Why an Alkaline Body is Important
Determining if the body is either alkaline or acidic is representative of the pH scale. According to The Uma Show, pH stands for potential of hydrogen, which is defined as the measure of hydrogen ions in a solution or body fluid. The scale ranges from 0-14 and 7 is considered neutral; below 7 is considered more acidic and above 7, more alkaline. The body’s optimal pH range is slightly alkalized and roughly 7.365. People suffer from acidic bodies due to a poor diet of junk food, overcooked foods, not eating the right food and various lifestyle choices like drinking coffee, sugary drinks or alcohol. Different parts of the body have different pH balance. For example, “the stomach needs to be highly acidic to kill parasites and digest and absorb nutrients. Your small intestine needs to be highly alkaline to neutralize stomach acid” (James). According to Chinese Medicine, balance in the body is crucial.When the pH in the blood balances, the nervous system is calmed by stimulating the vegas nerve to secrete acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that lowers the heart rate making people feel more calm and peaceful (Uma).
When pH becomes too acidic, the body can suffer from yeast fungal overgrowth, coughing, shortness of breath, low energy, chronic fatigue, increased heart rate, weight gain, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, weak bones, headache, confusion and sleepiness (Uma). When the body is too alkaline, people experience muscle twitching, increased urination, increased irritability, lightheadedness, tremors and muscle spasms.
According to Aoi & Marunaka, “regulation of body fluid pH is one of the most important physiological functions of homeostasis, because activity of most chemical reactions via enzyme proteins is dependent on fluid pH.” Enzymes help to build muscle, break down food and toxins down in the body. An example of the body becoming too acidic is after strenuous exercise. In this case, lactic acid builds up in skeletal muscle leading to body fluid acidosis and prevents muscle contraction. Another reason to have an alkaline pH when working out t is that the body is able to get two times more oxygen than an acidic body. Alternatively, “diseased bodies are acidic bodies, which repel oxygen and attract the overgrowth of disease-causing microorganisms” (Natures Fare). When the body is at an alkaline state it’s able to fight off bacteria keeping people healthy. Beware that most over the counter medications and antibiotics are acid forming. It’s best to opt for a more natural solution when you feel a cold coming on and result to pharmaceuticals only if necessary as they will ultimately put your body at a more acidic state.
It only takes a decrease of .05 units from normal pH to result in acidosis (Aoi & Marunaka). Disease, toxins, mental and emotional issues are generally correlated with acidic pH in the body. Those with diabetes typically have an acidic pH which can give people symptoms of physical fatigue. Acidosis is a term used to describe when the body is too acidic and allows diseases such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, obesity, premature aging, and many other degenerative diseases to develop in the body (Got Matcha). When the body is in an alkaline state, it’s able to detox better largely due to improved liver function, allowing the body pH to balance itself naturally.
Moringa and Matcha are two alkalizing superfoods because they are both high in chlorophyll. Moringa is a plant with antioxidants and numerous amounts of nutrients. It’s found in India and sometimes called the “drumstick or horseradish tree.” This plant helps reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and protects against metal toxins in the body. It has the ability to regulate pH value in the body amongst many other things. Moringa has, “7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 10 times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, 9 times more protein than yogurt, 15 times more potassium than bananas and 25 times more iron than spinach” (Gopalakrishnan). Moringa is nutritive and is rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron and copper. The plant is low in calories and can be helpful to add in to the diet of those who are obsese. In comparison to a glass of milk which has 300-400mg of calcium, Moringa has more than 4000 mg. In comparison to a serving of beef that has 2mg of iron, moringa leaf powder has 28 mg of iron in addition to the daily requirement of zinc. Zinc is something that helps support positive immune function and strength to keep people from getting sick.
Matcha is high in antioxidants. It also boosts brain function. It can also help lose weight by increasing the metabolism to increase energy expenditure and promote fat burning. It’s an excellent replacement for coffee to promote health in the body. While coffee is extremely acidic in the body, Matcha works to promote a healthy alkalinity in the body. One cup of matcha even has 25 grams of caffeine in it. Matcha has been traditionally used in Japanese ceremonies but originates in China. The green tea contains amino acid L-Theanine, “which completely changes the way your body processes caffeine. Rather than absorbing quickly into your bloodstream, L-Theanine releases caffeine slowly over hours, which gives you a sustained energy boost without the jitters” (Noyes). Additionally, a serving of matcha delivers
catechins, flavonoids, polyphenols, vitamin A, C and 314 mg of fiber.
According to The Uma Show, some lifestyle habits are just as important for maintaining a healthy pH. Some ideas are to drink water with organic raw apple cider vinegar or lemon. Unlike other citrus fruits, lemon is alkaline which helps prevent acidity and acid reflux. It’s also best to avoid caffeine, sugar or alcohol to decrease acidity in the body and prevent agitation and irritability in the long run. Drinking fresh, organic green juices or smoothies is also a great way to support healthy pH in the body and to prevent cravings for junk foods. Nuts are a great way to support healthy pH in the body. Yoga also helps with this because it promotes healthy breathing, raising the carbon dioxide level in the blood bringing the pH back to an alkaline level. People should do their best to incorporate these lifestyle choices and foods like Morgina, Matcha and other greens to keep a balanced pH.
Gopalakrishnan, Lakshmipriya, et al. “Moringa Oleifera: A Review on Nutritive Importance and Its Medicinal Application.” Food Science and Human Wellness, Elsevier, 11 Apr. 2016, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213453016300362.
James. “Get Alkaline and Remove Acid with Matcha Green Tea.” Matcha Green Tea by Living Qi, 9 Sept. 2011, living-qi.com/2011/09/09/get-alkaline-and-remove-acid-with-matcha-green-tea/.
Noyes, Lydia. “Mighty Matcha: Benefits of Coffee Without the Losses.” DYLN, DYLN, 22 June 2017, www.dyln.co/blogs/y-blog/matcha-over-coffee.
Rebekah. “Home.” Matcha Tea Alkaline | Alkaline With Matcha, www.gotmatcha.com/alkaline-with-matcha/.
“The PH Connection – Colds & Flu.” Natures Fare, 29 Dec. 2017, www.naturesfare.com/health/ph-connection-colds-flu/.
Wataru Aoi, Yoshinori Marunaka, "Importance of pH Homeostasis in Metabolic Health and Diseases: Crucial Role of Membrane Proton Transport", BioMed Research International, vol. 2014, Article ID 598986, 8 pages, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/598986