An alkaline diet is a diet that is naturally high in fruits and vegetables to help ensure a healthy alkaline pH in your blood. Why do you need to be alkaline for good health? Because dis-ease, viruses and bad bacteria all grow in an oxygen-poor and acid-rich environment. If you get frequent colds, coughs or flu, have poor digestion (irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, constipation, acid reflux) or suffer from aches and pains in the joints, you are more than likely too acidic. Other signs of acidosis include body odor, bad breath and frequent skin eruptions (acne, eczema, dermatitis). By maintaining an alkaline pH, you’re naturally changing your internal terrain to a healthy environment where disease cannot thrive. Alkaline foods help to keep your immune system strong, your digestion working properly, and your joints in good health.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
What is pH health?
The most important thing to understand with pH health is how your body digests food. Alkaline foods are foods that require almost no extra acid from the stomach for digestion. Even though a lemon is acidic on the table, for example, it’s 100% alkaline-forming to the body and is therefore an alkaline food. On the other hand, meat takes a whole lot of stomach acid to digest and so it’s an acid-forming food.
Ideally, the pH of your blood should be slightly alkaline, in the range of 7.385, in order for your hormonal system and immune system to work its best. To achieve that, you should strive for a diet of 80% alkaline-forming foods + 20% acid-forming foods. (In reality, most people are doing the exact opposite, eating 20% alkaline-forming foods + 80% acid-forming foods. Is it any wonder why the rates of disease are so high?) The best anti-cancer diet is an 80% alkaline diet.
If you don’t eat the right combination of alkaline vs. acid foods, your body will try to force itself into an alkaline pH. The way it knows how to do that is to leech calcium directly from your bones. Calcium is the best natural buffer there is! Long-term, if you eat an acid-forming diet for many years, you’re setting yourself up for loss of bone density, more likelihood of hip, knee and joint problems and even osteoarthritis in addition to higher risk for disease.
What are alkaline foods?
80% of your daily diet should consist of: fresh vegetables, chlorophyll, fresh fruits, raw apple cider vinegar, cold-pressed oils and legumes.
What are acidic foods?
20% of your daily diet can consist of: nuts, seeds and grains. Also on the acidic side are coffee, alcohol, bread (wheat), refined sugar, dairy, meat, fried foods, processed foods, jams, jelly, cookies and chocolate. Artificial sweeteners are the most acid-forming food there is (and yes, that includes sugar-free chewing gum!). Note: I’m not saying that all of these foods are good because they’re not. You need to pick and choose what will be in your 20% from this list every day. Personally, I choose organic nuts, seeds and grains.
How to get more alkaline: Think alkaline thoughts!
The most important factor in determining your pH health comes from your diet and also your mental and emotional health. Did you ever hear someone say that they are “sick with anger”? Yep, that’s an acid-forming emotion, along with fear, jealousy, greed and hate. Conversely, love, joy, acceptance, laughter and forgiveness are all alkaline-forming energies. Keeping your focus on positive thoughts and emotions helps to maintain an alkaline pH, and hopefully that’s a practice you can keep for life.
Does drinking alkaline water help?
Alkaline water filters are extremely expensive and they are also quite wasteful with water. If you’ve ever seen one running, you will have noticed that 1/2 the water goes back down the drain and only 1/2 of the “alkaline water” stays. As an environmental engineer, I can’t help but see that as a completely wasteful system of a very valuable and important resource: clean water.
I don’t think you can fix a bad diet by drinking alkaline water. But, if you’re already suffering from acid reflux, digestive issues or skin problems, you can try a combination of eating more alkaline-forming foods AND drinking alkaline water in an effort to get faster results. In that case, you may want to try something cheaper than an alkaline water filter. I recommend adding 1 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice or 1 Tbsp. of raw apple cider vinegar to 3 glasses of water daily. Of course, you need to drink it too! Not only is this a great naturally alkalizing drink, but it helps to gently detox your liver, kidneys and skin too.
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