An alkaline diet helps to maintain and balance our body’s natural pH (potential hydrogen) ratio. For optimal functioning, the body’s pH should remain between 7.33 and 7.4. The majority of pH imbalances are the result of acidity; therefore, the majority of people need to consider an alkaline diet.
Anything we consume or metabolize will release either an alkaline or an acidic base into the bloodstream. Our blood, saliva and urine chemistries keep a tight regulation that is slightly alkaline. Keeping our body within an acceptable pH range allows our body to function in a way that it protects us from bacterial, viral or fungal invasions.
Acidic environments invite these invasions into our systems. For example, with a free-range chicken egg, the yolk has a slightly acidic pH of 6.5 while the white is highly alkaline with a 9-pH factor. This alkaline white shields and protects the baby chicken.
If the pH becomes too acidic, the body will find an internal source of alkalinity in which to borrow. The neutralizing minerals can include calcium, magnesium, potassium, or sodium. Calcium pulled from bones is a primary cause of osteoporosis. Plaque is a primary consequence of acidity and comes in a range of forms from plaque on the teeth to plaque in the arteries.
The majority of modern diets are acidic in nature. This imbalance causes both short term and long-term damage to the system. Some bodies can continue for years with this undetected condition. However, the damage is being done, even while our body’s intelligence tries to maintain the pH balance by using any resources available.
Acidic diets create yeast or candida colonies that grow and expand in the system. They first appear in the digestive tract, and then they break through the intestines and into the bloodstream and eventually can invade any part of the body with a myriad of consequences. An alkaline diet initiates the same protective shields as the egg white does for the baby chicken.
A healthy diet that is alkaline consists of fresh vegetables, legumes, nuts, roots, tubers and grains. While fruit is acceptable, it should not be eaten in excess as it is glutinous in nature and will be processed as any sugar. Fruit is best eaten cooked and should be eaten alone or before a heavy meal. If fruit is eaten at the end of a heavy meal, it will ferment while waiting its turn to digest and become acidic, causing gas and other digestive discomforts.
An easy rule for this diet is to avoid yeast and sugar. This includes any processed or fermented foods. Yeast needs sugar to thrive. It is important to recognize that when you switch to this diet, the yeast begins dying and you will start craving sugar. When the yeast is not fed, you will experience flu-like symptoms as the withdrawal continues. This can last for a few days to weeks but in time will subside.
Any chemical food, such as Splenda®, NutraSweet®, Equal®, or any aspartame are very acid forming and should be avoided in an alkaline diet. Antibiotics also can create an acidic environment. It is always best to follow them with a series of probiotics to replenish and rebalance the system.
Conventional medicine often does not recognize benefits of the alkaline diet. However, most agree that an alkaline diet is recommended for the prevention of kidney stones, osteoporosis and the degeneration of muscle tone. It is important to note that anyone suffering from chronic kidney failure should not initiate an alkaline diet without first consulting your physician.
Strips to test pH are available in most health food stores and pharmacies to check your body’s urine and saliva pH. It is important to also recognize that excessive alkalinity can create physical problems like cramping, drowsiness, hive-like itching, indigestion, sore muscles and joints.