Answer courtesy of Susan Hurd, RDN, LDN, Regional Nutrition Manager, multysite Education, Wellness Champion, Sherman Region
Many proponents of alkaline or acid ash diets support the notion that eating certain foods can help change your body’s blood pH. Before delving into this, you should understand a little about the acid-base balance of the body. The term pH is used to refer to the acid or basic/alkaline level of something. A pH of 1-6 is acidic, while 7 is considered neutral, and a pH of 8-14 is basic/alkaline. The body is considered “slightly basic” as pH hovers near 7.4, a number the body works very hard to maintain. The stomach’s pH is around 3.5, but this acidic environment is necessary for the digestion of foods. Once food leaves the stomach, enzymes and digestive activity in the small intestine kick in to neutralize the acidic contents coming from the stomach. In actuality, shifts from 7.4 can have dire consequences. For this reason, the body works to maintain this level, therefore what you eat will not significantly alter blood pH.