Written by Robert O. Young, Ph.D., and Shelley Redford Young Reviewed by Ericlee Gilmore
I read a fascinating book this summer about the pH scale of the human body and what happens when it is not balanced. All humans have a pH scale from 1-14 in the blood and tissues. The pH reflects the concentration of hydrogen ions. Similar to a swimming pool, our bodies do everything possible to keep the pH scale balanced at 7.4. If it goes above 7.4 it is too acidic or if it goes below 7.4 it is too alkaline. If the blood or tissue pH deviates too far to the acid side, oxygen levels decrease and cellular metabolism will stop. In other words if cells, die then the human body will die. That definitely made me keep reading so I could understand the process. Here is the summary of the process in my words.
All food digested metabolizes or burns down to ash residue that is alkaline or acid. Over time the acid buildup sets the stage for fungus, yeast, and mold to take over the tissues and blood. These microforms (fungus, yeast, mold) produce acidic wastes when they digest glucose (sugar), proteins, and fats. They don’t produce symptoms in the body, but rather their toxic waste does. Microforms thrive on acidity and they love low oxygen levels in the blood and tissues. The toxins produced in the acidic environment reduce absorption of proteins, minerals, and other nutrients, which in turn weakens the body’s ability to produce enzymes and hormones. The waste of the microforms severely stresses the immune system making it constantly stimulated, overworked, and stressed. The result is chemical and nutritional sensitivities, which are allergic reactions. This is just the beginning of many more chronic illnesses. Here are some of the symptoms that are a direct result of over acidification. They include vaginal infections, menstrual difficulties, impotence, infertility, urinary tract infection, itchy skin, MS-like symptoms, and chronic fatigue syndrome just to name a few.
The fish tank analogy in the book really helped me understand this pH concept. When the water is dirty in a fish take and you notice the fish are looking a little sick, what normally happens next? All of us who own a fish tank would say that you must change the water not treat the fish for illness. THUS, we must do the same for our bodies.
Dr. Young shed some new light on what a healthy environment can do for you. The author claims that unless you have an acidic environment, you will not get sick. Like seeds in soil, germs must have a fertile environment to grow. Disease is a condition of our own inner environment, not something caused by foreign germs. So the quality of the food we eat will determine the quality of red blood cells that determine the quality of bones, muscles, and organs. So yes the old wise tale, “You are what you eat”, is really true!
Here is the reason why veggies are so important. They provide for our bodies chlorophyll, fiber, enzymes, and phytonutrients. Each of these items performs a specific task in the body. Chlorophyll helps blood cells deliver oxygen to the body, which reduces the binding of carcinogens in the liver. Fiber acts as a sponge and as a broom soaking up acids in the body and sweeping out the intestines. Enzymes are needed for every chemical activity in the human body. Here is the reason why raw vegetables are so important. Heat (over 118 degrees) destroys enzymes thus making the vegetable almost obsolete. Finally the phytonutrients help prevent cancers and relieve osteoporosis by binding to the acids thus eliminating them.
The last element of eating alkaline products is wheat and barley grasses. The reason why Jamba Juice sells wheat grass is because it has every mineral and every vitamin in the B complex family. Barley grass provides the body 4x as much vitamin B1 than whole-wheat flour. In addition Barley grass has 7x as much vitamin C as oranges.
Except for avoiding fruit, I have accepted everything Dr. Young has talked about until this. It is not that I do not accept it but I guess I do not feel it is important to do it. This last topic was a little out there for me. Food combining is something that is not considered important. But to have a correct pH scale in your body it is extremely important. Protein digestion requires highly acidic environment and it takes place in the stomach. On the other hand starch digestion requires mildly alkaline environment and it takes place in the mouth and small intestine. So when you eat a starch with an animal protein it is combining acid on top of acid – this creates enough poison to actually shut down the immune system for five hours. In theory when you eat, your plate should have three vegetable servings and one protein serving or three vegetable servings and one starch or complex carbohydrate.
The food products that are most acidic are the following: sugar, all animal products (meat, chicken, eggs, dairy), stored grains, processed food, fruit, mushrooms, yeast products, fermented products, caffeine, soda, alcohol, corn products, peanut products, heated oils, artificial sweeteners and micro waved foods. The food products that are most alkaline are the following: vegetables, nuts, grains (least acidic are millet, buckwheat, spelt, amaranth, quinoa) grasses, raw foods, fresh organic foods, water, soy, fresh fish, sprouts, lemons, limes, grapefruit, tomatoes, and avocados.
In 1988 the Surgeon General’s report on health and nutrition said, “One personal choice seems to influence long term health prospects more than any other – what we eat”.
In conclusion, eat more raw vegetables at all meals (70% of your plate), drink more pure water (70% of your body is water), eat less animal products (if you do eat mean buy only organic and grass fed), avoid sugar at all costs (read labels for high fructose corn syrup), and avoid fast food chains, artificial sweeteners and microwaves like they are the black plague.
The first thing you want to do is to check your own pH levels in your body. You can check it at home with a paper pH strip available at local pharmacies. It is not as accurate as a blood test but it is a lot less painful and less expensive. Change is always slow and gradual. I invite you and your family to start eating more raw veggies and avoid sugar at all costs. That's what we're working on!