Through out human history we’ve mostly eaten fruit, vegetables, and lean protein. As the food industry blossomed, we began to consume more refined grains, fatty sources of meat, and processed foods that are high sodium, saturated fat, and refined sugars, which can cause inflammation and chronic disease. Advocates of the alkaline diet claim that eating certain foods influences our bodies acid-base homeostasis, (a relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state) or our pH levels. Encouraging a healthy, pH balanced environment within our bodies can generate positive effects on our health.
An alkaline diet centers heavily on fruits and vegetables, rather than meat and grains. Research implies that the lack of plant foods, disproportionate consumption of meat, saturated fat, simple sugars, and starchy foods contributes to many of our everyday health problems. The alkaline diet is also known as the acid-alkaline diet or alkaline ash diet, is high in potassium, magnesium and bicarbonate from fruits and vegetables. Aside from high fruit and vegetable intake being linked with lower rates of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic diseases, alkaline diets have also been shown to reduce the risk of stroke and hypertension, as well as improving memory and cerebral function. An alkaline environment within our bodies help weight loss efforts, increases energy, and enhances our immune systems.
When learning about the alkaline diet, it’s principal to understand the meaning of the pH value. The pH value is a measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. The pH value ranges from 0 to 14: 0-7 is acidic, 7, is neutral and 7-14 is alkaline. With the alkaline diet balance is key, and when it comes to our bodies’ pH levels, it’s the key to life. Our pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline something is and our blood pH needs to maintain a slightly alkaline level to keep us healthy. Our blood is always slightly alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Our blood pH value sinking out of the normal range can be severe and even fatal. We help our bodies to maintain pH balance by eating more alkaline-forming foods and fewer acid-forming foods. When we eat acid-forming foods, our body brings our blood pH back into balance by liberating alkaline-rich minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium into our bloodstream. If we aren’t eating enough alkaline forming foods, then our bodies have to pull these important minerals from our bones, teeth and organs. This can compromise our immune system, cause fatigue and make us susceptible to viruses and disease. Distinctive systems of our bodies maintain different pH levels, with some more securely measured than others. The pH of each system has an individual purpose, and certain pH levels may advance certain functions. Our stomach is acidic, is about 3.5 on the pH scale, and it must remain so in order us to break down food and extract calories. The inside of our stomach is lined with a thick layer of mucus that protects it from being digested along with our meals. Our stomachs maintain a very acidic pH so that it can break down protein and kill ingested pathogens. The wrong pH in a given system or organ can extremely upset our health.
When we metabolize foods and obtain the energy/calories from them; we’re actually burning the foods. When we burn foods, they leave an ash deposit, like when we burn logs in the fireplace. This ash is acidic, alkaline or neutral. The ash directly affects the acidity of our bodies. When we eat foods with acidic ash, it makes our bodies acidic. If we eat foods with alkaline ash, it makes our bodies alkaline, and neutral ash has no effect. According to the acid-ash concept, certain foods promote either alkalinity or acidity in our bodies. Cruciferous vegetables are among the top choices for fostering alkalinity. The acid-ash suggestion proclaims that our bodies pilfer calcium from our bones to reestablish acid-base homeostasis when blood becomes too acidic. Acidic ash makes us susceptible to illness and diseases, while alkaline ash is considered shielding. By selecting more alkaline foods, we’re able to “alkalize” our diets and improve our health. Food modules that leave an acidic ash include protein phosphate and sulfur, while alkaline components include calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Most Americans diets are low in potassium and magnesium, but high in sodium and chloride. Over time, this can result in diet-induced, inferior, prolonged metabolic acidosis. In addition, ingesting large amounts of sodium may worsen any dietary metabolic acidosis.
A high acid level in our bodies’ fluids typifies acidosis. There are numerous types of acidosis: metabolic, respiratory, lactic, and renal. Indicators involve confusion, fatigue, shortness of breath, and lethargy. Metabolic acidosis is the one we ordinarily hear about with concern to the alkaline diet, however there are other causes of the condition, such as kidney disease and dehydration. Diet-induced metabolic acidosis results when we consume too many animal products, and not enough fruits and vegetables. Metabolic acidosis increases our risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, and kidney stones.
The fundamental basis of an alkaline diet is that what we eat impacts how much counterbalancing our bodies have to do in response to a meal. It’s about what our bodies have to do in order to maintain our blood’s pH level. Many of the foods advised by the alkaline diet are nutrient-dense, low-calorie substitutions to conventional dietary choices. The diet encourages eating mostly organic plant-based foods high in vitamin C, selenium, iron, and zinc, all of which sustain our intestinal health and the immune system. Eating repetitions matter more than eating particular foods, and healthy acid-forming foods are not inevitably harmful, nevertheless they may need to be combined with alkaline-forming foods to make the potential effect of our meals either neutral or alkaline. Giving our bodies the chance to make the most of every meal.