In this diet, it is suggested to replace acid-forming foods with alkaline foods to improve health.
The alkaline diet is also known as the acid-alkaline diet or the alkaline ash diet. It is based on the fact that the foods that are consumed can alter the acidity or alkalinity (the pH) of the human body.
When the food is metabolized and the calories are extracted from them, this occurs in a controlled and slow way and is known as burning calories.
The ash residues that result from the process can be acidic or alkaline (or neutral). The results in the pH of this combustion can directly disturb the acidity of the body.
So, if you consume foods that produce acid ash, your body becomes acidic and if on the contrary you consume foods that produce alkaline ash, the body becomes alkaline and the neutral ash has no effect.
It is presumed that acid ash makes the organism more prone to diseases, while alkaline ash is considered protective.
Thus, by choosing more alkaline foods, it is possible to “alkalize” the diet and therefore optimize health.
The components of the food that leave an acid ash include phosphate, protein and sulfur, while the alkaline components are magnesium, calcium and potassium.
An alkaline diet is defined as one that helps balance the pH levels of body fluids, including blood and urine.
The pH is in part determined by the mineral density of the foods that are consumed.
All forms of life on earth require maintaining the proper pH levels.
If electrolyte imbalances develop and too many acidic foods are often consumed, the changing pH level of the body may cause an increase called acidosis.
Regular pH levels in the body
What we call pH is the hydrogen potential.
It is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the fluids and tissues of our body.
It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14.
The more acidic a solution is, the lower its pH and the more alkaline, the higher the number.
A pH around 7 is considered neutral, but as the optimal human body is around 7.4, we consider that the healthiest pH is slightly alkaline and the pH levels vary throughout the body, with the stomach being the most acidic region.
So the values include the following ranges:
- 0-7 is acid.
- 7 is neutral.
- 7-14 is alkaline (basic).
This diet suggests that people who follow the regimen, control the pH value of their urine using test strips, but it is important to know that the pH value varies greatly within the body.
Some organs or tissues have a variable pH that can be acidic or alkaline.
The stomach contains hydrochloric acid, which gives it a pH value between 2 to 3.5 (acid), this is associated with the function they perform: break down food.
Human blood is always slightly alkaline, has a pH between 7.35 and 7.45.
The body has many practical mechanisms to regulate the pH balance.
This is known as acid-base homeostasis.
Excreting acids in the urine is one of the primordial ways in which the body systematizes the pH of the blood.
Benefits of the alkaline diet
Bone density and muscle mass
The intake of minerals plays an important role in the development and maintenance of bone structures.
Research shows that the more you eat the alkalizing elements such as fruits and vegetables, the greater the protection that person may have from the decrease in bone strength.
In addition to muscle wasting as you get older, what is known as sarcopenia.
An alkaline diet helps to balance the proportions of minerals that are very important for the formation of bones and the maintenance of muscle mass, including calcium, magnesium and phosphate.
Alkaline diets help improve the production of growth hormones and the absorption of vitamin D, which further protects the bones as well as mitigates many chronic diseases.
Hypertension and stroke
An alkaline diet decreases inflammation and causes an increase in the production of growth hormone.
It has been shown that this fact improves cardiovascular health and offers protection against the most common problems such as high cholesterol, hypertension, kidney stones, stroke and even memory loss.
Chronic pain and inflammation
Several studies reveal a connection between an alkaline diet and reduced levels of chronic pain.
It has been shown that chronic acidosis contributes to chronic back pain, headaches, muscle spasms, menstrual symptoms, inflammation and pain in the joints.
Absorption of vitamin and magnesium deficiency
It requires an increase of magnesium for the functioning of multiple systems of enzymes and bodily processes.
Many people have magnesium deficiency and as a result, experience cardiac complications, muscle aches, headaches, sleep problems and anxiety.
The available magnesium is also necessary to activate vitamin D and prevent vitamin D deficiency, which is vital for the normal functioning of the immune and endocrine system.
Immune function and protection against cancer
When the cells do not have enough minerals to get rid of the waste or oxygenate the body completely, the body becomes intoxicated.
The absorption of vitamins is complicated by the loss of minerals, while toxins and pathogens accumulate throughout the body, weakening the immune system.
It is believed that cancer prevention is associated with alkaline changes in pH due to an alteration in electrical charges and the release of the basic components of proteins.
Alkalinity can help decrease inflammation and the risk of diseases such as cancer.
It has been shown that an alkaline diet is more beneficial for some chemotherapeutic agents that require a higher pH to function properly.
Limiting the consumption of acid-forming foods and eating more alkaline foods can protect the body from obesity by decreasing leptin levels and inflammation, which affects hunger and its ability to burn fat.
Because alkaline foods are anti-inflammatory foods, consuming an alkaline diet gives the body the chance to reach normal levels of leptin and feel satisfied by eating the amount of calories you really need.
Alkaline foods of the diet
- Try to buy organic alkaline foods, such as fruits and vegetables: Citrus (orange, tangerine, lemon, lime, grapefruit) dates, raisins, fresh coconut, watermelon, figs, bananas, asparagus, tomato, avocado, broccoli, chilli, pepper , zucchini, dandelion, green beans, spinach, endive, kale, wakame, chives, endive, chard, cabbage, sweet potato, mint, ginger, coriander, basil, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, carrot, beet root, eggplant , garlic, onion, parsley, celery, cucumber, watercress, lettuce, mushrooms, peas, beans, beet, potato, pumpkin, radish, alfalfa herb, barley grass, wheat grass, amaranth, buckwheat, chia, quinoa, lentils , beans, pinto beans, red beans, soybeans, cabbages, bean sprouts, amaranth sprouts, oregano, ginger, cabbage, almonds, flax seeds,pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, among others.
- All raw foods must be consumed, the foods when cooking are depleted alkalizing minerals, you should try to lightly steam the fruits and vegetables.
- Consume green drinks. The drinks made from green vegetables and powdered herbs are loaded with alkaline foods and chlorophyll.
Food and anti-alkaline habits
The foods that contribute most to acidity include:
- Foods with high sodium content.
- Sausages and meats.
- The processed cereals.
- The eggs.
- Drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol.
- Oats and whole wheat products.
- Milk and all dairy products rich in calcium.
- Peanuts and nuts.
- Pasta, rice, bread and processed grain products.
- Excess of antibiotics.
- Use of artificial sweeteners.
- Chronic stress
- Low levels of fiber in the diet.
- Lack of exercise.
- Excess hormones in food, health products, beauty and plastics.
- Exposure to chemicals and radiation from household cleaners, construction materials, computers, cell phones and microwaves.
- Coloring of food and preservatives.
- About exercise.
- Pesticides and herbicides.
- Do not chew and bad eating habits.
- Processed and refined foods.
Final considerations of the alkaline diet
- An alkaline diet is one that includes whole foods that have positive effects on the pH levels of blood and urine.
- The benefits of an alkaline diet can include better heart health, stronger bones, decreased pain and the reversal of nutrient deficiencies.
- Foods that stand out as part of an alkaline diet include whole fruits and vegetables, raw foods, green juices, beans and nuts.
- Foods that are acidic and limited in an alkaline diet include foods with high sodium content, processed grains, animal protein, added sugars and conventional milk.
Alkaline diet menu
Every day before breakfast, drink a lemon water.
Green Juice: Blend two leaves of cabbage, a cup of watercress, a leaf of fennel, orange juice, half grated carrot, a handful of mint and a spoonful of ginger. Add ice and sweetener.
Green juice, liquefy two apples, a cucumber and a small piece of ginger or a cup of apple juice and 2 stalks of celery.
A banana puree with a spoonful of oats.
A cup of fruit salad: Pear, apple, kiwi, mango, banana, tangerine, pineapple and a spoonful of raisins or prunes.
Green tea, four almonds or walnuts without salt, two wheels of melon, one tablespoon of fiber (pumpkin and sunflower in equal proportions).
Green salad: Chard, lettuce, raw cabbage, spring onion, onion, mushrooms and celery. Chickpea soup or shredded chicken soup.
Arugula salad, watercress, lettuce, radish, Brussels sprouts, sautéed spinach, ½ salmon fillet with rosemary, mashed carrots or potatoes.
In mid afternoon
Two fists of toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Chickpea soup, yellow paprika, celery and tomatoes, a tangerine.
A cup of soy milkshake with strawberries and flaxseed, five walnuts, almonds or chestnuts.
Vegetable soup with seaweed, rice or pumpkin soup with seaweed.
Beans such as lentils, beans or peas, among others.
A baked pear and a cup of chamomile tea.