Your whole body pH
The human body, as you know, is mostly made up of water. This water-based medium can have either acid or alkaline properties which are easily measured by a graduated scale called pH (for “potential Hydrogen”).
The lower the pH number, the greater the acidity, and the higher the pH number, the greater the alkalinity.
On the scale of 3.0 (acidic) to 9.0(base, or alkaline) with 7.0 being neutral, we as modern people tend to hover in the 5.0 to 6.5 range. Numbers in this range show we are too acidic. In general, according to Mishio Kushi of the Kushi Institute (Macrobiotics), women should try to maintain a 7.1 pH and men a 7.3 pH. As you can see from the data above, this recommendation is in the slightly alkaline range. Our health pays a price when we hover in the more acidic readings.
The foods we eat today tend to create acidosis or an acidic pH. Meats, grains, coffee, eggs, and especially these things in their more processed forms like breakfast cereals, pastries, sodas, etc. all make our bodies more acidic. One can of soda is so acidic that it takes 25 glasses of water to balance it out. Maybe they should warn us about that on the can.
Get some litmus paper and test yourself regularly. GHT sells it for about $8 a roll and it lasts for ages (test w/ saliva). A good quality and easy to read paper we like is available here: http://www.vaxa.com/913.cfm (about $18 -test w/urine. We are not affiliated).
Different Body Environments, Different pH
There are areas in the body that need their own pH environment. For instance, there is a more acidic pH for the stomach where the acid needs to be strong at one time for digestion of your meal, and then grow weaker at other times so you don’t have heartburn problems. There is another “correct range” of pH for the small intestine, and a different one for the large intestine. The body in balance will regulate all these areas by itself. But we concern ourselves here with the pH of the body on the whole and how it relates to Candida overgrowth.
>When whole body pH is in the slightly alkaline range, all the systems of the body have a much better chance of functioning at their best. When body pH is off it throws everything else off.
How to change your body’s pH
The most natural and healthy way to change the pH levels in our body is through food. Eating cooked vegetables is perhaps the best way to maintain the proper pH in the body. Fresh fruit is good, too. If we ate 3 servings of cooked veggies and some fruit every day we would come a long way towards proper pH balance.
This is hard to do with today’s lifestyle, so for us some type of supplementation helps. GHT’s Coral Complete is an easy and excellent way to get to optimal pH and to maintain it. Starting out with 4 caps a day until your pH gets where you want it and then 1 to 3 a day to maintain it. You also get all the other benefits of calcium and trace minerals in the coral.
We also like using Umeboshi plum paste. It can be found in health food stores. Take one teaspoon every day for a week or so, then just a teaspoon every few days for maintenance. You can chase it with a little water. This is powerfully alkalizing pickled fruit (it’s quite sour to the taste) and will bring your pH into balance quickly. I tend to use it for a quick fix when I feel my pH going acidic. I have gotten to the point where I can tell I am becoming acidic by a slight burning sensation in my urination or an acidic taste or burning sensation in my mouth that won’t go away.
An acidic pH environment provides a fertile bed for fungal overgrowth. As such, an acidic pH is one of the factors that encourages Candida overgrowth to start and keeps the fungus healthy.
Another little known way to balance our pH is to BREATHE! Deep breathing by itself can bring our pH into balance. Breathe deep down into your belly as often as you can think about it. Any form of exercise will encourage deeper breathing.
More on FOOD
Dairy products are fairly neutral when it comes to affecting pH -meaning they won’t push it much one way or the other.
Certain foods are better at alkalizing than others. Here is a great chart that shows just which foods are more acid forming and which foods are more base forming!
Acidity and sugar craving
One other thing you will find of interest. One reason (besides Candida) for your sugar craving comes from the body being too acidic. Try it yourself and see. Test your pH when the cravings are strong. Use one or more of the above remedies to bring your pH into the alkaline range (testing again), and watch your sugar cravings go down or go away altogether.
Aren’t Probiotics lactic acid-producing?
We get this question a lot. It’s easy to confuse the different types of pH and the different environments of lactic acid because probiotics or acidophilus are known as lactic acid producing bacteria. This is a good thing in the colon where a lactic acid environment helps to flush out the bad bacteria. Lactic acid literally eats away at the tiny hooks on the harmful bacteria where they hold on to your colon wall so they can be flushed out through normal elimination.
This does not make your whole body acidic, however. Again, this is a beneficial lactic acid environment in a very specific area.
How did we get so acidic?
Today, most of us eat very differently than our ancestors did. The preparations we use for our foods have never been tried before in the whole history of mankind.
We eat highly processed food for convenient packaging and storage. These types of “fast” foods are most commonly highly processed carbohydrates and sugars that make our bodies acidic.
We’ve gotten this way with tiny steps. Each decade changing the way we eat a little bit more. Over the last few centuries these steady small steps have taken us quite a distance from the way nature intended.
Because we have these modern options our food can be processed and stored for a long time without rotting (we won’t call it fresh). This makes these types of foods available all the time. They are fast, they are convenient and we eat them because they are all around us. We also pay a price for this because these foods are mostly the acid forming type foods -forcing our systems out of their natural pH balance.
Marti, Jim, Betsy & John