In recent years, many people have discovered that creating an alkaline body is an important key to lifelong health. Why is it so important to have an alkaline body? Because your body's internal pH has a profound effect on the function of nearly every process in the body, all the way from the mitochondria within your cells to your largest and most important organs.
Fortunately, alkalizing your body does not need to be complicated or expensive. Virtually every food you eat either makes your body a little more acidic or a little more alkaline. By following the three simple tips below, you can go a long way toward achieving an alkaline diet.
Reduce Meat Consumption
Perhaps the most important step in achieving an alkaline body is to cut back on how much meat you eat. For years, we have all heard that fat and carbs are making us fat and sick. Logically, if we want to avoid foods that are high in those macronutrients, our only remaining option is to eat foods that are high in protein. But the conventional wisdom is simplistic. Not all fats and carbs are bad for us. And by the same token, a high protein diet is not the best solution for weight loss and all-around health.
Protein is highly acidifying because it is high in sulfur and phosphorus. After the meat has been digested and metabolized, these substances remain in the body and make it more acidic. This doesn't mean that we should avoid protein at all costs. As with all things, balance is key. A certain amount of protein is essential for health. The problem is that the average Westerner eats so much meat that we're getting far more protein than even government dieticians recommend. A vegetarian or vegan diet can be very healthful, but you don't necessarily have to give up meat altogether to have an alkaline diet. A good place to start is to reduce your meat consumption, using it as a condiment instead of as a main course. Or try going meat-free a few days a week and get your protein on those days by combining whole grains with legumes.
Eat More Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
I know, you've been admonished to eat more fruits and vegetables a hundred times before. But in the constantly-shifting field of nutrition, the health benefits of fruits and vegetables are one thing that never goes out of style. Ounce for ounce and calorie for calorie, fresh produce has the highest nutrient density of any food group. In contrast, the processed foods that most people eat are high in calories, but sorely lacking in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Another advantage of fresh fruits and vegetables is that they're very low in calories, making them ideal for anyone who is interested in losing weight or avoiding weight gain— and these days, that's just about everyone.
But from an alkaline diet perspective, the key fact about fruits and vegetables is that they are the most alkalizing foods available. This is because, unlike meat and dairy products, which are high in sulfur and phosphorus, fruits and vegetables are rich in alkalizing minerals, particularly potassium. This means that eating more fruits and vegetables is one of the most important things you can do to create an alkaline body.
Cut Out the Soft Drinks
It's simply impossible to eat an alkaline diet while eating mostly packaged snacks and soft drinks instead of whole foods. Unfortunately, synthetic food products get the lion's share of the shelf space in every grocery store.
I could tell you plenty of things about the harmful effects of corn chips, potato chips, candy bars, and many other types of junk food, but I want to single out soft drinks as an especially big culprit in the health problems that are rampant today.
The most common sweetener in soft drinks is high fructose corn syrup, which is cheaper than cane sugar. Like most sweeteners, corn syrup is strongly acidifying. These processed sweeteners are also why soft drinks are full of empty calories, which lead to obesity and set the stage for diabetes.
Many soft drinks also contain caffeine, phosphoric acid, and various artificial flavorings, colorings, and preservatives. All of these chemicals have an acidifying effect on the body as well.
Start Working Toward an Alkaline Body
I hope you have found this information educational, but more importantly I hope you'll take action immediately to achieve an alkaline body. The three simple suggestions in this article prove that alkalizing your body does not have to be difficult or expensive. True, fruits and vegetables are a little more expensive than many processed foods. But by cutting back on meat, soft drinks, and junk foods, you can free up enough of your food budget to buy more produce. Most importantly, think of the peace of mind that you and your family will experience when you know that the foods you're eating are contributing to lasting health.