral————-> alkaline
The SAD (Standard American Diet) is highly acidic and hangs out way on the left side of the pH scale because of the over-consumption of meat, dairy, coffee, processed foods  and soda. And that’s not good, because inflammation, allergies, arthritis, skin problems, mood disorders, depression, constipation, bowel issues, stress (physical and mental) and chronic disease thrive in an acidic environment. What these things don’t like is an alkaline environment. To achieve an optimal, or slightly alkaline environment (7.365 on the scale), it’s better to rely on a plants-based or raw foods diet.

Here’s where things get a little tricky. The pH operates on a logarithmic scale in multiples of 10. In other words, it takes 10 times the amount of alkalinity to neutralize an acid.

Let’s go back to our scale.

0 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 – 11 – 12 – 13 – 14
A jump from 7 to 6 doesn’t seem like much, but in reality it requires 10 times the amount of alkalinity to neutralize that jump.

7 to 5 = 100 times.  7 to 4 = 1,000 times.  7 to 3 = 10,000 times. Get the picture?

Here’s an example of what goes on in the body when it has to make a jump from acidic back to homeostasis. Coffee is a 4 on the pH scale. What does the body do to process something that acidic? The body will do anything to maintain its pH balance, so it uses “buffer minerals” (calcium, magnesium, potassium — building blocks of the body) to neutralize those acids. This means a lot of extra work for your body and a reduced amount of those same enzymatic reserves and minerals to keep your body and bones strong – think of osteoporosis and premature aging as potential long-term effects.

Yikes! Enough of the freaky stuff already, right? Let’s talk about how to maintain a chlorophyll-rich, alkalizing diet. This is the plants-based and raw food diet I mentioned previously. A high-alkaline diet is full of veggies and fruits — such as salad greens, sprouts, fresh juices, avocados, broccoli, lentils, wheatgrass, etc.

Most experts recommend a 60/40 or 80/20 diet. This means 60% of the foods you eat should be alkaline, and 40% should be acidic. Do whatever you gotta do. Pull up a garbage can to your fridge and pantry if you have to and get rid of what doesn’t serve you.

Healthy food = healthy cells = healthy thoughts = healthy relationships = healthy business. You get the idea?

Conversely, crap goes in, crap comes out.

Glance at your plate, look into your glass. Where is your diet on the pH scale?

Soda = 2. Coffee = 4. Cucumber = 7.

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