Health AwarenessNutrition

The Alkaline Diet – The Secret to Being Healthy

What is Alkaline diet?

Alkaline diet is also known as alkaline ash diet or acid-alkaline diet. It defines the acidity or alkalinity of your body. It can also be define by your dietary intake.

When you eat food, there is a chemical reaction because of which this food is converted into energy- which is derived from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It is your metabolism which is responsible for this breaking down on food- which leaves behind an ash residue, also called metabolic waste. This leftovers of food or the ash, so produced can either be acidic or alkaline which usually builds up in a slow and gradual manner.

According to the acid-ash theory, acidic ash which includes protein, phosphate and Sulphur residue is thought to make you vulnerable to illness and disease. On the other hand, the consumption of alkaline residue making foods like Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium is considered to improve health.

Understanding your body’s pH

When understanding the alkaline diet, it’s important to understand pH scale, a scale of acidity from 0 to 14. It defines if the substance is acidic or alkaline. Acidic solutions have lower pH where as alkaline solutions and foods have a higher pH.

  • Acidic: 0.0–6.9
  • Neutral: 7.0
  • Alkaline (or basic): 7.1–14.0

It’s important to note that pH levels vary throughout your body- some parts are acidic, others are alkaline — there is no set level which has to be maintained throughout the body.

Your blood is slightly alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45 and stomach has a very acidic pH of 3.5 or below, so that food is easily broken down. The pH of your urine pH changes according to the diet you consume.

During certain disease such as ketoacidosis caused by diabetes, starvation or alcohol intake  your blood pH falls out of the normal range and it can be fatal if left untreated — in this case it may not be because of your diet.

Disease happens and every organ in your body is affected in acidic environments and that is why you need to balance to keep your body alkaline.

If your body is too acidic it may show these signs-

  • Feeling fatigued
  • Headaches
  • Bloating, Flatulence, Indigestion
  • Stress induced Acidity
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Body Pain
  • Itching/Rashes
  • Irritability…. And many more

Eating specific foods that make your body more alkaline can improve overall health by maintaining the pH level-

Healthy weight loss

The diet you’re supposed to eat on the alkaline diet aids in building up alkalinity in your body, for example, avoiding sugar, alcohol, and processed foods and eating lots of whole pulses, vegetables and fruits. Adequate intake of water supports a healthy weight loss. Maintaining ideal body weight is also an important aspect in preventing and treating Diabetes and Osteoarthritis.

Support Good Heart Health

Following an alkaline diet means choosing natural foods such as fruits and vegetables over high calorie, high fat, and processed foods which are rich in sodium also. That’s a piece of great news for heart health because following such diet can be a healthy step towards keeping the heart healthy. These steps help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which are big risk factors for future heart diseases.

Helps to control Acidity –

Acid-producing foods shift our pH balance for only a little while, but if you keep shifting your pH over and over again by eating acid producing foods regularly, it can cause long-lasting acidity. Eating regular alkaline diet helps to get relief from that.

Help prevent kidney stones –

There’s evidence that a diet rich in acid-producing foods like animal protein (meat and cheese and bread) can lead to kidney stones whereas an alkaline diet could help prevent it.

Preserves muscle mass

A study in Osteoporosis International in 2013 showed “small but significant” association between the alkaline diet and maintenance of muscle mass, wasting of muscles can be reduced with an alkaline diet and beneficial for back pain as well. By increasing fruits and vegetables we can improve the Sodium potassium ratio – which is beneficial for bone health and reduces muscle wasting.

Helps in Chronic Kidney Disease

A higher dietary acid producing food intake increases metabolic acidosis and the load on kidneys and increase the risk of kidney disease progression. High magnesium and vegetable proteins help give protection to kidney disease.

Food list of Alkaline And Acidic Foods-

Alkaline Foods
Fresh Fruits and vegetablesGreen vegetables, Green smoothies,Wheat grass, Alovera are highly
alkaline and chlorophyll containing foods which is beneficial in
preventing many health conditions
Include  Broccoli, oregano, garlic, ginger,
dates, raisins, nuts, seeds, spinach, 
tomatoes, avocado, beans, cabbage,celery, red beet, watermelon, figs,
ripe banana mushrooms,
cucumber, kale etc  
Raw foodsIncrease your intake of raw foods,juicing or lightly steaming fruits
and vegetables. Cooking foods can
deplete alkalizing minerals.  
Plant source proteins Legumes, nuts  
Alkaline waterAdding baking soda, lemon to
your water can also boost its
alkalinity.  
Foods responsible to elevate
  Acidic pH-
Non veg foodsMeat, fish, eggs, beef, chicken, cold cuts, shellfish and pork, processed meats can contribute to sulfur–ic acid buildup
Processed Milk products Cheese, paneer
Processed grains & Refined Cereals Cornflakes, Museli
Processed & packaged food with high Sodium, added sugars, added preservatives, added artificial colors and flavoring agentsReady soups, ready gravies,
packed noodles, pasta, bakery
items, ketchup, soy sauce etc.
All aerated & Caffeinated drinks and AlcoholEnergy drinks, soft drinks,canned juices and Alcohol, coffee
Pesticides and herbicides   Consuming vegetables & Fruits without thorough cleaning
Excess hormones from foods Chicken, Milk

Lifestyle Changes

  • Consume real, natural foods
  • Drink sufficient water to keep yourself hydrated
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Do Regular exercise – Avoid overdoing
  • Be active. Avoid long hour sitting at one place
  • Avoid being stressed. Stay Positive & happy, laugh
  • Avoid over use of Antibiotics/ other  medications
  • Limit your screen time – computers, cell phones, TV etc.
  • Avoid excessive use of plastic – use metal/ glass containers and bottles
  • Have adequate, quality sleep at right time
  • Avoid over eating. Practice portion control
  • Limit use of beauty products
  • Avoid smoking, tobacco & Alcohol

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Priya Chaudhari

– I am a practicing Clinical Nutritionist qualified with 5 years of academic qualification the subject Food Science and Nutrition via Bachelors and master’s degree and trained in a clinical setting of reputed hospitals like KEM, Mumbai and GMC, Nagpur with 13 years of working experience in the field of Nutrition with a different specialist like Clinical Nutrition, Community Nutrition, Corporate Nutrition, and Research in Nutrition. But whatever the area or community I worked, since beginning I strongly believe and practice that every individual is different and needs customized diet as per their nutritional requirement and lifestyle need. THERE CAN’T BE STANDARD DIET FOR EVERYONE. I believe in helping my patients to incorporate healthy lifestyle modification rather than only focusing on changing their diet. Because your health is dependent on your lifestyle- eating habits, working hours, sleeping hours, workout regimen, cultural food practices, nutritional needs, financial status and educating you how food affect your health and fitness without complicating the act of eating rather than tracking down only calories/proteins/ carbohydrates in your meal.

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