How we eat impacts our health and longevity. New research is pointing to how internal pH levels in the body might be the key to setting us on the road to a longer and higher quality of life.
A person should have a pH in the range of 7.35-7.45, but with the highly acidic Western diet it is difficult to maintain a healthy pH level.
According to nutritionists and other experts, an acidic diet can lead to aging and chronic illnesses. Diseases such as arthritis, asthma, fibromyalgia are believed to have a strong link to diets that are known to be high producers of acid compounds. A switch to an alkaline diet is believed to be capable of of boosting energy levels, reducing congestion, relieving symptoms of anxiety and irritability, and may even lead to fewer headaches and colds. New research is looking at how alkaline diet changes may help counter and prevent osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, polycystic ovaries, and kidney stones.
A great majority of the foods that many people eat today are highly processed, and they contain high levels of of refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, salt, and chemicals that contribute to health concerns. White bread, meats, cheese, and other dairy products all produce large amounts of acid compounds when they are digested. All of these acids are rapidly released into the body’s bloodstream which in turn creates problems as the body tries to maintain its normal alkaline ph balance. The reality is: The human body is constructed for a diet that consists of fruits, vegetables and other whole foods that are minimally processed.
If you are going to eat meat or fish make sure:
1. Grass fed meat sources.
2. Organic free range chicken.
3. Wild (not farm raised) fish
Alkaline Diet foods are foods that are rich in alkalizing minerals. These minerals include: calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. ( Iron is a micro-mineral and only needed in small amounts). Potassium has the largest effect on the acid-alkaline balance. The richest source of potassium is fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables in general are high in vitamins, minerals, and other phyto-nutrients.
Other alkaline diet foods include some whole grains, certain beans and legumes, nuts ( almonds, cashews, walnuts), and seeds, and healthy fats ( olive and coconut oil, avocado, omega 3 fatty acids).
Alkaline Diet Detox:
1. Cut back on dairy and meats. If you do consume dairy consume raw dairy products. Eat only grass fed meat products.
2. Cut out soft drinks and other sweetened beverages. This includes, energy drinks, sports drinks and coffee drinks and fruit juices that contain added sugar. If you are going to drink coffee select an organic, low-acid brand. Try green tea.
3. Eliminate processed snacks ( candy, breakfast pastries, pop tarts, salty snacks like corn chips, potato chips, pretzels). All these food are acidifying, they are also high in salt, unhealthy fats, and refined carbohydrates.
4. Eat more fruits and vegetables – they are alkalinizing, high in fiber, low in calories, and are the richest source of vitamins, minerals, and phyto-nutrients.
Alkaline Food Benefits:
1. Improved immune function: When the blood becomes too acidic, cells become less efficient at absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste. These weakened cells are much less effective at fighting infectious microorganisms.
2. Slower Aging: When the body becomes too acidic, cells are less capable of repairing themselves, and premature aging occurs. Acidity also impairs organ function ( liver, kidneys, heart , lungs).
3. Improved Energy: A crucial part of your body’s energy cycle is the production of ATP by the mitochondria inside each cell. If the pH inside each cell is either too high or too low, the mitochondria cannot perform this role as effectively, and fatigue results.
4. Fewer Yeast infections: Candida and other potentially harmful microorganisms thrive in an acidic environment – leading to increased rick of vaginal and systemic yeast infections.
5. Healthier Teeth and Gums: An acid-forming diet makes the mouth too acidic. An acidic oral environment promotes the growth of harmful bacteria which can lead to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
6. Reduce Pain and Inflammation: Magnesium and Omega 3 fatty acids are very effective in neutralizing excess acid and hence lowering inflammation.
7. Preventing Muscle Atrophy: Another side effect of your body’s attempt to neutralize excess acid, muscle wasting can occur when the body breaks down muscle tissue to release glutamine , an alkalizing amino acid. Your body can the use the glutamine to neutralize the acid, but at a price of reduced muscle tone.
8. Reduce Your Risk of High Blood Pressure: One of the major causes of high blood pressure is too much sodium and too little potassium. An acid-producing diet can make this problem worse, because your body draws upon potassium reserves to neutralize excess acids. Once used in this way, the potassium is excreted in your urine, throwing your potassium/sodium ratio further out of balance.
– Try to go gluten free – eliminate wheat and yeast products. Add in rice pasta, rice cereals, oatmeal or quinoa
– Avoid corn and eat only brown rice.
– Add in more apples, carrots, squash, broccoli, celery, avocado, lentils, nuts ( excluding peanuts), seeds, healthy oils, and small quantities of eggs.
If you eat dairy,eggs, meat, fish or poultry , try to balance the diet with more alkaline foods – by adding alkalinizing vegetables.
1. Make Fruit Your Snack of Choice.
2. Make Vegetables Part of Every Meal.
3. Think of Meat as a Condiment, Not the Main Course.
4. Go Easy on The Chocolate, Coffee and Alcoholic Beverages.
5. Keep protein around 20-25% of diet. ( Use only lean meats, low-fat dairy, eggs, nuts, and seeds)
6. Take a multi-vitamin and omega 3 fatty acids each day. Also include healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, flaxseed and coconut oils.