The pH scale measures acidity and ranges between 0 and 14. Your body works to maintain your blood at a pH of 7.4, which is just slightly alkaline, but out of the acid pH range. The biochemical reactions throughout your body are tuned to take place at a certain pH. Your body takes care of most of the pH balancing, and a healthy lifestyle avoids overwhelming your body's natural control, which may put your body in an acidic pH range which can lead to serious health consequences including coma or death.
Balancing Your Body's pH
Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. According to Dr. John Berardi, fruits and vegetables are alkaline when metabolized by the body and can offset metabolic acids; meat, dairy, cheese and grains produce acid when metabolized by the body. Everyone should have at least two to three servings of vegetables per meal. Consider a green food supplement to augment your fruit and vegetable intake.
Consume an adequate amount of protein in your diet. Although most sources of protein are metabolically acidic, the amino acids that make up the protein serve as a buffer for blood pH. Chronic acidosis of the blood causes catabolism, or breakdown, of the muscles in order to increase the amino acids buffering the blood.
Avoid eating processed foods, meats, cheese, grains or dairy in excess. These foods are increasingly common in the modern diet. Over time, high consumption of these foods can bias the body toward a range of metabolic conditions, including metabolic acidosis. Metabolic acidosis is a drop in blood pH below 7.35 due to metabolic imbalances, as opposed to respiratory imbalances.
Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water each day. Dehydration decreases urination that helps remove metabolic acids and other waste from our body. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume 3.7 liters of water a day; women should consume 2.7 liters a day. Avoid excessive consumption of diuretics such as caffeine, especially during physical activity or in hot climates.
Avoid deficiencies in dietary minerals. An imbalance in the cationic, positive, and anionic, negative components of mineral salts in the blood can cause anionic gap acidosis. Anionic gap acidosis describes a drop in pH caused by the body's compensation for mineral imbalances in the blood. A balanced diet and a multivitamin should be adequate for most people. Your doctor can tell you if a medication or condition makes you more prone to mineral loss.