A diet that is rich in Alkaline forming foods is a healthy diet because disease cannot live in an alkaline-rich environment.
The problem today is that too many of the foods that people consume are acid-forming foods, which cause inflammation, toxicity and disease in the body.
The main culprits are:
- Processed and refined sugars and grains
- Industrial Dairy Products
- Processed Meats
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Candy, Energy Bars and Sweetened Beverages
- Packaged Condiments
- Frozen Foods.
To find a healthy lifestyle balance, your diet should consist of 80 per cent alkaline forming foods and no more than 20 per cent acid forming foods.
Examples of alkaline forming foods include:
- Fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs
- Leafy greens
- Green Juices
- Lemons & Melons
- Raw Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Legumes and beans.
By shifting your diet more towards plant whole foods, you will ensure your body maintains alkalinity, helping you to avoid discomfort and disease.
Exactly what is alkalinity?
Alkalinity is a state of equilibrium or a measurement of how much acidity is or isn’t present in the blood.
Alkalinity can be measured on a pH (potential of Hydrogen) scale, which runs from 0 - 14.
Many studies have shown that a neutral pH of 7 is where the body functions most optimally. If the body rates between 0-7 it is considered acidic, while if it measures between 7-14 then it is particularly alkaline.
The way we eat, our lifestyle and exposure to environmental toxins, all directly influence how we measure up against this pH scale.
And the good news is, even if your body is mostly acidic, it is not out of your power to realign it to a neutral, more alkaline state to support your health and wellbeing.
Why is Alkalinity and pH so important?
The pH level of your body has a big impact on your state of health.
A highly acidic diet can result in a number of common and unwanted symptoms, such as aching joints, fatigue, skin breakouts, near-constant brain fog, mild to significant weight gain, and increased carb and sugar cravings.
The increased sugar and carb cravings are especially problematic, as those cravings can lead to the consumption of more acidic food- and it can very quickly become a downward spiral away from your body’s desired state of alkalinity and balance.
Even more significantly, it is known that cancer cells actually thrive in highly acidic environments.
This means that by consuming a diet that promotes acidity in your body, you are creating an environment where cancer can survive, and even grow. This is why it's so important to make diet and lifestyle choices that promote alkalinity in your body.
So how do we create a consistently alkaline state for ongoing health?
Firstly, consider closely what you eat.
Everything you eat and the subsequent process of your food being metabolised, either pushes you towards the acidic or alkaline side of the pH scale.
Your metabolism is the conversion of food into energy, and this chemical process in your body leaves an ash residue behind. This is known as metabolic waste.
Leftover metabolic waste is a normal process of digestion, but the question is really about the composition of this waste and whether it supports your body to be alkaline or acidic. Put simply: should you avoid processed and refined foods as much as possible, because they leave acidic ash in the blood, making your overall body more acidic.
On the other hand, when the foods you eat, leave behind acidic ash or waste, it provides a level of protection for your body and cells against sickness and disease.
Generally speaking, the foods that leave behind an acidic ash include proteins, phosphate, and sulfur, while the more alkaline components of food are calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Certain food groups are considered to be either acidic, alkaline, or neutral- and these food groups will form the basis for the five things you can do to make your body more alkaline.
To get you started, here are five ways to help alkalise your body:
1. Break your fast with a glass of lemon water
Lemons, although acidic themselves, have a very alkalinising affect inside the body.
When consumed first thing in the morning, a glass of water with the juice of a lemon, can help to raise the body’s pH level and alkalinity.
This not only sets your body up right first thing, but the citrus compounds help to breakdown stored waste in the digestive tract for faster elimination.
2. Reduce your alcohol consumption
This should come as no surprise, but excess alcohol consumption can create acidity in your body.
Alcohol - particularly heavily processed varieties made with chemical additives and preservatives - can irritate the digestive system, causing the production of more acid and inflammation of the stomach wall lining.
If you are going to consume alcohol occasionally, just be sure to choose no-additive, no-preservative naturally brewed beer and preservative-free wines.
3. Eat your Green Leafy Vegetables!
Green leafy vegetables have have an alkaline effect in the body.
These veggies are rich in Vitamin A, B, E, folic acid, iron, calcium and phosphorus - all of which are absolutely vital for the system to rebalance itself into a good pH level.
Make sure you’re regularly include in your diet a variety of the following greens:
- Cos Lettuce
- Silver Beet
4. Add More Plant Whole Foods
Not only are most animal products raised with added hormones and antibiotics, they promote acidity in the body, particularly when consume regularly.
This is why it is recommended to add more plant whole foods into your dietary routine which are loaded with vitamins, minerals, whole fibres, carbohydrates and protein - everything your body needs to sustain itself and thrive.
Aim to weight your diet in favour of at least 80% plant based whole foods, and you'll be supporting an alkaline-rich environment and optimum health and wellbeing.
5. Drink Enough Pure Water
Balancing your body's pH is very dependant on adequate water intake and staying well hydrated every single day.
Ideally, you should aim to drink at least 2 litres per day (8-10 glasses) of pure water. Not just for Alkalinity, water helps to:
- Oxygenate your cells
- Flush bacteria from the bladder
- Aid digestion and clear metabolic waste
- maintain electrolyte balance
- regulate body temperature
- protect and cushion organs, tissues and joints.
If you're particularly active and perspire a lot, it is best to kick up your water intake to 1 litre per 22 kilograms of body weight.
The Main Takeaway
To sum it up in the simplest way: you want your body to be in an alkaline state and to avoid acidity if you want to avoid sickness, discomfort and disease.
Remember, disease only exists in an acid-rich environment, mainly caused by processed and refined chemical foods.
Enrich your diet with an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans and legumes. Drink plenty of water, do moderate exercise and limit your intake of animal products, particularly industrially raised varieties.
Maintaining a healthy pH and alkalinity in your body, really comes down to a conscious approach to healthier eating and a healthier lifestyle.
Tolman Self Care.