Ways to Adjust the pH Level in Your Body

Overview

Your body must maintain a certain pH, or potential hydrogen, level to function properly. However, your body can fall outside the normal pH range if your diet begins to consist of too many acid-forming foods and not enough alkaline-forming foods. This can deplete one's energy, as diets high in acids and low in alkalines tend to go hand and hand with vitamin deficiencies, since many of the healthy foods fall on the alkaline side of the equation. There are plenty of ways to adjust your pH level by editing your diet.

Eat Alkaline Foods, Avoid Acidizing Foods

If your body's pH level is too acidic, which is generally defined as 7.3 or lower, your body can develop acidosis, which causes fatigue. You can raise it to a healthier level, which ranges from 7.36 to 7.44, by eating alkaline foods. There are numerous vegetables, fruits and drinks that are high in alkaline and can moderate your pH level. They include broccoli, raw spinach, celery, raisins, dried figs, lemon water and herbal tea. Note that there are also certain forms of vegetables, fruits and drinks that can form acid when ingested, and can thereby hurt your pH level if it's already around a 7.3. Any fruit or vegetable that is pickled or canned is an acid-forming food, as is black tea, coffee, hard liquor and beer.

Limit Dietary Phosphates

According to the Commission on Life Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences' Food and Nutrition Board, men and women ages 25 and older should limit the amount of food phosphates in their diets to 800 milligrams a day. This is because phosphorous can only be absorbed when it's bound to calcium, meaning that for every gram of phosphorous we take in, we must also take in a gram of calcium. If this calcium is not available through one's diet, the body will steal this mineral from calcium-rich bones. This can lead to osteoporosis or a calcium deficiency. Phosphate-rich foods also happen to mostly be acid-forming foods, which include meat and fish. Therefore, the benefits to limiting dietary phosphates are twofold: you can prevent calcium from being unnecessarily drained from bones, and you can decrease the amount of acidic foods consumed if you substitute these phosphate-rich foods with alkaline-rich foods like avocados, coconut, pumpkin, vegetable broth and spinach. According to Kaiser Permanente, the foods with the most milligrams of phosphates include pork, veal, salmon, tuna, swordfish, buttermilk, milk, yogurt, cheese, custard, soy milk, peanuts, bran cereal, almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, cashews and pecans. All of these items have 151 milligrams or more per serving.

Eliminate Artificial Sweeteners

Many of today's commercially processed foods contain sugar, even if they don't taste sweet. To save calories on low-fat, non-fat and low-calorie foods, many manufacturers use artificial sweeteners in place of cane sugar. However, these sweeteners, such as aspartame, which is what sweetens Equal, are acid-forming foods. Instead of these sweeteners, use those that are made from Stevia, which is a naturally sweet South American herb, or regular sugar.

Keywords: pH level, alkaline foods, acid foods, adjust pH level

About this Author

Nellie Day is a freelance writer based out of Hermosa Beach, Calif. Her work can regularly be seen on newsstands, where her specialties include weddings, real estate, food and wine, pets, electronics, architecture and design, business and travel. Day earned a master's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California.

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