The Body’s pH Balancing Act

10 Jan

The human body needs to maintain a pH level of 7.3 to 7.5.  It does this without us having to think or really work at maintaining that level.  Did you know that if our bodies don’t keep this precise level, we’ll end up at the ER real fast!  Not maintaining the correct acid-alkaline balance can even be fatal.  Our bodies depend on this delicate balance in order to perform various cellular functions.  So, to keep us alive, our bodies use minerals from our extracellular fluid—this is the fluid that is outside of the cells…kind of like a river and the cells are the rafts floating in the river—to maintain the pH balance.  When the fluid doesn’t have the right amount of minerals, specifically calcium, magnesium, and potassium; it turns to the stores of these and other minerals in our bones.  This weakens the bones.

Drinking one 12-ounce can of soda, causes such an acidic condition in the body that the kidneys are not able to handle the acidic level of the urine.  In order for the urine to be at an appropriate pH level, the body must draw on the alkalizing minerals in the extracellular fluid and possibly from the bones.

Stress is another factor that causes acidic conditions in the body.  Again, to maintain the delicate pH balance, the body must draw upon its stored minerals.  Decreasing stress and learning to manage stress is important to each person’s health even beyond acid-alkaline balancing.

Eat foods rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium so that your extracellular fluid is rich in these minerals and build up stores in your body.  Some suggested foods are cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, bell peppers, garlic, broccoli, ginger, citrus*, and, avocado.  Take a deep breath, thoroughly chew each bite of food, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables several times a day to step in the right direction toward better health.

*Although citrus is acidic, within our bodies, they create a more alkaline environment.

Lipski, Elizabeth. 2012. Digestive Wellness, 4ed. United States: McGraw-Hill.


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