When you’re born, you’re at the height of your health… and your pH levels are in a nearly perfect alkaline balance. But if you’re like most folks, you pay very little attention to balancing your body chemistry. Yet to be healthy, you must be in acid/alkaline pH balance—and slightly on the side of alkalinity. An infant is highly alkaline… an 80-year-old person is highly acid… and death is 100 percent acidity.
This critical balance between acidity and alkalinity is measured on a scale of 0 to 14 known as the pH—or “potential of hydrogen.” On this scale, 0 to 7.0 is acid, 7.0 is neutral and 7.0 to 14 is alkaline. If you’re a healthy person with perfectly balanced pH, you would have a reading of about 7.4 in your blood and about 7.25 in your tissues. However, most people fall in the acid range of 6.2 to 6.4.
Why? Take a look at the three main reasons why we are so far below the healthy alkaline range:
- Stress—If you’re alive and working in America, you’re swimming in stress. This is a big reason for an increase in acid production.
- Dehydration—Seven out of 10 of us are chronically dehydrated. This means we suffer from dehydration fatigue, sluggish metabolism and an urge to eat all the time. Our thirst mechanism lacks strength and is often mistaken for hunger.
- Poor Diet—As you age you become more acidic because you build up more acid waste due mainly to a diet poor in nutrition. Most people eat 80 percent acid foods and only 20 percent alkaline foods. However, you should reverse that in order to be healthy.
Foods such as beef, pork, pasta, hamburgers, hot dogs, frozen snack foods, crackers, cookies, rice and most sugar cereals are acid-forming and commercially processed. These are the foods that most Americans live on. Sugar and artificial sweeteners (except Stevia) are even bigger culprits. And soft drinks are the real dangers with a high acid pH level of 2.5!
And while we devour the health-robbing acid-based foods, we turn up our noses at the good guys—alkaline-forming foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other foods high in fiber. This is a way of life that spells disaster for our health.
Just as acid can ruin your car battery, this is what acid overload can do to your body:
- Eats away at the linings of your arteries and increases your chances of both brain and cardiovascular problems
- Erodes cartilage and causes inflamed joints
- Damages skin cells which contributes to premature wrinkling and other aging issues
But that’s not the only damage you face. Excess acid can cause blood sugar problems… high blood pressure… calcium-deprived bones… low energy… poor circulation… sexual problems… sleep problems… leg cramps… and a host of other issues.
In fact, in his popular book, Alkalize or Die, Theodore A. Baroody, M.A., D.C., N.D., Ph.D., shook the scientific world with the statement, “The countless names of illnesses do not really matter. What does matter is that they all come from the same root cause… TOO MUCH ACID IN THE BODY!”
However, by understanding the importance of the acid/alkaline balance in your body—and taking steps to reverse the acid dominance—you can halt your march toward poor health.
—By Michael Cutler, M.D.