Go Green for an Alkaline Diet
What you need to know to maximize your nutrition.
Alkaline foods, what does it mean and why it’s good to know?
So many “diets” out there today come with health or weight loss predictions and unreasonable expectations. The “alkaline diet” is no different. It does however, educate us on some interesting facts of how our bodies work and the best “fuel” to allow it to work in optimal form.
“The acid/alkaline balance of blood is impeccably regulated, and hype around special products to change the body’s pH is just clever marketing,” states world renown Dr. Weil. However, it is known that when one eats a diet high in acid forming foods (not always the obvious foods of which we may think, see below), a low level of calcium is often taken from our bones to maintain the body’s pH and buffer that excess acidity. This certainly could cause weakening of the bones, putting us at greater risk for things like osteoporosis over a period of time.
Until recently, humans consumed fruits, veggies and lean meats. We do know that our Standard American Diet put us in a situation of a higher acidic load simply based on more refined sugars, processed foods, and fattier cuts of meat (all food items the “alkaline diet” discourages).
So, you ask, but how can we take matters into our own hands? Easy answer. Eat more fruits and vegetables in their whole, natural state, to balance the acidity of our nearly unavoidable SAD diet.
The irony to this topic is the very overlap from our previous discussion on reducing inflammation and eating more “anti-inflammatory foods”. The Alkaline diet theory echoes the same sentiment.
Advocates for the “alkaline diet” claim it helps with weight loss, increases energy and can boost the immune system. Parallel to the “anti-inflammatory diet,” the concept of cutting refined sugars and processed foods while increasing fruits and veggies will almost always yield a healthier, lighter, more energized version of yourself.
How does pH work?
The pH scale runs from 0-14. (acidic to alkaline)
Pure water has a pH of 7.
The human body needs to maintain between 7.35 to 7.45 pH to function properly.
This creates the ideal environment for the body’s fluids and tissues.
What happens if there is an imbalance?
Alkalosis (when the body becomes too alkaline) that can be caused by liver or lung disease, low oxygen levels, or loss of electrolytes.
Acidosis (high acidic load on the body) has several kinds: metabolic, respiratory, lactic, and renal (kidneys).
What foods best help with alkalinity?
Add these 5 Alkaline forming foods:
(You may think of the following as acidic, but they go alkaline when processed by your body.)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Eliminate these 5 Acid forming foods:
Now what can we do with all this information? When you avoid foods high in Omega -6 fatty acids (processed foods, vegetable oils, refined sugars), you naturally reduce inflammation. The alkaline diet also encourages the avoidance of such foods. These foods offer minimal (if any) nutritional benefit and are common causes of diet related diseases.
Eating a diet in real, whole foods (all of which you can pronounce) will always encourage your body to work at optimal levels while also affecting gut health in a positive way.