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Alkalinizing for Health


I am thinking about doing an alkaline diet.  Is this a healthy diet to follow? What are the benefits of an alkaline diet?

Many clients ask me about what they can do to alkalinize their bodies and are curious about an alkaline diet. No doubt a more alkaline diet promotes health and I encourage my clients to emphasize alkaline foods in the diet.  However, this does not mean that all acidic foods are bad. Many healthy foods needed for a balanced diet are acidic – this includes fish and beans. The idea is to not overdo acidic foods such as meat, sugar and refined grains and include lots of the most alkaline foods such as vegetables and fruits for balance.

What is the Problem With an Acidic Diet?

When the cells of the body become acidic, their function is compromised and this can lead to fatigue, susceptibility to illness and body pain. Excess acid in the body may be the result of eating too much fat, protein and simple sugars as the digestive metabolites of these foods break down into acid compounds. 

These excess acids in the body can deplete your minerals, as minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium attach to the acid compounds so they can be excreted by the body through the urine. Losing minerals and build up of acid overtime can lead to decreased function of your cells and tissues.

The body works very hard to maintain a neutral pH of about 7.4. Even slight decreases in the pH to a more acidic level can make a difference. The end result is your cells don’t work quite as well, meaning your organs do not work quite as well. To compensate the body works harder to maintain equilibrium, meaning there is  less energy to handle stress and fight illness.

Tips for Eating a More Alkaline Diet:

While there is more to being healthy than having a perfectly alkaline body, focusing on putting things into your body that alkalinize is a key step for achieving better health. It’s totally fine to eat some acidic foods, many of the nutritious foods that are needed for a balanced diet are actually acidic or slightly acidic, i.e. nuts, beans, and some fruits and vegetables. The key is balance, pair more acid containing foods such as meat and poultry with a plate full of alkaline vegetables, green things and good oils (olive, coconut, flax, nuts, seeds). We need to ingest both acid and alkaline foods for balance in the body. The problem is that most of us eat far too many acidic foods – refined grains, sugar, cheese, ice cream, meat etc.

  • Alkaline forming foods: Fruit (most), Vegetables (most), Lentils, Spices/Herbs, Nuts and Seeds
  • Acid forming foods: Meat, Fish, Poultry, Eggs, Grains, Legumes
  • Click here for the Acid/Alkaline food chart by Russell Jaffe, MD

Boost your Alkalinity:

Add lemon to water (although lemon is acidic, it produces alkaline metabolites in the body), take a greens supplement containing vegetables, chlorella and/or spirulina. Add a mineral supplement to your supplement regime. Minerals help balance acids in the body and are often depleted in acidic environments.

How do I know if I am Acidic or Alkaline?

The urine can be measured using a pH strip to determine the acidity/alkalinity of the body.  The number 7.0 is neutral. So the lower your number is below 7.0 the more acidic you are. Numbers above 7.0 indicate the urine is on the alkaline side. Ideally, the first morning urine should be between 6.5 and 7.5.  The urine can be tested using pH strips available at most health food and pharmacies. Test the urine first thing in the morning.

 

Dr. Joanne Aponte is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor & Holistic Wellness Expert. She is available in the store every Tuesday & Thursday from 12-7 to help answer your questions regarding natural wellness.

Disclaimer: The information contained in the GHM Wellness Blog is intended for educational purposes only. The information is not intended to be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any medical condition. Always consult with your personal physician or other qualified health care provider before making any changes to your health care

 

 


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