By Ruba Al Far, Pharmacist

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Did you know that your body and the food you eat have a certain pH (acidity or alkalinity)? This pH can either improve your health and immunity or put you at high risk for diseases.

The body works constantly to control pH balance as acid-base or acid-alkaline balance. The right pH levels are needed for good health and disease prevention.

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Normal blood pH

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, the readings are based around a pH of 7 which is neutral. A pH below 7 is acidic a pH higher than 7 is alkaline.

Blood has a normal pH range of 7.35 to 7.45, which is naturally slightly alkaline. However, health conditions may change blood pH. Lungs and kidneys are the two main organs responsible for blood pH balance, removing excess acid and alkaline substances in healthy people.

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Food matters

The alkaline diet is quite healthy, as it includes fruits, nuts and vegetables.  Lemons and citric fruits are considered acidic, but once digested they create alkaline by-products in the body.

Meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, wheat, processed food, junk food and refined sugar and carbohydrates are acidic. So we need to balance our diet to be slightly alkaline. However, overeating alkaline food can burden the kidneys. Therefore the balance of acid-alkaline is key.

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1.Other factors that may interfere with blood pH

Digestion: Undigested food of any pH will cause an acidic condition in your body because the kidneys will work over-time to filter the undigested food. Undigested food can also lead to pathogenic and bacterial overgrowth and this is essentially what leads to acidic conditions.

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2. Exercise and deep breathing
: Both are the most effective ways to alkalise your body. Breathing increases oxygen intake, relieves stress and cleanses your body from toxins. Exhaling removes carbon dioxide, which is very acidic, from your body.

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3. A good night’s sleep
: Lacking quality sleep can lead to stress, hormonal and blood sugar imbalances which can lead to cravings for overly acidic foods such as refined sugar and carbohydrates.

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Making alkaline water

Even though lemon and lime juices are acidic, they contain minerals that can create alkaline by-products once digested and metabolised. Adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to a glass of water can make your water more alkaline as your body digests it.

Alkaline water counteracts the acid found in the bloodstream, and blood flows more efficiently with alkaline water. This can increase oxygen delivery throughout the body with the following benefits:

 
Anti-ageing properties (via liquid antioxidants that are absorbed more quickly into the human body)

 
Colon-cleansing properties

 
Immune system support

 
Hydration, skin health and other detoxifying properties

 
Weight loss

 
Reducing the risk of illnesses

It’s easy to reach the right blood pH by being aware of what we eat and what we do throughout our day. You can make alkaline water a healthy choice, especially when you feel you’ve overeaten acidic food. I recommend drinking alkaline water twice daily for better health.