PH Balance

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JOHN PETROZZI: Hi and welcome to Living is Easy with John and Josh. I’m John Petrozzi.

JOSH HARPER: And I’m Josh Harper.

JOHN PETROZZI: In today’s show, we’re going to talk about body pH, Josh?

JOSH HARPER: Okay. And what does that involve, John?

JOHN PETROZZI: First thing, I’ll just give you some background. All right? I was doing some research the other day about- I was actually trying to device a walking program for some patients, because some patients want to get fit and healthy and reduce some weight, and those sorts of things. And one of the benefits of walking is that it reduces stress and improves your body chemistry. And then I went on to a link that talked about body pH.


JOHN PETROZZI: And I know about body pH. It’s about the system of acid and base in the body but I thought it’ll be a really good topic to talk about on radio.

JOSH HARPER: Okay. Because you’re saying before that not many people know about it.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Exactly. The body’s kind of like a battery. It’s got acid and base levels. What’s the best way to describe that? You know like a lemon?


JOHN PETROZZI: You know if you eat lemons, or if you put lemons on your teeth it starts to cause some erosion or corrosion to your enamel?

JOSH HARPER: Right. Yeah.

JOHN PETROZZI: And it’s the same sort of thing, get some battery acid and pour it on to, I don’t know, a bit of paper or something, and it starts to burn through the paper.


JOHN PETROZZI: Acid is that chemical or it’s got a charge in it that basically breaks down body parts. Whereas the opposite to an acid is a base, something that’s alkaline. And you can measure that on a scale of pH scale.

JOSH HARPER: Okay. And lemon is very acidic and tangy.


JOSH HARPER: Is that where the acid is?

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s where the acid is. Yeah.


JOHN PETROZZI: You got acid in your stomach as well to help break down food. So whenever you eat food, your body produces hydrochloric acid-


JOHN PETROZZI: -to break down the food contents, so you can start to digest them and assimilate them into your body. So your body’s got this beautiful balance of acid and base. And you can measure your acid and base on a scale of 1 to 14.

JOSH HARPER: Is that the pH scale?

JOHN PETROZZI: pH scale. Exactly. Yeah. And the lower numbers are the more acidic elements, and the more basic or alkaline it becomes, the higher the number.


JOHN PETROZZI: So 14 is really alkaline and 1 is really acidic. So our body should be around about 7.35.


JOHN PETROZZI: So it’s almost neutral.  And a little bit on the alkaline side.

JOSH HARPER: Okay. And what does that mean? Does that mean there’s enough acid in our stomach or around in our body?

JOHN PETROZZI: The whole balance. It’s like the yin and the yang in our body. Your body is in a perfect balance of not being too acidic, because when it’s too acidic, it produces a whole lot of problems that we’ll start talking about now.


JOHN PETROZZI: And same thing if it’s too basic. Your body can’t function at its optimum as well.

JOSH HARPER: And before we go into that, what do we need it for?

JOHN PETROZZI: Acidic levels or basic levels?

JOSH HARPER: Yeah. Everything.

JOHN PETROZZI: Well, if your body becomes too acidic, then you start to lose that really nice charge in your body. Have you ever put two magnets together, Josh?


JOHN PETROZZI: At school we put like a positive to a negative and the two magnets stick together?


JOHN PETROZZI: And if you spin the magnet around, and you put the positive to the positive-

JOSH HARPER: Then it retracts?

JOHN PETROZZI: They retract. They repel.


JOHN PETROZZI: It’s the same sort of thing with charges in the body and acid levels. You’ve got red blood cells in your body, and red blood cells basically transport oxygen around your body. Without red blood cells, you don’t get oxygen delivered to the cells and your body doesn’t function properly.


JOHN PETROZZI: So you’ve got red blood cells that have a charge on them which is repelled by the charge on the blood vessel wall. So you can imagine this red blood cell traveling down the blood vessel. If it’s got perfect pH in the body—7.35 or roughly—then the red blood cell can just bounce off the walls and just run down the flow of the bloodstream quite easily and effectively.

JOSH HARPER: And that keeps them from grouping off and sticking into the walls?

JOHN PETROZZI: Exactly. Yes. Stops them from clumping, stops them from sticking together, stops them from getting stuck and it helps to deliver the oxygen which is bound to that red blood cell to be delivered and transported to all parts of the body.


JOHN PETROZZI: To your lungs, to your heart, kidney cells, brain cells, everything. So this is where the problem lies really. Because if your body gets too acidic, red blood cells start to clump and they start to stick to the walls of the blood cells. So basically you’ve got a backlog of cells, and you don’t get oxygen transported to parts of the body.

JOSH HARPER: Right. And you need oxygen.

JOHN PETROZZI: You need oxygen because you’ll start to get fatigued, you start to get sleepy, body doesn’t function like it should, so digestion might not be as good as it should be, during the day your alertness would be, you’d be drowsy, you won’t sleep very well at night time, you might snore, a whole lot of problems start to occur when oxygen doesn’t get delivered to the body.

JOSH HARPER: And will the same happen if it’s too basic?

JOHN PETROZZI: No, not really. It’s actually hard to get your body too basic.


JOHN PETROZZI: But if it is too basic then things go out of balance as well. So you won’t get that delivery system at its optimum.


JOHN PETROZZI: So really for now, our aim with today’s show is just really talking about what the pH is, what sort of foods that you can eat to become more basic and become less acidic, how we can test it, and just to become more educated about it really.

JOSH HARPER: Yeah. Great.

JOHN PETROZZI: Because with certain foods that you eat, it’s easy to become acidic. And so when the body becomes too acidic, the red blood cells also burst, and inside the red blood cells you’ve got an acidic environment as well. So you got an environment that’s already acidic, and then you got red blood cells that burst, and they basically dump their acidic contents into the bloodstream. And your blood becomes even more acidic.

JOSH HARPER: Okay. It’s very downward spiral from the moment it starts.

JOHN PETROZZI: It is. Yeah.  But you can change it. Later in the program, we’ll talk about green drinks that you can go and buy from a health food store or pharmacy, and you can mix it up with water to help your body become more alkaline.

But actually, let’s go to a break now. When we come back, we’ll talk about the sorts of foods that you are probably eating right now and drinks that you’re drinking right now that are probably making your body more acidic. So when we come back, let’s talk about that and help you become more basic.


JOSH HARPER: Welcome back to Living is Easy with John and Josh. And today, we’re talking about the pH in our bodies. So far we’ve discussed what is alkaline and what is acidic foods.

But, John, what kind of foods are we talking about?

JOHN PETROZZI: Well, so, with acid and basic environments in our body, the thing is that the sorts of food that we eat, mainly proteins, alcohol, coffee, flesh proteins, chicken meat, fish, scallops, sea foods, that’s actually probably one of the most, highest acidic foods you can possibly eat.


JOHN PETROZZI: But they’re great. And they all taste good.

JOSH HARPER: And they don’t seem that way.

JOHN PETROZZI: No, it doesn’t, does it? No, it doesn’t seem like you’re eating something that’s pure acid that you put into your body. But the thing is with acidic foods, it’s not the actual makeup of it that’s acidic, but it’s when your body breaks it down and processes it, it becomes acidic.


JOHN PETROZZI: And that produces this acidic ash which is the way that the scientists describe the environment of your body. It produces an ash which is basically the breakdown of the foods that leaves an acidic residue in your body.


JOHN PETROZZI: So essentially, the things we need to do to improve the environment, the pH environment in our body is to really—very simple really—is reduce the acidic foods and increase the alkaline foods-


JOHN PETROZZI: -that we’re eating. And we’ll discuss this in a second. But also, you can test your body for acid and base levels as well. Ideally, our system should have a pH level of 7.35. And you can test this—we’ll talk about this later—you can get testing strips from the chemist, saliva strips or urine strips.


JOHN PETROZZI: Each has its limitations; some aren’t as accurate as the others. But we’ll talk about that a bit later on the show.

So in terms of our environment, ideally, we need to have a pH level of 7.35. If you’re a scallop thing, and you’re eating scallops for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and lots of seafood, then more than likely you’re going to have a high acidic level in your body.

JOSH HARPER: And you need to balance it out.

JOHN PETROZZI: You need to balance it out. Yeah. So essentially you might be someone who’s lethargic, sleepy, tired, lacking energy, not getting enough oxygen, feeling like you need to yawn all the time, waking up in the mornings feeling tired like you didn’t sleep-


JOHN PETROZZI: Concentration levels start to lapse during the day, fatigability increases. Actually, it almost sounds like these people living in the city, doesn’t it? You can test this stuff to find out if it is your pH level that’s producing it.

JOSH HARPER: A lot of people out there wake up feeling tired. Do you think this might be a main attribute to it?

JOHN PETROZZI: It might be, Josh. Yeah. It’s hard to tell because lots of other factors contribute to fatigue and tiredness.


JOHN PETROZZI: And they can be categorized into something physical, either they’re physically not-

JOSH HARPER: Not exercising?

JOHN PETROZZI: -exercising or active; chemically, their body’s not down in the right pH (that’s what we’re talking about here); or emotionally, their body’s not dealing with emotions very well and their body becomes fatigued and depressed.

JOSH HARPER: Yeah. And you said before that stress also tends to create a condition in the body.

JOHN PETROZZI: Acid environment in the body. It does. Yeah. So you can hit this from lots of different angles, but today we’ll talk about the things you can eat and drink to improve your alkaline or pH levels in your body.


JOHN PETROZZI: So alkaline foods that you’ll eat to improve the environment- actually let’s do the flip side. Let’s talk about acid foods first. So we spoke about scallops at the top. And scallops and seafood are one of the most acidic foods you can possibly eat, because when it’s broken down, it produces an acidic ash. And that acidic ash produces the low pH which is acidic environment. Oysters are another acidic food when broken down. Lentils- do you eat lentils?

JOSH HARPER: I do. Yeah.

JOHN PETROZZI: Me, too. I love lentils.


JOHN PETROZZI: But it’s not very good for my blood type, but that’s another episode.


JOHN PETROZZI: We’ll talk about blood types another time. So dried lentils are up there as well, sausages, sardines, oatmeal, corned beef, and lobster. So really we’re talking about foods that: these ones here live in the sea, these ones here live on land, sausages lives on land as well. So you can’t really categorize it to only say meat products produce acid environment or grassy foods produce acid environment, because it can be lots of different sort of foods. On the list, you got peanut butter. Anything else not listed that you eat there, Josh?

JOSH HARPER: Chicken, I love chicken.

JOHN PETROZZI: Chicken. Yeah. Chicken’s a little bit further down the list. So if you’re looking at scallops right up at the top, it’s got an acidic level of—the scale is a bit confusing—but they’re saying it’s –226.  And chicken’s down there in the list of –43, so it’s about eight times less acidic than scallops but it’s still on the list of being acidic.

JOSH HARPER: But you could have an accidental completely diet of these food.


JOSH HARPER: And then you could just have a completely acidic body.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Exactly right. Do Google research on this stuff because it’s a really interesting way of looking at the body. Essentially, we’re looking at the body as being a battery full of charges, so every organ in your body has a charge. Your heart’s got an electrical charge, your skin has electrical charge and conduction, your nerves, your lungs, blood vessels, blood cells, everything’s got electrical charge in the body. And that allows for the free flowing of nutrients across membranes when it’s needed. It allows for proton pumps and those sorts of things in your body to open and close when it’s needed to allow nutrients to pass into cells for oxygenation and for nutrients. So acidic levels are really, really important. White bread’s on the list, too, Josh?

JOSH HARPER: I eat a lot of white bread.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah? Do you eat whole grains as well?

JOSH HARPER: Not really. No.

JOHN PETROZZI: No? What else is on here?  Wheat flour, salmon, steak, turkey, veal chops, lamb, English walnuts (Deny those English walnuts? But they’re on the list as well.), bacon, eggs – they’re a bit further down the list, getting close to not having too much effect. Honey’s down there on the list as well, but that’s almost neutral.

JOSH HARPER: They seem very miniscule, these numbers.

JOHN PETROZZI: The bottom ones do. Yeah. I think the main ones that we can sort of talk about are the scallops, the oysters, dried lentils, sausages, sardines, oatmeal, corned beef, lobster, peanut butter, and chicken. And I think it goes down onto the neutral foods. And neutral foods include things like milk, whole milk, butter, corn syrup, sugar. Sugar’s neutral. Isn’t that interesting? You would have thought sugar would have had a high acid-

JOSH HARPER: Acid level.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah, but it’s not. Because before, you know, during the break, you asked me about Coca-cola.

JOSH HARPER: Yeah, right.

JOHN PETROZZI: And colas I think would have an acidic level because they’ve got a lot of citric acid in them. So I think the stuff that they put in them increases the acidity. When I was a kid I heard that you can put coins into a glass of coke-

JOSH HARPER: And it will clean it.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah it cleans it. Yeah. Or your jewelry.

JOSH HARPER: Oh, yeah. That does sound very acidic.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. But here, sugar is actually a neutral pH substance. So is olive oil, corn oil, and most vegetable oils are neutral as well.

JOSH HARPER: So, John, if you had a plate full of scallops. Let’s talk about alkaline foods now.


JOSH HARPER: What would balance that out?

JOHN PETROZZI: If you got a plate of spinach right next to it.


JOHN PETROZZI: That would balance it out. A plate of beet greens, molasses. We don’t get a lot of molasses these days, but you can get a jar of molasses. I know they put molasses into, interestingly, into horse feed. A friend of mine used to have a farm and they use a bathtub, fill it with hay, and fill it with molasses as well, big black substance, and it used to smell really sweet.

JOSH HARPER: Is that for fiber?

JOHN PETROZZI: Well, I don’t know. They must have been putting it in there to help with- I wish we had a caller telephone line here because we can get some callers giving us some ideas here.


JOHN PETROZZI: But molasses I think they must have put it in there to help with digestion and those sorts of things.


JOHN PETROZZI: But then again, farmers may have known about these basic and alkaline levels for their horses as well, and they’re probably trying to help their horses become less acidic.

JOSH HARPER: Right. Yeah.

JOHN PETROZZI: Celery and dried figs are also on the alkaline list as well. Do you eat dry figs?

JOSH HARPER: No, I don’t.

JOHN PETROZZI: They’re nice.


JOHN PETROZZI: Italian background, we used to eat these all the time when I was a kid.

JOSH HARPER: Yeah. Right.

JOHN PETROZZI: Beautiful. Carrots, dried beans, watercress, they are alkaline foods as well.

JOSH HARPER: There’s a lot of vegetables on this.

JOHN PETROZZI: I think veggies tend to be more alkaline. Yeah.

JOSH HARPER: Cabbage, broccoli, beets, cucumber, parsnip.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Radishes, dried peas, raisins, avocado, dried dates, limes. Isn’t that interesting? Lime is on the list as well.

JOSH HARPER: Yeah. Because they do taste very acidic.

JOHN PETROZZI: They do, don’t they? Yeah. Their acidity level is 33, but nonetheless, it’s still alkaline.

Before we go to the next break, I suppose just in summarizing that whole food category thing, we need to just assume that your body’s becoming more acidic day by day, because proteins that you’re eating are getting broken down. Meats, coffee, alcohol, stress is making your body more acidic, interferes with the travel of cells through the body, oxygenization of your cells as well. So the two things you can do to improve your pH level and bring it closer to 7.35 is to reduce your acid foods, which we spoke about earlier and increase your alkaline foods.

Later, when we come back from the break, I want to talk about green drinks you can get from your health food store to improve or actually add alkaline or basic to your system to help improve that pH level.

So stick with us and we’ll see you soon.


JOSH HARPER: Hi and welcome back to Living is Easy with John and Josh. And today, we’re talking about pH levels in the body.

John, let’s talk about how we can become more neutral and less acidic.

JOHN PETROZZI: Good start, Josh. First, we need to measure our system. And the best way we can measure our acid or base levels is to get a pH tester.


JOHN PETROZZI: And you can get that from a health food store.


JOHN PETROZZI: Or from a pharmacy.

JOSH HARPER: A chemist. Yeah.

JOHN PETROZZI: So, do you garden much, Josh?

JOSH HARPER: No, I don’t.

JOHN PETROZZI: No? Gardeners use pH testers as well to test their soil to see if it’s acidic or alkaline. I don’t know much about these sorts of things in the garden, but I know maybe azaleas need an alkaline environment or something like that.


JOHN PETROZZI: I love gardening, Josh. I really do. But the garden can be a similar environment to our body. If the garden’s not right, you don’t get the right crop. And if we don’t have the correct acidic or basic levels in our body, we don’t get the right energy from our body. It’s the same sort of thing. So a pH tester, you can either use it, you can lick these little pieces of paper or use some saliva on them and they’d turn a different color, whether it’s acidic or basic, and it’s got shades of different colors as well. So you can run it along the scale and find out exactly the same color that yours has got and that’ll give you the level of acid or base level that you got in your saliva.

JOSH HARPER: And accuracy?

JOHN PETROZZI: Accuracy could be a bit iffy, because if you just had a meal, it will be little bit acidic.

JOSH HARPER: It’s on your saliva.

JOHN PETROZZI: On your tongue. Yeah. And if you just brushed your teeth and left some toothpaste in there, you’ll get an alkaline reading because the toothpaste is alkaline. So what I suggest that people do when they’re testing their pH levels through using saliva is to clean your teeth, wash out with lots and lots of water and give it a good sort of 20 minutes or so, then test it.


JOHN PETROZZI: And see what reading you get. And don’t just do one that day, do several. Do four or five.

JOSH HARPER: And find the average.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Yeah. Find the average. And do it for a few weeks before you start changing your food as well, because you don’t want to be sort of messing around with acid and base foods if you don’t know what your pH is to start off with.

JOSH HARPER: You don’t want to misinterpret it and-


JOSH HARPER: -go the other way.

JOHN PETROZZI: Exactly right. Yeah. And it’s the same sort of thing with- you can test your pH through using urine test as well. And you can get these sticks from the chemist and you just wee on them and it will give you a reading of your pH level.

JOSH HARPER: Yeah. I imagine they’d be more accurate.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. It can be a bit iffy as well because your body’s smart. Kidneys are there to basically get rid of acidity or get rid of basic out of your system to try and produce that homeostasis or that yin and yang in your system. So if your body’s purging a whole lot of acid because you’ve just eaten scallops or some seafood, then you’re not going to get a very good reading because it’ll say, “Hey, your body’s really acidic,” then you’ll start to eat lots of alkaline foods to balance out.

But your body again is really, really, really smart, and it always knows what’s best. So when you’re looking at pH levels, you can either go and speak to your health food practitioner or healthcare practitioner, nutritionist, doctor, whoever you’ve got there on your healthcare team that can coach you through this stuff. But you don’t have to be that cautious with it; really, it just takes common sense. Find out what acidic things that you’re eating and find out what basic things you can start to eat to neutralise the levels. I’ve spoken earlier before the break about green drinks.

JOSH HARPER: Green drinks.


JOSH HARPER: What are they?

JOHN PETROZZI: Green drinks are basically a mixture of veggies and a mixture of wheat germ and those sorts of things that help to take away acidity out of our body.

JOSH HARPER: I’ve noticed spirulina has become more mainstream now.

JOHN PETROZZI: It has, isn’t it?


JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. And so is wheat grass as well.

JOSH HARPER: Yeah. In those bruise juices.

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s it. Yeah.


JOHN PETROZZI: And they cost a pack or two for a little shot. But it does take a little wheat grass to juice up to get it, to get some juice out of it, so fair enough.

JOSH HARPER: Oh, right. Yeah.

JOHN PETROZZI: And for anyone who’s wheat intolerant or gluten intolerant, it’s still okay to eat wheat grass because, again, test it with yourself everybody’s different, but basically it hasn’t produced the seed pods that produce that allergy.


JOHN PETROZZI: Because it’s very, very fresh grass. So basically, it’s just as soon as it sprouted, you juice the stuff out.


JOHN PETROZZI: But then again, just go to your health food store and talk to them about green drinks. You can just do a Google search on green drinks and see what comes up. But generally, the ingredient in these things is, like you said before, Josh, spirulina. They’ve got wheat sprout powder in there as well, alfalfa, whole leaf, barley grass powder, wheat grass juice powder, chlorella, organic carrot juice powder, organic spinach powder, so basically things that are on that list that are alkaline foods. There’ve been manufacturers who’ve basically powdered them down in a form that you can just add to water. If it tastes gross, then just add it to fruit juice.


JOHN PETROZZI: And that’ll sort of do the trick.

JOSH HARPER: I’ve learned a lot about the pH and the body today, John.


JOSH HARPER: Yeah. I didn’t actually know that there was such extreme in between acidic and base in the body.


JOSH HARPER: It’s interesting to know because I’m pretty sure a lot of people out there wouldn’t know this as well.

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s right. Yeah. So I suppose just some take-home messages from today is:

ü  Your body is like a battery. It needs a beautiful balance of acid and base in the system. It basically needs to be almost neutral, but a little bit more alkaline than neutral at 7.35.

ü  You can test yourself by going to the pharmacy or go to your doctor or healthcare practitioner and test yourself with getting some saliva strips or urine strips, find out what your acid levels are.

ü  Whenever the acid level isn’t correct, your body’s going to start to lose oxygen because particularly red blood cells will clump together and you won’t get that beautiful oxygen to your cells.

ü  You can eat less acidic foods and increase your alkaline foods, maybe drink some green drinks as well to improve your alkaline levels in the body.

And that’s all we’ve got time for today, Josh.

JOSH HARPER: Thanks for joining us.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. And thanks for joining us today. You’ve been listening to Living is Easy with John and Josh. I’m John Petrozzi.

JOSH HARPER: And I’m Josh Harper.

JOHN PETROZZI: Until next time, stay well and stay happy.