GUEST POST: Virginia Cunningham
Your body’s pH level is measured by the balance of acidity and alkalinity in your blood. Typically, mechanisms in your body do an incredibly good job of regulating these levels, though food and certain habits that can affect the health of your organs can also have an impact on your overall blood pH.
The process that allows your body to regulate its own pH level is extremely complex and difficult to explain in only a few words, but the general break down looks like this:
- Carbon dioxide
- Buffers (special chemical mixes that resist changes to pH)
All of these components have a role in managing the pH levels of your body, and on a typical day, they do the job just fine. Where these mechanisms can start to fail you is when poor diet and health issues in other areas of your body come into play.
This means that while you can’t actually control your own pH levels, you can help your body out by staying healthy overall, sticking to a good diet and avoiding large amounts of alcohol.
But how does each habit come into play when we’re talking about your body’s pH? Let’s look a little closer.
Normal pH Levels
Your body’s pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14, where neutral pH would be considered 7. As you go lower, your blood would be considered more acidic, while higher would be considered more alkaline. Since our blood is slightly alkaline, optimal pH levels are between 7.35 and 7.45, which is what they would look for in a blood test.
Whenever we’re talking about “regulating” pH levels, this is what we’re referring to.
Now, onto the specifics.
1. Organ health
Overuse of alcohol and aspirin, or diabetes brought on by poor diet can lead to problems with your kidney’s functionality. In addition to a myriad of other problems this can cause, a condition called acidosis, or simply “too much acid in your blood,” can occur as a result.
Eating a balance of highly acidic foods with highly alkaline foods can help to supplement your body’s natural regulatory functions.
Image Source: mindbodygeen.com
As you can see, the most highly acidic foods include coffee, dairy (eggs, cream cheese, etc.), fruit juices and meats, while foods that lean towards more of the alkaline side of the spectrum include almonds, avocados, green tea and leafy greens (spinach, asparagus, kale, etc.).
Generally speaking, aim for the common-knowledge, well-balanced diet of these foods.
It doesn’t really have to be any more creative than this. If you get a balanced diet that is mostly made up of these components, than your blood pH will be just fine.
Image Source: mindbodygeen.com
3. Alcohol and habits
As we’ve already mentioned, excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to kidney troubles, which can ultimately increase the acidity in your blood.
As a general rule, the more you can reduce your alcohol consumption, the better off you’ll be. While it’s certainly fine to enjoy once in awhile, particularly certain wines, making a habit of consuming it can be hard on your overall health, which can eventually lead to issues with your blood pH level.
Keep your alcohol and aspirin consumption to a reasonable level, and chances are good that your body will do the rest of the work.
Doing What You Can
While you can’t actually control your body’s own pH levels, you can help make it easier for your body to do it on your behalf. Keeping yourself healthy with a good diet and minimizing harmful habits is likely going to be more than enough to avoid having your blood pH flagged during your next doctor’s appointment.
Virginia Cunningham is a freelance health writer and yoga enthusiast in the Los Angeles area. Writing for NorthWest has not only given her the opportunity to share her knowledge of personal health and wellness, but it has also expanded her knowledge on how she can improve upon her own health.