Do you ever have videos pop up in your internet feed about the benefits of alkaline water ?  How about the evils of an acid diet?  Do you even know that some foods are acidic while others are alkaline?  What does all of that even have to do with your health?  Of course, there are books of information and hours of videos to really get the info you need to understand this subject but you don’t sign up and read these emails for that, do you?

If you want to understand acid vs base when it comes to the foods you choose and your overall health, I will give you a summary here and you can decide if you want to learn more on pH.

Lesson one, what is pH?  pH is the scale you can refer to that rates whether something is acidic or alkaline (a base). The number 7 is given to the halfway point.  Everything less than 7 is acidic and more than 7 is alkaline.  Distilled water has a pH of 7 so it is neutral.  Everything you eat is either acidic or alkaline and that balance also influences your health.

It’s not as simple as eating tomatoes, sucking on lemons, and drinking coffee turns you acidic.  Nor is the opposite true of eating Brussels sprouts or broccoli.  Just because they are alkaline foods, doesn’t mean that when you eat them it immediately changes your pH.  Your body has the ability to adapt to its environment.  What you eat influences that but there are mechanisms in place to buffer the reactions that individual meals have on you.

Let’s take a lemon.  A lemon is acidic, BUT when you eat a lemon it causes your body to release buffers, so eating lemons actually makes you more alkaline!

Let’s make this food thing really easy.

  • Fruits and vegetables trigger your body to be more alkaline
  • Everything else triggers an acid effect

Does that mean you only eat fruits and veggies?  No grains, no beans, no fats, no meat?  NOPE!

There are many different areas in your body where pH is a factor, your blood, saliva, colon, stomach… all of these areas can have different pH ranges that are considered healthy.  When you are eating the right combination of foods for your particular body you will self-regulate the pH system in each area to an optimal range.

The number one pH that I monitor in patients and my family is salivary pH (the pH of your saliva).  The optimal salivary pH is 7.2-7.4, slightly alkaline.  If you put a strip of pH paper in your mouth and it reads very acidic, let’s say a 6.2, that is much more of a problem than if you register a pH of 8.0, highly alkaline.  If you want to understand salivary pH at a basic level read on.

Acidic Salivary pH means one or more of the following:

  • Your teeth and gums are being damaged
  • You are not handling stress properly
  • You are dealing with an acute stress
  • Prone to infections
  • Chronic pain
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • You have trouble digesting food
  • You have severe acid reflux / GERD
  • You aren’t eating enough foods with, or have trouble digesting minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium

Overly Alkaline Salivary pH means one or more of the following:

  • Joint aches
  • Muscle tension

What you can see from the above lists is that having an overly alkaline oral pH is preferable to an overly acidic pH.  So how do you get to a state of optimal pH?

  • Test your pH, you can order test strips from Amazon
  • Shift your diet and address the quality of foods that you put in your body
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Get a good night’s sleep

Yes, the list goes back to what I tell you to do over and over again and is yet another example that if you treat your body right it will treat you right.  If you want help balancing your pH reach out and let’s get started.


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Yours in health,

Dr. Jason Piken DC, CNS, PAK


Dr. Jason Piken

Dr. Jason Piken is a Chiropractor, Certified Nutrition Specialist and Health Coach who offers a unique holistic and whole body approach to nutrition and wellness.

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