When you eat and digest food properly, the body's pH remains balanced and slightly alkaline, according to "The pH Miracle;" however, this is usually not the case with most people. The average American diet is full of chemicals and nutritionally unbalanced meals that affect the body's acid-base balance. This, along with lack of exercise, throws the body's pH out of whack, creating acidosis, according to Washington University website. Changing your diet and consuming foods that balance your pH may improve your overall health.
Eating foods high in potassium may contribute to bringing your body's pH closer to healthy levels, writes Dr. Theodore Baroody in "Alkalize or Die." Although there is not a lot of scientific research on this subject, anecdotal reports indicate that high-potassium foods affect the pH of the urine and support proper function of the kidneys. Foods with high levels of potassium are lemons, white potatoes, ripe bananas, raisins, apple cider vinegar, pears, cantaloupe, oranges and ripe berries. Include some or all of these foods in your diet every day to raise and help maintain your pH levels.
Baking soda is highly alkaline and can assist in balancing your body's pH, according to Drugs.com. Drink a large 8 oz. glass of water mixed with 1/2 tsp. baking soda several times a day for a quick adjustment in pH levels, suggests Baroody. Baking soda can raise your blood pressure, so if you take medicines for hypertension or have untreated high blood pressure, avoid consuming baking soda unless you are under medical supervision. Baroody recommends not drinking more than a total of 4 tsp. baking soda daily, but to only consume this amount if you are seriously ill. Consult your health practitioner for dosing directions.
Eat foods that are naturally alkaline, suggests "The pH Miracle." Foods like parsley and alfalfa sprouts have a high pH making them very alkaline in their raw form. Add them to salads and as garnishes to your meals or make freshly squeeze vegetables juices including these foods. Other highly alkaline foods are all melons, figs, watermelon, most ripe fruits, asparagus, kelp, other seaweeds, watercress, wheatgrass and most herbal teas. It is always better to eat these foods in their raw state to obtain their highest nutritional values, says Baroody.
According to "The Acid Alkaline Balance," consuming digestive enzymes may help balance the body's pH. The body naturally produces enzymes in the pancreas; however, many people's bodies do not produce enough enzymes to fully digest their food, according to University of Michigan Health System. Adding enzymes to your meals should help support your digestion and synthesize your food more efficiently, enabling your body to extract the most nutrients from what you eat. Digestive enzymes are available from pharmacies and health food stores.
- "The Acid Alkaline Balance"; Felicia Drury Kliment; 2002
- “Alkalize or Die”; Dr. Theodore A. Baroody; 1991
- “The pH Miracle”; Dr. Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young; 2003
- Drugs.com: Baking Soda
- Washington University: Blood, Sweat, and Buffers -- pH Regulation During Exercise
- University of Michigan Health System: Digestive Enzymes