What is an ALKALINE diet?
You may or may not be familiar with the benefits of an alkaline diet. In its most simplistic definition an alkaline diet is based on food and beverage sources that create an alkaline pH balance in the body. Alkalinity and acidity are measured on a pH scale ranging from 0-14. A pH less than 7 is acid, more than 7 is alkaline, and a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Ideally you would choose foods that create an alkaline state vs. acidic because optimal health and wellness are rooted in a body that is alkaline. Generally, experts agree that a healthy saliva pH is approximately 7.2 and urine should be between 6.8-7.2. Common pH testing is measured through litmus paper. Additionally, alkaline foods are generally much higher in nutrients and antioxidants than acidic ones. The reason why you would want to avoid an acidic pH is because acids in the body act like rust. The rust would oxidize, break down the tissues and create free radical damage. This can age your body and create a terrain in which disease can manifest.
There have been many studies that show that disease and illness are the perils of an acidic state in the body, usually correlated with a diet high in acid forming foods. A good example is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can often times be a debilitating disease. Eating a diet rich in alkaline foods and also reducing acid forming foods can diminish the symptoms of osteoporosis. Acidic foods such as diet sodas drain the body of wellness sustaining minerals, which build and nourish bones. When the body is acidic, it will drain the bones of minerals to buffer acid in the system, in an attempt to make itself more alkaline.
Here are some basics steps to create a more alkaline environment in your body.
- Eat more veggies and fruits. Most plant-based foods are alkalizing to the body. So centering your diet around these is very alkalizing and healthy.
- Most animal based foods (meats/ cheeses) are acid forming. They should not be the cornerstone of an alkaline diet. When ingested, these foods leave an acid residue. Reducing the amount of acid in your body will reduce free radical damage and allow your body to focus on healing and cellular repair.
- Coffee, artificial sweeteners and processed foods are super acidic. The worst thing that you can do is starting your day off with a cup of coffee. Even worse is adding and artificial sweetener and/or creamer. This just sets the body into an acidic state.
- When you wake up, you want to immediately begin to flush the toxins from your body that have accumulated overnight as a result of your body repairing itself while you were asleep. The best way to do this is with a glass of hot water and lemon first thing in the morning. This is one of the most alkalizing things you can do.
- Not all foods that are acid forming are bad for you. Just remember the basics above. Ideally, you just want to focus on promoting more alkalizing foods into your diet in order to optimize your health and wellness.
Here’s a short list of alkalizing and acid foods:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Grasses (alfalfa, kamut,wheat grass)
- Coconut water
- Artificial sweeteners