You have probably heard the term “alkaline food” or “alkaline diet” before, but what is it exactly? This diet is rich in fruits and vegetables and poor in foods of animal origin, which are associated with a more acidic diet. Learn more about it!
First things first: let’s define what “alkaline diet” is. An alkaline diet is based on the idea that certain types of food can improve your overall health, and some people also believe that shifting from acid-forming food to alkaline food can actually help you deal with some serious diseases.
Today, many doctors and scientists defend the theory of the Alkaline Diet. One of them is René Quintón, a French scientist who maintains that seawater activates the immune system. Isotonic seawater has the potential to rebuild damaged cells in the body.
Another faithful defender of the alkaline diet is Dr. Ángel Gracia, author of the book "The dolphin diet". This diet is based on the fact that in alkaline and oxygen-rich organism there can be no diseases.
What does science say?
The diet is based on the premise that certain food types can alter the pH value of your body, and it all has to do with your metabolic system, which is usually compared to fire —in the way that they are both chemical reactions that transform and break down a solid mass. So, when things burn, they leave an ash residue. The same happens with food. Whatever you eat, leaves an “ash” on your body, which is known as metabolic waste.
This metabolic waste can either be acidic, neutral, or alkaline. And the food is grouped following the same principles:
- Acidic: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, alcohol.
- Neutral: Natural fats, starches, and sugars.
- Alkaline: Fruits, nuts, legumes, and vegetables.
But what is pH and how does it work?
A pH is a system that measures the acidic level of something. When it comes to your body, it measures the acidic level of your blood. The scale goes from 0 to 14, where 7 is the neutral pH and then, as you get closer to 0 you have acidic values and alkaline values towards 14.
Human blood is always slightly alkaline, with a pH that ranges between 7.36 and 7.44. However, certain diseases can alter these values, making it more acidic. This, if not treated, can be potentially dangerous.
5 benefits of the Alkaline Diet that you didn’t know about
Eating alkaline foods helps maintain blood pH at optimal levels, allowing all cellular processes to become more efficient.
1- Prevents the appearance of osteoporosis. When the organism is acidified, it draws on the calcium reserves of the bones, to stabilize the blood pH.
2- It helps to keep the hormonal system in balance, which reduces cardiovascular risk and improves brain processes.
3- An alkaline diet reduces the risk of diabetes since it prevents metabolic acidosis, responsible for the appearance of insulin resistance.
4- It helps to purify the body since it favors the normal purifying processes preventing toxicity.
5- It helps regulate high blood pressure, as it is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, it is rich in potassium, a mineral that combats the negative effects of sodium in the body. Ideal for cardiovascular health.
What are the most common alkaline foods?
As we mentioned before, an alkaline diet is, in essence, a plant-based diet. The most common ingredients include: Leafy greens (kale, spinach, arugula, celery, and parsley), Citrus fruits (lemons, limes, and oranges), Root vegetables (sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots), Nuts (almonds, cashews, and chestnuts), avocado, bananas, and some spices (chili pepper, cinnamon, and ginger.)
By including more of these foods in your meals, you will be improving your overall body pH and enjoying the benefits it brings along. However, it is always recommended to check with your nutritionist beforehand.