From poor bone health to serious chronic conditions like osteoporosis and cancer, the importance of maintaining a healthy body pH level can not be understated.
So what is pH and what is a good level?
pH stands for power of hydrogen, which a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration in the body. A pH level of 7 or below is considered acidic while over this is considered alkaline. Studies have identified that a healthy body pH level is to be slightly alkaline, that is just over 7 with many studies agreeing that 7.4 is the optimal level.
What causes acidity?
The western diet or S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) diet tends to be very high in protein and particularly animal sources of protein. This type of diet tends to be the worse for body pH with highly refined and processed foods that are nutrient deficient while being extremely high in calories. They also produce toxins which aid in accelerated raging and cell damage and are now strongly linked to cancer with the World Health Organisation calling all processed meat as a carcinogen and red meat as a probable carcinogen.
But what is about body pH that influences cancer? Studies have shown that that cancer thrives, in a body that has low pH levels, a body that is acidic. Low pH causes your body to store more toxins in cells, and reduces oxygen levels, both of which are fundamental to the development and growth of cancer.
How does your body react to acidity?
When your pH level is acid, the body will normally use calcium to reduce the acidity back to an optimum level and the body’s greatest source of calcium is your bones. This means that if your pH is imbalanced then your body will strip calcium from your bones to address the balance.
Can’t I just drink milk?
Cow’s milk is not an efficient nor healthy way to get calcium. A high animal protein diet (this includes dairy protein) has been shown to increase the acidity of blood. Whereas fruits (even the acid tasting ones like grapefruit) and vegetables don’t. Currently the UK National Health Service recommend sources of calcium to include animal sources such as milk, cheese and other dairy foods. However these are acid-forming in nature (due to the animal proteins) and while you will receive calcium from them, it will result in an overall loss, the resultant pH imbalance causes your body to strip calcium from your bones to maintain blood neutrality.
Can I take a supplement?
Yes you can but it comes with a few caveats; first you should only take them for a specific period to address a specific need, second, you need to be careful were you source your supplements. Unfortunately, many manufacturers of vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements use artificial additives, preservatives, colourings, flavourings, excipients, fillers, binders, disintegrants, dilutents and synthetic man-made nutrients in their products - particularly when they are in tablet form. In fact, very often, the active ingredients comprise as little as 15% of the entire tablet! The cheaper the products, the more of these undesirable ingredients are likely to be contained within them.
There is no substitute for eating a varied plant based diet that is high in nutrients and will ensure an overall healthy pH level. However if you are about to start or still transitioning from a processed (SAD) diet you can use supplements in the short term to boost the areas where you need assistance. Grassroots Health only sells "food form" or "food state" supplements which are those that have been sympathetically processed to remain as close as possible to the original natural whole food ingredients that make them up. This means that the nutrients are more bioavailable and your body is more readily able to absorb and use them.
All of our food form supplements come in either capsule or powder form - never tablets and no added "nasties". Not only does this make them easier to swallow, but their ingredients are in natural food form / food state to promote maximum absorption and utilisation by your body.
This is, in stark contrast to low-quality vitamin supplements, which have a tendency to either pass through the digestive system unused (with little or no benefit to the user, because the body has been unable to recognise the nutrients), or more worryingly, get stuck in your digestive tract - neither disintegrating or passing through.
Although we are surrounded by junk and fast food, eating healthy has never been easier.
If you want to know more about the importance of being alkaline and the correct foods to eat contact the GrassRoots Health Nutritionist.
Let GrassRoots Health help you on your journey by joining our RSS feed or use our contact us page or check out the store for more information on nutritional supplements.
About the GrassRoots Health Blog
The Grassroots Health blog is written by Dean and Joanne. Joanne's passion is vegan raw food, nutrition and wellbeing while Dean likes to explore the real science behind health.
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