Some people owe their weight loss to the alkaline diet. Some of them say their energy levels have shot up because of this diet. Some even claim the diet can help reduce the risk of several major diseases. So, what is the very popular alkaline diet? And does it actually work?
What Is An Alkaline Diet?
An alkaline diet is about eating foods that will result in a positive change in your body and blood’s pH level. Majority of the people across the world follow a diet that’s heavy in processed foods and low in veggies and fruits. This kind of diet leads to an “acidic” body. Whereas an alkaline diet promotes foods that create an “alkaline” effect on your body.
It believes that after eating and absorbing foods, the leftover residue will have an acidic, alkaline, and neutral effect on your system. It says that we could improve our health and reduce the risk of several diseases just by eating alkaline foods and eliminating acidic foods.
Foods You Need To Eat
To create an alkaline environment in your system, you need to follow a plant-based diet.
- Fruits you can eat: Apples, oranges, peaches, strawberries, watermelon, apricot, and black currants
- Veggies to eat: Broccoli, spinach, asparagus, carrot, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, and celery
- Drinks: Coffee, red wine, white wine, water with lemon, and unsweetened juices
Foods You Need To Avoid
Certain foods can have an acidic effect on your body and this can create a lot of vague health problems. These could be fatigue, confusion, bloating, digestive issues, muscle weakness, and low levels of stamina. These are the foods you need to avoid.
- Meat: Beef, chicken, salami, pork, and turkey
- Seafood: Cod and trout
- Eggs and dairy: Cheese, milk, ice cream, and yogurt
- Rice and bread (even brown and whole wheat)
- Peanuts and walnuts
Benefits Of Following An Alkaline Diet
1. It Aids Weight Loss
The most evident benefit of following an alkaline diet is weight loss. Because you would be eliminating groups of food like whole grain and dairy, and focusing only on fruits and veggies, your weight is bound to decrease.
2. It Controls Blood Pressure
A diet heavy in processed foods can increase sodium levels, which can lead to high blood pressure. The alkaline diet involves a better potassium and sodium balance, which is beneficial to maintain your blood pressure.
3. It Improves Heart Health
For a healthy heart, your blood pressure and cholesterol levels need to be under control. An alkaline diet offers amazing cardiovascular protection, including keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure in check. This also reduces the risk of stroke.
4. It Reduces The Risk Of Inflammation
Studies reveal people with chronic pain have found relief by following an alkaline diet. In fact, one study states that people with chronic low back pain had found great relief by taking in alkaline supplements for four weeks. This could be because a highly acidic body can contribute to inflammation, which, in turn, leads to pain.1
5. It Strengthens Your Immune System
Several factors can weaken your immune system, one being an inadequate supply of vital minerals for your cells. Because an alkaline diet is rich in vitamins and minerals, your cells are well fed and can release waste efficiently, strengthening your immune system.
Side Effects Of An Alkaline Diet
Cutting out groups of food like dairy, whole grains, and animal protein can cause nutritional deficiencies. You would need to get these vitamins and minerals from supplements or other sources. Also, the long-term effects of a strict alkaline diet could mean you wouldn’t be getting enough protein, which can be harmful to your muscles and bones.
What’s The Final Verdict?
If you’re looking to lose weight or want to eliminate sugar from your diet, following an alkaline diet might be a good idea. This diet might be easier for vegetarians and vegans because of it’s plant-based foundation. But if you are looking to change your blood pH’s level to be more alkaline, that is not possible. Food cannot change your blood’s pH.
Also, an easy way to check your body’s pH level is by checking your urine. But experts reveal the pH of your urine isn’t a good indicator of your overall health. There are a lot of factors that influence the pH of urine.
If you are thinking of going on an alkaline diet, remember, any diet that involves eliminating processed foods and eating loads of fruits, veggies, and nuts will be beneficial for your health. But you also need whole grains for added benefits. Discuss with your doctor and build a personalized diet that will work for your body.
|↑1||Vormann, Jürgen, Michael Worlitschek, Thomas Goedecke, and Burton Silver. “Supplementation with alkaline minerals reduces symptoms in patients with chronic low back pain.” Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology 15, no. 2-3 (2001): 179-183.|