Do you know what alkaline foods are? Are you eating enough of them?
It is almost Easter. This is a time to get together with family for many. It is a time of Easter Egg Hunts and copious amounts of sugar for some. Not to crack your Easter Egg or fun, but all that sugar is not good for your health. Of course you probably already knew that.
How about making a change?
Did you know the average American consumes foods which are too acidic to effectively promote and maintain a healthy body. Some examples of these acidic sources we consume are refined sugars, dairy products, and meat, such as, beef and pork. All these acidic foods are contributing to the epidemic of fatigue and disease.
That Easter sugar high can feel good while your doing it, that is until you crash. How about alkalizing your body instead with alkaline foods? This is not difficult, but, in order to understand the benefits of doing so, first you have to understand what that means.
What Is Alkaline?
Alkaline is defined as a pH greater than 7. Because the body functions best at a pH level of about 7.4, it is important to consume foods which will bring those levels up to an appropriate level.
This is especially crucial when consuming foods which are acidic, and, which, will bring those levels lower than they should be.
Pure, distilled water sits at almost exactly 7 on the pH scale. Foods with a higher number are alkaline, while anything that is lower than 7 is considered acidic.**
Benefits Of An Alkaline Food-Based Diet
As a general rule, foods can be classified as either acid-forming or alkaline forming.
The human body‘s pH is 7.35, or slightly alkaline. The body is always seeking a state of homeostasis (balance) and it works hard to maintain the healthy neutral alkaline zone.
Now, keep in mind that foods in in of themselves cannot change this zone in the body, but, the body does have to work extra hard to compensate for the intake of acid-forming foods that are ingested in excess.
This happens because when your diet is highly acidic the body has to leech calcium from the bones, as calcium is an alkalizing mineral. Over time this can lead to bone mineral loss, which, can result in osteoporosis.
Additionally, as a stressor it can lead to inflammation along with increased cortisol levels, and this can impact overall health in the long term.
Conversely, those foods that are alkaline forming are typically plant based and highly nutrient dense, and also loaded with antioxidants.
Including a variety of alkaline foods in your diet allows the slowing of leech of calcium from the bones, and this results in improved bone health.
These foods also support healthy cell regeneration and fights the effects of free-radicals on the body.
Since it is the pH level of blood which concerns us, putting additional acidic foods into our diets actually works against the human system. When more strain is put on the body to fight sickness and disease, it is no wonder a highly acidic diet might make one feel tired and lethargic.
Benefits Of Alkaline Foods For Athletes And Exercise
There is more good news and that is the major benefits alkaline food has on athletes and for the human body during exercise in general.
A diet high in acid forming foods results in reduction of muscle efficiency, so more energy expenditure is needed for each and every muscle contraction. Now, during a race or intense activity, this means a lot of extra work for the body.
Since alkaline-forming foods greatly reduce inflammation, the muscles work at more functional levels, and they also require less force to move.
This allows endurance athletes, such as, those who run marathons and participate in triathlons to push harder for longer. For those who do strength training, and bodybuilders, alkalizing foods will allow you to lift heavier weights with less negative stress on the body.
How To Eat An Alkaline Food Diet
Increasing the alkaline intake does not have to be extraordinarily difficult, and one must not cut acidic foods entirely from his or her diet.
It is recommended that your diet consist of around 80% alkaline food sources while acidic foods make up the remaining 20%.
This contrasts the average diet in America, which often flips that ratio around. There are some changes in the diet which can be made quickly and easily in order to alter your pH level.
Swap Coffee For Green Tea
For example, you might switch from coffee to green tea in order to bring your blood’s pH level higher. Green tea is alkaline while coffee is acidic, so the substitution might make a drastic change especially if you consume coffee quite often. Green tea is a rich source of antioxidants as well.
Always eat your vegetables, the best choice in alkalizing varieties, are broccoli, celery, chard greens, collard greens, cucumber, cauliflower, and mushrooms, just to name a few. These foods are alkaline and will not only help reduce stress on the body in fighting acid, but are also highly nutrient dense and plain good for you!
Some of the best fruits are also alkalizing ones, including, melons, lemons, oranges, peaches, pears, apples, bananas, berries, cantaloupe and grapes.
Substitute your refined sugars with healthy, organic fruits and vegetables more often than not.
Doing that, along with drinking plenty of green tea, will increase pH levels and your chances of finding health-nirvana naturally and easily!