Your body has a natural PH level. As long as the body is in the correct PH range (overall, this should be slightly alkaline), the body will be in homeostasis or balance and will remain healthy.
Your body’s acid/alkaline level is not the same as the acid content of your stomach, so do not make this assumption!
Now, here’s where it gets complicated; Different internal parts or systems of your body have vastly different PH level requirements. In other words, it isn't like your whole body from head to toe should be at a specific PH level. Let me explain why this is so.
Different parts of your body have different purposes and the processes that go on in these different places require differing PH levels to get the job done.
You know when the stomach is digesting food it is a highly acidic place, usually in the 1 to 3 range on the PH scale. This is similar in acidity to battery acid!
As the food mix leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine it becomes alkaline. The small intestine has a PH of 7 to 9, which is neutral to alkaline. It needs to be alkaline to neutralize the mix from the stomach.
The PH level of the blood is the most critical of all. To put it simply, it must remain in the very narrow PH range of 7.3 to 7.4 or you die! Don’t worry though, because it is so important the body has ways of maintaining this range. In maintaining blood PH your body must deal with what you are putting into it.
First the body tries to use buffers to balance the PH level of the body. Minerals, especially magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium, are the buffers the body uses. If you eat a diet that supplies these minerals the body will use them to regulate PH levels. If you eat a poor diet like many people today, then your body will be forced to leech these minerals from other parts of the body like your vital organs, muscles and bones. Osteoporosis is a leeching of calcium from the bones making them brittle.
Our modern western diet makes us acidic
The typical American diet consists of far too much acid producing foods and too little alkaline forming foods. Sugar, corn syrup, table salt, white flour, smoking, coffee, black teas, sodas, meats (red, poultry and fish), dairy, processed foods, most drugs and artificial sweeteners are all acid forming foods.
Some alkaline forming foods are; most fresh fruits and vegetables, especially green veggies and citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are acidic when eaten but are good alkalizers in the body. Lemons are very acidic but are good at alkalizing the body. Celery, asparagus, sprouts and all melons are great for alkalizing the body. Eat plenty of fresh salads but watch the dressings, most store bought dressings are acidic. Fresh olive oil and a little lemon juice and maybe some spices are all you need.
A foods PH level is different than what it does to the body
A food’s acid or alkaline forming tendency once in the body has nothing to do with the PH level of the food itself. It is the end effect they have on the body that matters. Meats are generally alkaline themselves but acidify the body when eaten. Lemons are the classic example of a very acidic food that actually alkalizes the body when eaten.
To alkalize your body you should be eating more alkaline producing foods than acid producing foods. 60 or 70% of your diet should be alkaline foods. Some say it should be more like 80%!
As food goes through your digestive tract it goes through different PH zones. Starting in the mouth, the level is only a little bit acidic because this is the level the enzymes in the mouth operate in. As food goes into the upper part of the stomach, the environment becomes more acidic. Some enzymes from the saliva or ones introduced here work best in this PH range.
As food gets to the lower stomach, acid levels increase drastically to about 2.0 to 1.5. This kills most of the enzymes that were working on the food. Yet this is the environment that pepsin, an enzyme that breaks down protein needs to do its job. As the food mixture leaves the stomach, the acid is neutralized in the small intestine. PH levels are at a neutral 7.0 or slightly alkaline. The enzymes introduced in the small intestine by the pancreas work in this range.
So you now see how PH varies in different parts of the body.
What does this have to do with acid reflux?
Did you notice that the same foods that are blamed for causing or aggravating acid reflux, are the same foods that raise the acid level of the body?
When you eat tougher to digest foods (like protein from meats), your body requires large amounts of the mineral buffers to neutralize all the acid created to break the protein down. Your body will first try to get the minerals from the food you ate. If the food was junk and was deficient in those minerals, the body will get them from other places like your bones or muscles.
If your diet consists in large part of fast foods, frozen microwave dinners, processed foods, sodas, coffee or other acid producing foods, you are giving your body zero minerals and enzymes while at the same time acidifying your body.
At the same time you are giving yourself acid reflux, you’re also setting yourself up for bigger trouble a few years down the road. Trouble like; arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
A diet to fix acid reflux should help you alkalize the body
I personally don't worry too much about this because as you improve your diet to rid yourself of acid reflux, a side effect will be that you also alkalize your body and bring it back towards homeostasis. This is one of the best things you can do for your health.
If you are interested in balancing your acid/alkaline level, you first have to learn how to test your PH level.