Have you ever heard of the term “PH Balance”? It is the level of acids and bases in the blood at which the body best functions. Our bodies need to maintain a healthy PH ratio of 70:30 to acid. If the body is not PH balanced, then we are more susceptible to disease and illness because bad bacteria thrive in an over-acidic environment. It is often the case when PH levels are unbalanced, the acidity level is too high.
Sometimes the body needs our assistance to create and maintain a healthy PH ratio. A natural diet of alkaline foods is the best way to help keep our body’s PH balance in check. The alkaline diet is plant-based and incorporates a complete alkaline food list. Consuming the correct fruits and vegetables with the correct pH level can be extremely beneficial to your health and is said to help fight some major chronic diseases and health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, vitamin D deficiency and low bone density to name just a few. Having a complete alkaline food list will allow you to stay clear of unwanted ailments, diseases, and health conditions.
The Alkaline Diet Explained
The alkaline diet focuses on consuming mostly alkaline foods to maintain an alkaline state in your body. Research shows that this helps protect healthy cells and balances essential mineral levels. There is a long list of benefits which include the prevention of plaque forming in your blood vessels, preventing kidney stones, and building stronger bones. The intention of following an alkaline diet is to help balance your pH level of the fluids in your body, which includes your urine and your blood. Because you are eating mostly fruits and vegetables when following an alkaline diet, you are getting a lot more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that you wouldn’t normally get from eating a conventional diet filled with starched, processed foods, and sugars. When you are consuming a conventional diet, the acids rob the body of key minerals which contributes to inflammation and degeneration of tissue and bone mass.
The Benefits of an Alkaline Diet
In a nutshell, alkaline foods help maintain your body’s PH balance and supply the body with important nutrients that can help slow down signs of aging, as well as the gradual loss of cell and organ functions. Let us take a closer look at the main health benefits of an alkaline diet.
Protects Bone Density and Muscle Mass
The amount of minerals your body consumes is a key role player in the development and maintenance of bone structures. Research shows that when we eat a high alkaline diet, we are offered protection from developing sarcopenia, which is decreased bone strength and the wasting away of muscle. An alkaline diet balances the ratio of minerals that are important for maintaining lean muscles and building bones, including magnesium, calcium, and phosphate.
It is suggested that the diet can also improve vitamin D absorption and the production of growth hormones which further protects our bones and our bodies from chronic disease.
Lowers Inflammation and Chronic Pain
There is a link between our diet and chronic pain. Research shows that when we eat a high alkaline diet, we experience reduced levels of chronic pain. Chronic acidosis can contribute to severe headaches, back pain, muscle spasms, joint pain, inflammation, and menstrual symptoms.
Lowers Risk for Stroke and Hypertension
An alkaline diet decreases inflammation and increases growth hormone production which means that it has an anti-aging effect (I am definitely in favor of anti-aging properties). It also improves cardiovascular health and offers protection against common health conditions such as high cholesterol, kidney stones, strokes, memory loss, and hypertension.
Improves Immune Function and Protects Against Cancer
While further studies still need to be conducted, research is showing that cancer cell death occurs in an alkaline body. Alkalinity can reduce inflammation which means that it reduces the risk for conditions such as cancer.
One of the roles of minerals in the body is to aid cells in the disposal of waste and to oxygenate the body. When your body is lacking sufficient minerals, it cannot undergo these processes, this means the whole body suffers negative effects. Vitamin absorption is also compromised when your body lacks minerals which places the immune system into a weakened state allowing toxins and pathogens to accumulate.
Helps Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
The alkaline diet does not focus on weight loss but rather on the health benefits, but it certainly helps you to maintain healthy body weight and can promote weight loss. Since alkaline foods lower inflammation in your body, it gives your body a chance to achieve normal leptin levels and helps you to feel satisfied by eating only the number of calories you really need.
Tips for Maintaining an Alkaline Diet
Buy organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. The soil that our food is growing in adds a lot of alkalizing nutrients into our bodies, helping you stay in a more alkaline state.
Eat more alkaline foods and less acidic foods. Follow the list of preferred alkaline foods as much as possible.
Drink alkaline water. This water has a pH between 9 and 11. Filtered water is also good but reverse osmosis water can be slightly acidic. You can create your own alkaline water by adding lemon or lime, pH drops, or a teaspoon of baking soda.
Do not forget the additional supplementation with NON-GMO vitamins and minerals.
If you are really determined to keep your body in an alkaline state, then you can do a pH level urine test to make sure you are staying more alkaline than acidic.
Complete Alkaline Food List
The alkaline diet consists of mostly fruits and vegetables, but you can incorporate good quality organic, grass-fed meats, and wild-caught fish in moderation.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs – top alkalizing options are mushrooms, citrus, dates, raisins, spinach, grapefruit, tomatoes, avocado, summer black radish, alfalfa grass, barley grass, cucumber, kale, jicama, wheat-grass, broccoli, oregano, garlic, ginger, green beans, endive, cabbage, celery, red beet, watermelon, figs, and ripe bananas
All Raw Foods – Ideally you want to consume most of your food in their natural, raw state. Cooking food depletes their alkalizing minerals. If you cannot eat raw then try to gently steam or lightly fry them. Juicing is also a great way to get more vegetables in your diet.
Plant Proteins – Almonds, navy beans, Lima beans, soybeans, and several other beans are all great choices.
Green Drinks – Drinks that are made from green vegetables and grasses in powder form are packed with alkaline-forming foods and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is similar to our own blood in its structure and helps to alkalize the blood.
Other Foods – microgreens, sprouts, wheat-grass, Kamut, fermented soy like natto or tempeh, and seeds.
Supplements – High quality NON-GMO supplements will aid in keeping the body’s PH level well-balanced. Potassium, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D are among the ones to use. Vitamin D also helps with the absorption of calcium in the body, which in turn assists with retaining vital minerals.
Even though foods like eggs and walnuts are not on the alkaline food list, these are especially important to eat because of their high omega-3 and antioxidant content. The key is to find a healthy balance. Your alkaline levels can certainly become too high which means that eating some healthy acidic foods will be extremely beneficial and necessary to keep a healthy PH balance. If your body becomes too alkaline then you could be creating an environment that is favorable for life threatening diseases such as cancer.
The common trend identified is that more people are acidic and are not eating enough alkaline-promoting foods to maintain the body’s PH balance. Eating more alkaline foods as well as a balance of acids from healthy, whole foods is the balance you need. Eat a variety of real, whole foods (especially vegetables and fruit) and limit consumption of packaged or processed items, and you will be on the right track.
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Until next time