The alkaline diet is also called the acid-alkaline or alkaline ash diet that claims to alter the pH value of the human body, improve well-being, manages weight and combat cancer. It is based on a concept that a few foods can cause your body to produce acid, which is detrimental. However, consuming certain foods or drinks can alter the body’s acid level or pH balance.
How Does It Work?
The gastrointestinal system secretes gastric acids to support the digestion process that helps in breaking down food. The gut maintains a pH balance between 2.0-3.5, which is considered to be highly acidic but important for the smooth functioning of the digestive system. But at times, due to poor lifestyle and unhealthy food choices, the acidic level in the body goes erratic resulting in acidity and other gastric issues.
These days with rapid globalization the food habits had greatly changed, comprising huge volumes of acidic foods like burger, samosa, pizza, French fries, cheesy items, sausages, kebabs’, carbonated beverages, doughnuts, pastries to name a few. These foods when digested leaves behind residues that are termed to as acid ash, the major cause of stomach woes.
Importance Of Alkaline Foods
Alkaline foods are vital in maintaining pH balance in the body. Experts suggest that having a balanced meal with a good blend of all the food group is important to uplift overall wellness, rather than restricting to certain food items. As per the acid-ash theory, acidic ash is believed to make you prone to illness, whereas alkaline ash is protective. Thereby choosing alkaline foods would help to keep up the pH of the body and enhance overall health.
Some of the food sources that leave acidic ash include protein, phosphate and sulphur, while alkaline components include calcium, magnesium and potassium-rich foods.
Food groups are considered acidic, alkaline or neutral:
Acidic: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs and alcohol
Neutral: Natural fats, starches and sugars
Alkaline: Fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables
Well, if you have been relishing in huge quantities of red meat, processed and junk food, then it’s the right time to switch over to some alkaline food in the meal plan. Dive into this article to get an insight about some of the alkaline-rich foods:
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy veggies are said to have an alkaline effect in the body. These veggies are bestowed with vast reserves of vitamin A, B, E, folic acid and minerals iron, calcium and phosphorus that is vital for the system to perform normal operations and build a robust immunity. Try incorporating spinach, lettuce, kale, celery, cabbage, collard and mustard green in your regular diet regimen.
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli are known to balance alkaline pH in the system. They contain immense amounts of vitamins A, C, k and folate and phytochemicals plant compounds that are valuable in lowering inflammation and avert the risk of cancer.
Popular to the belief that citrus fruits are highly acidic and would have an acidic effect on the system, surprisingly they are the best source of alkaline foods. Lemon, sweet lime and oranges overpowered with vitamin C that helps in detoxifying the system and offers respite from heartburn and acidity.
Sweet potato, beets, radish, turnips and carrots are an amazing source of alkaline foods which facilitates to keep up the pH balance. They are a great source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre that helps to boost gut good bacteria, diminish high levels of cholesterol and lowers the risk of heart disease and bowel cancer.
Munch on a fistful of nuts to curb hunger pangs and keep you satiated. Packed with healthy sources of fats, they also render an alkaline effect in the system. The huge array of antioxidants, protein and plant sterols present in almonds, walnuts and cashews regulate blood sugar spikes, improve heart health and manages weight.
Eating alkaline-based diet mainly emphasizes mindful eating behaviour comprising healthy choices of foods including vegetables, fruits, nuts, lentils and drinking plenty of water, while limiting sugar, meat, processed foods and alcohol. Thereby supports to enhance total well-being, shed excess fat, reduce inflammation and lower the risk of cancer.