The Alkaline Diet: The Secret To Being Healthy

Priya Chaudhari

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The Alkaline Diet: The Secret To Being Healthy

The alkaline diet is also called the alkaline ash diet or acid-alkaline diet. It helps define the acidity or alkalinity of the body. Your dietary intake can also explain it.

When you eat food, a chemical reaction causes food to be converted into energy derived from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Your metabolism is responsible for this breaking down on food, which leaves behind an ash residue, also called metabolic waste. These leftovers of food or the ash so produced can either be acidic or alkaline, which usually builds up slowly and gradually.

According to the acid-ash theory, acidic ash, which includes protein, phosphate, and sulfur residue, is thought to make you vulnerable to illness and disease. On the other hand, alkaline residue consumption making foods like calcium, magnesium, and potassium is considered to improve health.

Although this diet has shown positive results, it is still undergoing research. Consult your doctor before following this diet blindly.

Understanding Your Body’s pH

When understanding the alkaline diet, it’s crucial to understand the pH scale, a scale of acidity from 0 to 14. It defines if the substance is acidic or alkaline. Acidic solutions have lower pH, whereas alkaline solutions and foods have a higher pH.

  • Acidic: 0.0–6.9
  • Neutral: 7.0
  • Alkaline (or basic): 7.1–14.0

It’s important to note that pH levels vary throughout your body; some are acidic, others are alkaline. No set level has to be maintained throughout the body.

Your blood is slightly alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45, and the stomach has a very acidic pH of 3.5 or below to break down food efficiently. The pH of your urine changes according to the diet you consume.

During certain diseases such as ketoacidosis caused by diabetes, starvation, or alcohol intake, your blood pH falls out of the normal range, and it can be fatal if left untreated. In this case, it may not be because of your diet. Disease happens, and every organ in your body is affected in acidic environments, and that is why you need to balance to keep your body alkaline.

Signs When Your Body Is Too Acidic

  • Feeling fatigued
  • Headaches
  • Bloating, flatulence, indigestion
  • Stress-induced acidity
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Body pain 
  • Itching/Rashes
  • Irritability

Benefits Of The Alkaline Diet

1. Healthy Weight Loss

The Alkaline Diet Promotes Healthy Weight Loss
Source: Women’s Health

Foods in the alkaline diet help build up alkalinity in your body, such as avoiding sugar, alcohol, and processed foods and eating lots of whole pulses, vegetables, and fruits. Sugary and processed foods are responsible for unnecessary weight gain. Adequate intake of water supports healthy weight loss. Maintaining ideal body weight is also an essential aspect in preventing and treating diabetes and osteoarthritis.

2. Supports Good Heart Health

The Alkaline Diet Supports Good Heart Health
Source: The Today Show

Following the alkaline diet means choosing natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables, but not high calorie, high fat, and processed foods rich in sodium. It is excellent news for heart health because following such a diet can be a healthy step towards keeping your heart healthy. These steps help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which are significant risk factors for future heart diseases.

3. Helps Control Acidity

The Alkaline Diet Helps Control Acidity
Source: NBC News

Acid-producing foods shift our pH balance for only a little while. Still, if you keep shifting your pH over and over again by eating acid-producing foods regularly, it can cause long-lasting acidity. Eating a regular alkaline diet helps to get relief from that.

4. Helps Prevent Kidney Stones

There is evidence that a diet rich in acid-producing foods like animal protein (meat, cheese, and bread) can lead to kidney stones, whereas the alkaline diet could prevent it.

5. Preserves Muscle Mass

The Alkaline Diet Preserves Muscle Mass
Source: Runnerclick

A study in Osteoporosis International in 2013 showed “small but significant” association between the alkaline diet and maintenance of muscle mass. Wasting of muscles can be reduced with an alkaline diet and beneficial for back pain as well. By increasing fruits and vegetables, we can improve the sodium-potassium ratio – which is useful for bone health and reduces muscle wasting.

6. Helps Treat Chronic Kidney Disease

The Alkaline Diet Helps Treat Chronic Kidney Disease
Source: Food Matters

A higher dietary acid-producing food intake increases metabolic acidosis and the load on kidneys and increases the risk of kidney disease progression. High magnesium and vegetable proteins help give protection to kidney disease. And these vital nutrients are provided by the alkaline diet.

Foods Included In The Alkaline Diet

Foods Included In The Alkaline Diet
Source: Cooking Light

Eating specific foods that make your body more alkaline can improve overall health by maintaining the pH level. The first table includes the food in the alkaline diet.

Alkaline Foods
Fresh Fruits and vegetablesGreen vegetables, green smoothies, wheat grass, aloe vera are highly alkaline and chlorophyll containing foods which is beneficial in preventing many health conditions.
IncludeBroccoli, oregano, garlic, ginger,
dates, raisins, nuts, seeds, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, beans, cabbage, celery, red beet, watermelon, figs, ripe bananas, mushrooms, cucumber, kale, etc.
Raw foodsIncrease your intake of raw foods, juicing or lightly steaming fruits and vegetables.
Cooking foods can deplete alkalizing minerals.
Plant source proteinsLegumes, nuts
Alkaline waterAdding baking soda, lemon to your water can also boost its alkalinity. 
Foods Causing Acidic pH
Non-veg foodsMeat, fish, eggs, beef, chicken, cold cuts, shellfish and pork, processed meats can contribute to sulfuric acid buildup.
Processed milk productsCheese, paneer
Processed grains and refined cerealsCornflakes, Museli
Processed and packaged food with high sodium, added sugars, added preservatives, added artificial colors and flavoring agentsReady soups, ready gravies, packed noodles, pasta, bakery items, ketchup, soy sauce, etc.
All aerated and caffeinated drinks and alcoholEnergy drinks, soft drinks, canned juices, alcohol, coffee
Pesticides and herbicidesConsuming vegetables and fruits without thorough cleaning
Excess hormones from foodsChicken, milk

Lifestyle Changes

Consider these few lifestyle changes while following the alkaline diet.

  • Consume real, natural foods.
  • Drink sufficient water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Do regular exercise. Avoid overdoing.
  • Be active. Avoid long hours sitting in one place.
  • Avoid being stressed. Stay positive and happy, laugh.
  • Avoid overuse of antibiotics/other medications.
  • Limit your screen time – computers, cell phones, TV, etc.
  • Avoid excessive use of plastic – use metal/ glass containers and bottles.
  • Have adequate and quality sleep at the right time.
  • Avoid overeating—practice portion control.
  • Limit the use of beauty products.
  • Avoid smoking, tobacco, and alcohol.

Read Also: 6 Effective Tips To Start Clean Eating In Life

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