PH levels are measured on a scale of zero to 14, and your blood lies between 7.35 and 7.45, according to the article “Essential Details on Acid and Alkaline-Forming Effects of Food and How Your Body Maintains a Healthy pH,” written by Dr. Ben Kim. Kim says that if your pH drops below 7, you could experience a depression in your central nervous system, caused by a condition called acidosis. He also says that your body has mechanisms that help your body maintain your pH balance but that consuming highly acidic food can overtax these mechanisms and affect your health.
Test your pH using litmus paper tests, which are strips of paper that are treated with a mixture of natural dyes that change color in response to the pH level of what they come in contact with. On a litmus test strip, red indicates acidic, and blue indicates alkaline. Purple is when the pH is at seven or neutral. Place your saliva on the litmus paper strip and see the color change to indicate your body’s pH level. Your saliva is slightly more acidic than your blood so your strip may indicate a pH lower than 7.35, but it is nothing to be alarmed about. Litmus paper strips are available at your local health food store or online.
Eat a diet that incorporates nutrient-dense foods with a ratio of at least 75 percent alkaline foods and 25 percent acidic foods. According to the Wolfe Clinic, foods that are alkaline include vegetables such as asparagus, peas, cucumber, celery, beets and broccoli; all fruits except cranberries; nuts such as almonds and chestnuts; spices including cinnamon and curry as well as herbs, apple cider vinegar and mushrooms. Acidic foods include beans and legumes such as kidney beans, soy, lentils and black beans; nuts such as cashews and walnuts; meat including beef, fish, rabbit and pork; white pasta, dairy and grains such as amaranth and barley. When you have adjusted your diet and kept it for at least one week, use another litmus test strip to observe any changes in your pH from your first reading.
Reduce your intake of acidic foods that provide no nutrition, such as sodas, candy and white-flour breads. Even though it is good to incorporate some acidic foods, they should be foods that provide you with minerals and vitamins that are needed for your health.
Use your litmus strips to test your drinking water to make sure it is at its optimal pH level, which is neutral, or 7.