Alkaline Foods, Supplements and Tips
Have you heard of super models, such as Elle Macpherson and Miranda Kerr, losing weight if they follow the alkaline diet? The reason they do is it not only helps them lose weight it is also a healthy lifestyle diet!
To get started, it is good to understand your body’s pH levels. So here is an explanation on how it all works. The alkaline diet is a diet that is based on regulating the acidity or the pH level of your body. The human body is slightly alkaline, with a blood pH around 7.4.
However, your stomach needs to be acidic so that it can break down foods, and has a pH of 3.5 or below. For comparison’s sake, 14 is completely alkaline, 7 is neutral and 0 is completely acidic.
The theory behind the alkaline diet is that high acidity foods cause your body’s pH to become too acidic. This can cause inflammation, weight gain, and disease.
Instead, you should eat foods that are more alkaline to influence the pH in your body to a more alkaline level and to keep your pH at a level where your body is able to function optimally.
What Is An Alkaline Food?
The alkaline diet divides foods into two basic categories to help dieters create some structure. There are alkaline foods and non-alkaline foods. The non-alkaline foods include:
- Animal proteins – beef, chicken, and pork
- Dairy products – yogurt, milk, and cheese
- Starchy carbohydrates – bread, pasta and white rice
For many people, the alkaline diet is a great diet to follow as it is not an ‘all-or-nothing’ diet.
- The goal is to make sure that 80% of your diet comes from alkaline foods.
- That means you can still eat some of the foods that you love because 20% of your diet can come from non-alkaline foods.
Generally speaking, all fruits and vegetables are alkaline, however, a lemon for example, is an acidic fruit. Lemons cause an alkaline response in your body and is a wonderful fruit to include in your daily diet! In fact, lemon water can be (and I believe should be) a big part of the alkaline diet which also stresses hydration.
Other foods that are alkaline include some whole grains like millet and quinoa.
An alkaline diet is rich in fruits and vegetables along with foods that are high in minerals.
- Minerals are often supplemented because they’re essential for cellular functions and because they can be difficult to get in your diet.
When starting an alkaline diet, the common recommendation is to ease into it. Most people are not able to completely shift their focus to a diet that is primarily vegetarian. You can start by reducing your consumption of the non-alkaline foods one at a time.
- Reduce the sugar that you eat, reduce your meat consumption and start replacing those items with fruits and vegetables.
You’ll notice an almost immediate change in your health and wellbeing. You will start to lose weight too!
The alkaline diet is a lifestyle change that promises improved health. If you’re struggling with energy levels, weight gain, and chronic illness, it may be the right choice for you.
The Alkaline Diet and Supplements
Supplements are one of the common components of an alkaline diet. In addition to reducing or eliminating your consumption of acid-producing foods like sugar, meat and dairy, you may want to take a few supplements. Let’s take a look at the most commonly recommended alkaline diet supplements.
Minerals are the most commonly recommended supplements for an alkaline diet. This is because minerals have an alkaline-producing effect in the body. These minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, have been found to significantly increase the alkalinity of urine and blood pH.
Minerals are essential for cellular functions. They also help keep your bones strong and your tissues healthy. Your heart and lung function depends largely on minerals so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough, whether you’re on an alkaline diet or not.
Many dairy products and white flour are enriched. That means that the nutrients are destroyed during processing and they’re added back in before they’re packaged. However, dairy and white flour are non-alkaline, acid producing foods which means they’re not allowed on an alkaline diet and while fruits and vegetables do have minerals, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough. You can supplement and drink alkaline mineral water.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This is another nutrient that’s found in plants and grains that’s removed during processing to lengthen shelf life and because grains are not part of the alkaline diet, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough of this nutrient. Most people get only a small fraction of the omega-3 fatty acids that their body needs. It’s good for fighting inflammation, organ health, heart health and brain health.
Green Supplements and Bicarbonates
You may also see some alkaline supporters recommending green supplements and bicarbonates. If you’re taking a mineral supplement then a bicarbonate isn’t necessary. Additionally, green supplements are essentially micronutrients.
- One green drink a day in addition to your alkaline diet should be sufficient to make sure you get the nutrients your body needs to thrive.
It’s not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on supplements to succeed with the alkaline diet. However, there are some supplements that you do want to consider. These are the same supplements that your doctor has probably already recommended to you. They include minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.
Before taking any supplements, please talk to your doctor and do your research. Make sure you’re doing what’s best for your body!
The Alkaline Diet Lifestyle
The alkaline diet is a lifestyle diet, meaning that it’s not a crash diet or a diet which ends in a month or two. The alkaline diet is a way of eating for life.
The diet is designed to give you more energy, help you lose weight and keep it off, and to significantly reduce your risk of diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
As it is a lifestyle diet, it generally requires most people to make significant changes to the way they think about food and how they eat. The following steps will help you embrace the alkaline diet and achieve your health and wellness goals.
- Food Eaten For Fuel Not As A Treat
We often approach food as a treat or to give us comfort. You would have heard of chocolate being eaten as a comfort food in times of stress. We use it to make ourselves feel better. Plus, your food should taste great. You should enjoy what you eat.
However, when you shift your focus from food being a reward to food being something that fuels your body, your entire mindset changes.
You’re able to enjoy that apple without feeling deprived because you know that it’s good for you. You can look at a salad and at a fast food hamburger and easily choose the salad. The hamburger holds no appeal because you know that it will hurt your body. It’s not fuel; it’s poison.
To fully embrace the alkaline diet, begin looking at the foods you eat. Are they helping you or hurting you? Your brain will soon reteach you on what to eat and what not to! You will eventually not even crave fries and hamburgers. I am speaking from experience.
- Your Taste Buds Will Change
If you have cravings for certain foods, or your taste buds have become acclimated to junk, nothing can be sweet enough, fat enough, or salty enough. However, when you clean up your eating and you essentially eliminate these foods from your diet, your taste buds will change too.
Suddenly a carrot or an apple will be perfectly sweet and a sip from a soft drink will make you shudder. I remember having a lemonade not too long ago as there was nothing else available at the time and I was thirsty. The sickly sweetness made me gag! It felt like I was swallowing thick syrup and I felt thirstier than ever.
It takes about two to three weeks for your taste buds to reset.
- Withdrawal Is Possible
Many people recommend easing into the alkaline diet. Going cold turkey from sugar, salt, and junk food can cause some physical and emotional distress. There are many studies that have proven that sugar is addictive. If you choose to go cold turkey you may experience mood swings, headaches, and fatigue.
However, keep going! This usually only lasts a few days.
Try easing into the alkaline diet and change the way you eat one meal at a time. For example, eat an alkaline breakfast for a week or two, then add an alkaline lunch, then integrate your snacks into the diet and finally add dinner.
Remember as you start your alkaline diet that your health is worth it.
Being overweight is not healthy and this diet can help you lose weight and get healthy all at the same time. If you can have more energy and feel better each day, that’s worth all the effort.
Depression, obesity, hyperacidity, ulcer, skin dryness, acne, joint diseases, osteoporosis, bronchitis, frequent infections and heart diseases are some health problems linked to excessive acid levels in the body.
Even if medications are taken for these illnesses, the symptoms may only be masked as the medications may not be attacking the root cause…a pH level may even be the problem. It doesn’t matter what medications are taken to treat these types of problems, the body may become more acidic because of the taking the medications.
Again you would have to check with your doctor, so please don’t self-diagnose.
The alkaline diet is a diet for health, wellness and weight loss and is one diet you may want to try. I started by having a teaspoon of lemon juice concentrate in a cup of hot water (instead of my usual strong cup of coffee when I woke up) and I felt better within days!
Let me know your own results below!
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