The Health Benefits of an Alkaline Diet

Balance.  As moms, this is one of those things we strive for in every aspect of our lives. When you think of a balanced diet, you probably think of meals prepared using every element in the food pyramid. A balanced diet is a great place to start since everyone’s bodies need the variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients found in different foods. But there’s another kind of balance that’s often ignored in the majority of people’s diets: pH balance. For most people, the typical diet is too acidic, which means the body itself is out of balance. Maintaining the body’s optimal pH levels can be one of the best ways to achieve health and wellness.

Your body functions best when it’s a bit more alkaline than acidic. Think back to 8th grade science class. Human blood pH should be maintained in a range of 7.35 to 7.45, slightly above neutral (7.0). Unfortunately almost all of us have become acidic due to diet, drinks and stress. Acids can build up, causing the human body’s mechanisms not to function properly. Acid wastes build up in the body in the form of cholesterol, gallstones, kidney stones, arterial plaque, phosphates and sulfates. These acidic waste products are the direct cause of premature aging and the onset of chronic disease.

What an Alkaline Diet Can Do for Your Body

The healthiest pH level for your body is between 7.3 and 7.4, which is more alkaline than acidic.  I have included a chart that shows foods in several categories of acidity and alkalinity.

You will notice that many “unhealthy foods” tend to be more acidic, and more “healthy foods” tend to be more alkaline. Hmmm, do you see a familiar pattern here?  However, you will also notice that a few healthy foods do fall into the acidic category. For example blueberries are acidic, but watermelon is alkaline. Common sense will tell you don’t stop eating blueberries, but if you are trying to tweak a few things in your diet to make it more alkaline, then you want to choose watermelon for awhile. Almonds instead of peanuts, green tea instead of coffee.  You get the point.

With that said, however, this means that the modern predisposition to eat out, consume over-processed foods, and overeat in the protein and oil categories makes for a highly acidic and unhealthy body. Acid-producing foods create yeast in the body that expands throughout the system, starting in the digestive tract and growing to affect the intestines and blood. Once in the bloodstream, yeast can affect any part of the body with negative consequences.

However, adopting an alkaline diet until your body’s pH level reaches the optimal balance can prevent you from experiencing the negative effects of an acidic diet. But the other reason that alkaline foods are so helpful is that they actually help to magnetize waste matter out of the cells.

 Symptoms of an overly acidic diet include fatigue, loss of muscle tone, feeling cold, frequent infections, depressive tendencies, nervousness, paleness, headaches, thin nails, dry skin, hives, and leg cramps.

When acidosis occurs, the body will attempt to restore its optimal pH by depleting certain minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, from the organs and bones. In addition, your immune system becomes fatigued from dealing with an excess of acid.

How to Start an Alkaline Diet

An alkaline diet follows very similar guidelines as eating a whole food/real food type diet. If you can choose 80% of the foods from the alkaline category and only 20% from the acid category, you will be on your way.  A side effect… you will be eating much healthier in general which will make you feel better, and you will most likely drop a few pounds.

I do have one trick, however.  Following a 80/20 alkaline diet can be tough, so if you want to supplement your alkalinity, you can take a shot of apple cider vinegar.  I try to do this every day, because I know my diet is not as balanced as it should be pH wise.  I take a shot glass and fill it with unfiltered apple cider vinegar.  I also have a ½ teaspoon of raw honey.  Pop the raw honey in your mouth, and before it dissolves, “shoot” the apple cider vinegar.  They honey makes it drinkable (barely – so be prepared for a shock the first time).

Choose 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidic foods.

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