All You Need To Know About Alkaline Foods
About Alkaline Foods
Is exercising really a measure of fitness or how healthy we are? Anyone can exercise, but it is not until we have the proper balance of nutrition added, are we going to attain longevity and utmost healthy within and outside our body. With all the new diet trends popping up daily; one is poised to ask what kind of foods you should indulge in to maintain a healthy pH level. As more research goes into food and their effect on the human body; we are gradually coming to the realization that some foods are better or worse for our bodies. However, with all the knowledge and facts, how do we stop indulging in foods that harm us with a busy and uninhibited lifestyle? And what exactly is healthy food and why is the pH so important or why is their reaction differently in the body? Well, with that said, one way to view healthy foods is to consider their alkalinity. What is that?
What is alkalinity?
In recent years, many celebrities have boasted about a new diet trend that is keeping them feeling healthier, full of energy, increased metabolism, and full of life. The diet is no other than the alkaline diet where they eat foods on the lower end of the pH spectrum. So what does this means?
Alkalinity is not something we see or can hold, but it is a state that the body attains when the pH level falls anywhere after the neutral mark which is seven. So when a food or substance is said to have an alkaline pH that means that the potential hydrogen level starts from 7.1 and above on the pH spectrum. For the body to function at its best, the pH level must remain within the alkaline range.
Why is pH important in the body?
Although the body has various means of balancing the pH level such exhaling carbon dioxide and urination; falling back into a bad diet with high acid level can affect this balance and create serious health problems for you. The human body has been shown to function better and effectively at an alkaline pH of between 7.34 and 7.45 at best. When the body becomes acidic or goes into acidosis – a state where the potential hydrogen levels fall below 7. At this stage, the body fights hard to maintain the alkalinity level via certain buffers such as neutralizing the acidity with calcium from the body, etc. Furthermore, the fat store envelops the body cells and vital organs from becoming too acidic.
Signs and Symptoms of Acidosis
When the acid level in the body is not balanced, the following is experienced by the victim such as a headache, sinus problems, weak immune system leading to ailments like cold and flu even in a good weather. Sometimes, the recurrence of an ailment has been linked to the high acidity of the body. Since the body views high acidity levels as an invasion; the toxic level rises, and in severe cases, such person suffers from skin infections such as eczema, acne, inflammation, cramp, and unusual body pains and tiredness. In fact, a study published in the European journal Diabetologia, shows in a study over 14 years and 66,000 women that those that fed on highly acidic foods had a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, heavy breathing, weight gained or developed underweight and heart-related issues and even metabolism problems compared to women who ate alkaline based foods.
We can reduce the acidity level by abstaining or reducing the amount of sugar and sugary foods we consume and artificial sweeteners, red meat, hard boiled eggs, sauces like ketchup and lots more. To help the body maintain its potential hydrogen levels, we should eat foods that will reduce the acidity levels, such as leafy green vegetables, organic whole grains, fruits, and nuts. All these foods are natural, more plant-based and when combined with the right exercise can be the start of your journey to a healthy and fit lifestyle forever.
The Symptoms of excess alkaline levels in the body
As with every great thing in life, too much alkaline level will cause the following:
Muscle twitching and spasms
Quickly irritated and a sense of frustration
Tingling sensation in your eyelids, fingers, toes and around the lips
Feeling nauseated and in some cases vomiting
Constant shaking of the hands or inability to steady yourself
Affect the good bacteria in the stomach lining
Calcium reduction in the body
The Potential Hydrogen (pH) and Nutrition
When we look closely at the pH spectrum and foods that fall under the alkaline category, you realize there mostly greens – vegetables and fruits. For any diet to be balanced; it has to contain carbohydrates, proteins, fats and oil, and vegetable with other micronutrients like salts that complete it. All these food have a different reaction in our digestive tract. However, it is not so much as what we eat that necessarily matters but how we eat it. In this case foods like chicken, eggs or grains like rice, maybe acidic, but when combined in the right balance will be healthier for the body than alkaline foods eaten alone.
Alkaline Rich Foods
Some alkaline foods include:
All green vegetables and even better when consumed raw
Leafy green like broccoli, kale, watercress, spinach, and lettuce
Legumes, sprouts, and mushrooms
Spices and herbs like garlic, onions, parsley, and ginger
Non-starchy foods like potatoes, beets, and sweet potatoes
All fruits like apples, berries, lemon, plums, melons, and grapes
Nuts and seeds like coconut, almonds, Chia seed, etc.
Whole grains like barley, amaranth, millet, lentils, etc.
Colorful vegetables like corn, peppers, and chilies
Beans of all varieties – peas, white bean, peas, etc.
How to increase the alkaline level in our body?
To maintain or increase a healthy alkaline level:
Exercise: when you exercise, the heart rate increases pumping blood through the body and, increasing circulation; inhalation of oxygen occurs, and the exhalation of carbon dioxide which is acidic to the body is removed. Aside from the above, exercise increases the amount of oxygen in the cells and muscles making you healthy and lean. You should try to participate in at least a 30-minute routine to really get you sweating like brisk walking, jogging, running, and weights or follow a workout at home or at the gym.
Drink lots of water: waking up to a glass of warm water with a dash of lemon will increase the alkalinity level of the body. Although, lemon is acidic, when it enters our body system, it acts the opposite of its nature. Water helps the kidney to remove the toxin from our system and also prevents kidney stone and aids purification.
Add and eat more vegetable to your diet: balance out each meal with lots of dark, leafy green vegetables to help in maintaining the alkalinity of the body.
Reduce acidic foods: cut off food like sugars and all its derivatives, alcohol, coffee, white flours from your diet and limit your intake of dairy, red meat, fish, eggs and high acidic foods like wines and fizzy drinks.
Add baking soda in water and consume it: You should feel the effect immediately after gulping it down. It also helps with heartburn, acid reflux, and constipation and balances the acid levels in the urine and blood.
Smoothie your day: although many people shy away from drinking smoothies due to the veggies in them, they are a healthy, natural, and the best way to alkalinize your body. These chlorophyll-rich foods increase natural nutrient for the body and increase bone mass.
Reduce stress level: it might be hard to achieve a stress-free life with our busy lifestyle, but a high level of stress leads to secretion of cortisol which affects your mental clarity and cognitive ability. To manage your stress level; sleep more often, avoid caffeine or related drinks, alcohol and situation that provoke stress. You can try yoga to help with relaxation.
The Benefits of Alkaline Foods
With the number of healthy foods that make the alkaline collection, it is no wonder the health benefits in the body are enormous. Other benefits of consuming more alkaline foods are:
A good sleep: when you are stressed, the acidic level of the body increases which tampers with our hormonal system and makes you lose sleep. Alkaline foods balance out your hormones and ensure you sleep soundly during the night and waking up fresh and relaxed in the morning.
Weight loss: perhaps the best part about consuming alkaline food is the ability to maintain healthy body weight or even lose some weight for heavy or obese people. Furthermore, they provide the body with the necessary nutrients increases your metabolism, eases digestion and passing of bowel due to the high fiber contents in the food. Furthermore, adding a form of exercise to a diet of alkaline will flush out impurities from the body making you feel healthy and lightweight. Here are examples of different alkaline diets.
It Reduces infections: we feel sick when the pH level of our body goes below the neutral levels in an acidic environment which is the perfect breeding ground for fungi and bacteria such as Candida or yeast infection and a weakened immune system leading to cold and flu. However, the presence of alkaline foods balances the pH level, keeping flu and colds away for long.
It Prevents Arthritis and Osteoporosis: when the body becomes too acidic, the body tries to balance the pH level through various methods; one of which is breaking down the phosphates found in your bones and joints. This reaction causes bone mass loss (osteoporosis) and rheumatoid arthritis. However, consuming high quantities of alkaline food prevent the chirping away of your bones, calcium, and phosphates keeping the bones strong and healthy.
It increases mental clarity and cognitive skills: say goodbye to using coffee and caffeine-related drink to boost your energy levels or stay on alert. Add some alkaline foods to your diet and enjoy long-lasting energy levels throughout the day without the lethargic feel that acidic food causes.
For healthier and smoother outer body: alkaline foods help detox the body by removing the harmful and dangerous toxins from our system through urine or excretion. The process completely purifies the insides of our body which in turns reflects on the surface of our skin. Alkaline foods give us beautiful skin, strong nails, long, shiny, and elastic hair due to all the natural vitamins and minerals present in the foods.
Lowers cholesterol: consuming acid based foods causes and increases the bad cholesterol levels of the body, however, with cholesterol come heart-related issues such as hypertension, angina and even heart attack in severe cases. Adding alkaline foods to our diet, you can reduce your cholesterol level and reverse the risk of any heart-related issues in your life.
Other reasons are the increased energy level, proper cell function, and a reduction in muscles wasting and bacteria or fungi growth in the body. These positive attributes are not farfetched as it comprises of natural based components that are healthy and aid healing due to the high level of minerals and vitamins.
We can’t ignore the importance of alkaline based foods and their positive effect on our body. Regardless of the on-going research to discover a precise balance between alkaline-acidic foods, the fact still remains that the assemblage of food items that make up the alkaline group is healthy and with the right diet and exercise, you can enjoy a fulfilled and healthy life. One thing we should remember is that the acidity and alkalinity of food don’t matter, but how much acidic waste is produced after digestion determines the alkalinity of the food. To get the complete benefit of alkaline food in our pursuit of a healthy and fit life; we can implore the 80/20 or 60/40 rule where the higher portion is the alkaline foods, and the smaller portion consists of other food groups. Food is life, but the kind of food we eat determines how long we live and how our body feels too.