What is an Alkaline vs. Acidic Diet?
All foods we consume have a ph level attached to them. The foods we consume determine what kind of environment our bodies have inside of them. This does not mean that we must consume ALL alkaline foods for our body to be alkaline. It is important to learn what foods are alkaline or acidic. For example, a lemon is acidic before consuming, but when consumed it has a high alkalizing effect on the body.
The human body is naturally an alkaline environment, so when too many acidic foods are consumed, it throws off the body’s natural ph balance, creating an environment susceptible to illness and disease. A body that is too acidic will have a greater chance of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, thyroid diseases, arthritis and many more.
Benefits of an Alkaline Diet
1) One of the greatest benefits of an alkaline diet is that cancer cells cannot survive. On the alkaline-acidic scale of 1-14, the body’s natural environment is at a 7.4-7.6. When the body reaches a level of 8.5+, cancer cells can no longer survive!
2) The cells in our body do not function at their highest potential in an acidic environment. This causes us to be fatigued and sluggish. Cells in an acidic environment cannot eliminate the body of waste and toxins at an optimal level. An alkaline body has increased energy levels and a stronger immune system.
3) When the body is too acidic, the oral environment of the body also becomes too acidic. Acidic levels in the mouth causes an increased production of bacteria. Too much bacteria in the mouth can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath!
4) Magnesium helps rid the body of too much acid. However, magnesium also helps with joint pain and inflammation. If our body is using too much magnesium to rid the body of acid, it does not leave an adequate amount for joint and tissue function. Eating a high alkaline diet will make more magnesium available to help joint and tissue pain and inflammation.
5) When cells are in an acidic environment they function less efficiently, are cut off from adequate amounts of oxygen, and do not rid the body of waste and toxins at an optimum level. All of these cell dysfunctions create premature aging of the body. An alkaline diet means a younger looking and feeling you!!
6) As mentioned before, acidic bodies create poor cell function, join and tissue pain and inflammation, bad oral health, a body susceptible to illness and disease, etc. All of these issues contribute to weight gain. An alkaline body with help you maintain a healthy weight!!
The Alkaline Diet
The alkaline diet consists of dried fruits, leafy greens, potatoes, most vegetables, natural fats like nuts and olives, unpasteurized milk products, herbs and teas. Water is neutral however with the addition of fresh lemon juice, it can have an alkalizing effect on the body. See the chart below for even more examples of alkaline vs. acidic foods.
Maintaining an alkaline environment in your body does not mean you can not eat acidic foods, it means that your diet should consist of 50%-80% alkaline foods. So don’t look at the chart and immediately turn away because meat is listed as acidic! You can have meat, just in moderation. White meats like chicken and white fish have lower acidity than red meats. Just be sure when you prepare your dinner plate with a juicy medium rare steak, 50% of your plate has a leafy green salad to balance it out.
Tips for Maintaining an Alkaline Diet
-If you fall off track one day, don’t consider your diet ruined. Just pick back up the following day!
-Cook with healthy oils like grapeseed, olive, and avocado, and lots of herbs and spices!
-Add lemon to your neutral water to create an alkalizing effect for the body.
– Avoid processed and prepackaged foods that contain little nutritional value, lots of preservatives, and are often high in sugar and/or salt content.
-Avoid carbonated beverages and energy drinks.
-Swap sugar for Stevia.
-If this is a huge change in diet for you and your family, start slowly, adding/eliminating a few foods/habits a week.
Let me know how an alkaline diet works for you! What benefits do you see in your health? Share your personal tips or experiences with me!