The Alkaline Diet: The Secret to Fighting Chronic Disease?


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There are many different types of diets available—some good, some bad—but an alkaline diet based primarily on plants may be the best for promoting longevity and warding off disease. Don’t just believe what I say. According to a review from 2012 that appeared in the Journal of Environmental Health, eating an alkaline diet can help achieve pH balance and lower the risk of developing a variety of chronic diseases and conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, vitamin D deficiency, and low bone density.

How effective are alkaline diets?

A more alkaline urine pH level is produced by diets high in highly alkaline foods, such as fresh produce, fruits, and unprocessed plant-based sources of protein, according to research. This urine pH level helps to protect healthy cells and balance essential mineral levels. Given that hormone levels can be affected, this may be particularly crucial for women who practice intermittent fasting or follow the ketogenic diet.

Diets high in alkaline ash, also known as alkaline diets, have been shown to:

  • prevent blood vessel plaque formation
  • prevent kidney stones by preventing calcium from accumulating in the urine
  • strengthen your bones
  • decrease muscle wasting or spasms, and so on.

What Exactly Is An Alkaline Diet?

alkaline diet

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An alkaline diet is one that is designed to help balance the pH of your body’s fluids, such as blood and urine.

This diet is known by several names, including:

  • the diet of alkaline ash
  • pH diet alkaline acid diet acid ash diet
  • The alkaline diet of Dr. Sebi (Dr. Sebi was an herbalist who created a plant-based version of the diet).
  • The mineral density of the foods you eat contributes to your pH. All living organisms and life forms on Earth rely on maintaining proper pH levels, and it is commonly stated that disease and disorder cannot take root in a body with a balanced pH.

The principles of the acid ash hypothesis contribute to the alkaline diet’s tenets. “The acid-ash hypothesis posits that protein and grain foods, with a low potassium intake, produce a diet acid load, net acid excretion (NAE), increased urine calcium, and release of calcium from the skeleton, leading to osteoporosis,” according to research published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

The alkaline diet aims to prevent this by carefully considering food pH levels in an attempt to limit dietary acid intake. Although some experts may disagree, nearly all agree that human life necessitates a very tightly controlled blood pH level of around 7.365-7.4. According to Forbes Magazine, “our bodies go to extraordinary lengths to maintain safe pH levels.”

Your pH can range from 7.35 to 7.45 depending on the time of day, your diet, what you recently ate, and when you last used the restroom. If you have electrolyte imbalances and eat too many acidic foods — also known as acid ash foods — your body’s changing pH level can lead to increased “acidosis.”

How Do You Define “pH Level”?

The acronym pH stands for the potential of hydrogen. It serves as a gauge for the tissues and bodily fluids’ acidity or alkalinity. It is rated between 0 and 14 on a scale. The pH of a solution decreases with increasing acidity. The number increases with increasing alkaline levels. Although a pH of 7 is generally regarded as neutral, since the ideal pH of the human body is thought to be 7.4, we believe that a pH of slightly alkaline is the healthiest.

The stomach is the area of the body with the highest levels of acidity. Significant issues can arise from even the smallest pH level changes in different organisms. For instance, the pH of the ocean has decreased from 8.2 to 8.1 as a result of environmental issues, such as rising CO2 deposition, and many ocean life forms have suffered greatly. The pH level is also essential for plant growth, which has a significant impact on the mineral content of the foods we eat. Minerals serve as buffers to maintain ideal pH levels in the ocean, soil, and human body, so when acidity increases, minerals decrease.

How the Alkaline Diet Functions

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In addition to providing background information on acid/alkalinity in the human diet, the following highlights the advantages of an alkaline diet:

According to researchers, “there have been considerable changes from hunter-gatherer civilizations to the present” in terms of the total acid load of the human diet. Since the agricultural revolution and subsequent mass industrialization of our food supply over the past 200 years, the potassium, magnesium, and chloride content of the food we eat has significantly decreased while sodium intake has increased.

Our electrolyte levels are typically maintained by the kidneys (those of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium). These electrolytes are used to neutralize acidity when we are exposed to excessively acidic substances.

According to the earlier mentioned Journal of Environmental Health review, the proportion of potassium to sodium in the diets of most people has changed significantly. Previously, potassium outnumbered sodium 10:1, but now the ratio is only 1:3. The average amount of sodium and potassium consumed by people following the “Standard American Diet” is now three times higher! This significantly contributes to our bodies’ alkaline environment.

Today, a lot of kids and adults eat a lot of sodium and very little magnesium, potassium, antioxidants, fiber, and essential vitamins. In addition, the typical Western diet is high in sodium, chloride, simple sugars, and refined fats.

There has been an increase in “metabolic acidosis” as a result of all these dietary changes for humans. In other words, many people’s bodies no longer have optimal pH levels. In addition, many people experience issues like low nutrient intake and deficiencies in potassium and magnesium.

Benefits of the Alkaline Diet

alkaline diet

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Why is it healthy to eat an alkaline diet? Important nutrients are present in alkaline foods, which slow down the accelerated signs of aging as well as the gradual loss of organ and cellular function.

The benefits of an alkaline diet may include reducing bone loss and tissue deterioration, which can occur when an excessively acidic environment depletes our bodies of essential minerals, as will be covered in more detail below.

1. Preserves muscle mass and bone density
The growth and upkeep of bone structures are significantly influenced by the number of minerals you consume. According to research, a person may be better protected against developing sarcopenia, or weakened bones and muscle as she ages, if she consumes more alkalizing fruits and vegetables.

By balancing the ratio of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, that are crucial for constructing bones and maintaining lean muscle mass, an alkaline diet can support bone health. In addition to providing additional bone protection, the diet may also aid in producing growth hormones and increasing vitamin D absorption, which can lessen the effects of numerous chronic diseases.

2. Reduces Hypertension and Stroke Risk
An alkaline diet has several anti-aging benefits, including a reduction in inflammation and an increase in the production of growth hormones. It has been demonstrated that doing so enhances cardiovascular health and provides defense against widespread issues like high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), kidney stones, stroke, and even memory loss.

3. Reduces Inflammation and Chronic Pain

An alkaline diet has been linked in studies to lower levels of chronic pain. Back pain, headaches, muscle spasms, menstrual symptoms, inflammation, and joint pain have all been linked to chronic acidosis. In one study, the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements in Germany discovered that giving chronic back pain sufferers an alkaline supplement daily for four weeks resulted in significant pain reductions in 76 out of 82 patients as determined by the “Arhus low back pain rating scale.”

4. Improves Magnesium Absorption and Boosts Vitamin Absorption
Numerous enzyme systems and bodily processes require more magnesium to function properly. Magnesium deficiency is common, and as a result, many people experience heart problems, muscle pains, headaches, sleep troubles, and anxiety. Additionally necessary for the activation of vitamin D and preventing vitamin D deficiency, which is crucial for proper immune and endocrine function, is readily available magnesium.

5. Strengthens Immune System and May Protect Against Cancer
The entire body suffers when cells don’t have enough minerals to properly eliminate waste or fully oxygenate the body. Mineral loss impairs the body’s ability to absorb vitamins, and pathogens and toxins build up inside the body, lowering defense mechanisms. Can a diet high in alkaline help ward off cancer?

Although the subject is debatable and unproven, research published in the British Journal of Radiology found evidence that alkaline bodies were more likely to experience cancerous cell death (apoptosis). Because of changes in electric charges and the release of basic protein building blocks, it is thought that an alkaline shift in pH is related to the prevention of cancer. Alkalinity has been shown to be more advantageous for some chemotherapeutic agents that need a higher pH to function properly, and it can also help reduce inflammation and the risk of diseases like cancer.

6. Can Aid You in Retaining a Healthy Weight
Although the diet isn’t just meant to help you lose weight, it can help prevent obesity if you stick to an alkaline diet meal plan. The ability of the diet to lower leptin levels and inflammation may make it simpler to lose weight by limiting the consumption of acid-forming foods and increasing the consumption of alkaline-forming foods. Both your hunger and your capacity to burn fat are impacted by this.

An alkaline diet allows your body to achieve normal leptin levels and feel satisfied after consuming the number of calories you actually need because alkaline-forming foods are anti-inflammatory. A keto-alkaline diet, which is high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates, is one of the best strategies to try if losing weight is one of your main goals.

Alkaline Foods to Eat

A high-alkaline diet is primarily plant-based, but you don’t have to be a strict vegetarian to follow it. The following foods should be highlighted the most:

Fresh fruits and vegetables: The most effective alkalinity promoters are fresh produce and fruits. Which options are the best; are bananas an example of an alkaline food? Broccoli, what about it? Mushrooms, citrus, dates, raisins, spinach, grapefruit, tomatoes, avocado, summer black radish, alfalfa grass, barley grass, cucumber, kale, jicama, wheatgrass, broccoli, oregano, garlic, ginger, red beet, watermelon, figs, and ripe bananas are some of the best choices.

All raw foods: Whenever possible, try to eat a sizable portion of your produce raw. Fruits and vegetables that have not been cooked are considered biogenic or “life-giving.” Alkalizing minerals are depleted during cooking. Try juicing or lightly steaming fruits and vegetables, and up your raw food intake.
Plant proteins: Almonds, navy beans, lima beans, and the majority of other beans are all good sources of plant protein.
Alkaline liquid.
Green beverages: Drinks made with powdered green vegetables and grasses are a great source of alkaline-forming nutrients and chlorophyll. Because of its structural similarity to our own blood, chlorophyll aids in alkalinizing the blood.
Sprouts, wheatgrass, Kamut, fermented soy products like tempeh and natto, as well as seeds, are additional alkaline-friendly foods.

How do you maintain an alkaline body?

The following are important pointers for eating an alkaline diet:

1. Purchase natural alkaline foods
Given that fruits and vegetables grown in organic, mineral-rich soil tend to be more alkalizing, experts believe that learning about the type of soil your produce was grown in is an important factor to take into account when following an alkaline diet. Not all “alkaline foods” are created equal, according to research, which indicates that the type of soil that plants are grown in has a significant impact on the vitamins and minerals they contain.

The best soil pH range for essential nutrient availability in plants is between 6 and 7. Reduced calcium and magnesium may be present in acidic soils below a pH of 6, and chemically unavailable iron, manganese, copper, and zinc may be present in acidic soils above a pH of 7. The healthiest soil is typically that which is well-rotated, organically sustained, and exposed to animals such as grazing cattle.

2. Consume a lot fewer acidic foods and much more alkaline ones.

3. Consume alkaline water.

The pH range of alkaline water is 9 to 11. You can drink distilled water just fine. Even though reverse osmosis-filtered water has a slight acidic taste, it is still much preferable to bottled or tap water. Your water’s alkalinity can be increased by adding pH drops, lemon, lime, or baking soda.

4. You can check your pH level.
Before putting the following advice into practice, if you’re curious about your pH level, you can test it by purchasing strips from your neighborhood health food store or pharmacy. With saliva or urine, you can determine your pH.

The best results will come from the second urinal you use in the morning. You contrast the hues on your test strip with the chart provided in the kit. The best times of the day to test your pH are an hour before and two hours after meals. You should aim to maintain a reading between 6.8 and 7.2 if you test your saliva.

Key Takeaways

  1. An alkaline diet is what? It is primarily a plant-based diet made up of whole foods that improve the pH of the blood and urine.
  2. Better heart health, stronger bones, reduced pain, assistance with weight loss, and the reversal of nutrient deficiencies are just a few of the health advantages of an alkaline diet.
  3. Numerous whole fruits and vegetables, raw foods, green juices, beans, and nuts are all part of an alkaline diet.
  4. High-sodium foods, processed grains, excessive amounts of meat and animal protein, added sugars, and conventional milk are examples of foods that should be avoided on an alkaline diet because they are acidic.