It’s the latest buzz among many health buffs and nutritionists. Celebrities have likewise gotten in on the trend and have claimed its success. It’s all about eating healthier foods that keep the body’s alkaline level normal. It’s called the alkaline diet, or sometimes the acid alkaline diet or alkaline acid diet. It suggests having a diet that is composed of 70 to 80 percent alkaline food. Why? Because studies have found out that highly acidic diets are the cause of so many illnesses. It’s really a very sound idea. But before you launch into this new diet here are some facts about it.
The Science Behind The Alkaline Diet
A study made by microbiologist Dr. Robert Young presented that the body’s cellular and blood fluids has a normal pH level of about 7.365 and that the body works hard at maintaining it at this level. The study further showed that the food that people eat greatly affects this pH level.
The study tells us that the typical diet these days composed of plenty of sugar, meat, dairy, processed grains, and alcohol is very highly acidic. When a body is very acidic, residues form on the blood that the liver and kidney have a hard time flushing out. This is why a lot of chronic illnesses have cropped up like Type II diabetes, liver and kidney diseases, and the like.
If a body’s PH level suddenly changes due to many factors including diet and stress, the body tries to put it back to normal by calling on the alkaline minerals in the bones and the blood. This process then leads to the depletion of such essential minerals as calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium which could then lead to illnesses such as osteoporosis, kidney stones, ovarian cysts, and even the common cold and flu.
In order to rectify this, the doctor and other nutritionists suggest that people should go for a slightly more alkaline diet that includes mostly vegetables, legumes and whole fibers.
The Benefits of An Alkaline Diet
Before we delve into the benefits of an alkaline diet, here is a discussion of what happens to the body with a highly acidic diet.
Too much acidity in the blood brought about by a highly acidic diet can cause red blood cells to undergo a biological transformation that turns them into yeast and bacteria which is detrimental to the body. Aside from this, the presence of too much acid also builds up into toxins that can cause even more harm to the body.
To get rid of these toxins, the body has to work double time and use up its store of good nutrients which just aggravate the acidity problems of the body as it loses more of its nutrients and yet gains more acids, bacteria and toxins with the constant barrage of an acidic diet. In time, when this situation is not corrected, the body gets really depleted and this manifests as stress and illnesses.
When a person takes on a healthier diet using the alkaline method, this aids the body in getting rid of all the bad elements within, namely the toxins and bacteria, and restores the store of good nutrients. People who have been on the alkaline diet for a significant amount of time claim that they have been feeling significantly better since they started and have manifested the following benefits from the alkaline diet:
- More energized
- Less experience of colds and flu
- Less bloated feeling
- Less headaches
- Less feelings of stress and tension
- Loss of unsightly fat, and excessive weight
What Goes Into The Alkaline Diet?
We all know that consuming more fruits and vegetable and less of processed foods is truly the healthier lifestyle for us, whether it’s within the alkaline diet or not, so the alkaline diet merely reinforces this fact.
As mentioned, the alkaline diet proposes that a person’s diet should be composed of 70-80 percent alkaline foods. So what are these alkaline foods? Here are some of the highly proposed foods to include in the diet.
Fresh green leafy vegetables are top of the list when it comes to engaging in the Alkaline diet and these include the following: Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, parsley, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, chard, arugula, alfalfa, watercress, asparagus and wheatgrass.
Other vegetables to include in the diet are: carrots, green beans, cucumber, beetroot, avocado, garlic, bell pepper, leeks and ginger
Nuts and seeds are also considered as alkaline foods and these include almonds, flax seed, and the like.
Foods rich in essential fatty acids are also highly recommended in the alkaline diet.
Fruits should be taken in moderation because most fruits are rich in sugar, however these fruits that are low in sugar are said to have alkaline benefits for the body: lemon, lime, grapefruit, tomato, coconut and, to some extent, watermelon
The alkaline diet also suggests limiting, or better yet avoiding, the consumption of foods that are highly acidic. These types of foods include the following: meats, dairy products, processed grains in bread, sugar in the form of cakes, soda, ice cream and chocolate, alcoholic beverages and even coffee.
Taking On the Alkaline Diet Challenge
As in most diet methods, getting the body into the right mode can be the most difficult task. One cannot just plunge the body into a totally new regimen without experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. And for most of the population who have been indulging in a highly acidic diet for many years, this would be a very tasking project.
So, the key to getting the body into the alkaline diet is to do it slowly and to cut back in moderation. For instance, everyone drinks coffee every day, most of us drink coffee more than once a day and it has become a go to beverage to keep us on the move throughout the hectic pace of our lives. It will be definitely very hard to let go of coffee. So instead of taking it out of your diet, why not switch to coffee that is low in acid. Low-acid coffee like Hevla coffee, has become more widely available in the market these days and can be easily obtained, so by just doing the switch you have already taken one step towards a more alkaline diet.
Here are more ways of easing the body into the alkaline diet.
First off is to increase the body’s alkaline levels through hydration. Water is the main means for the body to flush out toxins so drinking more water every day will help rid the body of acids and toxins and improve its alkalinity. What’s more, the alkalinity of water can even be raised by adding certain elements like lemon juice. Although many would think that lemon is acidic, the effect that it has on the body once it has been metabolized is actually to alkalize it, so adding a bit of lemon juice in drinking water is one major step in improving the alkaline levels of the body.
The second step to take is to increase the amount of alkaline foods that is consumed daily, that means eating more vegetables and whole grains. If it is too difficult to get rid of acidic foods like dairy and meat from your diet, just mixing in more of alkaline foods can do many wonders for the body. This would involve eating a more balanced meal which to any person regardless of being on the alkaline diet or not is truly the healthiest thing to do.
Once the body has gotten used to the presence of more alkaline foods, the next step is to slowly cut back on the consumption of acidic foods. We are not saying that you should totally cut all these acidic foods out of your daily meals, however, eating just the right portions of these foods will ensure that you maintain the proper nutrients that you can gain from them without radically increasing the acid levels in the body.
Just as in taking on any new diet, it is highly recommended that one should consult a physician first before diving headlong into it. Any pre-existing medical conditions with medication may severely affect the body with a new diet.