Elizabeth Arnott

Health Benefits of an Alkaline Diet

Blood pH (Potential Hydrogen) is a measure of how alkaline or acidic our blood is.  Our natural, healthy blood pH level is between 7.35 and 7.45, which is slightly alkaline.  So the more we help our bodies to keep within this level the more healthy we feel, and more able to resist illnesses.  
Our bodies have a very efficient system to keep within this range, by neutralizing acids so that they can enter the bloodstream without causing harm.  When this system is overloaded, the body tries to neutralize excess acids by stealing alkaline minerals from our bones or muscles.  Or else they are stored deep in the muscles.  While these tactics work well to protect your blood in the short term, in the long run they gradually deplete your protective store of alkaline minerals.  This can lead to health problems such as fatigue, low energy, weight gain, arthritis and osteoporosis.  

The modern western diet is very high in acid forming animal products, including meat and dairy, and too low in alkalizing foods like fresh vegetables.  We are also dehydrated due to not drinking enough water, and consuming acid forming drinks such as sodas, coffee and alcohol.  

However, to restore your health, your diet should consist of 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods, and to maintain your health, your diet should consist of 60% alkaline-forming foods and 40% acid-forming foods.  
 
There are many conflicting opinions about which foods are alkalizing, and which are acid-forming. Here is an easy way to tell just by looking at it whether a food is acid or alkaline forming - a simple but effective way to judge by appearances.   
Is it fresh?  Fresh foods still have all their nutrients and have not been made more acidic through processing 
Is it a vegetable? Almost all vegetables are alkaline-forming 
Is it wet? High water content foods e.g. cucumbers, tomatoes are more alkaline-forming.  Dense foods e.g. meat, cheese, bread are acid-forming 
What colour is it? Green foods contain chlorophyll, which is very alkalizing
What is the mineral contant?  The minerals to look for are calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium bicarbonate, manganese and iron 
Is it organic?  Pesticides are acid-forming, so organic fruit and vegetables are best for an alkaline diet
Does it contain yeast? Yeast-based foods are always acidic 
Is it sweet? Whether it is sugar, glucose, fructose, dextrose, it is highly acid-forming.  Sweet fruit should only be eaten in moderation.  Avoid sugar whenever possible 
 
Even though this appears to be counter-intuitive, fresh lemon juice is one of the most alkalizing foods, so taking hot lemon first thing in the morning is a great way to start an energized and alkalized day, and to maintain an alkalized blood pH. 
 
It is possible to balance your pH by making small changes.  Eat a fresh salad twice a day, and a green smoothie. Try adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to your salads, to your drinking water, in fact whenever you think of it, and drink at least two litres of water a day.    

For a great selection of salads and other alkalizing recipes check out my Detox Maintenance Recipe Collection, available from Amazon in paperback and ebook versions.

Comments: 2

  • Chip Paulson Jul 02

    Good info! This alkaline diet is really picking up traction! http://choppysreviews.com/
  • Elizabeth Jul 05

    Yes I agree, the alkaline balance is very important, and not so difficult to implement once you have made the choice. It doesn't have to be 100% of your diet, but try to increase the green raw veggies, poco a poco, until you just don't feel like eating lots of acidic foods.

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