Here in the USA, we are inundated with diets that don’t have our best interests in mind. Our meals are often filled with excessive amounts of sugar, salt, and saturated fat, which our bodies quickly (and easily) translate to unattractive and inhibiting body fat. Any professional nutritionist will tell you to cut these unhealthy ingredients from your diet, but what they won’t tell you is this:
Many of the diets that exclude sugar, salt, and saturated fat in favor of healthier ingredients, such as meat, dairy, and grains may not have your best interest in mind either. That’s because meat, dairy, grains, and other foods are high in acid - not the acid from movies that melts everything in its path, but an acid that can unbalance your body’s pH levels and increase your risk of diseases that thrive in acidic environments, such as arthritis and cancer.
Enter the Alkaline Diet.
How the Diet Works: Alkaline vs. Acid
The goal of the alkaline diet is simple: Correct the unbalanced pH levels of our body to be less acidic and more alkaline by adjusting what we eat.
The alkaline diet is designed to reduce the acidity of your body, measured in pH (“potential hydrogen”), to make your body more “alkaline” overall, or less acidic. It does this by replacing acidic foods, which have a low pH value, with alkaline foods that have a high pH value. The acidity or alkalinity of a food is measured on a pH scale of 0 to 14, 0 being highly acidic, 14 being highly alkaline, and 7 being neutral.
Depending on the acidity or alkalinity of the food you eat, your body’s pH levels, particularly that of your blood, can become more acidic or alkaline. This change occurs due to a cumulation of metabolic waste known as “ash.”
Ash is a residue left behind when your body converts food to energy. The process is often compared to a fire burning the food down to its nutrients, which are then used by the body as fuel. Now, considering the acidity or alkalinity of the food that is burned for fuel, we must also consider that the remaining ash residue can either be acidic or alkaline.
Ash can alter your blood’s pH value to be more acidic or alkaline, and those two conditions will have opposite effects on your health. Acidic ash, resulting from the burning of acidic food, makes you susceptible to illness and disease, whereas alkaline ash is protective. This is because bacteria that cause illness thrive in more acidic conditions. So, by eating alkaline foods you will reduce your likeliness of becoming ill by altering the condition of your body to be less acidic.
In addition to protecting your body from illness, the alkaline diet will also cleanse your colon. This is arguably the most important health benefit of the alkaline diet, since the colon plays a crucial role in your digestive system, and thus is majorly influenced by the food we eat.
Basically, our colon extracts the nutrients from what we eat and eliminates any waste. By eating alkaline foods, which are nutritious and less acidic, we make our colon’s job a lot easier, and that makes us feel a lot healthier. That means, no more constipation, bloating, or general sluggishness. The alkaline diet will keep your colon clean and efficiently functioning. Excessive amounts of meat, dairy, and processed foods, which are highly acidic slow you down, whereas alkaline foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts will give you energy.
This isn’t rocket science. It’s simply healthy eating.
Alkaline Foods Vs. Acidic Foods
Before I begin listing the foods you should be avoiding and consuming on the alkaline diet, here’s a quick recap of how we determine which foods are acidic and which foods are alkaline:
Different foods have different pH values, which are measured on a scale of 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline), with 7 being neutral. If a food has a pH value between 0 and 7, it is considered acidic. If a food has a pH value between 7 and 14, it is considered alkaline. For example, an orange is quite acidic with a pH value of 3.8, whereas spinach is more alkaline with a pH value of 7.0.
Got it? Okay, then let’s discuss what you’ll be eating while on the alkaline diet, and how it's going to change your life.
You may be surprised to discover many of your favorite foods are highly acidic, but don’t be discouraged. Some of the more nutritious acidic foods, such as beef or chicken can be eaten in moderation while on the alkaline diet. Remember, your goal is to make your body more alkaline, not entirely alkaline. It’s impossible to do the latter. However, the more alkaline food you eat, the better you will feel.
Here are some examples of acidic foods:
Alkaline foods tend to be more nutritious and full of vitamins than acidic foods. They also tend to be plant-based. Here are some examples of healthy foods you can eat on the alkaline diet:
- Hemp Seeds
- Brazil Nuts
How to Get Started on the Alkaline Diet
Following an alkaline diet can be easy. The goal is simply to eat more alkaline and less acidic foods. Here are some tips to get started:
- Stop drinking soda and eating candy or chips.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Limit meat to one meal a day (during transitional period only).
- Replace refined carbohydrates, such as spaghetti or rice with vegetables.
- Drink alkaline broth.
- Make smoothies containing a variety of nutritious alkaline ingredients.
At first, it may be difficult to adjust your eating habits to fit the alkaline diet. That’s normal. Your body has settled for processed foods, meats, and dairy. It has not yet been cleansed of those acidic ingredients, but once the alkaline diet becomes a more regular part of your lifestyle, you will see encouraging results. You will feel less sluggish, bloated, and overall more satisfied with your physique. You just have to commit. Commit to the alkaline diet, even if that means taking it step-by-step, gradually replacing your typical, acidic dietary choices with more alkaline ones.
To make your commitment even easier, Alkaline Organics offers a variety of alkaline supplements that will help you get the nutrients you need on a daily basis.