An alkaline diet refers to a mindful eating behavior that consists of healthy food choices. It is aimed at eliminating acidic food and including alkaline food. The idea behind is to enhance your total well-being, improve your overall health and maintain the pH balance in your gut.
If you are wondering about the acidic and alkalic correlation and its effect on the body, our gastrointestinal system secretes gastric acids. This acid subsequently helps in breaking down the food and further supports the digestion process. The gut generally maintains a 2-3.5 level on the pH scale. This is highly acidic yet important for digestion. However, when we consume highly acidic food, this balance goes haywire and results in issues such as bloating, heartburn, acidity, GERD and other gut problems.
Why Are We Facing More Gastrointestinal Problems Now and How Alkaline Diet Can Help?
These problems have increased with mass globalization, and more and more people across the world experience gut issues regularly. One of the primary reasons for this is the change in people’s food habits. Street food, junk food, packaged and processed food including burgers, pizzas, fries, sausages, kebabs, carbonated beverages, donuts and many more are super easily accessible now and form an important part of our regular diet.
However, an alkaline diet is targeted towards changing your dietary habits, cutting down on highly acidic food and including alkaline food. I.E. food that is above 7 on the pH scale and thus make your body healthy and free of diseases. It includes food such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. These are not only highly alkaline and good for your stomach but are also packed with various nutrients, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that are essential for the healthy functioning and upkeep of the body.
Additionally, the alkaline diet is also beneficial for the immune system. A strong and good working immune system protects you from a lot of diseases, reduces or removes swelling and fights the foreign invaders that enter your body from creating any damage. With the ongoing global pandemic, it is even more essential to have a strong immune system so that your body can fight diseases effectively and you can recover quickly.
As the new year is around the corner, we are sharing the 5 best Alkaline Foods that you can include in your diet and with it start deriving benefits immediately. These will strengthen your immune system and provide you other essential nutrients which will ensure that you get optimum health and are ready to have some good times in the year coming ahead.
1. Green Leafy Vegetables
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Green and leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, kale, mustard greens, celery, parsley, arugula and lettuce amongst others are said to have an alkaline effect on the body. These are rich in various types of minerals, nutrients and vitamins such as Vitamin A, B, K, E and even folic acid. They also contain minerals such as iron, calcium and phosphorus that are essential for the proper functioning of various body organs and improving the health of the bones.
These vegetables also contain phytochemicals, the plant compounds that can even help in averting the risk of cancer. Additionally, regular consumption of these vegetables is found to have numerous health benefits and increase reduction of the risk of developing various diseases such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and depression.
These green leafy vegetables are also rich in beta carotene and Vitamin A. Both well known for their importance in strengthening our immune system. Vitamin A even helps in improving eyesight, especially in children while reducing the chances of cataracts in adults.
2. Citrus Fruits
The tangy and tasty citric fruits are mostly made up of water and form an important part of an alkaline diet plan. You can include citrus fruits such as lemon, pomelo, grapefruit, orange, lemon, mandarins, etc. in either your breakfast or in the evening when you feel hungry but do not want to eat heavy before dinner.
These fruits are loaded with essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals such as dietary fiber, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and folic acid that help in regulating blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels in your blood, reducing constipation, gut problems and improving bowel function. They are also renowned to be one of the richest sources of vitamin C which is essential for our immune system as it enables it to protect the cells and helps in healing wounds quickly.
Other benefits of citrus fruits as ascertained by studies include boosting heart health, fighting or protecting against cancer, reducing the risk of developing kidney stones and even protecting the brain through the flavonoids present in them. To add to it, these fruits also help in fulfilling your body’s water requirements and also aid in detoxifying it, thereby enabling it to function smoothly while making you feel energized throughout the day.
3. Root Vegetables
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Root vegetables form an important part of the Alkaline diet. Root vegetables such as turnips, sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsnips, radish, swedes, artichokes, carrots, celeriac, beetroot, onions, spring onions and many more have a variety of uses and a large number of benefits. Not only can you make some delicious dishes from these, but can also use them to add flavor to other dishes or eat them as snacks, stews and in a salad, bringing the ultimate combination of taste and health to your plate.
Various research and studies have confirmed the multiple benefits that these vegetables bring, including lowering the risk of diabetes by optimizing the blood glucose levels, strengthening your bones, moderating blood pressure and to an extent, even fighting cancer. Additionally, root vegetables are filled with antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties that help the immune system and prevent it from causing unnecessary inflammation to treat any problem in the body.
You can also find multiple vitamins such as vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin B6 that help to keep your bones and eyes healthy while regulating your blood pressure. These are also a good source of glucoraphanin, a plant chemical with a by-product that has anti-cancer properties. Besides these, they have plenty of gut-friendly fiber that is easier to digest, and makes it easier to pass stool. As we all know, a healthy gut provides a direct path to a healthy body.
4. Nuts and Seeds
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Nuts and seeds can be a great snack for an evening munch and they provide a lot of health benefits to the body. They are one of the best sources of good fat and have an alkaline effect on our digestive system. Nuts and seeds such as cashews, almonds, chestnuts, flaxseeds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamias, walnuts, hazelnuts, psyllium seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds provide us with the essential nutrients and safeguard us from various chronic diseases.
Although more research is required, there has been evidence that consuming these seeds and nuts regularly can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases while helping in regulating body weight. On top of it, these nuts and seeds contain high quantities of vitamins B1, B2, B3, and E besides minerals and nutrients such as iron, copper, selenium, phosphorus and potassium along with antioxidants, providing numerous necessary benefits to the body and the immune system.
They also are rich in dietary protein and dietary fiber, while having extremely low quantities of saturated fats and cholesterol levels. Due to this, you feel full by consuming even a small quantity, and these are thereby the best snack choices for the evening.
Seaweed refers to the sea vegetables that are a form of algae that grows in the sea. These vegetables are very versatile and you can use them to add taste and flavor to various dishes such as soups, stews, salads, supplements and even smoothies. Many people are not aware of this, but seaweed can be an essential part of an alkaline diet. It can be eaten along with other alkaline dishes or used to make the other alkaline dishes even more rich in flavor.
Seaweed comes with a lot of benefits such as supporting the thyroid function due to the presence of iodine and tyrosine, stopping excessive radical production, an underlying cause for various chronic diseases, through antioxidants, providing strength and support to the gut through excessive dietary fiber, and even helping in reducing and maintaining weight by delaying hunger and making you feel full for longer periods.
On top of these benefits, seaweed is loaded with minerals and vitamins such as proteins, fiber, manganese, copper, iron, folate, zinc, sodium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. These provide various benefits to the body and our immune system, making it strong and allowing it to function at its best.
Besides these recommended alkaline foods, you should also try and drink alkaline water instead of your regular water as part of your alkaline diet plan. Alkaline Water has a higher pH level, somewhere around 8 to 9 as compared to 7 of regular water, allowing it to restore the pH balance in your gut and protecting it from various issues and diseases such as acidity, heartburn, GERD amongst others. It also keeps your body cells hydrated for longer so you feel energized throughout the day.
If you want to have regular access and easier access to alkaline water without making much effort or spending big bucks, then you can try the DYLN Bottle. It comes with a VitaBead Diffuser that can convert regular water into alkaline water within minutes, and can last for months, saving you plenty of cash. The bottle comes in various colors and is easy to carry anywhere. This ensures that you drink alkaline water throughout the day.
An Alkaline diet might require time to get used to, and can be challenging to adapt as well. But not only does it require you to adopt natural food in your diet, but you also have to give up on poor eating and drinking habits such as giving up on processed, packaged and junk food or any poor habits such as smoking and drinking, which can be tough for many.However, if you are looking for a healthier life with a strong immune system to fight any disease in the upcoming year, then by having a strong will and a clear and focused mind, you can make the required changes. You can take a look at some of the best alkaline diet recipes or hacks to start an alkaline diet immediately or follow this 7-day alkaline diet plan that will help you provide all the benefits of an Alkaline diet without compromising with your taste buds. Once you get used to it, the transition will be much easier and you can look forward to a healthy and happy 2021.