by Sherry Bresica
I think it should be a prerequisite to entering medical school that all potential doctors must be strong in math because so much of their assessment of how healthy or sickly you are depends on their review of various numbers!
Your blood pressure
Your blood sugar
Your PSA (for men)
But arguably the most telling “number” with respect to your level of health (or lack thereof) is something that isn’t even routinely tested or talked about.
And that’s scary because not carefully monitoring this number could mean that you may be well on your way to a life of sickness and disease and you won’t even know it…until you arrived in the land of the diagnosed.
This crucial number I’m talking about is your blood pH.
Here’s why it is truly your most important “number.”
In a flashback to high school chemistry, remember that the pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with 0 being pure acid, 14 being pure alkaline, and 7 is neutral:
Now, your body’s pH can actually differ depending on what area of the body you’re talking about:
The pH of your mouth and saliva is alkaline at about 7.1 – 7.4. This is because starch digestion begins in the mouth and starches are broken down with alkaline enzymes.
Once you travel down to the stomach, things quickly become VERY acidic. That’s because your stomach’s acids are helping to destroy any dangerous microbes that might be on your food as well as starting the breakdown of proteins into amino acids. The pH inside your stomach is typically in the 1.2 – 4.5 range.
Further down into the small intestine things become alkaline again. That’s because your pancreas and gallbladder secrete alkaline enzymes to buffer the stomach acid and finish fat and carbohydrate digestion. In the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine closest to your stomach) the pH goes up to 6, and eventually further down it reaches an alkaline level of about 7.4.
Then things become acidic again inside the colon (large intestine). For good reason—when you think of what your colon does (it’s your main exit ramp for wastes and toxins, it forms your feces and can potentially house large populations of bacteria) it makes sense that the pH in there is more acidic at 5.7 – 6.7.
But there’s one VERY important pH in your body that should ALWAYS stay the same.
It’s your blood pH.
You came into this world with a slightly alkaline blood pH of 7.365. And since your blood nourishes your entire body from head to toe, it’s crucial that its pH stays as close to 7.365 as possible.
ALL of your organs, tissues, bones, joints and cells work optimally when they are nourished by blood with a pH of about 7.365.
When your blood pH dips down toward the acid range, that’s when your body literally begins to break down.
Your cells become sluggish and can’t function properly. Wastes build up in them and toxins aren’t excreted like they need to be. Cellular messages aren’t sent and nutrients aren’t properly used.
It’s like your innards go on strike!
Eventually inflammation is created, tumor cells can thrive, chronic aches and pains become your norm and you increase your risk of developing a major disease—including cancer and heart disease.
Even a slight dip toward acidity can have a BIG devastating impact. A decrease of just .1 (one-tenth) in your pH number means a TEN-fold decrease in your cell activity!
Sound the alarm!
Now, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your body just sits back idly and lets your pH dip down into the acid range and then waves the white flag of defeat.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Your body actually has two very effective defenses to make sure that your blood pH stays where it should be—it can expel the excess acidity or it can neutralize or buffer it.
Your body expels acid wastes through your skin (when you sweat), through your lungs (when you exhale) and through the bladder and bowels (when Nature calls).
But when the acid wastes accumulating inside of you get to be too much for your body to effectively expel, then it goes to Plan B and attempts to buffer the acid with your own stores of alkaline minerals…and its minerals of choice are:
Calcium from your bones and teeth
Potassium from your muscles and nerves
Magnesium from your arteries and muscles
Sodium from your joints
So, my friend, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to know what would happen to you if this continues on a regular basis.
Losing calcium day in and day out is a great way to develop osteoporosis.
Being depleted in potassium can invite high blood pressure, as well as muscle weakness.
A magnesium deficiency can cause a whole slew of problems, including irregular heartbeat, inflammation, depression, poor immune function and also increase your risk of osteoporosis (since calcium and magnesium work together along with Vitamin D to maintain bone health).
And although it’s rare (due to our processed and fast food diets that are brimming in salt), sodium deficiency can cause headache, lethargy, fatigue and confusion, and eventually irritability and hallucinations.
Tell me why
Sadly, most people have an acidic blood pH and don’t even have a clue.
The reason for that is that causes of acidity are all around us, every single day.
A number of factors can contribute to an acid blood pH–including stress, environmental toxins, immune system reactions, lack of exercise and smoking.
In addition, your body adds to the junk pile by producing its own acid wastes as part of your normal cell metabolism. When your cells release their inner garbage or when old cells die off, acid wastes are created and can seep into your bloodstream.
But far and away the number one cause of an acid pH is your DIET.
Eating predominantly acid-creating foods (especially fast food, processed food and refined carbs) can pull your blood pH down toward the acid range. Plus when your digestion is poor, your body cannot expel acid wastes as effectively as it should, and it must rely on your alkaline minerals more and more.
On the other hand, when your diet contains many alkaline foods (like fresh fruits and vegetables), and your digestion is humming along like it should, you encourage a more alkaline pH in your fluid of life.
When you SHOULD have an acid pH
With all this talk about how important an alkaline pH is, I must also point out that there is one time in your life when you should have an acid blood pH.
When you’re DEAD.
Your body automatically becomes completely acidic upon death so that you can decompose like Nature intended you to.
If that doesn’t paint a picture for you about how important it is to be alkaline, I don’t know what will.
How do you get to that magic 7.365 number?
Hopefully you’ve gotten the idea of how important it is to have a slightly alkaline blood pH while you’re still breathing and vertical.
Now I’ll tell you the 4 steps to attaining and maintaining an optimal alkaline pH:
Step 1- Check your pH at regular intervals
Just like stepping on the scale to check your weight, you have to check your pH to know where you stand on the acid/alkaline scale.
You can get a saliva test or urine test kit at most drug stores or health food stores. The saliva test is the least accurate and urine is slightly more accurate.
The best time to test your pH is first thing in the morning. Numbers you should strive for are as follows:
A healthy pH for urine is about 6.5-6.8 (remember it’s acidic because urine is an exit for acid wastes)
A healthy pH for saliva is 7.0-7.4.
You can also have your blood tested by a doctor. This is the most accurate measure but also the most expensive. If you want this done (it’s called an arterial blood gas test or ABG test), and your doctor either doesn’t think it’s important or won’t order it, find one who will.
And as far as blood pH goes, the magical 7.365 is your target. (Remember how I said up above even a one-tenth swing means a ten-fold decrease in your cells’ functioning.)
Step 2- Drink pure water
Aim for at least five to eight 8 oz. glasses per day. Stir in a little fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice to make it more alkaline if you’d like. Alkalizing drops are also available at health food stores.
Note that “water” does NOT include coffee, tea, Gatorade, soda or other sweetened drinks.
Also, please avoid drinking tap water as it can contain chlorine and/or fluoride (which will add to your acid waste pile, among other things). Strive to drink filtered or bottled water.
Step 3- Eat more alkaline foods
Alkaline foods include most fruits and vegetables.
Now, don’t think I’m talking about you turning into a rabbit and eating nothing but lettuce and celery!
You CAN continue to eat some “good” acid foods that have important nutrients-so if you don’t want to give up that juicy steak you love or that chewy whole grain bread, you don’t have to.
Just make sure that those acid foods are counterbalanced by a good portion of alkaline foods. 50/50 is a good place to start, and the more alkaline, the better.
“Good” acid foods include nourishing things like:
Eggs and dairy (preferably organic)
Fish (preferably wild caught and not farmed)
Chicken and turkey (preferably organic)
Beef (preferably grass fed and organic)
Whole grain breads and pasta (note: “Multi-grain” does not necessarily mean whole grain-check labels carefully)
These foods have nutrients that do benefit your body. So it’s not necessary to eliminate them. You just need to make sure to keep them under control, and make sure they represent no more than 50% of your meals.
And remember it’s NEVER a good idea to eat processed food, fast food or drink soda. Keep those to a bare minimum or preferably none at all.
Step 4- Keep your digestion efficient
In order to keep your digestion humming, it’s vital to eat meal combinations that are easily broken down and don’t cause your stomach to overproduce acid, and make sure you have adequate enzymes to do the job.
Good digestion = proper elimination of wastes = a more alkaline pH
Poor digestion = acid waste build-up = Sickness and a more acid pH
If you’re not sure where to start, no problem. I can help you in these 2 ways:
1) Follow the simple guidelines in the Great Taste No Pain digestive health system
Great Taste No Pain spells out which foods are acid forming to your body and which are alkaline, and show you step by step how to create more easily digestible meal combinations.
You’ll be astounded at how delicious the food is, and even more shocked at how quickly you can start to feel better. I’ve heard from thousands of people who have seen a difference in just days or as quickly as one meal.
I’m talking about things like more regular BMs, less acid reflux, fewer “gas attacks” and much more!
2) Supplement with digestive enzymes if necessary
If you’ve had a long history of eating fast and processed food or next-to-impossible-to-digest meals, chances are excellent you’ve depleted your body’s ability to produce adequate digestive enzymes.
Without the proper enzymes for digestion, you can suffer from gas, bloating, constipation, waste build-up…
…and you’ll likely have a MORE acidic blood pH too!
But Digestizol Max can be the help you’ve been looking for.
Digestizol Max contains a blend of 14 plant-derived enzymes (so it’s suitable for vegetarians and meat eaters alike) that will give your body a boost and help break down whatever you’ve eaten–proteins, carbs, fats fiber and more.
Watch your most important number
Remember–while your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. are all very important indicators of your health too, it’s vital to keep your eye on the MOST telling number.
Do that and your body will thank you many times over.
To your health,