10 Tips For An Alkaline Body

As an old (former!) athlete, I understand the importance of an alkaline body to health and longevity. I suffered for years with migraines and neck and shoulder spasms; it was not until I discovered that I was, in fact, dehydrated and started drinking an alkaline mineral water and more of it, did these conditions disappear! 

[1] Because many different processes in the body work best at a particular pH, small changes can have a profound effect. Diets that are overloaded in poor fats, protein and sugar and not enough fiber leave our bodies very acidic, which can lead to inflammation and an increased risk for other diseases and disorders.

Alternatively, a more alkaline environment enables your body to function at optimal levels. For example, it can help support the immune system by reducing inflammation in the gut, skin, muscles and even the brain. It can also inhibit the growth of yeast and bad bacteria, and promotes better detoxification in general.

So what are the top 10 things I would recommend for an alkaline body?

1. Start everyday with at least 2 glasses of filtered alkaline mineral water (not tap), drinking a total of up to 2.5 – 3 litres per day.

Water alone can make all of the difference as research has shown that 92% of Australians are dehydrated which means your body can't release all of the toxins which are acidic. Starting with water helps to clean out toxins released overnight and get energy flow through the body for the day.

2. Eat 80% alkaline foods, 20% acid foods by volume daily. 

Alkaline foods include fruits and vegetables, lemon and lime juice, broth, and plant-based proteins.

Acidic foods include meat, dairy products, eggs, refined sugar, nuts, legumes and grains. [2, 3]

3. Chew your food well.

Due to enzymes in the saliva that start the digestion process, chewing your food properly reduces the risk of bacterial overgrowth.[4]Chewing (35-40 chews per mouthful, according to experts) also encourages the production of saliva, which is alkaline and full of healthy enzymes, and you can produce up to1.5 litres of it a day![5]

4. Eat lots of powerfood fruits and vegetables

This is the one thing you can do today that can make all the difference by helping balance out the body!

Keep vegetables cut up in the fridge and have a big bowl of colourful fruit on your counter to snack on. Eat salad with your lunch and dinner; keep a salad made up in advance with all of the greens in it minus salad dressing, cucumbers and tomatoes, which you can add later.

5. Increase circulation

Getting your blood pumping can improve your body’s systems — including its detoxification system — to help move the acids out of your body.[6] This can be achieved through exercise and deep breathing into your abdomen and finishing your daily shower with cold water (60 seconds) to activate your vascular system.

6. Avoid junk food

Processed foods are filled with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, artificial chemical substances and food colouring, which are all highly acid-forming. Additionally, your body must work very hard in an effort to cleanse these toxins out.

7. Find ways to create relaxation in your body and being

Stress can upset your digestive system’s ability to remove toxins from the body.[7] So listen to the birds or relaxing music, meditate, walk in nature barefoot for 20 minutes (called grounding) which has a profound effect at a cellular and emotional level.

8. Live in the light of the day.

We need sunlight. Go for walks, open your curtains and go to bed early enough to get up when the sun does. Nature’s own Vitamin D can improve circulation, helps the lymphatic system and stimulates the heart.[8]

9. Get enough sleep

Good sleep will keep you from destructive habits like craving acidic foods, assists the natural cleansing of toxins, helps promote a healthy pH by improving your stress response. [8]

10. Find the right balance

Just because a food is acid-forming does not mean that it is bad! Eating to achieve an alkaline body is not at all about excluding an entire family of foods or any foods – it is all about creating balance and enjoying the journey.

 

Sources:

1. Ingels D. Balancing the Gut: Why Do You Want To Be More Alkaline? [Internet]. The Autism Community in Action (TACA). 2022 [cited 2022 Mar 30]. Available from: https://tacanow.org/family-resources/balancing-the-gut-why-do-you-want-to-be-more-alkaline/

2. Purdie, M.Ed J. What Is the Alkaline Diet? Pros, Cons, and What You Can Eat [Internet]. Verywell Fit. 2022 [cited 2022 Mar 30]. Available from: https://www.verywellfit.com/alkaline-acid-diet-89879

3.Schwalfenberg GK. The alkaline diet: is there evidence that an alkaline pH diet benefits health? J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:727630. doi: 10.1155/2012/727630. Epub 2011 Oct 12. PMID: 22013455; PMCID: PMC3195546.

4. Sydney Holistic D. Digestion 101: The Importance of Chewing Well [Internet]. Sydney Holistic Dental Centre. 2022 [cited 2022 Mar 30]. Available from: https://www.shdc.com.au/holistic-dentistry/importance-of-chewing-well/

5. Iorgulescu G. Saliva between normal and pathological. Important factors in determining systemic and oral health. J Med Life. 2009 Jul-Sep;2(3):303-7. PMID: 20112475; PMCID: PMC5052503.

6.Van De Walle, MS, RD G. Full Body Detox: 9 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body [Internet]. Healthline. 2019 [cited 2022 Mar 30]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-detox-your-body

7. Kowalski N, Bohin N. 6 Surprising and Simple Ways to Alkalize Your Body [Internet]. Sunwarrior. 2022 [cited 2022 Mar 30]. Available from: https://sunwarrior.com/blogs/health-hub/3-surprising-simple-ways-alkalize-body