The alkaline diet
The alkaline diet (acid alkaline diet) is based on the idea that all the foods that we eat, after being digested, absorbed, and metabolized, release either an acid or an alkaline base into blood. Since our blood is slightly alkaline, with a normal pH level between 7.35 and 7.45, what we eat should reflect this pH level and be slightly alkaline, too. If the diet is an acid-producing diet, several chronic diseases might appear. To restore health, the eating plan should include 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods.
The proponents of the alkaline diet recommend this type of diet when a person has the following symptoms: lack of energy; nasal congestion; frequent colds and flu; anxiety, nervousness, irritability; ovarian cysts, polycystic ovaries, benign breast cysts; headache.
The alkaline diet plan includes fresh vegetables, some fresh fruits, soy products, some nuts, and grains. Almost all fresh raw vegetables fall under the alkaline category. They are a rich source of nutrients, providing vitamins, minerals, fiber, enzymes, chlorophyll, phytonutrients and alkaline salts. At least 40% of the vegetables should be eaten uncooked. Increasing this intake to 70 ‐ 80% is optimal. The top ten super foods that can combat acidity and restore the pH balance are: lemon, avocado, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower), seaweed, pumpkin seeds, sea salt, soy (tofu), kale, garlic, mineral water.
The forbidden foods are the acid producing foods, which include meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, processed foods, white sugar, white flour, and caffeine. The worst foods are: fat red meat, processed or prepackaged foods, fried food, soda, beer.
During the alkaline diet, dieters should drink 2-3 liters of water per day.
The alkaline diet is more like a lifestyle diet than a temporary regime. Changing the eating style to alkaline can be difficult; the transition might get easier if the changes are implemented slowly. It is recommended to replace 2 or 3 foods per week, beginning with white sugar which can be replaced with natural sweetener such as stevia or agave nectar. The final goal is to reduce consumption of acid forming foods.
Alkaline diet: PROs
- Alkaline diet can encourage weight loss. Removing excess acids from your body, you are also removing fat cells, thus it results in weight loss.
- It is high in antioxidants, which keep you younger.
- When the pH balance is restored, the immune system is much stronger.
- The alkaline diet may help prevent the formation of calcium kidney stones, osteoporosis.
- It slows down bone loss and age-related muscle waste.
- It increases the growth hormone levels.
- Some studies have shown that the alkaline diets, like any other vegetarian diets, have lower rates of cancer, particularly colon cancer.
Alkaline diet: CONs
- It is very restrictive. The diet plan presents a long list of foods that should not be eaten.
- Many nutritionists believe that even if the alkaline diet is a healthy one because it assumes eating mostly vegetables, the human body regulates the pH of the blood to 7,35 – 7,45, no matter how we eat.
- The diet it is not recommended for people with acute or chronic kidney or with pre-existing heart disease. Patients with diabetes must carefully monitor their blood sugar levels when following the diet, otherwise is possible to experience very low blood sugar after a meal.
- It requires elimination of many foods that are commonly regarded as healthy including some fruits.
Before trying any new diet, you should ask for your personal doctor advice.