Breaking Down the Alkaline Diet Plan, Foods & Potential Benefits of Alkaline Body
The quality of the foods and liquids we consume plays such an important role in determining how we live our lives. It provides us with energy, helps to maintain the ongoing functions of our organs and internal systems, affects our moods and thought processes – in fact, just about every element of our existence has some relationship with our diets.
A great deal of the food and drinks we consume in modern diets,however,consists of highly acidic contents, largely in fizzy drinks, alcohol, meats, dairy and processed foods. This can lead to a range of negative health effects, such as digestive disorders, gut health issues, food sensitivities and metabolic acidosis. Butwe can counteract the effect of excessive amounts of acid in your body by embracing what is known as the alkaline diet.
From increased energy to a stronger immune system, an alkaline lifestyle gives your body the minerals it needs to flourish. But howcan I makemy body more alkaline? This article discusses why and how to make your body more alkaline, as well as more tips for an alkaline body.
What is the Alkaline Diet?
As mentioned above, modern society has drifted towards eating foods that are more convenient, more easily packaged, and designed to have insatiable tastes, causing a rise in aciditywithin our diet plans. The alkaline diet is a theory that if you adopt a low acid diet and embrace a more alkaline food chart, you can stand to reduce acidity in the body and improve areas of your health.
It is becoming popular with proponents across the worldto combat common symptoms associated with acidosis, such as maintaining bone density, reducing the risk of kidney stones, minimising acid reflux and more. While more research is needed to provide consensus around thistheory of promoting an increase in the alkalinity of the body, it is built around the ‘acid-ash hypothesis’. This is the belief that a residue of metabolic waste is left behind in the body (similar to how ash is left behind after something is burned). When this acidic ‘ash’ is left behind, it can increase the acidity of your blood, and leave you more vulnerable to illnesses and diseases. By the same token, choosing foods that are greater in alkaline content can leave behind protective ‘alkaline ash’ to lower these acidic levels in the blood and associated risk.
Acidic vs. Alkaline Diet Foods and pH level
The level of acidity and alkalinity within the body is measured by what is known as ‘pH levels’, or the acid-base balance. The natural state of the human body is set to maintain a healthy balance of acidity and alkalinity, which are the two ends of the spectrum. On a scale of 0 (highly acidic) to 14 (highly alkaline), our pH levels should sit at around 7.40, with a healthy range of 0.2 units on either side.
When we continue to eat foods and drink beverages that have a high acidity level (e.g. processed foods), it can push our pH levels down, creating an unnatural acidic state in the body with potentially negative health implications.
As a result, supporters of the alkaline diet believe that consuming meals with high alkalinity (or high pH food e.g. real foods) can raise the pH levels in the body, offsetting the extended amount of acidity present and supports creating a balance in the body.
What are the Potential Benefits When You Alkalize Your Body?As mentioned above, there is still more research required to overcome the myths of thealkaline diet, but proponents of the method do share a list of potential benefits for the body.
Given how the body works hard to maintain that slightly alkaline balance of a 7.4 pH level, as our diets are often rich in acid-forming meat, dairy and highly processed foods, our bodies have to compensate for acid-forming foods by leaching calcium from your bones (an alkaline substance). Over time, a highly acidic state may lead to bone mineral loss, inflammation, increased cortisol levels and require your muscles to expend more energy, reducing their efficiency.
All these factors can have damaging effects on long-term health, potentially leading to chronic illness, weight gain, and dental problems.
In contrast, alkalising your body with alkaline-forming foods and alkaline water rich in antioxidants and nutrients slows down the leech of calcium from your bones, helping maintain your bone health for years to come.
Alkalising your body is also believed to help fight free-radical damage and inflammation while supporting healthy cellular regeneration within your body. Furthermore, some studies have suggested possible causation with cancer and a high acidic diet, as the increased acidity creates an environment that allows cancer cells to thrive. These studies were conducted in a petri dish and do notconsider all of the features of tumour growth, however the increasedalkalinity in the body could potentially work to counteract these environments to build a more alkaline and healthier balance.
What’s more, the water molecules in alkaline water are smaller and more readily absorbed by your cells, which helps your body against dehydration more effectively than regular water, as demonstrated in this study on blood viscosity.
Cutting out many of the processed foods and beverages will also help with general weight loss, increased energy and overall vitality. Alcohol, processed sugars, and saturated fats – these create significant fat stores that the body needs an opportunity to burn off.
Early evidence also suggests a range of potential benefits for our internal organs and systems when we learn how to become more alkaline, including:
- Prevention of kidney stones & kidney disease
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Better heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
- Clearer brain function
- Reduced lower back pain
- Lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Better sleep
Alkaline Foods:How to Know What You Can & Can’t Eat
Given the information provided above, if one were to adopt the alkaline diet, then there is a wide variety of foods that need to be avoided because of their high acidity levels,as well as those that we should integrate more into our alkaline diet plan. It also works well for vegetarians and vegans, with the removal of most meats and dairy products.
Foods to Increase Alkalinity in Your Body
Foods that make your body more alkaline include:
- Herbal teas
Of this list, some of the highest known alkaline foods are:
- Leafy greens (e.g. Spinach)
- Pearl barley
Low (Acidic forming) pH Foods to Avoid
In contrast, high-acidifying foods include:
- Meats, (processed) such as canned lunch meat, lean beef, corned beef, turkey and veal
- Poultry, fish and eggs
- Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and ice cream
- Cheese, particularly parmesan, cheddar, hard cheese, and cottage cheese
- Grains, including rice, oats, pasta, and most bread
- Coffee and tea
- Alcoholic beverages
- Salted peanuts
- Any processed foods and soft drinks
Saturated fats, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil.
Tips onHow toMake Your Body More Alkaline with Your Diet
Although it may seem daunting at first, there are so many ways to start combating acidity in your body andmake your body more alkaline, just with some adjustments in your diet.
A great change would be to swap out snacks like biscuits or chips with raw, unsalted almonds. Almonds are rich in natural alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which help balance out the acidity in your body while also balancing your blood sugar.
Swapping out your meat intake with protein-rich beans and pulses is asure-fire way to reduce your acidifying food quantities and add more alkaline based foods. However, if you choose to keep the meat in your diet, try to balance it with alkaline foods such as spinach, avocados and peas.
In terms of beverages, a positive alkaline change would be to limit your coffee and tea intake. Try switching these with herbal teas like mint tea or green tea. Limiting your alcohol consumption is another way to reduce your acid intake.
How to Alkalise Water
When we think of water, our first inclination may be the steady stream fresh from the tap. There are, in fact, methods where you can learn how to alkalise water thatfurther aids your new diet plan. For example, the zazen Alkaline Water System replicates the processes performed by Mother Nature’s natural water cycle to create a consistent source of alkaline mineral water, rich in minerals and electrolytes, achieving optimum cellular hydration.
Drinking alkaline water will aid your alkaline body naturally. As the water reaches the stomach, it helps stimulate the stomach to release hydrochloric acid. To balance this, it then stimulates the body to release bicarbonate, or alkaline, buffers into the bloodstream. These aid in reducing the toxins or acid in the blood, creating a healthier, more alkaline state.
This impacts your body’s pH balance, and therefore your general health and wellbeing.
That’s the key to our philosophy and purpose:to provide balanced alkaline mineral water that has both an alkaline benefit to the body and is ideal for cellular hydration. The zazen Alkaline Water System does just that, helping to neutralise the acid-base in your body and balance your body’s pH.
Who is the Alkaline Diet Best For?
With the potential alkaline diet benefits mentioned above, the shift may prove effective for most people. With that in mind, it may be especially beneficial for those struggling with their heart health, osteoarthritis, diabetes, or those looking to decrease their risk of cancer.
Can It Prove Harmful to Increase the Alkalinity in Your Body?
Now that we have explored what the alkaline diet is, we can see that it simply doubles down on a range of healthy eating options. Alkaline foods and diet plans are largely made up of fruits, vegetables, fresh meats and the right quality and quantity of water , whilst removing the dangerous amounts of processed meals and processed foods we consume as a society.
Learn More on How an Alkaline Diet Plan Can Reduce the Acidity In Your Body
Following an alkaline diet plan may prove difficult for many who have a long history of consuming their favourite acidic foods and beverages. To maintain the health benefits, be sure to eat and drink a proper balance of vitamins, fibres and minerals, such as adequate protein from plant-based sources. For any specific medical conditions, you are looking to treat, be sure to always first consult with a licensed medical professional before making any serious alterations to your diet.
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