Alkaline Foods

You’ve heard the talk and now you ask:  What are alkaline foods and do they really benefit the human body?  Is this something that you need to pay attention to for better health?  Will your children reap benefits if they eat more alkaline foods?

Yes, yes, and yes.  Here’s why.

In the average North American diet, many of us consume foods which are too acidic to effectively promote and maintain a healthy body.

The consequences of a highly acid diet are many. Obesity, rising health care demands, aching, sluggish bodies that just aren't performing to their optimum. In my belief, the greatest losses to our cultures are seen in the youngest and most senior populations. Children who are raised on fast food and half-prepared packaged convenience foods cannot possibly be consuming the amount of nutrients it takes to have a body grow big, strong, and healthy. No wonder there are so many issues with children's health. Let's also remember those diets are containing high amounts of salt, sugar, bad fats and other additives that cause health problems.

Seniors living on a lower income often end up in a similar predicament. With a restricted  income, often with not enough to purchase quality healthy food or  lack of knowledge of what is a healthy food, purchases may tend to be high on the end of quick and easy, less expensive choices, than on the highly nutritious foods they need. As their diet becomes more acid, physical health lessened and along with it the motivation that fuels the drive to do self care for oneself.

Perhaps the easiest way to discover the difference is by beginning to consume more alkaline foods while you begin to reduce your intake of the more acidic foods. You'll soon learn why it is stressed so frequently nowadays that it is important to  eat 5 - 10 fruits and vegetables a day.

But  let's start with what foods to avoid before we get into talking about what are alkaline foods.

Foods to Avoid :-(

Some examples of these acidic sources we consume are refined sugars, dairy products, and even some meat, such as, beef and pork.

There are several foods and beverages to avoid on an alkaline diet. The top five categories include:

•    processed sugar
•    meat
•    dairy products
•    coffee
•    soda

There are different side effects that result from a high-acid diet, such as, a diminished immune system and lethargy.  We see those results most notably after sweet-focused holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter.

A sugar high can feel good every once in a while when eating rocky road ice cream, but remember that unless you attempt to alkalize your body, you run the risk of a crash as a result.

Alkalizing the body is not difficult, but in order to understand the benefits of doing so, one must first understand the definition of alkaline foods, how they work with the body, and which foods in particular will counteract the effects of their acidic counterparts.

What Are Alkaline Foods? 

Alkaline is defined as that which has a pH greater than 7. Because the body functions best at a pH level of about 7.4, it is important to consume foods which will bring those levels up to an appropriate level.

This is especially crucial when consuming foods which are acidic and which will bring those levels lower than they should be for a healthy body.
 
Pure, distilled water sits at almost exactly 7 on the pH scale. Foods with a higher number are alkaline, while anything that is lower than 7 is considered acidic.

Benefits Of An Alkaline Diet :-)

As a general rule, foods can be classified as either acid-forming or alkaline forming.
 
The human body‘s pH is 7.35, or slightly alkaline. The body is always seeking a state of homeostasis (balance) and it works hard to maintain the healthy neutral alkaline zone.

Now, keep in mind that foods in in of themselves cannot change this zone in the body, but, the body does have to work extra hard to compensate for the intake of acid-forming foods that are ingested in excess.

This happens because when your diet is highly acidic the body has to leech calcium from the bones, as calcium is an alkalizing mineral. Over time this can lead to bone mineral loss, which, can result in osteoporosis.

Additionally, as a stressor it can lead to inflammation along with increased cortisol levels, and this can impact overall health in the long term.

Conversely, those foods that are alkaline forming are typically plant based and highly nutrient dense, and also loaded with antioxidants.

Including a variety of alkaline-forming foods in your diet allows the slowing of the leeching of calcium from your bones. This results in improved bone health.

These foods also support healthy cell regeneration and fight the effects of free-radicals on the body.

Since it is the pH level of blood which concerns us, putting additional acidic foods into our diets actually works against the human system. When more strain is put on the body to fight sickness and disease, it is no wonder a highly acidic diet might make one feel tired and lethargic.

Benefits Of Alkaline Forming Foods For Athletes And Exercise

There is more goods news and that is the major benefits that alkalizing foods have on athletes and for the human body during exercise in general.

A diet high in acid forming foods results in reduction of muscle efficiency, so more energy expenditure is needed for each and every muscle contraction. Now, during a race or intense activity, this means a lot of extra work for the body.

Since alkaline-forming foods greatly reduce inflammation, the muscles work at more functional levels, and they also require less force to move.

This allows endurance athletes, such as, those who run marathons and participate in triathlons to push harder for longer. For those who do strength training, and bodybuilders, alkalizing foods will allow you to lift heavier weights with less negative stress on the body.

How To Eat An Alkaline Diet

Increasing the alkaline intake does not have to be extraordinarily difficult  and one must not cut acidic foods entirely from his or her diet. It's not that they are all wrong; it's more the proportions of each that matter.

It is recommended that your diet consist of around 80% alkaline food sources while acidic foods make up the remaining 20%.

This contrasts the average diet in America, which often flips that ratio around. There are some changes in the diet which can be made quickly and easily in order to alter your pH level.

For example, you might switch from coffee to green tea in order to bring your blood’s pH level higher. Green tea is alkaline while coffee is acidic, so the substitution might make a drastic change especially if you consume coffee quite often.

This is a change which any Zen master will definitely approve of, and green tea contains many antioxidants as well.

What are Alkalizing Vegetables?

What are Alkaline foods

Alkaline foods in the vegetable category. The best choice in alkalizing varieties, are:

broccoli

celery

chard greens

collard greens

cucumber,

cauliflower

zucchini

mushrooms

carrots

beets

garlic

onions, leeks

turnips

just to name a few. These foods are alkaline and will not only help reduce stress on the body in fighting acid, but are also highly nutrient dense and plain good for you! 

Always eat your vegetables!

You can find a more complete list  at Mimi Kirk's website Young on Raw Food . You will be inspired by this lady!

What are Alkalizing Fruits?

How to choose alkaline fruits?  Some of the best fruits are also alkalizing ones, including,

melons

lemons, limes

oranges, grapefruit

peaches

apricots

bananas

pears

apples

pineapples

bananas

berries

cantaloupe,

olives and

grapes.

Dried fruit, such as, raisins, figs and dates

and more.

What are Alkalizing Grains?

Quinoa

Buckwheat

Millet.

You can find a more complete list  at Mimi Kirk's website Young on Raw Food . You will be inspired by this lady!

Alkaline Water Recipe

You can find a printable recipe for Alkaline Water over at Gwen's Nest.

This is an easy alkaline water recipe that adds a boost of minerals to your everyday drinking water.

Remember, you do not have to eliminate dairy products, rice, and all protein from animal sources in order to maintain a healthy pH level.

However, it might benefit you to substitute your refined sugars with stevia and healthy fruits and vegetables more often than not.

Doing that, along with drinking plenty of green tea, will increase pH levels and your chances of finding health-nirvana naturally and easily!

Alkaline Foods; Return To Homepage

What are alkaline foods?
Now you know what they are and why you might need to eat more of them. Enjoy eating these delicious foods and becoming healthier and more vibrant every day.
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