Maintaining Your Body’s pH Level And Why It Is Important
If you go back to your Chemistry class in school, you might remember something called the pH test. You would have probably used something called the Litmus paper and put various solutions on it. Then, according to the property of the solution, the Litmus paper would turn red or blue. This is the same concept our body also uses to keep us alive. As long as we are slightly on the “blue” side of things, we are alive. Too blue and we are dead. Intrigued? Read on to find more!
pH stands for the power of Hydrogen. It is the measurement of the Hydrogen ion concentration in a solution. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with 7.0 being considered neutral. From there and upwards, it is Alkaline and anything below 7.0 is acidic. So, a 0 is completely acidic and 14 is completely Alkaline. It is medically agreed upon that the pH levels in blood, between which human life is sustainable, range somewhere between 7.30 and 7.45. That is it! Usually at 6.8 a person goes into a coma. Any lower and death is certain. Even at 7.8, a person can die. So naturally, we would want to ensure that we are also contributing to the hard work put in by our bodies to maintain the very delicate acid-alkaline balance that keeps us alive.
A healthy pH level is usually 7.4 and this is where we function best.
When you see people perform their daily activities in good health, it is because their blood’s pH levels are at this level. Your body automatically has a few checks and functions in place that regulate the pH. Blood contains carbonic acid (weak acid) and bicarbonate (base). Based on the requirements, these levels are adjusted to ensure the optimum pH level in the system.
Food is one of the biggest factors in helping to maintain our body’s pH levels. As you can imagine, water is at the 7.0 level, otherwise known as neutral. You can consult your doctor to check if you are too acidic by getting a basic pH test for your blood. The modern lifestyle and fast-food culture have, unfortunately brought too many foods that are acidic in nature and so, many gastric problems are created. For example, soft drinks, soda and energy drinks are at pH 3. Pasta, pastries, cheese, wine, pickles, chocolate and popcorn are at a pH of 4. Coffee, nuts, wheat and white bread are at pH 5. The healthy options start near pH 6. These include fresh fruit juices, most grains, eggs, cooked greens, coconut, brown rice, oats and tea.
On the Alkaline side, we have apples, tomatoes, bananas and strawberries at pH 8. Green tea, brinjal, figs, dates, mangoes, papayas, melons, grapes are at pH 9. At pH 10 we have the super foods such as broccoli, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, lemons, limes, asparagus and onion. However, this is not an exhaustive list.
Please consult with your dietician and chalk out a good meal plan that would help maintain your pH levels. Do not worry, your body is intelligent enough to ensure the 7.4 golden number is retained. However, it never hurts to help it a little by following a healthy diet.