You might have heard of alkalising foods or the alkaline diet, but what does that really mean? We’re going to reveal the secrets of these nourishing foods to you in this article and how you can start eating a more alkaline diet to increase weight loss, perform better and reduce the chances of developing serious diseases in the future.
But first, a little chemistry review. If we’re talking about alkalinity, we need to talk about pH, the measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. This scale runs from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline). Our blood is slightly alkaline naturally (7.35-7.45) and our bodies do a lot of things to keep our blood within that narrow range. It will only leave that range when there is a serious disease.
The leftovers of food
The body has to work hard to keep the balance. But what brings it out of whack in the first place? In simple terms, when we burn food there is an “ash” residue that is left behind, just like in your fireplace. It’s usually made up of different mineral elements. That ash can be acidic or alkaline depending on what was in the original food.
By eating alkaline foods, your body doesn’t have to work hard to get rid of the excessive acid. It also prevents the acidic leftovers from causing negative reactions in the body that, some proponents say, can lead to diseases like osteoporosis and cancer.
Examples of alkaline foods
One problem with testing this theory is that the foods purported to be alkaline are healthy foods that we all know and love. Fruits, vegetables, tofu, and certain nuts, seeds, and legumes are alkaline. Meats, grains, dairy, eggs, and many processed foods are acidic. Nutritionists have been touting the benefits of eating more fruits, vegetables, and legumes for decades, and eating more of those is going to have positive health benefits beyond being alkaline.
Because the test is what is left over after the calories are processed, some of the alkaline foods are counterintuitive. For instance, lemon water is actually a highly alkalizing drink and could be a good start to trying more alkalizing foods.
A quick search on Google can pull up complicated charts rating foods, but if you cut out the worst offenders listed above and eat more of the alkaline foods, you’ll be off to a good start. If you want to choose better alternatives to the acidic foods, there are some that are less acidic than others. That’s where the charts can really help out.
Does it work?
It is difficult to tell right now for several reasons. First, some of the alkalising diet books rely on some bad explanations and throw all disease as a function of blood pH. But there are more nuanced views that make the alkalinity theory worth considering.
Second, all of the foods that are alkalising are known to be extremely healthy. A deeper study of the diet does nix some foods that are considered healthy by nutritionists. For instance, only almonds and chestnuts are considered to be alkaline out of all of the nuts. So it’s difficult to isolate whether any health benefits are due to alkalinity increases or due to other factors with it.
Even if you believe that the alkalising theory is incorrect, we can all agree that increasing our intake of fresh fruits and vegetables and cutting down our processed food intake will lead to losing weight and feeling more healthy. If you are already eating a healthy diet, try cutting out some of the more acidic things and see if you get a positive uplift. If you have an unhealthy diet, stick first with more traditional healthy diets instead of worrying about which foods are more or less alkaline than others.
You hold the power to transform your life!