There are numerous diet plans out there, all calling for the inclusion or elimination of different foods, and all promising weight loss, disease prevention or other health benefits.
One promising plan with some scientific basis is the alkaline diet, otherwise known as the alkaline ash diet or the pH diet. Advocates say it may reduce the risks of mortality and morbidity due to chronic ailments such as arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, and low bone density, among others. The alkaline diet promotes the consumption of foods that influence the acid-base homeostasis in the body.
The science behind the alkaline diet is based on the fact that the body needs to maintain a pH level between 7.35 and 7.45. This level changes if a person consumes too many acidic foods, causing a pH imbalance, that prevents the body from functioning properly. Low acidity or high alkalinity, however, can inhibit the growth of “bad bacteria” and cancer cells.
Many are leaning towards this diet in the twenty first century, and we have to ask why it is so popular? Let us look at some information.
What Are the Benefits?
The alkaline diet posits that by eating an alkaline diet will affect the body’s pH level. Here are the presumed benefits of following the alkaline diet:
Reduces Risks of Stroke and Hypertension
The diet lessens inflammation and promotes growth hormone production. This improves a person’s cardiovascular health. It protects an individual from hypertension or high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, kidney stones, and memory loss.
Increases Vitamin Absorption and Supplements Magnesium
The alkaline diet is rich in magnesium, which is essential for proper body and enzyme systems function. It is common for many people to be deficient in this mineral. As a result, they experience anxiety, headaches, difficulty sleeping, muscle pains, and even heart complications. Magnesium is also needed to activate vitamin D, an important vitamin in endocrine and immune functioning.
Improves the Immune System and Cancer Protection
The body suffers when it does not have enough vitamins and minerals for it to oxygenate and help with the disposal of waste. Without minerals, vitamin absorption is jeopardized as pathogens and toxins breed in the body. Eventually, the body is weakened and the immune system is compromised. This will result in a long line of ailments, some of which will require luxury rehab.
Lessens Inflammation and Chronic Pain
It was found that patients suffering from chronic back pain had significantly less pain when the alkaline supplement was given during a span of four weeks. This highlights the link between an alkaline diet and a decrease in chronic pain levels. The prevalence of chronic acidosis adds to inflammation, chronic back pain, menstrual symptoms, muscle spasms, joint pain, and headaches.
Here’s What You Should Eat
Introducing alkaline to your daily diet is indeed beneficial. When these foods are metabolized, they leave traces of minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, three of the most essential minerals for preventing illness.
So, what foods are encouraged on the alkaline diet?
- Fresh foods, mostly. The ones with the most alkalinity include:
- Vegetables. Kale, cabbage, red beet, broccoli, green beans, spinach, celery, barley and alfalfa grass, jicama, and cucumber.
- Fruits. Ripe bananas, watermelon, grapefruit, citrus, mushrooms, ginger, figs, garlic, raisins, and dates.
- Plant proteins. Legumes—including Lima beans, and most other beans—and nuts such as almonds.
Ideally, these foods should be consumed raw, as cooking them depletes their alkalizing minerals. There are many accounts that recognize uncooked vegetables and fruits as life-giving.
Increasing your intake of such biogenic foods is healthy, but juice them, use them in a fresh raw salad, or lightly steam them for maximum benefits.