Alkaline diet is known by other names too; alkaline ash diet, acid alkaline diet and alkaline acid diet. This diet is based on the following principle that there are particular foods that leave behind ash or alkaline residue after consumption. The main mineral components of the ash include calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc and these minerals help us classify the foods as alkaline, neutral or acid depending on the pH range. Generally, eating fresh citrus, vegetables, tubers, nuts, legumes and low sugar fruits is followed under this so called alkaline diet. Experts of the alkaline diet believe that it helps prevent cancer, obesity, allergies as well as fatigue besides shedding the extra pounds.
How does the Alkaline diet work?
Majority of the people consume great amount of processed foods that leave behind a lot of acids in the body. As a result the body has to combat with various ailments such as chronic fatigue, skin allergies, back problems, ulcers, arthritis, osteoporosis, depression, not to mention constant weight gain, etc. But with a perfect balance of alkalinity and acidity in the body great health benefits can be reaped.
The basic theory behind the alkaline diet is that our body, rather blood contains a level of pH that ranges anywhere between 7.36-7.44. However, due to our unhealthy lifestyle as well as eating habits which include but not limited to consumption of excess sugary foods, coffee, animal proteins and processed foods disturb the acid and alkaline balance in the body. But it should be remembered that if this balance is not maintained, the body gets deprived of important alkaline minerals. It is under these circumstances the alkaline diet helps in maintaining the optimum health and a perfect equilibrium of alkalis and acids iin the body.
Foods to eat and not to eat in the Alkaline diet
Some of the foods with high amounts of alkalis are just so good for you and these include: arugula, avocado, ginger, garlic, beans, beets, spinach, tomato, carrots, peas, turnip, sesame seeds, almonds, soy beans, grapefruit, lemon, lentils, fish oil, olive oil, wheat grass, cucumber, barley grass, sea vegetables, pumpkin seeds and sprouts.
In fact, fruits form integral part of the diet because the nutrients present in them are perfectly balanced so as to give dosage in the alkaline diet plan. They can be taken raw or as fresh juice without adding any additives. Without exception all fruits can be taken when you are following the alkaline diet.
However, occasionally include those foods that contain high amount of acidic properties such as, cheese, ice cream, dried fruits, barley, rye and corn.
But when you are on an alkaline diet you got to avoid the intake of coffee, tea, animal meat, rice milk, cow milk, soy milk, aerated drinks, foods with preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colors as well as additives.
Pros and cons of the Alkaline diet
The alkaline diet promotes healthy lifestyle and eating habits and reduces the consumption of processed foods. The diet is supposed to boost the immune system, keep heart diseases at bay, reduce the chances of developing cysts and also ease up stressful lifestyle.
The disadvantage of the alkaline diet is that the basic theory of the presence of alkaline in the body is greatly beneficial is not scientifically proven. The diet itself is difficult to follow, as you need to know what food has the right combination of alkaline and acid.
Warnings and side effects of the Alkaline diet
One must strictly avoid high acidic foods while on an alkaline diet, as that could increase the chances of infections, fatigue, gastritis, dry hair and skin, body aches and rashes. Thus, it is always better to restrict acidic food to around 20% in your diet to actually get the best results from the alkaline diet.
However, abstaining from fats and dairy foods and living only on fruits and vegetables can have its negative effects on the body, as body needs certain amounts of fats for healthy functioning.
Expectation and tips
The alkaline diet is very beneficial for your overall health and primarily important in weight reduction. Most of the fruits and vegetables mentioned in this diet are highly alkaline, which helps you follow a healthy lifestyle. Avoid high-sugary foods from the diet.
The best way to get used to the alkaline diet is to get your hands on the complete list of foods that have good levels of alkaline and also those foods that are rightly balanced with acidic properties, so that you can largely benefit from the diet. Staying away from the processed foods and junk snacks itself can bring the balance in pH. Also, alcohol intake makes the body acidic so staying off of it keeps the blood pH in the alkaline range and the body healthy.