Go Green With the Alkaline Diet

Go Green With the Alkaline Diet

Many people are discovering the benefits of an alkaline diet and the importance of eating more green foods.

The principle of the alkaline diet is to increase the volume of alkaline food and drinks and to decrease the acid load on the body.

Eating alkaline doesn’t mean cutting out the things that you love, like that piece of chocolate cake. It means balancing what you eat with alkaline foods which are mainly fresh greens vegetables, water and fruit. So for example, if you have chocolate cake, which is acid forming, have a big green salad to balance it out.

The Acid Alkaline Balance

The food that we eat today is far removed from nature and is very acidic. Over-sugared, over-salted, processed, chemically enhanced food and beverages are extremely acidic, causing a condition called acidosis. Some of the most acidic foods and beverages include coffee, alcohol, carbonated soft drinks, artificially sweetened foods, red meat, deep fried food, white bread, cakes, biscuits and pastry. Any foods which are highly processed and devoid of nutrition are acid forming. Smoking is also highly acid forming.

Just as the human body temperature should be 37°C, the body also has an ideal acid/alkaline balance. The blood when tested should have a pH of 7.3, not too acid or alkaline. Testing urine is the next best thing to testing blood. Urine can be tested with pH strips available from chemists and health food stores.

Measuring the pH of your urine three times a day, over a one-week period, can help to determine if you have too much acid in your system. An ideal reading is 7.3.

Health Problems Linked to Excess Acidity

So what happens if your urine is acidic? A constant state of acidosis can cause the body to age prematurely and is a factor in many common health problems such as obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, gluten intolerance and high cholesterol.

For example, if the body is in a state of constant acidosis, the body draws down on the bones, which are a major reserve for alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The body uses these reserves to neutralise acids in the body and protect vital organs. This is one way that bones begin to thin and osteoporosis begins to develop.

Too much body fat may also be attributed to acidic foods. The body stores fat around vital organs to protect them from acidity. Once the body becomes more alkaline it is easier to lose fat.

Simple remedies to acidosis include cutting down on the amount of acidic foods eaten and substituting alkaline foods.

Alkaline foods include broccoli, lettuce, kale, cabbage, almonds, sweet potatoes, sprouts, cucumber, celery, dates and avocados. This list is by no means comprehensive but is a good starting point.

Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses per day. Add a few tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice to each glass of water that you drink and supplement your diet with fresh green juices and green drinks that are available in powdered form from chemists and health food stores.

Alkaline Diet Advocates

The alkaline diet is advocated by peak performance strategist Anthony Robbins, definitely renowned for his boundless energy and drive. Canadian elite triathlete Brendan Brazier also commends the benefits of alkalising in his book, The Thrive Diet(Penguin Canada).

Several excellent reference books about alkalinity are available including Christopher Vassey’s Acid Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health(Healing Arts); this book also includes healthy recipes based on alkaline principles. Other books include Dr. Susan Brown’s Acid Alkaline Food Guide (Square One Publishers) and The pH Miracle(Warner Books) by Shelley Redford Young.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition