DEEP DIVE INTO PH LEVELS, PH BALANCE, AND THE ALKALINE DIET
Your pH level impacts all of your body’s cells, tissues, glands, organs, and organ systems. In this deep dive, we'll tackle what pH is, why it's important and how you can maintain a balanced body. This is the definitive guide to maintaining a balanced body.
The term pH level stands for potential of hydrogen and represents a numerical scale used to specify the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. In everyday use, we can use it to measure food or even our bodies. The pH scale ranges from 0, the most acidic, to 14, the most alkaline (or basic). pH is not scaled linearly meaning that a difference of one pH unit is equivalent to a tenfold difference in acidity or alkalinity. So, a pH level of 9 is ten times more alkaline than a pH of 8 or one hundred times more alkaline than a pH of 7. To learn more about the science of pH we recommend reading the Wikipedia article which hosts some great information.
Below is a picture of what the pH scale looks like. Drinks like club soda and energy drinks have a pH level below 7 and are therefore acidic, while foods like spinach, artichoke, and lemons have a pH of above 7 and fall on the far right (alkaline). There is a growing body of research that suggests an alkaline diet plays a profound role in health by decreasing morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases (1). The best way to increase your pH level and find pH balance is to reduce the amount of processed food that you eat and increase your intake of healthy nutrient rich foods like fruits, vegetables and substitute sugary drinks or demineralized/tap water with nutrient packed alkaline water.
Below is a list of food and drinks and their respective pH levels.
3- Club Soda, Carbonated Water, Energy Drinks, Bacon, Sausage, Colas, French Fries,
4- Black Tea, Pickles, Nuts, Popcorn, Cream Cheese, Prunes, Pastries, Pasta, Cheese, Pork, Beer, Wine,
5- Distilled Water, Coffee, Fruit, Juice, Pistachios, Beef, White Bread, Nuts, Wheat, Most Bottled Waters, Ketchup, Mayonnaise, Pomegranate
6- Grains, Eggs, Fish, Beans, Soy Milk, Coconuts, Brown Rice, Barley, Oats, Liver, Eggs,
7- Most Tap Water
8- Apples, Almonds, Tomatoes, Olive, Mushroom, Turnips, Wild Rice, Apricots, Bananas, Cooked Squash, Bell Peppers, Pumpkin, Mushrooms,
9- Avocados, Green Tea, Lettuce, Celery, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Eggplant, Green Beans, Beets, Blueberries, Pears, Grapes, Kiwi, Melons, Santevia Water
10- Spinach, Broccoli, Artichoke, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Carrots, Cucumbers, Lemons, Onions, Collard Greens
What is an Optimum Body pH Level & Why pH Balance is Important
Typically, when we refer to the“optimum body pH” we are referring to the pH level of your blood. Each part of your body has a different optimal pH in order to function properly. For example, gastric acid, which is found in your stomach, should have a pH of between 1.5 and 3.5 in order to properly digest food, whereas your blood should have a pH level of 7.36.
“The first major line of defence against sickness, disease and aging is the pH of your blood. Restoring your pH balance is an integral step towards feeling, looking and living younger longer."
-Dr. Natasha Turner
Acidosis, the term used to describe an excess amount of acid in the body, is a serious ailment and can reap negative effects on short-term and long-term health. Common symptoms include frequent colds, flu, rashes, persistent allergies, inflammation, and acid reflux. In extreme cases, cells in the afflicted body are beginning to suffer from lack of oxygen and die.
A common example is when you eat a meal with rich foods, you may experience heart burn or mild acid reflux due to the excess production of gastric acid used to digest the food. In such a case, one would consume an antacid to counteract the excess acid.
It is much more common, particularly in this time period, for humans to be in danger of becoming too acidic. Our society is filled with processed foods and drinks that are acid-forming.
Even stress and tension can lead to excess acidity in the body. You may stay up too late one night and not get enough sleep, so in the morning you grab a Starbucks on your way to work. Because you forgot to pack a lunch, you resort to grabbing a quick bite at the restaurant next to your office.
Unfortunately, all of these things contribute to an acidic lifestyle and can put your body in jeopardy. Becoming more alkaline does not have to be a gigantic or significant lifestyle change, however it will have an immense impact on your health. Simple solutions like going to bed a couple minutes earlier to reduce stress, or swapping that morning cup of Joe for an alkaline herbal tea can mean the difference between an acidic day or an alkaline day. More on that below.
Of course, we understand the pressure of a high-speed lifestyle. When things start to pile up at work and at home, it’s easy to push nutrition and relaxation out the window. However, a significant number of North Americans may be too acidic without even realizing it.
Acidosis is one of the biggest dangers to our health that no one is talking about. The treatment is not a pill for every ill, but changing your body chemistry, normalizing your body pH. Given that your body is more than 70% water, alkaline water in addition to an alkaline, plant based diet is a must.
-Dr. Richard Snyder
It is not a coincidence that cancer rates are increasing, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and persistent allergies are becoming more common. These illnesses are all correlated with the rise in consumption of acid-forming foods such as refined sugars, trans fats, fast food, processed foods, and white breads. At the same time our consumption of fresh, clean, foods like vegetables and essential fatty acids in steadily declining. This is paving the way for a future generation hooked on processed, acidic foods.
Some of the symptoms of acidosis are:
- Impaired Cellular Dunction
- Weight Gain
- Diminished Immunity
- Premature Aging
- Muscle Loss
- Anxiety and Irritability
How to Restore Your pH level and find pH Balance
There are many things you can do to aid your body in neutralizing acidity, preventing acidosis, and achieving a pH balance. The most important thing to do is take action before your body begins to show symptoms. So here are some simple tips on how to alkalize your body:
This is a difficult but significant change to make in your life. The food you prepare and eat can change the way you live your life. Although we love the occasional Vanilla Latte or a donut, it’s important to eat these things in moderation.
Not only will you be helping the implicit functions and processes within your body, you’ll be reaping the benefits in your day to day as well. When you start to consider the food, you eat as the fuel for your body, it will change the way you eat and prepare meals. You would never put the wrong kind of fuel into your car, because it is designed to take gasoline – so why fuel your body with foods that are destroying it?
Santevia's 80/20 Rule
At Santevia, we like to follow the 80/20 rule, meaning that we try our best to consumer 80% healthy, alkaline foods and only 20% indulgent, acidic foods. If you’re just starting out and this seems too daunting, don’t be discouraged, try cutting out acidic foods one step at a time until you eventually reach 80/20.
Alkaline foods don’t have to be boring or gross either, below is a list of delicious, alkaline recipes that we have tried and love:
Alkaline Green Smoothie: Packed with spinach, lime, strawberries, and hemp seeds, this green smoothie is a great way to start the day or fill you up mid-day. Spinach is one of the richest plant-based sources of iron – it will replenish your body’s stores and neutralize acidic. Lime is an alkalizing fruit and strawberries are a key antioxidant that halts the activity of harmful enzymes.
Lemon Quinoa with Spinach, Feta, and Beans: This recipe is packed with leafy greens and orange roots that will provide you with Vitamins K, C, A, and nutrition-packed minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron. The recipe is full of beneficial fiber for healthy digestion, antioxidants that will keep your cells healthy, and vibrant colours that will keep lunch or dinner interesting.
Healing Carrot Soup with Turmeric and Ginger: Loaded with minerals, fiber, and nourishing phytonutrients, soups like this are much more than just comfort food. Soups preserve most of the nourishing nutrients in the vegetables, making them available for our body to digest easily. All the energy and therapeutic effects of fresh nutrients is transferred to the liquid and absorbed easily by your body.
Not only is important to monitor what foods you are fueling your body with, you should also be aware of how you are treating your body. The human body needs at least seven hours of sleep every night to function at its best, so make sure you’re allowing enough time to catch some well-deserved ZZZs every night.
Allowing enough time for your body to recharge everyday will improve your energy levels the following day and make it easier to accomplish all of the day’s tasks.
Exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy body, it can help control blood lipid abnormalities, diabetes, and obesity. In addition, aerobic exercise adds an independent blood pressure-lowering effect. Try not to be discouraged by the thought of a sweaty, heart-racing gym workout or a twenty-kilometer run.
Exercise does not have to be hard – it can be as simple as taking the dog for a walk or playing soccer with the kids. Ideally you should be aiming for around twenty minutes of cardiovascular exercise every day. Twenty minutes is not a lot of time, and it can easily be used for a quick bike ride up to the store, walking around the neighbourhood with a friend, or having a little dance session at home – the exercise should be enjoyable!
This may be something that is often overlooked, but the drinks you consume can have an enormous impact on your health. At the end of the day when you’re reflecting on what you ate, it can be easy to forget about the Venti Latte you had that morning or the energy drink that you had after lunch.
The drinks you consume really add up, and unfortunately a lot of them are full of sugar and highly acidic-forming. The easiest thing you can do to improve your health is to slowly phase out all of the drinks you consume that aren’t water. Water can be exciting too – try flavouring high pH water with fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
“Drinking alkaline water is one of the best things you can do for your health.”
-Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook
Here are some of our favourite water infusions:
Infusing high alkaline water with the essence of fruits, herbs, and vegetables will help you drink plenty of liquids without the downside of excess calories, sugars, and artificial flavourings. Make sure that the ingredients you are using are washed to avoid consuming chemicals, pesticides and other harmful residues.
- Immune System Booster/Aids in Digestion:
- Lemon + Mint
- Raspberry + Cucumber
- Lemon + Pomegranate
- Metabolism Booster
- Cinnamon + Strawberry
- Orange + Strawberry
- Blueberry + Raspberry
Cola - Your Body's Worst Enemy
The worst culprit for acidity is definitely cola. The long-term health effects of colas are devastating to the body. Acidity, sugars, and artificial flavours and sweeteners can inhibit a healthy body and shorten your life expectancy. Scientists have found that it takes a whopping thirty-two glasses of alkaline water with a pH of 9 to neutralize the acid from one 12oz cola or soda. When you drink a cola or soda, your body uses up the reserves of its own alkaline buffers – mainly calcium from the bones and DNA – to raise the body’s alkaline levels.
So, next time you’re at a restaurant or enjoying a sunny day outside, say no to the cola and opt for mineralized, alkaline water. Not only will alkaline water help to neutralize acidity in your body, the essential minerals like calcium and magnesium will replenish your body’s stores and contribute to its prosperity.
Here are a few common myths of alkalinity.
- "Food and water cannot change the pH of your blood."
While food and water may not have a direct impact on the pH of your blood, they are definitely catalysts in aiding your body maintain the perfect pH of its blood. Eating an alkaline salad will not directly raise the pH of your blood immediately, but it will require the use of less buffers in your body and in turn take less effort to digest.
Alkaline foods are easily excreted by the kidneys, and make the digestion process less of a strain for your body. The same effects are recognized when you drink alkaline water; it will aid your body in neutralizing harmful acid, and the essential trace minerals found in alkaline water will replenish your body’s stores.
- "Acidity cannot cause osteoporosis."
Similarly to the last myth, eating acidic foods will not directly or immediately cause osteoporosis. However, eating acidic foods will cause your body to take minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron, and most commonly calcium, from the rest of your body. When the body borrows calcium from the bones to neutralize acidic foods and drinks, it can lead to osteoporosis in the long-term.
- "I might become too alkaline."
While it is very easy, and quite common, to become too acidic, it is very, very difficult to become too alkaline. Almost everything in our society has the potential to cause excess acidity in the body – stress, processed foods, sports drinks, caffeinated beverages. North Americans must work diligently to help their body maintain a proper blood pH of 7.36, and it would be nearly impossible in this type of environment to become too alkaline. This is not something that should concern you unless you move to a stress-free environment and you only eat foods with a pH of 10. Other than that, you have nothing to worry about.
With the Made in Canada Power Water Stick, get clean, mineralized, alkaline water from your tap at home, office, yoga studio, gym, and outdoor water fountains.
Activate the Santevia POWER Stick by submerging it into bottle or glass. Shake or stir for 30 seconds. Water will reach optimal pH and chlorine reduction within 3-5 minutes. It's that simple!
The Santevia POWER Stick is a masterpiece of unpressurized filtration technology. Water filtered through it meets or exceeds NSF/ANSI Standard 42 for chlorine reduction, taste, and odour.
The Santevia POWER Stick improves taste, reduces chlorine levels between 90% and 99% - adds essential minerals - raises pH - reduces damaging Oxidation Reduction Potential! - is an eco friendly choice - each one can prevent 300 single-use water bottles from entering landfills
Recreating nature’s filtration system, Santevia adds calcium, magnesium and other beneficial minerals to your water while filtering chlorine, heavy metals, industrial chemicals and agricultural contaminants when using our Alkaline Water Pitcher. This process also reduces taste and odour in your tap water. Some reasons the Santevia pitcher stands out include:
- Ease of use - comes with 1 filter included and ready to use after a short conditioning period
- Long-lasting filters – each produces 1,250 8 oz glasses – DOUBLE the amount of most other filters on the market
- A Countdown clock to remind you when it's time to change the filter
- A high capacity water tank with an easy-to-fill lid
- A perfect shape for storing in the door of your refrigerator
The Santevia Alkaline Gravity Water System restores your tap water to a clean, great-tasting, mineralized and alkalized state, using the power of gravity alone. No chemicals, artificial materials, water pressure or electricity is needed.
Every drop drips through a system of natural filters which clean and infuse your water with earth-derived minerals. The result is great-tasting water which helps you to keeps you stay healthy and hydrated.