You have probably heard about the alkaline diet, but are you aware of the full healing power of alkaline food? The human body is an incredibly intricate machine, far more complicated than even a state-of-the-art jet engine. But like an engine, your body needs high-quality fuel in order to function well. When people think about food, they often think about the macronutrients fat, protein, and carbohydrates. They think about fiber, essential fats, vitamins, and minerals. But one important factor that many people overlook is how foods affect the body's acid alkaline balance.
Luckily, people are starting to wake up to the powerful benefits of alkaline food. Research suggests that foods which have been alkalizing effect on the body can preserve bone health, promote strong muscles, increase energy, and help with a wide range of health problems.
Because people often go to extremes where food is concerned, I think it's important to point out that the alkaline diet doesn't encourage people to avoid acidifying foods altogether. On the contrary, many acidifying foods have important health benefits. But while our ancient ancestors ate a diet that was mostly alkalizing, we modern humans mostly eat acidifying foods. This shift has occurred because hunter gatherers had a high intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, whereas most people today eat a lot of meat, dairy products, processed grains, and sugar, all of which are acidifying.
Experts disagree about how much of our diet should be alkalizing, but it is commonly said that around 70% of our foods should be alkaline, with the remaining 30% consisting of nutrient-dense acidifying foods. If you are trying to decide just how alkaline to go, keep in mind that your body's acid alkaline balance is affected by many factors. Air pollution, illness, and emotional stress are all acidifying. So if you are feeling run-down and stressed-out, you may need more alkaline foods than you would if you were in excellent health.
What Exactly Is an Alkaline Food?
There is a great deal of confusion about which foods are acidifying and which ones are alkaline. But at bottom, it really isn't that complicated. When foods are digested in your stomach, they leave a residue, or "ash," much as if they had been burned in a fire. An alkaline food is a food that mostly consists of alkaline minerals after it has been digested and absorbed. These alkaline minerals include calcium, magnesium, and most importantly, potassium. Because the richest sources of potassium are fresh fruits and vegetables, these foods are not surprisingly emphasized on the alkaline diet.
In contrast, acidifying foods tend to be rich in the acidifying minerals sulfur and phosphorus. These minerals are particularly found in certain amino acids which make up the protein in meat and dairy products. Make no mistake—these sulfur and phosphorus containing amino acids are vital for health, but only when consumed in proper proportion to other types of food.
Many people have discovered the benefits of eating alkaline food. These foods are delicious, and with the right plan, you can add them to your diet without a lot of hassle or expense. And while junk food drains your body of health, alkaline food makes you feel vibrant and energized.