How To Eat The Alkaline Way

Recently the Alkaline Diet has received a lot of media attention, with celebrity fans including Victoria Beckham, Gwenyth Paltrow and Kirsten Dunst. The diet doesn’t just help you lose weight but also enhances overall health and wellbeing. With followers reporting benefits in energy levels, digestive disorders, menstrual problems, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and memory, it’s worth a closer look.

The most recent version of the diet involves eating mainly alkaline foods like fresh fruits and vegetables while avoiding acidic foods such as meat, dairy, refined grains and processed foods.

How does it work?

Since your blood is slightly alkaline, with a normal pH level between 7.35 and 7.45, the diet focuses on foods that help you maintain this. Over-consumption of acid-forming foods disrupts body balance and leads to a loss of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, which are leached from your bones to mop up excess acid and restore balance. This imbalance and loss of nutrients is believed to affect your immune system and your ability to reduce inflammation and fight disease. An acidic diet leaves you prone to illness and creates the ideal environment for yeasts, bacteria, parasites and viruses to thrive.

Many frequently chosen foods in our modern lifestyle are acid-forming in the body – when they are digested they form acidic residues in the bloodstream. This is not harmful in small amounts, but eating them regularly places a heavier burden on the kidneys and liver to break them down further.

What is acid-forming and what is alkaline?

Whether a food is classed as acid-forming or alkalising depends upon how it is digested and metabolised. When a food is eaten and broken down a residue remains that is referred to as ‘ash’ – this ash is either acidic or alkaline. Surprisingly, a food that tastes acidic, such as lemons and apple cider vinegar, can actually have an alkalising effect in the body. Note also that an acid-forming food isn’t necessarily one that causes you indigestion, and that pH balance level refers to general body fluids, not localized fluid like stomach acid. Ultimately the aim is to eat around 70-80% alkaline foods and 20-30% acidic foods so you can still have some foods like pasta and white rice, but in moderation.

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