Touted as one of the best diets you can follow, the alkaline diet is more than just quick fix way of eating, it should be a lifestyle and a habit. With promises of helping you lose weight and stave off chronic diseases, it’s little wonder that thousands of people are so keen to try it. How can an alkaline diet really help you live healthier? Let’s look at the facts to find out.
What Is An Alkaline Diet?
To put it simply, an alkaline diet is consuming more foods and beverages with a high pH and less that are acidic. This way of eating helps your body to more easily maintain an optimal pH balance. All life depends on maintaining the right pH level, and it’s harder for disease to establish itself when the body has a healthy, balanced pH level. Eating too much acidic food can result in health problems caused by acidosis, while a diet high in alkaline foods can lead to healthier functioning and even weight loss.
Why Does Your pH Level Matter?
The term “pH” actually stands for potential of hydrogen, and it’s a measure of the acidity or alkalinity in body tissues and fluid. Measured on a scale from 0 to 14, the more acidic something is, the lower its pH level, with a measure of 7 considered neutral.
For humans, the optimal pH level is between 7.365 - 7.4, while your actual level ranges from 7.35 - 7.45 depending on your diet, the time of day, and whether you need to go to the bathroom.
Even tiny variations in pH level are a big deal. Drops of pH by even just one decimal point in the ocean, the atmosphere, and soil has tremendous impacts for plants, animals and sea life. Similarly, alterations in your pH level will have huge effects on your body too. For example, alkaline bile is essential for preventing the small intestine from digesting itself. Too much acidity can affect your pH level and cause long term damage to your digestive system.
As your body regulates itself to maintain an ideal pH level, it borrows from its alkaline reserves. Excessive work and borrowing can lead to chronic disease in the long run. Eating an alkaline diet and drinking alkaline water is an important way to help your body maintain equilibrium without taxing it.
The Science Behind the Alkaline Diet
The natural human diet has historically kept people safe from acidosis, but thanks to the advent of industrial food, the amount of refined grains, fatty meats, and processed sugars eaten daily is now sky high. Making matters worse, most foods today are sodium rich and mineral poor, meaning your body doesn’t get what it needs to function well. These foods lead to inflammation and chronic disease, and dramatically affect the body’s ability to maintain optimal pH level.
In contrast, an alkaline diet helps protect cells, balance mineral levels and prevent plaque formation in blood vessels among other things.
Pushing acidity out of your diet and incorporating more alkaline food and beverages will help you get back to the foods your body was evolved to eat. By turning towards raw fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods, you’ll create an alkaline environment in your body that will restore balance and can lead to weight loss, better energy, and a more robust immune system.
How to Eat an Alkaline Diet
Following an alkaline diet is a powerful step you can take for your overall health, but knowing where to start can be tricky.
The best ratio for a healthy diet tends to be 60-80% alkaline foods and 20-40% acidic foods. In general, alkaline foods are anything found in its natural form, including fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, green juices and alkaline water (make your own on the go with a DYLN Living Water Bottle!) It’s also important to choose organic ingredients as often as you can, as growing in healthy soil has a big impact on the overall mineral content of many vegetables.
Acidic foods are high sodium, processed foods with lots of added sugars, as well as eggs, grains, fatty meat, most forms of caffeine, artificial preservatives, and food coloring. You can look through this chart to see the pH levels for a variety of foods.
The secret to eating an alkaline diet is simple: choose to eat foods rich in whole, fresh fruits and vegetables while staying away from animal products and heavily processed ingredients. Cutting out processed foods and turning towards natural options instead provides a tremendous advantage for your health, and it’s sure to keep your body balanced.
Not sure how to start preparing alkaline meals? Check out The Essential Alkaline Diet Cookbook, which is full of recipes to keep you satisfied and help you get started.
If you’re ready to take your health more seriously, make a commitment to live an alkaline diet today! You’ll be amazed how much better you feel.