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Fitness column: What’s your pH and why does it matter?

Steve Wells
Opinionated Personal Trainer
Steve Wells
Staff Photo |

Everyone who has a little knowledge of Eastern medicine, natural cures or old wives’ tales knows that pH balance is crucial for every function of the body. This is common to all of us regardless of other factors like our differences in food intake, exercise type, sleep patterns, blood type, zodiac sign or political preference. Here is a quick breakdown on this very important indicator of health.

Its initials stand for “power of hydrogen.” It is a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration in the body. The total pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 considered to be neutral. A pH less than 7 is said to be acidic and a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline. Our ideal pH is slightly alkaline — 7.30 to 7.45.

So what?

Pursuing a healthy pH score may be a great way to achieve overall health.

Experts think that disease has a difficult time surviving in an alkaline environment. Inversely, they think that disease thrives in an acidic environment. If your body’s pH is not balanced, you cannot effectively assimilate vitamins and minerals from food, which always leads to symptoms. Making more alkaline food choices is always a positive step in enabling your body to become healthy.

Your pH may have a direct effect on chronic disease, particularly cancer. What if you could reduce your chances of getting cancer and many other diseases just by keeping your body more alkaline? Many experts think that this is very plausible since the natural ways to alkalize are so noninvasive, natural and tested over time.

In my nonexpert opinion, eating pink M&M’s absolutely raises cancer awareness, but will also make you more acidic. Excessive sugar intake, although enjoyable, is acid-causing and leads to poor health in every imaginable physiological scenario.

Many cancer experts agree that it develops slowly in the absence of balanced health due to a variety of toxic elements, overexposure to radiation, ingestion of carcinogenic materials and stress.

A chronically acidic pH can occur from an acid-forming diet, chronic physical exhaustion, emotional stress, toxic overload and/or immune reactions. Thankfully, one can have an effect on many of these factors. The body will try to compensate for an acidic pH by using any alkaline minerals it can get from food. If the diet does not contain enough alkaline material to compensate because you’re not eating alkaline foods, a build-up of acids in the cells will occur, among other reactions. This makes a nice environment for many symptoms.

Cancer experts tell me that cancer needs both an acidic and a low-oxygen environment to survive. Many terminal cancer patients are about 1,000 times more acidic than normal healthy people. The vast majority of terminal cancer patients possess a very low body pH.

Ways to keep your pH optimal:

First, test it. You can achieve this easily with some cheap litmus paper test strips from your local health food store — if you have one. If you don’t have one, stop approving so many liquor and pot stores in your town! Although these stores provide temporary relief for each of their political constituents, all of it is acid causing. Both the red and blue teams can unite on the premise that they both love acid forming drugs! I know, health food stores are not always great sources of tax revenue compared to liquor and pot stores, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices.

Change your eating behavior:

Occasionally I take a break from denial and realize that my own diet is what’s killing me. Take a close look at your eating habits and make changes. Try to counteract the junk that you and your kids eat with some alkaline foods. Just about our entire American diet of fried, instant, whole-grain junk is acid-forming. Don’t blame our health care system because you can’t stop eating doughnuts.

Many holistic doctors recommend a diet containing about 60 percent alkaline-forming foods and 40 percent acid-forming foods. Nobody knows for sure because we all react differently to the same foods. Test yourself frequently to be sure that your food choices are working for you. Generally, alkaline forming foods include: most fruits, green vegetables, peas, spices, herbs and seasonings, and seeds and nuts. Acid forming foods include: deep fried in junk oil foods, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, grains and most legumes.

Baking soda and raw apple cider vinegar:

I’m repeating this because these are absolute musts for cancer prevention and everything from improving alkalinity, digestion, gut flora, etc. These are very cheap and easy ways to improve health and possibly avoid becoming cancer-bankrupt. Some well-qualified, arrogant cancer experts brilliantly point out that you won’t cure cancer with a bottle of vinegar, and they’re correct. However, consuming these products over time will help overall health, particularly digestion — which is the key to all disease prevention.

I have a lot of formal training on nutrition and human physiology — which does not qualify me to tell you to reduce your intake of chemical-laden GMO “franken food,” water and radiation — and that these may be the biggest factors for our ever-increasing rates of cancer — but I’ll take the risk and tell you anyway.

Finally, stop running yourself into the ground. Chronic fatigue literally kills, slowly and painfully. The litmus test strip will tell you if you are going too fast. Along with good nutrition, regulating your stress level is another great way to reduce the onset and duration of all disease, so lighten up and laugh a little.

Steve Wells is a personal trainer and co-owner of Midland Fitness. His column appears on Tuesdays. Check out Steve’s Blog, “According to Steve,” at midland-fitness.com.


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