One diet that is touted as being a way to cut back illness, acidity in the body, and to improve overall longevity is the alkaline diet. An alkaline diet is gaining popularity in the celebrity world and overall it is designed to lead to improvements in your diet that affect your health, with a potential for weight loss. Listed ahead is a detailed guide on what you need to know about the alkaline diet and how you can incorporate it into your lifestyle.
What is the Alkaline Diet?
There are a few names to which the alkaline diet is referred. For starters, you may hear the alkaline diet being called the alkaline ash diet or even the alkaline acid diet, but overall any of the variations you hear are considered to be the same as the topic listed here. The alkaline diet is designed to improve the overall pH levels in your body.
Now if you gave close attention in your introductory biology class back in college, you may understand that the human body actually regulates your body’s pH levels constantly throughout your life. Through a series of chemical reactions, the body is able to monitor how much acid is in your body by releasing certain minerals to maintain steady levels. These reactions occur without you even noticing and are some of the few reactions that are vital to your health.
Why Should We Watch Our pH Levels?
As described above, the body does a great job regulating pH levels in the body. Your pH level is a measure of the amount of hydrogen, which is prevalent in acids. The more acidic your blood, it means your body needs to work harder to regulate its normal range. In addition, if you have too little acid in your blood, your body will also work to resolve that as well.
The standard adult diet is geared towards foods that are high in sodium, low in fiber and healthy nutrients, in addition to sugar-sweetened beverages. What this means is that the little nutrients you put into your body are important for your health, but if many of these foods are not sufficient to regulate your levels of acid in the blood. When this happens, the body will take from areas that contain minerals as a way to bring the acid levels to normal limits. These minerals tend to include magnesium, potassium, as well as calcium, all of which are important for muscle and bone health.
The Health Perks of an Alkaline Diet
Improved Vitamin and Mineral Balance
Your vitamin and mineral balance in your body is something that changes each day for various reasons. Depending on your body’s needs and your current lifestyle, your vitamin and mineral levels could be a bit out of whack. One reason your vitamin and mineral content levels in your body are off is due to a diet that is high in acidity. High acidity in the blood can leach compounds that aid in your bone and muscular health. This underscores the importance of an alkaline diet for overall nutrient regulation.
Improved Kidney Function
Your kidneys are greatly in charge of regulating your blood pressure response. Sodium and potassium are two key minerals required by the body for various function, but these two compounds also affect kidney function, as well as blood pressure. Eating an alkaline diet can help to improve the amount of potassium that is used in the blood for steadying your acid levels, but it can also be a good side effect of changing your diet. Many adults consume foods that are processed and high in sodium, which tend to be low in potassium. Making the change to an alkaline diet can help to improve the balance between these two minerals, which should help you to improve your blood pressure.
Help Regulate Bone Density
As described above, your body constantly regulates the amount of acid in your blood. When the acidity in your blood rises to high amounts, your body needs to respond by releasing minerals to neutralize these levels. For this reason, an alkaline diet may help to improve the regulation process, which can have a positive effect on your bone health. Many adults experience issues with bone density later in life and finding ways to keep these levels high is important. Consuming raw fruits and vegetables that regulate your body’s pH levels is a great way to keep the bone density needed to sustain proper health.
May Help with Body Weight Regulation
Perhaps one of the most common benefits to the alkaline diet is weight loss. It seems that this diet has the potential to aid in a great deal of weight loss, considering a few factors. For starters, it seems that the alkaline diet promotes a decrease in the amount of sugar you consume, which is a fundamental aspect in any weight loss plan. In addition, the alkaline diet promotes more fiber consumption given many of the foods you eat on this diet consist of fruits and vegetables that cause alkalizing effects in your body. If weight loss is something you desire, consider the alkaline diet as a potentially good option.
The last health perk of an alkaline diet is a potential decrease in total body inflammation. Inflammation is something that comes from a number of lifestyle factors, but your diet is a major player. Currently, the standard adult U.S. diet consists of high fat, high sodium, and low nutrient quality, which may lead to increased inflammation. For this reason, swapping to a diet that contains raw fruits and veggies can help to improve your overall inflammation levels.
What Foods Should I Eat on an Alkaline Diet?
In order to go on an alkaline diet, it is important to know what you should eat as a way to improve your chances to succeed. Eating foods that are not processed and that are as natural as possible is the best way to boost success on regulating acid levels in your blood. Consider the foods ahead as good options for your alkaline diet. Consider eating as many foods listed on that list as possible, but following to the foods list can be a great way to boost the alkalizing effects to your body.
It should come as no surprise that vegetables headline the list of foods to eat. Consider any green leafy vegetables, asparagus, green beans, squash, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, basil, onions, lettuce, and other root vegetables to steady your diet of veggies.
While not all fruits are considered for the alkaline diet, you should still do your best to eat as many listed here as possible. Consider eating more avocado, tomatoes, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and coconut for best options.
It is not common to see a diet that is geared towards weight loss as allowing grains. However, the alkaline diet promotes the consumption of healthy grains as a way to improve your overall mineral intake. Consider eating chia, quinoa, lentils, beans, millet, and buckwheat to fill out your grain food group.
Is an Alkaline Diet Safe?
When it comes to making lifestyle changes to improve your health, it is important to follow a diet plan that is safe and effective. The alkaline diet is generally safe for the overall population, but anyone with any health concerns should consult with a physician prior to getting started.
If weight loss is what you seek and if your doctor gives you the clearance, consider the alkaline diet. It can help to improve some of your body’s processes throughout the day and it can promote weight loss when followed closely. The foods listed above are only a condensed list of foods that you can enjoy, but consider increasing your availability of more foods for best results.