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The gut instincts on pH levels

Explore the link between pH levels and gut health by dipping into this nostalgic litmus test ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

Apr 14, 2023
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With growing health consciousness, alkaline water systems have become popular among Singaporean households. Advocates tout its potential to boost immunity, prevent osteoporosis, and lower cholesterol, among other benefits. Others warn about the dangers of acidic water, linking it to various diseases.

Water with a pH of seven or higher is alkaline, while water below pH seven is acidic. Alkaline water is thought to relieve acid reflux symptoms by neutralising stomach acid, as stomach acid typically has a pH of 1.5. The alkaline diet, popularised for its alleged health benefits, is believed to offer protection against conditions like cancer. This stems from the theory that cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment. By promoting alkalinity in the body, the diet prevents cancer development. However, reliable evidence linking the alkaline diet to pH levels remains lacking.

Naturally occurring alkaline water such as spring water contains minerals that increase its alkalinity. However, once consumed, the acidic nature of our stomach immediately alters the alkalinity of the water. Despite claims, there really is no evidence to support the idea that alkaline water is superior to regular drinking water for our bodies.

Water, the gut, and saliva are intricately linked, forming a connection that sheds light on how our beverage choices affect our overall health. Ideally, saliva should have a pH range of 6.7 to 7.3, but diabetic patients often have acidic saliva while non-diabetics have alkaline or neutral saliva. A study even suggests that by monitoring saliva pH using test strips, we can make lifestyle adjustments to maintain balance and potentially manage GERD-related issues.

● Include probiotic-rich foods like kimchi, miso soup, tempeh, and beverages like Yakult, in your diet.
● Reduce processed, high-sugar, and greasy/fried foods that strip away fibre and cause inflammation and digestive issues. Excessive sugar promotes "bad" gut bacteria growth.
● Limit alcohol intake and avoid smoking, which contributes to acid reflux, heartburn, and poor gut health.
● Embrace a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and stress-relieving practices like meditation, yoga.

If your gut health is a concern, you're not alone – 1 in 10 Singaporeans struggle with irritable bowel syndrome(IBS). Acknowledge and prioritise it, as poor gut health extends beyond bloating and bowel issues. Furthermore, imbalances in gut bacteria can trigger inflammation and increase the risk of colorectal cancer. This type of cancer is unfortunately one of the three leading cancers in Singapore, and it affects all genders and ethnicities.

While alkaline water may seem enticing, there are many other practices to adopt for a healthier gut and body. Make well-being a priority with regular screenings, healthier habits, and a mindful, preventative approach to self-care.

Lastly, make sure you are covered with a critical illness plan to be prepared for life’s uncertainties.

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