Eating More Alkaline Foods – Is There A Benefit?

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There has been much discussion recently regarding alkaline diets.  While the topic is open to some debate, it is safe to say that increasing our consumption of alkaline foods is good for us – especially taking into account the overabundance of acidic foods in modern culture.

The goal of an acid alkaline balance diet is not to go to an extreme of alkalinity.  In fact doing so could be damaging to your health as well.  Since this is the case, you don’t need to eat only alkaline foods in order to create an ideal acid-alkaline balance.

But you probably do need to eat many more alkaline foods, and fewer acidifying ones. Whether you eat this food or that food is not as important as the overall ratio of acidifying to alkaline-forming components in your diet.

Our pH is the measure of exactly how acidic or alkaline we are. A pH of 0 is completely acidic, and a pH of 14 completely alkaline. A pH of 7 is neutral.

In addition, you don’t just have one pH level.  For example, the stomach has a pH ranging from 1.35-3.5.  It must be acidic to aid in digestion.  Blood, however, must always be slightly alkaline, with a pH of 7.35 to 7.45.

As Americans, our diets consist mainly of toxic and acid-forming foods like processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, refined grains, conventionally produced meats and dairy, and hidden genetically modified organisms.  The theory of the alkaline diet is that eating certain foods can help maintain the body’s ideal pH balance to improve overall health.  But, it’s said the body maintains its blood pH balance regardless of diet.

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The alkaline diet is mostly vegetarian. In addition to fresh vegetables and some fresh fruits, alkaline-promoting foods include soy products and some nuts, grains, and legumes.  Diets that include a lot of animal protein can lower urine pH and raise the risk for kidney stones.  So eating a diet rich in vegetables, as with an alkaline diet, can raise urine pH and lower the risk for kidney stones.  It’s also said that an alkaline diet might slow bone loss and muscle waste, increase growth hormone, make certain chronic diseases less likely, and ease low back pain.

Too many acid-forming foods can have dire consequences on our health.  Acidosis is a common diagnosis in diabetics.  This is because when the nutrients required to maintain a slightly alkaline state cannot be obtained from food, the body will instead draw from its own stores, like the bones or other vital tissues – damaging its ability to repair itself and detoxify heavy metals, making a person more vulnerable to fatigue and illness – and the margin for error is small.  Even an only slightly acidic pH of 6.9 can actually lead to coma and death.

If you’re interested in increasing your consumption of alkaline foods, there are great resources on the internet.  One terrific site I came across is listed below.  This site has a listing and explanation of the 7 most alkaline foods.  All of them are really good for you in addition to their alkalinity.  The site also has some terrific recipes and nutritional information.

The 7 Most Alkaline Foods.

Enjoy the site, and I hope you’re able to incorporate some of these amazingly healthy foods into your diet.

Be Well

Mike

Michael Lenz RPh, is a partner in Fallon Wellness Pharmacy of Saratoga.  He has over 10 years of experience in custom compounding.  He has received extensive training in Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and Adrenal Fatigue.  He is currently enrolled in the Institute of Functional Medicine’s Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner Program.

Sources: EzineArticles.com; WebMD.com

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