The Alkaline Diet - Keeping Your Body Continually Detoxed
The foods that we eat fall under one of two categories: acidic or alkaline. They both release chemicals into the body and depending on the quantities that you consume of one in proportion to the other it can have adverse effects on your health. Over the last 200 years, our food consumption habits have drastically changed, and sadly not for the better. A typical Western diet nowadays is considerably high in refined fats, sugars, sodium and chloride, and because of this, people are suffering from ongoing health problems which could potentially be avoided if they changed their eating habits. The alkaline diet is one such pattern that could drastically mitigate diseases caused by any of the aforementioned food types.
What is an alkaline diet?
The alkaline diet is based on an intentional disproportional selection of more alkaline foods over acidic foods in order to keep the body’s pH level where it should be. It looks at focusing on 70-80 percent alkaline foods, and 20-30 percent acidic foods.
The pH (Potential of hydrogen) is the measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration within the body. Metabolism refers to the chemical processes by which food is digestively broken down and produces acidic liquids that lower the pH of body fluids. These acidic liquids must continuously be removed from the body to maintain pH equilibrium. Quick removal of acidic liquids from the body results in a condition called alkalosis (above pH 7.45) and failure to quickly remove these liquids results in a condition called acidosis (below 7.35). The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. For a body to be more alkaline, the pH level needs to be above 7. If it is below 7, it is classed as acidic.
By having a higher pH level, healthy cells are protected and it helps to balance essential mineral levels. It has been researched that consuming more alkaline diet foods can improve health, which leads us on to the benefits of this type of food intake. There have been claims that this type of regimen can help with a range of chronic conditions including arthritis, diabetes, and cancer, as well as slowing the aging process, and also helping with weight loss. When the body's pH is too low, it takes calcium (an alkaline mineral) from the bones in order to recover the balance. When the body consumes too much acidic food, the bones have no more calcium to give, which can result in reduced bone density and bone disease. Too much acid within a body can also contribute to muscle loss as you get older. Alkaline diet foods tend to be easier for the body to break down, so all the nutrients within them are absorbed much more easily. There is an endless amount of benefits associated with this diet:
Seeds and nuts, such as almonds, chia seeds and hemp seeds, which are recommended on this diet, are rich in essential fats, and hugely beneficial to the skin.
It helps to prevent plaque accumulating in the blood vessels.
It raises urine pH, which can stop calcium build up in the urine, and help prevent kidney stones.
It helps with bones and muscles. The minerals released by these specific foods help with the growth and maintenance of bones, which in turn will help protect against decreased bone strength and muscle wasting as the individual gets older.
The alkaline diet has also been linked with reducing the risk of high blood pressure and strokes. It helps to lower inflammation, helps with chronic pain, and also causes an increase in growth hormone production. This has been shown to improve cardiovascular health and offer protection against high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and even memory loss.
It helps with magnesium deficiency, which has become very common in a lot of people. Low magnesium in the body can lead to heart complications, muscle pains, headaches, sleep troubles and anxiety, so it is important to keep those levels where they should be.
Cancerous cells are less likely to appear in an alkaline body. This is because cancerous cells thrive in an acidic body, but not in an alkaline one. Alkaline foods help create an environment within the body in which cancer cells won’t grow.
The diet helps to maintain a healthy weight, as the foods associated with the alkaline diet helps with hunger and fat-burning. They tend to be anti-inflammatory foods, so your body will be satisfied with the right number of calories.
Sarah C. Corriher, Senior Staff Writer and Lead Researcher at Health Wyze Media said “Most pathogens and cancers cannot survive in an oxygen-rich, alkaline environment. Our typically acidic bodies cannot retain enough oxygen to function properly or fight infections. When a body reaches a pH level of 7.4 (alkaline instead of acidic), cancers become dormant, and at 7.6, all cancers die rapidly, along with every type of invader.” So, ideally, the human body should be around 7.4 pH, which makes it more alkaline than acidic. pH levels do tend to differ in different parts of the body, however, with the stomach being the most acidic. Because of this, many of us feel sluggish and bloated, and this is likely to be linked with the foods we eat. Eating acidic foods will affect the stomach more than any other part of your body. Acid reflux (also known as heartburn) is caused by an excess of stomach acid. If a diet is more acidic than alkaline, it can affect the stomach negatively, and in turn, cause heartburn. There are certain signs that indicate your body is too acidic, and these include things such as constipation and bloating, weight problems, lack of energy, dull skin, bad complexion, gum and teeth problems, being frequently ill with colds and flu, and lastly muscle or joint pain. Whilst many might think that lemons and limes are acidic foods, this is not actually the case. Although they are citrus fruits, once the juice has been fully absorbed and minerals are released into the bloodstream, the effects are actually alkalizing.
An alkaline diet consists of foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables, roots, nuts and legumes, with fruits and vegetables promoting alkalinity the most, especially dates, figs, grapefruit, apple, banana, berries, grapes, melon, orange, watermelon, lemon, lime, fennel, broccoli, artichoke, asparagus, beetroot, kale, celery, cucumber, spinach, watercress and cauliflower. Some good alkalizing proteins are almonds, chestnuts, and tofu, and some recommended spices are cinnamon, curry, ginger, mustard and sea salt.
When following the alkaline diet, it is important to avoid certain foods, such as sugar, milk, fish, processed foods, fresh and processed meats, sweetened, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, high-protein foods and supplements, eggs, lentils, oats and whole wheat products, peanuts and walnuts, pasta, rice, bread and packaged grain products.
Some key tips for following an alkaline diet
Organic alkaline foods tend to be better for this diet. This is because the soil that your produce was grown in can influence how alkalizing the foods are. This means that the vitamin and mineral content can be higher in one food than another just because of the soil it was grown in. There are a number of things you can do to make the switch to this lifestyle much easier. Always be sure to stick to the 80% alkaline foods, and 20% acidic food rule. Make sure you drink water, and stay hydrated, and get rid of all those sugary treats and caffeinated drinks that you might be consuming regularly. Also try to avoid processed, packaged foods, and stick to wholesome, healthy meals and snacks. By adding exercise into your daily routine, you will start sweating out all of the bad toxins. Try to check your pH level daily, so you can see whether the change in diet is working for you. You can get pH test strips from your local drugstore or online retailer and can be tested through saliva and urine. It is best to check your pH level first thing in the morning, and not straight after food. Don’t deprive your body immediately. It is important to eliminate the previous foods gradually. By doing it this way, it gives a chance for your body to adapt at a healthy pace. Lastly, try not to think of it as a diet. It is a lifestyle change and will be much more effective and successful if done properly.