Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet is a type of eating plan that promotes eating lots of fruits and vegetables while avoiding acidic foods like processed foods, dairy, coffee and alcohol.


The Alkaline Diet

Alkaline diets had a long history and enjoyed a number of proponents at the turn of the 20th Century. The originator of the macrobiotic diet Sagen Ishizuka (1851–1910) associated the balance of acid and alkaline foods with the Chinese theory Yin and Yang.

The acid-alkaline balance that Alkaline Diet emphasize is not that of the blood itself. The pH of human blood is strictly sustained at about 7.4 and doesn’t change because of the food intake.

It is also not so easy to see which foods promote acidity which has an alkalizing effect.

For example, lemon juice and tomatoes, are acidic.

But when ingested by humans, they promote alkalinity.

The pH of the food products does not dictate the net effect on the body. Rather, it’s the “potential renal acid load,” or PRAL, of food — a value that measures acid excretion in the urine that determines acidity level.

How to balance the acidity with alkaline foods? Most often followed a rule is 80/20. For every 20% of acid food, you should eat 80% alkaline food.

So is it just a healing diet, or can it have weight loss benefits? Alkaline diet has no claims about weight loss benefits. However, having in mind that you focus on very low-calorie greens for your 80% of food intake – the result should naturally appear.

It still remains a very controversial diet as many researchers refuse to agree that the level of Ph affects our health so much that we should eat for the balance.


Why the Alkaline Diet?

There are many articles and research articles published on the Ph levels importance on the bodily functions.

Some are important to notice:

  • The resultant increase in growth hormone with an alkaline diet may improve functions from cardiovascular health to memory and cognition.
  • A rise in intracellular magnesium, which is required for the function of many enzyme systems, is also a benefit of the alkaline diet.
  • Alkaline food is naturally high in fruit and vegetables, therefore promotes a healthy lifestyle.
  • Alkaline foods decrease inflammation.
  • A 2012 review published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that harmonizing your body’s pH through an Alkaline diet can be useful in reducing mortality from numerous chronic diseases— such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, vitamin D deficiency.
  • The alkaline diet itself is more balanced than Dukan or Raw foods diet too. It does not restrict calories too, so you don’t have to stress about snacking.
  • High-alkaline foods also help your teeth. According to experts, highly acidic foods wear away the protective enamel on teeth due to their low pH level.

Disadvantages of the Alkaline Diet.

  • It takes time to get to understand the different levels of acidity of the foods and usually requires to change your menu.
  • Dairy and grains limit can make it hard to make the transition to the diet as you need to find new recipes and new products.
  • Eggs which are limited have very important element biotin which is necessary for many body functions.
  • Coffee is regarded as very acidic. Therefore, it can be a challenge to forget your coffee cravings.
  • For some people, it causes acid reflux due to fruit consumption.
  • You risk taking more pesticides from the larger amount of vegetables and fruits.

What causes acidity in your body?

It is definitely not just food itself that can cause acidity in your body.

Alcohol and drug use

Even though famous Mediterranean diet emphasizes the antioxidants in red wine and importance to have a glass of wine per day, Alkaline diet is strict against all alcohol.

Antibiotic overuse

At least 30 percent of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary, according to new data published in 2016 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)

Artificial sweeteners

Where can you find them?

  • Chewing gum
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Diet foods
  • Sugar-less labelled foods
  • Low-sugar labelled processed snacks and breakfast foods
  • Even chewable vitamins

Chronic stress

Chronic stress starts a cycle that ends up ruining your health. When you stress, you sleep less. When you sleep less, you choose higher calorie foods and also exercise less. Stress ends up affecting your hormones and skin. Stress also triggers depression , heart disease and digestive system illness like heartburn, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and constipation.

Some studies show that people who eat more fruits and veggies report lower stress levels. So minerals and other nutrients in vegetables and fruits might help our nervous deal with stressful lifestyles that we lead nowadays.

Deteriorating nutrient levels due to farming methods

The reality is truly frightening. A Kushi Institute analysis of data from 1975 to 1997 found that calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables fell 27 percent; iron levels 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent.

Low levels of fibre in the diet

Based on 2014 research: The average daily dietary fibre intake was 16 grams per day, while the required intake is 25 to 30 grams.

Excess hormones from foods, health and beauty products and plastics

Xenoestrogens are found in our everyday items. Xenoestrogens – the harmful hormones – are stored in our fat cells.

How to identify them? They have many names

Skincare

  • 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) (sunscreen lotions)
  • Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben very commonly used as a preservative)
  • Benzophenone (sunscreen lotions)

Plastics

  • Bisphenol A
  • Phthalates (plasticizers)
  • DEHP (plasticizer for PVC)
  • Polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Food

  • Phenosulfothiazine (a red dye)
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole / BHA (food preservative)

Building materials

  • Pentachlorophenol (general biocide and wood preservative)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls / PCBs
  • Chlorine and chlorine by-products
  • Ethinylestradiol (combined oral contraceptive pill)
  • Metalloestrogens (a class of inorganic xenoestrogens)
  • Alkylphenol (surfactant used in cleaning detergents)

The best way to start avoiding is to use chlorine filter, avoid all plastic products and get only paraben free skincare.

Other things that contribute too body acidity too:

  • Excess animal meats in the diet (from non-grass fed sources).
  • Exposure to chemicals and radiation
  • Food colouring and preservatives
  • Over-exercise
  • Pesticides and herbicides.
  • Pollution.
  • Processed and refined foods.

Looking at the above trends and the way food quality and farming affects how we get our necessary nutrients, there is no doubt that most of us have higher levels of acid in our bodies.

Signs that you have too much acidity in your body.

There are many symptoms of acidosis in the body. Therefore, they can be often confused with other illnesses.

  • Joint Pain and Arthritis
  • Low Energy and Chronic Fatigue
  • Heart problems
  • Allergies
  • Frequent Colds, Bronchitis, Infections, Headaches
  • Headaches, Migraines, Confusion, Sleepiness

Can you check your personal acidity levels?

You can easily test your pH levels. First, get cheap and simple to use strips at the pharmacy or ordering them online.

What about timing? Your second urination of the day might give you the most precise results.

Match the colours on your test strip to a chart that always comes with your test strip kit and that way you will know your number.


Foods that you are not allowed to eat on the Alkaline Diet

Foods below are the most acidic. Therefore they should be ignored or limited at least in your daily menu.

Sugar

Sugar is often hiding in foods we don’t think of as sweet such as bread, pizza, pasta, cereals, sauces, and dressings. So it’s very difficult to avoid the #1 most acidic food. Unless you plan your meals, avoid processed foods and cook your bread, pizza and make your pasta.

High-protein foods

High-protein foods tend to upsurge the production of sulfuric acids and that way increase the acid load.

Highly acidic grains should be ignored such as

  • wheat (both whole and white),
  • white rice,
  • rye,
  • corn,
  • buckwheat.

Certain Beans and vegetables:

  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Potatoes
  • Pinto Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Lima Beans

Dairy – Cows milk and dairy products are all acid forming.

Oils – Choose the oils that you cook on carefully.

  • Sunflower Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Margarine
  • Lard
  • High fructose corn syrup. It is the average American’s greatest source of calories
  • Coffee and Wine
  • MSG, or monosodium glutamate

Foods to eat on the Alkaline Diet

Have in mind that Alkaline diet has been developed and there are many controversies around which products exactly are alkaline and which are not.

For example, whey protein and grains are regarded as alkaline by some experts, while by others its regarded as acid.

To check the effect of the food which acidic, neutral and alkaline try this table.

The following list involves only Alkaline and Neutral Ph foods.

Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Gherkin, pickled
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce, iceberg
  • Mushrooms, common
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Radish
  • Ruccola
  • Sauerkraut
  • Soybeans
  • Soy milk
  • Spinach
  • Tofu
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini
  • Sprouts ((alfalfa, bean, pea, soy, etc.)

Fruits

  • Coconut
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Watermelon
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas

Alkalizing Non-Meat Proteins

  • Almonds
  • Chestnuts
  • Brazils,
  • Hazelnuts,
  • Coconut
  • Flax Seeds
  • Tempeh (fermented)
  • Tofu (fermented)

Dairy

  • Goat milk
  • Goat cheese

Neutral oils

  • Olive oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Flax Seed Oil

Alkalizing and Neutral Beverages

  • Coconut water
  • Mineral water
  • Lemon juice
  • Beetroot juice
  • Carrot juice
  • Fruit tea, infusion
  • Grape juice
  • Grape juice, unsweetened
  • Green tea, infusion
  • Herbal tea
  • Lemon water

Alkalizing and Neutral Sweeteners and Condiments

  • Himalayan salt
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Stevia

Alkalizing Superfoods

  • Avocado has an approximate pH value pH 8.0
  • Alfafa sprouts approximate pH value pH 8.0

Alkalizing Mineral Supplements

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium

Snacks

Due to the variety of foods that you can consume, you can easily make snacks for your self. They can be very delicious too.

  • Goat cheese with alfalfa sprouts
  • Guacamole with flaxseed cracker
  • Kale chips
  • Carrot Crisps
  • Asparagus with pesto
  • Soaked almonds
  • Coconut Chia Cream Pot
  • Matcha Pistachio Bliss Balls

Sample of an Alkaline Menu

This menu includes only alkaline ingredients.

  • Breakfast: Macadamia-Almond-Cream with Fresh Cherries
  • Snack: Alkaline Avocado Sandwich
  • Lunch: Thai coconut broccoli soup
  • Snack: Alkaline Green Power Cocktail
  • Dinner: Spelt Pasta with Spicy Eggplant Sauce

Shopping list for the Alkaline Diet

Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Chicory
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Garlic
  • Lettuce, iceberg
  • Mushrooms, common
  • Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Sprouts ((alfalfa, bean, pea, soy, etc.)

Fruits

  • Coconut
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Watermelon

Alkalizing Non-Meat Proteins

  • Almonds
  • Flax Seeds

Dairy

  • Goat milk

Neutral oils

  • Olive oil
  • Flax Seed Oil

Alkalizing and Neutral Beverages

  • Mineral water
  • Green tea
  • Rooibos tea
  • Coconut water
  • Beetroot juice
  • Carrot juice

Alkalizing and Neutral Sweeteners and Condiments

  • Himalayan salt
  • Stevia

Alkalizing Mineral Supplements

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Liquid Chlorophyll. What is it? Chlorophyll is a green colour pigment. It is naturally created by organisms that make photosynthesis.
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella

Tools and Gadgets for the Alkaline Diet

If you are serious about the Alkaline diet, it means that you need gadgets that will help you prepare 80% food from vegetables and fruits.

The following will get you started:

  • Spiralizer. To make noodles from vegetables.
  • A juicer.
  • A blender for smoothies and dips.
  • An Alkaline Water Filter.
  • A Mandolin- a fruit and vegetable slicer. You will start slicing more when you see how much is 80% of your Alkaline food fruits and vegetables account for.
  • A Dehydrator. Simply a must-have as this beast will make your Alkaline snacks.
  • For example, you can make raw flaxseed crackers, dried fruit, kale chips and much more alkaline foodie and raw vegan delights. And no harmful chemicals!

What to order in the restaurant for the Alkaline Diet?

If you decide to go out, you can still order food when you put yourself on an Alkaline diet. For example, in restaurants choose grilled chicken with double salad.


The Alkaline diet has many benefits due to its high content of vegetables and fruits. However, at the same time, it lacks more evidence as high protein diets also get quite big support when it comes to the health benefits.

Even though the Alkaline diet claims to balance your body, before deciding on any diet it is best to consult with a dietician or nutritionist who might help you choose the best diet based on your health concerns.

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