Alkalinity And Diet
There is a lot of buzz around the Alkaline Diet these days and people have started to recognize its beneficial effects to the body, including more energy and reduced risks for chronic diseases like diabetes. The alkaline diet is anchored on the idea that through eating more fruits and vegetables, consuming meat in moderation, avoiding excessive alcohol intake, opting for healthy fats, steering clear from sugar and salt-laden processed foods, and keeping the body well hydrated, a person will be able to maintain pH levels in their body that is slightly alkaline which promotes optimum health and wellness.
Alkalinity is not a new concept. In 1912, Nobel Peace Prize winner for Physiology of Medicine Dr. Alexis Carrel was quoted saying “The human cell is immortal, as long as we maintain the alkaline fluids that it is bathed in.”In 1933, Dr. William Howard Hay, a proponent of food combining said “Now we depart from health in just the proportion to which we have allowed our alkalis to be dissipated by introduction of acid-forming food in too great amount... It may seem strange to say that all disease is the same thing, no matter what its myriad modes of expression, but it is verily so.”
Dr. Arthur Guyton, author of the Textbook of Medical Physiology has also said that “The first step to maintaining health is to alkalize the body. The cells of a healthy body are alkaline while the cells of a diseased body are acidic. Since our bodies do not manufacture alkalinity, we must supply the alkalinity from an outside source to keep us from being acidic and dying.”
Today, one of the most famous proponents of the Alkaline Diet, Dr. Robert O. Young has explained in his internationally renowned book, The pH Miracle that “The first step to maintaining health is to alkalize the body. The cells of a healthy body are alkaline while the cells of a diseased body are acidic. Since our bodies do not manufacture alkalinity, we must supply the alkalinity from an outside source to keep us from being acidic and dying.
The alkaline diet classifies foods into two categories: acid forming and alkaline forming. Examples of acid forming foods include meat, chicken, fish, cheese, milk, bread, pasta, coffee, beer, wine, soda, and ice cream. Examples of alkaline forming foods include broccoli, kale, chard, cabbage, wheatgrass, and barley grass.
The typical diet of individuals living in industrialized nations is largely composed of highly acidic food like processed meats and sugar-laden food. When people eat more acid-forming food than alkaline forming food, their pH levels are disrupted giving rise to complications like headaches and migraines , bladder conditions, kidney stones, immune deficiency, lack of energy and fatigue, acne, dry skin, hyperactivity, dizziness, panic attacks, joint pain, depressive tendencies, cardiovascular damage, food allergies, chemical sensitivities, hair loss, weak nails, slow digestion and elimination, yeast or fungal overgrowth, hormonal problems, premature aging, loose and painful teeth, excess stomach acid, as well as lack of drive, joy, and enthusiasm. Yuck!
While it is true that the body has a natural mechanism to maintain a slightly alkaline state and works overtime to keep it that way, advocates of the alkaline diet argue that a person’s diet can directly affect the way the body regulates its pH levels. Because of this, it is important to help the body maintain this alkaline state. This can be done through maintaining a diet of 70 to 80 percent alkaline forming food and 20 to 30 percent acid forming food.
According to SevenPoint2®’s William Sickert, BSc. JD, CNC, “Your health is best served by a good mix of nutrient-dense, alkaline and acid-forming foods; ideally, you want to eat more alkaline-forming foods than acid-forming foods to have the net acid and alkaline-forming effects of your diet match the slightly alkaline pH of your blood.”
He further explains that “If you're eating mainly grains, flour products, animal foods, and washing these foods down with coffee, soda, and milk, you will almost certainly improve your health by replacing some of your food and beverage choices with fresh vegetables and fruits.”
Of course apart from eating healthy food that leaves traces of alkali in the body, taking the right supplements also doesn’t hurt.