Benefits Of An Alkaline Diet– From Maintaining Your pH Levels To Staying Balanced!

Do you often feel low on energy, like you do not have enough patience, stamina or strength to last the day? Maybe you are prone to bouts of illnesses – common cold, fever and/or upset stomach? There could even be some added stress from work or at home that is making things worse? All this makes your life absolutely no fun!

The good news is you can control how you feel by simply controlling what you put in your body!

Eating certain foods could influence the body’s acid-base homeostasis or pH levels. A healthy and balanced environment within the body can produce favourable effects on your overall health and wellbeing.


Why is the Alkaline Diet Most Suited?

Also called the acid-ash diet, the alkaline diet has been described by many as “miraculous.” And, it is so in a number of ways.

For one, it is balanced.  It encourages the consumption of whole foods – fruits and vegetables – rather than meat, grains, processed foods and refined sugars. From a purely nutritional standpoint, the alkaline diet is robust. It reduces your risk of developing chronic, diet-related diseases.

The foods recommended by the alkaline diet are low-calorie choices that are also nutrient-dense. The diet promotes eating organic, plant-based foods rich in selenium, vitamin C, iron, and zinc (among others). This revitalizes and supports your gut and immune system.

Foods recommended by the alkaline diet also happen to have a cleansing and nourishing effect on the body. Red peppers, broccoli, and carrots are rich sources of vitamin A, that help keep your skin and hair healthy and glowing.


Understanding the pH Scale

Here’s a basic review of how the pH scale works. It is important to understand this in order to understand the correlation between pH and your health.

The pH scale runs from 0 (acidic) to 14 (basic or alkaline). 7 stands at the centre and is neutral. Water has a pH of 7. Hydrochloric acid or battery acid both have a pH of 0 and are extremely acidic and corrosive in nature. At the opposite end of the scale, lye has a pH of 14 (nearly). And, lye is extremely alkaline.

The acidity or alkalinity of a substance can be balanced with a buffer that resists a change in pH. Alternatively, you can balance an acidic substance with a basic substance or vice versa.

In order to function properly, the human body needs to maintain the pH in a very narrow range – between 7.35 and 7.45. This range provides the ideal working environment for the body’s tissue, fluids as well as organs and hormones.

That being said, each organ or fluid within the body maintains its own acidity/alkalinity. For example, the stomach is highly acidic at about 3.5 on the pH scale. It must remain so in order to effectively break down and process food. Blood, on the other hand, is mostly neutral. This characteristic enables it to channel and transport substances across the body without reacting with them.


Help Your Body Maintain its pH

Clearly, maintaining a proper pH is critical for your health. A pH imbalance can lead to several issues, and an extreme imbalance can quickly become fatal.

Alkalosis is a condition that occurs when your bodily fluids become alkaline. It can be induced by – pre-existing ailments such as liver or lung diseases; a low oxygen intake; or a sudden loss of electrolytes. Alkalosis, however, is not a common condition.

Acidosis, on the other hand, is characterized by high acidity of the body’s fluids. There are several different types of acidosis –  respiratory, metabolic, lactic, and renal. Diet-induced metabolic acidosis results when the primary diet is animal-based rather than plant-based, and not enough vegetables and fruits are consumed. Symptoms include confusion, dullness, fogginess, fatigue, shortness of breath, and lethargy.

The kidneys protect your body against acidosis. The excess acid is sent to the bladder to be expelled as urine. Kidneys also maintain a tight control over bicarbonates in the body. The lungs assist in protecting as well. Carbon dioxide which is a product of cellular metabolism becomes acidic when it mixes with the blood. The lungs are able to dispel carbon dioxide through normal respiratory function.

Fortunately, the body has these mechanisms in place to keep pH levels in check — regardless of what you eat. But eating right helps your body greatly!


How to Take Charge of Alkaline and Acidic foods in Your Diet.

Recently when I visited a health professional, I was advised not to take juice. I must have had this confused look on my face, so the health professional said, skip juice for a few days as it is acidic. That got me thinking; do most people think of juice as acidic because they think it is fruits blended together? Or at the mention of juice they picture only orange juice and immediately think that orange is acidic? 
So I thought that I would list alkaline and acidic forming foods for you so that at one glance you know what is in your diet.


ALKALINE FORMING FOODS (80% of your diet)

Almost all fresh foods (includes dried fruits)
Most fresh vegetables (whole)
Millet, quinoa, amaranth, sprouted grains
Raw goat's milk, goat's milk yoghurt
Tofu, tempeh, miso
Almonds, dry roasted chestnuts, whole sesame seeds, fresh coconut
Apple cider vinegar, brown rice vinegar, homemade pickles and sauerkraut
Agar-agar, arrowroot flour
Honey (raw), brown rice syrup, stevia, carob powder
Dandelion coffee, herbal tea, green tea
Sprouted legumes
Fresh fruit and vegetable juices
Sea salt, Tamari, spices, nutritional yeast
The best alkaline body is when you have lots of LAUGHTER, LOVE, HUGS, FRESH AIR, PRAYER, MEDITATION, PEACE, KINDNESS and REST and SLEEP

ACID FORMING FOODS (20% of the diet)

Unripe bananas, plums, cranberries, prunes, blueberries
Rhubarb, peeled potatoes
All grains except those mentioned in the Alkaline foods
All processed grain products
Salted butter, sweetened yoghurt, homogenised milks, 
Most processed dairy products 
Meat, fish, fowl, whole cooked eggs
Unsprouted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, cashews, dried coconut
White malt, wine, balsamic vinegar, store bought pickles, ketchup, mayonnaise
Gelatin products
Sugar, jams, candies, heated honey, unprocessed maple syrup, fructose, barley malt syrup, artificial sweeteners, sulphured molasses, brown sugar
Coffee, coffee substitutes, cocoa, black tea,
Unsprouted dried legumes (pulses)
Soft drinks, soda water, alcohol
Iodised table salt


Hope this quick reference to alkaline and acidic foods will help you create a more alkalined body for yourself and your beautiful family.