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Archive for the ‘Digestive’ Category

One of the major causes of an imbalanced system is the food in our pantries and refrigerators. The amount of processed and refined foods we consume has continued to increase over the last several decades including foods treated with preservatives, chemicals, pesticides and hormones. Not only are the chemicals creating havoc and toxicity in our systems, but the continual consumption of the processed and refined foods are also throwing off the delicate pH balance of our bodies.

pHrange
pH Levels (Potential Hydrogen Levels)

The pH level is one of the most important balance systems of the body. The pH level is a measure of acidity or alkalinity, on a scale of zero to fourteen, with zero being most acid, fourteen being most alkaline and seven being mid-range. You may have seen shampoos advertised as pH balanced. These are shampoos designed to match the pH level of the hair. The pH levels of our bodies vary from one organ or system to the next. For example, the stomach pH is much more acid than the intestinal pH because the stomach needs an acid environment (hydrochloric acid) to break down food for digestion. Whereas, the flora (good bacteria) of the intestine need a more alkaline environment to assimilate and process the nutrients from the foods digested by the stomach.

The body has a hierarchy of priorities for survival. Second only to breathing and sustaining our heartbeat, the most important metabolic function that our bodies perform is maintaining a specific pH. The most important pH level that the body must regulate is the blood’s pH level. The body’s blood pH level must be maintained at 7.4 (slightly alkaline). If it varies more than a point, death can result from a coma or a seizure. In order to maintain the blood’s critical pH balance, the body will compromise less important functions. Once the electrolyte reserves become depleted, the body begins to rob these electrolytes from the various organs and systems of the body to maintain the blood’s pH level. This is where the imbalance begins. The following are examples of altered pH levels and the resulting imbalanced internal body system:

If the bowels and intestines are robbed of electrolyte minerals, the pH level becomes altered. This creates an imbalance in the bacterial environment, which can leave the bowels and intestines open to pathogens (including candida and parasites), irritations and disturbances. Have you ever heard of irritable bowel syndrome or leaky gut syndrome?

Also, when the body becomes depleted of organic sodium (an essential electrolyte mineral, not table salt), the body may not be able to manufacture enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This can create an imbalanced digestive system, where foods are not being digested properly.

These imbalances can be aggravated further because our body systems will generally deplete electrolytes from the weakest areas first. So if someone already has a weakened body system, the further depletion of electrolyte minerals will cause a greater imbalance and more dysfunction. When our bodies become too depleted, overall functioning becomes weakened, affecting the immune system and the body’s ability to fight off bacterial and viral infections.

BALANCING ACID/ALKALINE FOODS

The current typical Western diet is largely composed of acid-forming foods (proteins, cereals, sugars). Alkaline-producing foods such as vegetables are eaten in much smaller quantities. Stimulants like tobacco, coffee, tea, and alcohol are also extremely acidifying. Stress, and physical activity (both insufficient or excessive amounts) also cause acidification.

Water is the most abundant compound in the human body, comprising 70% of the body. The body therefore contains a wide range of solutions, which may be more or less acid. pH (potential of Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution – the ratio between positively charged ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming.) The pH of any solution is the measure of its hydrogen-ion concentration. The higher the pH reading, the more alkaline and oxygen rich the fluid is. The lower the pH reading, the more acidic and oxygen deprived the fluid is. The pH range is from 0 to 14, with 7.0 being neutral. Anything above 7.0 is alkaline, anything below 7.0 is considered acidic.

Human blood pH should be slightly alkaline (7.35 – 7.45). Below or above this range means symptoms and disease. If blood pH moves below 6.8 or above 7.8, cells stop functioning and the body dies. The body therefore continually strives to balance pH. When this balance is compromised many problems can occur.

An imbalanced diet high in acidic-producing foods such as animal protein, sugar, caffeine, and processed foods puts pressure on the body’s regulating systems to maintain pH neutrality. The extra buffering required can deplete the body of alkaline minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, making the person prone to chronic and degenerative disease. Minerals are borrowed from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and safely remove it from the body. Because of this strain, the body can suffer severe and prolonged damage–a condition that may go undetected for years.

Health Problems Caused by Acidosis

Research shows that unless the body’s pH level is slightly alkaline, the body cannot heal itself. So no matter what means you choose to take care of your health, it won’t be effective until the pH level is balanced. If your body’s pH is not balanced, for example, you cannot effectively assimilate vitamins, minerals and food supplements. Your body pH affects everything.

Acidosis will decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease the energy production in the cells, decrease it’s ability to repair damaged cells, decrease it’s ability to detoxify heavy metals, make tumor cells thrive, and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness.

An acidic pH can occur from an acid-forming diet, emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients. The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals. If the diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, a build up of acids in the cells will occur. Acidosis can cause such problems as:

Cardiovascular damage.
Weight gain, obesity and diabetes.
Bladder conditions.
Kidney stones.
Immune deficiency.
Acceleration of free radical damage.
Hormonal problems.
Premature aging.
Osteoporosis and joint pain.
Aching muscles and lactic acid buildup.
Low energy and chronic fatigue.
Slow digestion and elimination.
Yeast/fungal overgrowth.
Lack of energy and fatigue.
Lower body temperature.
Tendency to get infections.
Loss of drive, joy, and enthusiasm.
Depressive tendencies.
Easily stressed.
Pale complexion.
Headaches.
Inflammation of the corneas and eyelids.
Loose and painful teeth.
Inflamed, sensitive gums.
Mouth and stomach ulcers.
Cracks at the corners of the lips.
Excess stomach acid.
Gastritis.
Nails are thin and split easily.
Hair looks dull, has split ends, and falls out.
Dry skin.
Skin easily irritated.
Leg cramps and spasms.
http://www.trans4mind.com/nutrition/pH.html
GLYCEMIC INDEX
http://www.trans4mind.com/nutrition/glycemic_index.html

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