EATING ALKALINE FOR GOOD HEALTH
You may have heard that following an alkaline diet is good for your health, but what does that mean? When you eat a food, as well as giving you essential nutrition it also exhibits an acidic or alkaline effect on your body. Foods which have an acidic effect decrease blood pH and cause inflammation in the body, foods which are alkaline forming increase blood pH and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Given that inflammation is associated with nearly every single disease, including cancer, heart disease, infertility, arthritis and pain conditions, it is important to keep inflammation levels in our system low. When you eat too many acid forming foods you create inflammation in your body.
So what kind of foods are acid forming? As a general rule, meats, dairy, grains, sugars, coffee and alcohol are acid forming, whereas most fruit and vegetables are alkaline forming.
Let’s take a closer look at some commonly eaten foods and what effect they have on the body
|Acid Forming Foods 20% of the diet||Alkaline forming foods 80% of the diet|
|Acid Proteins||Alkaline protein|
|Pork, bacon, ham||Fermented tofu and tempeh|
|Sausages||Nuts and seeds|
|Shellfish and crustaceans||Almonds|
|Nuts and seeds||Pepitas|
|Macadamia nuts||Raw honey|
|Maple syrup||Grains and grain products|
|Fruit juice concentrate||Amaranth|
|Grains and grain products||Quinoa|
|Rye||All vegetables except those listed as acid|
|Kamut||Very high alkaline vegetables include|
|Rice and rice flour||Silverbeet|
|Fruit||All raw fruit except those listed as acid|
|Cooked fruit||Fruits which are high alkaline include|
|Blueberries||Fresh fruit or vegetable juice|
|Soft drinks (very high acid)||Spices and seasonings|
|Fruit juices that have been heated (long life)||Cinnamon|
|nutrient water||Curry spices|
|Spices and seasonings||Herbs|
|Tomato, BBQ sauce||Miso|
FINDING THE BALANCE
After reading the list above it would come as no surprise to you that most people’s diet are extremely over acid, with far too much meat, grains and additives and not enough fruit and vegetables. To maintain good health you should aim for a diet that is made up or 80% alkaline forming foods and just 20% acidic foods.
A good example of this would be a small piece of fish with a large salad, or a breakfast made up of fresh fruits with just a little muesli. Following a diet that is high is raw fruits and vegetables is the only way to keep your body alkaline.
Take advantage of the ‘exceptions to the rule’ and consume the alkaline nuts and seeds almonds, peptitas and sunflower seeds, or include some alkaline grains such as quinoa, buckwheat or millet in the diet. Quinoa is a particularly good source of protein and makes a great porridge or rice substitute.
The most important things to keep to a minimum are soft drinks, coffee, tea, alcohol, red meat and refined grains like white rice and bread. Not only are these foods very acidic, they have also been associated with many health conditions and should be avoided where possible.
SEEING THE BENEFITS
Patients which follow an alkaline diet report more energy, weight loss, clearer skin, less pain and discomfort in their bodies, improved sleep and alleviation of headaches and even less hair loss! Try it and feel the benefits for yourself!