- slide 1 of 4
When to Balance with Alkalizing Foods
The human body is able to thrive when it is in a state of balance. Balanced body chemistry is one aspect of this optimal health. Ideally, the body has a pH ranging from 6.0 to 6.8, although anything below 6.3 is considered acidic. When the body is too acidic then certain symptoms may appear, such as insomnia, water retention, arthritis, strong perspiration, bad breath, frequent headaches, skin problems, and constipation alternating with diarrhea.
There are many factors that can contribute to an overly acidic state, also known as acidosis. A poor diet that is rich in acid-forming foods can contribute to a low body pH, as well as mental stress, and poor kidney and liver function. The typical western diet, rich in white flour products, soft drinks, meat, and dairy products can create an acidic body pH. Simply eating plenty of alkaline-forming foods and minimizing acid-forming foods can improve well-being and increase the body's resistance to disease. Going on an alkaline diet meal plan is a way to help restore a balanced body chemistry, which in turn allows the body to thrive. Related symptoms will diminish, and immune health will improve.
- slide 2 of 4
What Is Included in an Alkaline Diet?
Following an alkaline diet includes the consumption of mostly alkalizing foods — about 75 percent of the diet should consist of alkaline-forming foods. It is very similar to a macrobiotic diet, which is an intensive diet plan designed to help the body resist disease. Many whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables are alkaline. Focusing on raw foods such as sprouts, raw nuts and seeds, and uncooked fruits and vegetables is an important aspect of eating alkaline. Meat, dairy, legumes, and some fruit and vegetables, especially when cooked, are acid-forming. The following are some of the best alkaline forming foods:
- Umeboshi plums
- Green leafy vegetables
- Citrus fruits
- Brown rice
- Miso soup
- Brazil nuts
- Lima beans
- Sea greens
Drinking cranberry juice, tomato juice, green tea, twig tea, herbal teas, and plenty of clean water is also part of the diet plan. Eggs, soy products, yogurt, chicken breast, nuts, and seeds are the best protein sources.
Oils and butter, meats, milk, some grains (buckwheat, rye, wheat, oats), soda, coffee, tea, sugary foods, and shellfish are mostly acid-forming foods. They should make up about 25 percent of the diet when following a strict alkaline plan.
Focusing on mostly alkalizing foods is only necessary for two or three weeks. It is possible to test your own body's pH to make sure you have a balanced body chemistry. Simply purchase litmus paper strips from your local drug store, and before eating test your saliva with the paper and determine your pH.
- slide 3 of 4
While eating an alkaline diet is a way to restore balance and improve well-being, it is important to focus on eating a well-balanced diet. There are many beneficial foods that are considered acid-forming; must they be avoided to eat a healthy diet? Going overboard with alkaline-forming foods is not necessarily the key to well-being. Examining your own individual needs and finding what balance means to you is important.
Consider the benefits of the alkaline diet meal plan, and decide how to tailor it to fit your needs. Try it for a short period of time and then continue with a healthy diet that includes healthy alkaline and acid-forming foods. Consider eliminating unhealthy acid-forming foods, such as soda, refined products, and excess red meat. As with any diet plan, it is necessary to make sure you are making an extra effort to continue consuming enough protein, fat, and nutrients. There is no reason to sacrifice one form of balance for another.
- slide 4 of 4
The Wolfe Clinic <http://www.thewolfeclinic.com/acidalkfoods.html>
Balch, Phyllis A. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition" (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
photo by Christopher
photo by Nikita Kravchuk