Heard of the alkalising diet? It’s not really a diet… it’s a way of eating. It entails leaning towards foods that help to alkalise your body. I like to lean. As opposed to doing a violent about-face with my eating. Essentially, diseases – like cancer and AI – can’t exist in a fully alkalised system. The closer you can get to this utopic state, the better you’ll be. Simple.
I’ve done this before, when I was 21. I had Grave’s disease at the time. After three months of eating acid-free (nothing from a can, no deadly night shades – mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes – etc), I was healed. Seriously. I avoided radioactive iodine treatment, put on weight again and got on with my life.
This post has been updated:
Where does this sit with my eating today? And where does it fit with Paleo eating? As per my post last week, my take on Paleo eating is this: I eat a stack of vegetables – mostly greens – dairy in moderation, and eggs and meat in moderation as well. This still fits with an alkaline mentality, but is not strictly an alkaline diet. But I don’t stick to any diet, I choose my own way. The main thing I take from the alkaline diet is lots of vegetables, especially green ones, no sugar, no processed foods, no trans fats. Which is also Paleo in it’s thinking.
Why should we be alkalising our bodies?
Alkalizing or ‘balancing the pH of your body’ will provide your body with a level of nutrition that it can use to maintain optimal health.
it is vital for our survival to maintain a blood pH of 7.365
There are other varying pH levels within our body that also need to be maintained, but have greater fluctuation, like our urine. They reflect quite directly the food we consume. A poor diet is very taxing on your body as it has to constantly maintain homeostasis, which it undergoes at all times, struggling to obtain alkalizing nutrients from organs and bones thus depleting their necessary stores.
What does too much acid do to our bodies?
A prolonged acidic diet will eventually make small incremental changes to our blood, making it more acidic. Even the smallest variation in our blood = big problems. An overly acidic body provides a perfect breeding ground for bacteria & disease.
bacteria & disease, especially cancer cells, cannot thrive in an alkaline body
Immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis – which is an acid build up in the joints, an imbalance of the pH of the blood – can be relieved if not resolved.
How to eat alkaline – in a nutshell?
Enjoy lots of alkaline foods and minimize acidic ones.
80% alkaline, 20% acidic foods each day is ideal
unless you already suffer from disease, then one needs to super alkalize until you resolve the issue. Our bodies were designed to heal themselves, but can only do so when they are provided with wholesome nutrients that will nuture this process.
Is it more than just food?
Those of us who eat incredibly healthy may still lead very stressful lives, which constantly leaves our bodies in a fight or flight mode of stress. This hormonal response was designed for us to deal with sudden short occasions of stress as in our ancestors when they encountered dangerour situtations ie a bear or a tiger to tackle or run from. This fear also causes our bodies to secrete acidic fluids that then need to be balanced. Getting a handle on your stress will make a huge difference to your health.
Activities like yoga, meditation, long walks, pampering baths, quiet reading and healthy relationships is the other half of the battle in maintaining a healthy body for a life of longevity, free of disease
What are your top five tips for alkalising?
- Veggies, veggies and more veggies! Veggies are whole foods minus the extreme sugars that feed disease, and are packed with the nutrients from the soil- that are meant to be transferred to our bodies via our crops. Choose organic to be sure that you get the maximum nutrients possible, as organics pack 25% more nutrients than conventionally grown produce. Enjoy a proportion of 80% veggies either raw, lightly cooked, blended and juiced and be sure to focus on lots of green chlorphyll rich veggies that convert to greater amounts of energy!
- Low sugar fruits. Lemons, limes, grapefruit, avocados, and berries are the most ideal fruits to consume. Sugar feeds disease, so moderation is necessary to maintain health. Enjoy other fruits as an occasional treat to minimize your intake, and avoid fruit juice altogether unless freshly pressed in small quantities on occasion.
- Consume only 20% each day of acidic foods. This should represent only whole unprocessed foods including plant and organic animal protein, whole grains (preferrably sprouted), nuts, seeds, and some fruit.
- Water, water, alkaline water. By increasing your water intake each and every day you will increase all body functions that all require water in some way. If this water is pure and alkalized it will optimize these functions. Flushing toxins is vitally important and without water we can’t eliminate these properly and they become lodged and cause problems. Shoot for 3-4 litres a day, one upon waking, two between meals and one in the evening. Adding lemon will increase the alkalinity, as will a little pinch of Himalayan sea salt, if you don’t have the means to get an alkaline filter which will filter & increase the pH of your water.
- Reduce your stress and erase negative thoughts. I have to work at this daily to maintain a healthy state.
What are the biggest things we should avoid?
- Sugar. One of the most acidic things to the body is sugar. It’s a poison that kills. All sugars, even those from fruit, are recognized as sugar by the body and an excess causes disease.
- Dairy. It is highly mucous causing although it is slightly alkaline in nature. In the rare case that one could acquire raw dairy one might argue it’s benefits, but realistically we shouldn’t be drinking the milk of other animals that is meant to nuture the lives of their offspring as we don’t have the enzymes to break it down properly after about the age of 2. [please note, this is Julie’s opinion. I personally respond well to some dairy. I think it’s an individual thing – Sarah]
- Stimulants like coffee, alcohol, sodas, chocolate, sugar – these should be avoided altogether for those in a disease state and used only on occasion otherwise. It takes 32 glasses of alkaline water to balance 1 can of pop, and 8 glasses for one glass of wine, so imagine how difficult it is for our bodies to correct the imbalance when you have these.
- Processed foods. Since the introduction of processed foods in the 1950’s disease rates have been climbing steadily especially the top two fatal ones like cancer & heart disease. As tempting as they may be packaged foods are mostly poison – filled with non-food and chemicals. Do your best to only shop the outside of the grocery store and minimize your purchases of packages. Your cart should be mostly filled with veggies and whole foods. In a restaurant setting do your best to include a salad and/or veggies in your choices.
- Living in a constant state of unhappiness & stress. Only you can change your life and choosing not to improve your situation is a recipe for disease.
You mentioned lemon juice in water – isn’t lemon acidic?
Many folks misunderstand the way alkaline food affects our bodies. On the outside or our body a lemon is acidic, but once consumed it leaves an alkaline ash which supports body functions within. Adding lemon to your water, warm or room temperature is an excellent way to alkalize your body.
How can we test our system to see how alkaline we are? And what are we aiming for?
It’s quite simple. A stip of yellow litmus paper (availble at most health stores) will react with your urine and show on a scale the degree of alkalinity in your body fluid. Testing your saliva is not nearly as acurate.
average pH of around 7.0-8.0 is a good place to be. Even higher is ideal for reversing disease.
Testing your urine at varying times of the day will yield varying results. After a night of rest your body has been busy detoxing thus your first pee of the day will reflect a greater level of acidity. The second one, before ingesting food, only water, will give you a more acurate picture. Mid afternoon is a good time to measure especially after a balanced meal. Be sure to take your pH for a few days and chart it and take a look at the fluctuation to see how you are doing depending on your diet. This is an indication of how your body is correcting your pH depending on your diet.
Anything else you think we should know?
1. With an alkaline lifestyle there is no portion control or calorie counting. Just by consuming a diet with a high proportion of veggies and a small balance of acidic foods you will see pounds melt away as you nourish your body with the food it is crying for. Conversely you will gain a couple of pounds if you are under weight as the body adjusts to it’s normal healthy weight.
2. The reason cholesterol levels soar in the body is to repair the severe damage caused to the arteries by acidic blood, which scours your arterial walls like a harsh scrub with steel wool. By simply following an alkaline diet cholesterol levels have been known to drop with in days and weeks.
3. Most diseases and inflammation are caused by an acidic body. They can be reversed by alkalizing the body, and will not occur in an alkaline body. Any nasal drip in an alkaline body is a natural oriface for detoxing and is a sign that your body is highly efficient in eliminating any toxins you may be exposed to or may have ingested. This is not a cold, it is the natural detox process.
4. If you’re wanting to read some more, check out some of these articles:
- Dr. Robert O. Young, author of The pH Miracle has a site jammed with info.
- Ross over at Energize for Life has a number of blog posts that will help you.
And a few (more complex) scientific studies:
Help preserve bone and muscle mass- More evidence to Prove Alkaline lifestyle
Alkaline Minerals Prevent Cancer Growth
Diet, evolution & Aging
Alkaline Minerals Critical to Prevention of CVD
Sodium Bicarbonate Improves Swimming Performance
3 killer alkaline recipes
Kale caesar salad
- 1 very large bunch of curly Kale
- 1 cup sunflower seeds (save a few for a garnish if desired)
- 1/3 cup almond nuts, raw
- 1/8 tsp chipotle powder or to you liking – it’s spicy
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 1/4 filtered water
- 1 1/2 tsp agave syrup (substitute to rice malt syrup if you’re sugar free)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Wash and pat dry kale leaves, removing center membrane just up to where it thins out, tearing kale leaf into bite size pieces. Place in a very large bowl. Measure remaining ingredients into blender and combine until creamy and smooth. Pour half the mixture over the kale leaves. Using two spoons or your hands, toss kale to coat, adding remaining mixture and ensuring that leaves are coated in folds and curls,working the mixture thru the leaves really well. Allow to stand for 10 minutes to tenderize the kale leaves. Plate the greens and sprinkle with sunflower seeds if desired.
Fennel, jicama and macadamia salad
This is a super pretty salad. For the recipe, click here.
Coriander and avocado soup
A great cooling lunch. For the recipe, click here.
Have you tried alkalising? Did you notice a difference in your health?