About the Alkaline Diet
The first time I read about the alkaline diet was when I picked up a copy of The pH Miracle. Of course as with many ”diets” a few celebrities were immediately hooked. Eating alkaline foods or starting an alkaline diet comes down to consuming those foods (and drinks) which have an alkaline effect once in the body. Some foods leave an acid ash in the body once consumed, whereas others leave an alkaline ash. Keeping our body in a perfectly balanced alkaline state will equal an healthy body.
The Alkaline Diet is a diet based on the consumption of mainly raw fresh fruit, vegetables, roots and tubers, nuts, and legumes. It avoids grains, dairy, meat and excess salt in order to balance the acidity and alkalinity (the “pH balance”) of the body. However, you should never forget that stress, (lack of) exercise, medication and the environment also play a huge role in how the pH level is affected.
How the Alkaline Diet Works
The alkaline diet offers a basic understanding of what causes the body to become ‘out of balance’. A perfect pH level is 7,365, and the pH level runs from 0 to 14. Through what has become the typical Western diet largely based on meat, dairy, sugars, alcohol, saturated fats and caffeine, millions of us have created a hostile, acidic environment in our bodies.
The pH level of our internal fluids (blood) affects every living cell in our bodies and the effect that over-acidification can have upon the health of our bodies is immense. A chronically over acidic pH creates an extremely negative environment and will affect all cellular functions in the body. Even a simple headache is an indication that our body is too acidic. If we are way too acidic for a long time this can cause serious illnesses such as cancer.
The example often used is ”the goldfish example”. When fishes swim in water (our blood) that is rather dirty they can not be healthy, whereas when the water is clean they will be healthy.
When the pH level is out of balance, almost any area of our bodies can be negatively affected creating diseases such as cancer, heart disease, weight problems, allergies, fatigue and premature aging as well as problems with our cardiovascular system and muscles.
Should I always eat alkaline in order to be healthy?
This really depends on each and every person. For one person, a stricter approach would be better than for the other person. However, most of us should aim to eat 75-80% alkaline foods and a maximum of 20-25% acid forming foods.
What Food is Allowed?
To begin an alkaline diet it is important to start consuming alkaline foods and drinks while eliminating acidifying foods and drinks and aim to do this for 75-80% of each plate you are about to eat.
Don’t give your self a reason to eat crap though. The 20-25% acidic food on your plate doesn’t mean you can eat junk food or have a so called ”cheat day”. There are a lot of healthy foods that will turn acidic in your body such as chick peas and pecans. For a full list of acidic and alkaline foods, click here.
As a rough guide you should try to remember that the following foods are alkaline:
* Vegetables (spinach, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumber, lettuce, courgette, cabbage, greens, swede, squash
* Essential Fats (such as Udo’s Choice, Flax/Linseed, Evening Primrose, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil etc)
* Fruits (ONLY – Lemons, Lime, Grapefruit, Watermelon, Tomato, Avocado)
* Soy, Grasses and Sprouts
What Food is Not Allowed?
*Alcohol and tobacco
*Some fats (saturated, trans-fatty acids, hydrogenated)
The most effective way to make your body more alkaline is to ‘detox’ the body of toxins and create an alkaline environment in which the body can heal itself. Detoxification is a natural, holistic method of healing in which the body detoxifies itself and regenerates healthy vibrant cells.
What are the known benefits?
Numerous studies have shown that alkaline foods prevent muscle and bone loss. An alkaline diet is similar to a practice in the traditional Chinese medicinal diet, in which patients with minor illness were to eat vegetables or fruits and avoid nuts and meat, a practice called “quench the fire”.
According to some alternative medicine practitioners, the shift to an acid-producing diet is the cause of a number of chronic diseases. Some practitioners recommend the alkaline diet if a person has the following symptoms and other illnesses have been ruled out.
* Lack of energy
* Constant fatigue
* Excessive mucous production
* Nasal congestion
* Frequent colds and flu
* Anxiety, nervousness, irritability
* Easily running out of breath
* Frequent sighing
* Muscle pain or cramping after walking short distances
* Often feeling like you can’t get enough air
My opinion on the Alkaline Diet
An alkaline diet is a diet that emphasizes, to a varying degree, fresh fruits, vegetables, roots and tubers, nuts, and legumes. For that reason it’s a good diet. It’s always a good idea to add more fruits and veggies into your diet. However, the Alkaline Diet also promotes the exclusion of many foods and for some people following this diet on their own without any advice, can be harmful. There can be many examples, but for example if you have a pre-existing heart disease or if you are on medications that may affect potassium levels in your body, you should better check with your doctor first.
Yes, eating healthy from one day to another will always help you lose weight, increase your energy, and even reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, but it’s important to know whether you can follow this diet in the long run. Diets don’t work, only healthy lifestyles.
Which pH level do you think you have on a scale from 0 to 14?