Power of Hydrogen (pH)

pH = Power of Hydrogen

An image of the pH Scale from 1 to 14Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the galaxy, or at least in the world as we know it. It is a gaseous, colorless and highly flammable substance. Think of the Sun, and Energy! The pH scale is how we measure the specific balance of hydrogen, whether it be our body chemistry, the food we consume, the soil in our gardens, or the water we drink. In scientific terms, pH is the numeric scale that is used to specify the acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution. The higher the pH, the higher the concentration of hydrogen-ions and the more alkaline and oxygen rich the fluid is. The lower the pH level, the more acidic and oxygen deprived the fluid is. These levels range from 0 to 14, with of course, 7 being neutral.


Our Bodies are considered Alkaline

Image of the Human Body and pH LevelsOverall, our bodies want to stay slightly above neutral. Ideally, human blood is 7.4 and within the narrow margin of 7.35 – 7.45. Anywhere above or below these numbers is a good indicator that something is wrong somewhere inside of us. Cells actually stop functioning below a pH level of 6.8, or above a 7.8, and this often results in death. Our digestive tract, however, varies greatly and depending where along this vast network inside our body, from our taste buds, into our stomach and down through our small and large intestines, the pH levels can be anywhere between 1.5 – 8.5.

A healthy body is slightly alkaline, and if you have a health problem, chances are you are acidic and the body has a hard time healing itself. Many outside factors, that we have no control over, can have an adverse effect on our bodies, of course, but there are many things we can do to offset this negative energy. One the easiest things we have control over, and how we regulate the pH level in our body, is what we put in it. It’s important to keep the pH level balanced in order to properly assimilate the food, vitamins, minerals or food supplements that you are ingesting. Otherwise, these good things we consume are just going to waste, literally.


Balancing pH with Food

Photo of healthy foodTo keep our bodies balanced, we want to keep our pH levels above neutral, or alkaline. Foods can either help raise, or lower the pH levels in our body, but it’s the mineral content of the food that controls it, not the particular pH level of the food. For example, lemons are highly acidic with a low pH, but has an alkalizing effect on our body when consumed. In general, most vegetables (unless pickled or frozen) are alkaline in nature, as are many fruits. Beans, like soy, navy and lima, and seeds, like caraway, cumin, fennel and sesame are all great at raising your pH level.

White breads, tortillas, whole grains and brown rice all fall in the acidic range. Other food that has low pH levels are peanut butter, canned tuna, canned vegetables, and most, if not all condiments, like catsup, mayonnaise and mustard. As you probably guessed, coffee, beer and liquor are all highly acidic, and low in pH, as is tea and sweetened fruit juice.

Check out this resource to discover how other Foods rate on the pH Scale.


Growing Food with the proper pH

Photo of a pH Meter in a gardenPlants need the proper pH level in order to be productive, just like in our own bodies. This proper pH balance is achieved through the amendments put into the soil in which they grow. Some plants thrive in alkaline soil, while others do much better in slightly more acidic soil. Most farmers and garden enthusiast will tell you, it’s the soil that is key to great food production.

Soil is the backbone to healthy food, and good soil is being depleted around the world. We can do our part by taking measures to keep storm water from washing away good top soil in our own yards, and harvesting the rainwater that falls on our property. Other measures we can take, is to compost our food scraps, coffee grounds, and grass clippings, which keeps our soil balanced and full of proper nutrients. From here we can add different amendments to create the proper pH levels that our plants need to thrive.

Some Fruit and Vegetable plants prefer HIGHER pH Levels

  • Beans and Peas
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • Cabbage and Lettuce
  • Spinach and Tomato
  • Peaches and Strawberries

When our soil is low in pH (Acidic) and we want to raise it to be more Alkaline, we can add Ground Limestone. Apply 10-1/2 oz. per sq. yd. of your garden area.

Fruits and Vegetable plants that prefer LOWER pH Levels

  • Potatoes and Carrots
  • Blackberries and Raspberries
  • Melons and Lemons

When our soil is high in pH (Alkaline) and we want to lower it to be more Acidic, we can Sulfate of Ammonia. Apply 2-1/2 oz. per sq. yd. of your garden area.


Alkaline Water

Photo of kid drinking waterRemember what I wrote earlier about the higher the pH, the higher the concentration of hydrogen-ions and the more alkaline and oxygen rich the fluid is? THIS is what makes alkaline water so important when it comes to hydrating our body, for it’s this high level of oxygen that actually creates a more hydrating affect on the water, thus providing increased assimilation. When the water we drink is properly assimilated, it reduces dehydration, which is a factor in many major health problems, according to Dr. F. Batamanghelidj in his book, “YOU’RE NOT SICK, YOU’RE THIRSTY”.

Again, when healthy, our body has sufficient alkaline reserves to balance itself, and naturally resists disease, but as we consume more and more foods that are high in acid (low in pH), our body feels the affects. An excellent way to help your body be more alkaline is to drink more alkaline water.

Think balance, and the Power of Hydrogen!

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A Few Words on Sodium


Photo of sodium with the the words "eat less SALT!" written in it.

Sodium is a metallic element, highly reactive and found naturally abundant in salt. We are told we consume too much sodium, and it is often reported, by many of the major health organizations, to cause high blood pressure, which is a common risk factor for heart disease and stroke. According to the World Health Organization, heart disease and strokes are the two most common sources of death in middle and high income countries. So, what is too much?

Too much Sodium

Processed food, some energy drinks, canned soup…They’re all loaded with sodium, and introduced in the form of salt and is measured in milligrams (mg). I wondered what that look likes, and wanted to know how much is a milligram… so, I looked it up.

1500mg = 3/4tsp of salt

2300mg = 1tsp of salt

This is actually the amount recommended by many of the major health organizations, to NOT exceed! Sodium binds water, and the more we have in our bloodstream, the more water it binds, thus increasing blood pressure. Whether this increase is dramatic enough to cause a problem with your heart needing to work harder, or elevated strain on your arteries and other organs can only be determined by your doctor. The USDA, AHA, AND and the ADA say we consume too much sodium and they report that the average intake of sodium amounts to about 3400mg…nearly double!

We need Sodium

As stated above, sodium binds water, and is also electrically charged, which together helps enhance the flavors in foods. This is also crucial in maintaining a certain level of electrical gradients across our cell membranes within the body, and is important for nerve transmission, muscular contraction and a number of other important functions. Basically, without sodium, we could not survive.

Furthermore, reducing sodium has shown adverse health effects according to many studies, such as increasing LDL and Triglycerides, and causing insulin resistance that could lead to obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. In athletes, a low sodium diet could cause hyponatremia, which is a condition that occurs when the needed sodium is not present to regulate the water in your body, and this is very dangerous.

Healthy Lifestyle

Photo of a happy couple cooking together and preparing a healthy meal of vegetables.

It’s all about balance and moderation, and not focusing so much on sodium, but on your overall health. Knowing what’s best for your body is also very important, for instance, a low-carb diet will lower insulin levels and cause your kidneys to excrete excess sodium, if that’s a problem. Exercise will reduce blood pressure, and will improve other areas of your life in more ways than can be imagined. Guaranteed, that eating food alive in nutrients and drinking lots of clean water is good for everyone, which will assure a long and healthy lifestyle, and that is very sustainable!

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