This book gives a concise description of what pH balance is, how it affects your health, and the possible consequences of not keeping ones system "in balance". pH means "potential for hydrogen", a term used in chemistry, which indicates whether a solution, fluid or compound is acidic, alkaline, or neutral. pH can be measured in our bodies by testing saliva and urine or blood (pH strips are available for the first 2 tests), and if we have a heavy concentration of hydrogen in our systems, we are "acid based". The scale goes from 0 to 14; to be healthy, we should have slightly alkaline, oxygen-rich arterial blood (7.365 to 7.45 is ideal) - a reading of 7.0 is neutral.
Oxygen rich systems (alkaline based) neutralize formation of acids which might prove to be harmful. To help us stay in the neutral zone, our bodies use calcium and protein from bones, and possibly other places, to pump more alkaline to our systems in order to neutralize formation of acids, so as to keep us in balance. After the passage of time, if we fail to keep our systems in balance, and we become acid based, our bone formation will be reduced, calcium will be lost in our urine (leading to kidney stone formation), proteins will breakdown causing our muscles to waste away, our systems will be unable to repair cells, tissues and organs fully, our systems will age at an accelerated pace, more free radicals will be produced, we will be subject to increased fluid retention, and so forth.
The American diet is centered around foods that create acid-base systems. Dr. Brown lists about 70 pages of foods we eat, and rates them according to whether the food is alkaline-forming or acid-forming. The first time I read through the list, I determined that I could not eat any food without running the risk of forming more acids in my system. To remedy this, Dr. Brown suggest that we eat more dark green vegetables than any other food group. She doesn't require me to give up meat or eggs or nuts, so long as 2/3rd of my plate contains foods that are alkaline-forming (such as kale, collard greens, mustard greens, asparagus, snap green beans, etc.).
Dr. Brown explains the basis for her conclusions. Our bodies have 3 methods of getting rid of unwanted "poisons", or acid forming chemicals, all of which are filtered through our bodies:
First, our lungs supply our bodies with much needed oxygen (as we breathe in), and dispel (exhale) carbon dioxide (the "burned" waste from our system - an inference might be made that aerobic exercise helps cleanse our system, because it requires lots of heavy breathing, which gives us a double dose of oxygen; in turn the CO2 expels the oxidized stuff we don't need);
Second, our kidneys filter unwanted sugars, and other waste products which we don't need (we rid our systems through urine - a preventative measure we can take is to drink lots of pure, and hopefully ionized or ozone rich water, which will keep our kidneys healthy, as well as supply needed oxygen to our systems); and
Third, our skin filters out other things, through our perspiration (which is also produced through exercise).
With the information in this book, we will understand the importance of pH balance, have a list of foods and corresponding indicators as to whether the foods produce acid or alkaline with our systems, and gain a better appreciate of the components of good health.