Alkaline Diet For Disease-Free Living!
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on January 27, 2010 by Paulina Nelega, RH
You’ve read my inclination towards an alkaline based, raw foods diet. You’ve probably heard about the “alkaline diet” in the news, and perhaps – if you’re really, really trendy and on top of things – you even have an alkaline water filter in your home (you’ve forked out thousands for this, too, no doubt).
Trends aside, there’s a reason why an alkaline diet is such a no-brainer when it comes to maintaining our health – and preventing ailments and early-onset aging!
What is PH Balance and Alkaline State
All humans, when we are born, are perfectly PH balanced. This means that we are in an alkaline state – the opposite of which is an acidic state. The best example of an alkaline state is how a newborn smells: clean, fresh, almost sweet. Many elders smell sour: this is because their tissues are continually in an acidic state. In fact, acidity is the main cause of aging, and it can be significantly slowed down by maintaining our PH balance, or alkalizing, our tissues.
Why Alkaline State and PH Balance Is So Important
Think of our body as an electrical being. This means that our cells carry electrical charges, both positive and negative. In science, PH is measured on a sliding numeric scale, with PH balanced tissue resting at around 7.5. In a PH balanced body, blood cells are equally spaced apart, which allows them to travel throughout our capillaries and our bodies easily. When our PH balance becomes too acidic, meaning our tissues are closer to 3 on the PH scale, our blood cells clump together, blocking capillaries and disrupting proper flow. This contributes to creating acidic tissues in the body, and if PH is not balanced, disease occurs. Scientists who study cancer, for example, know that cancer grows in acidic tissue, while the surrounding alkaline tissue carries no cancer.
Our bodies are continually re-balancing our PH levels, though we live in a culture that is extremely acidic. Therefore, it is very difficult for the average human body, consuming the typical western diet, to stay alkaline. Many scientists and doctors believe that acidity is the leading cause of disease and premature aging.
Causes Of Acidity
From our alkaline, newborn state, we become gradually acidic. This is mostly because here in the west, we consume a very acidic diet. HERE’S AN AMAZING LINK (thanks, Angelfire!) that details acid forming foods, alkaline foods – it’s super detailed, so make sure you scroll down all the way! And here’s a basic list of alkaline and acidic foods:
Extremely Alkaline Lemons, watermelon.
Alkaline Forming Cantaloupe, cayenne celery, dates, figs, kelp, limes, mango, melons, papaya, parsley, seaweeds, seedless grapes (sweet), watercress. Asparagus, fruit juices, grapes (sweet), kiwifruit, passionfruit, pears (sweet), pineapple, raisins, umeboshi plums, and vegetable juices.
Moderately Alkaline Apples (sweet), alfalfa sprouts, apricots, avocados, bananas (ripe), currants, dates, figs (fresh), garlic, grapefruit, grapes (less sweet), guavas, herbs (leafy green), lettuce (leafy green), nectarine, peaches (sweet), pears (less sweet), peas (fresh, sweet), pumpkin (sweet), sea salt (vegetable). Apples (sour), beans (fresh, green), beets, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carob, cauliflower, ginger (fresh), grapes (sour), lettuce (pale green), oranges, peaches (less sweet), peas (less sweet), potatoes (with skin), pumpkin (less sweet), raspberries, strawberries, squash, sweet Corn (fresh), turnip, vinegar (apple cider).
Slightly Alkaline Almonds, artichokes (jerusalem), brussel sprouts, cherries, coconut (fresh), cucumbers, eggplant, honey (raw), leeks, mushrooms, okra, olives (ripe), onions, pickles (homemade), radishes, sea salt, spices, tomatoes (sweet), vinegar (sweet brown rice). Chestnuts (dry, roasted), egg yolks (soft cooked), essene bread, goat’s milk and whey (raw), mayonnaise (homemade), olive oil, sesame seeds (whole), soy beans (dry), soy cheese, soy milk, sprouted grains, tofu, tomatoes (less sweet), and yeast (nutritional flakes).
Neutral Butter (fresh, unsalted), cream (fresh, raw), cow’s milk and whey (raw), margine, oils (except olive), and yogurt (plain).
Moderately Acidic Bananas (green), barley (rye), blueberries, bran, butter, cereals (unrefined), cheeses, crackers (unrefined rye, rice and wheat), cranberries, dried beans (mung, adzuki, pinto, kidney, garbanzo), dry coconut, egg whites, eggs whole (cooked hard), fructose, goat’s milk (homogenized), honey (pasteurized), ketchup, maple syrup (unprocessed), milk (homogenized). Molasses (unsulferd and organic), most nuts, mustard, oats (rye, organic), olives (pickled), pasta (whole grain), pastry (whole grain and honey), plums, popcorn (with salt and/or butter), potatoes, prunes, rice (basmati and brown), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), soy sauce, and wheat bread (sprouted organic).
Extremely Acidic Artificial sweeteners, beef, beer, breads, brown sugar, carbonated soft drinks, cereals (refined), chocolate, cigarettes and tobacco, coffee, cream of wheat (unrefined), custard (with white sugar), deer, drugs, fish, flour (white, wheat), fruit juices with sugar, jams, jellies, lamb. Liquor, maple syrup (processed), molasses (sulphured), pasta (white), pastries and cakes from white flour, pickles (commercial), pork, poultry, seafood, sugar (white), table salt (refined and iodized), tea (black), white bread, white vinegar (processed), whole wheat foods, wine, and yogurt (sweetened).
How To Balance PH And Stay Alkaline
The best way to stay alkaline is to consume a mostly alkaline diet. According to many experts, we should enjoy about 60% alkaline forming foods, and 40% acidic foods. Eating fresh vegetables, low amounts of protein, and drinking citrus-infused water – yes, I know that citrus is acid, but it actually creates an alkaline ash in the urine! – will help keep the body in a PH balanced state. Couple that with a healthy lifestyle, avoiding toxins like cigarettes, household cleaners and environmental pollutants, can all keep acidity at bay.
A Sample Alkaline Meal Plan:
Here’s what I typically consume on any given day. I feel amazing, and I know that I am keeping myself balanced! And youthful, and healthy, and gorgeous.
Upon Rising: Glass of pure water with squeeze of sliced lime
Coffee: SUPER ACIDIC I know! This is my one indulgence. Forgive me please. At least I’m honest.
Breakfast: Raw Breakfast: Apple chunks, 1/4 avocado slices, grated fresh coconut, tsp flax seeds, tsp pumpkin seeds
Snack: Smoothie: 1 ounce almonds, 1/2 cup raw spinach, 1 tbs coconut oil, 1 pear – cored, 1/2 to 1 cup pure water. Blend – enjoy!
nch: Raw Salad: Mixed greens, heaps of sprouts (I sprout my own, and I love them mixed: like alfalfa, mung, lentil, chick pea), cucumber slices, chopped veggies: zucchini, carrots, celery, tomato, raw olives, chopped tofu, flax seeds, chopped fresh dill. Dressing: olive or grape seed oil, spray of Bragg’s non-fermented soy sauce. Occasionally I’ll add a sprinkling of Red Star nutritional yeast. Yum!
Snack: Seaweed rolls: Nori lined with lettuce leaf, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, green onion. Bragg’s sauce to dip.
Juice: My current fave: apple, cucumber, celery, kale, and a slice of ginger.
Dinner: Broiled wild salmon, mashed sweet potatos with garlic and olive oil, steamed chard.
My diet may seem a little extreme to those of you unfamiliar with raw foods. You needn’t be so hard-core – I really like to eat this way, but it’s not for everyone! What IS for everyone, though, is Incorporating more alkaline foods into your daily diet. I guarantee you that you will look, feel, and perform better than you can remember!
In health, Sage Photo
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan