Alkaline diet, we know better how it works, what it is possible to eat and which foods to limit in this dietDon't store avocado like this: it's dangerous
Alkaline diet, you have all heard of this diet at least once and perhaps you have even experienced it firsthand. We know better how does the alkaline diet work, what you can eat and which ones instead the foods to limit.
Not so much aimed at the weight loss as for increasing the well-being and vitality of the body, the alkaline diet or alkalizing diet was ideata by Robert O. Young, naturopath and nutritionist. It is based on some specific assumptions that cannot be separated from the knowledge of a parameter such as that of pH and the importance it has within our organism.
What is pH
With pH we mean the unit of measurement with which it is established whether a organic liquid (blood, urine, etc.) is acid or base that is, if, on the basis of a scale that will give 0 to 14, has a lower value of 7 (acidic), higher (alkaline) or even (neutral). When it is found a situation of acidity it means that there is a high presence of hydrogen ions (pH stands for Potentia Hidrogeni) inside the organism and this, in the long run, it can lead to the appearance of various ailments including diseases due to cellular degeneration.
The accumulation of acid inside our body can originate from different causes: poor diet, use of drugs, bad habits such as smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol, stress, sedentary life and more. Many of us, therefore, are at risk of acidosis, so here is that it may be useful to follow an alkaline diet, at least for a period.
How it works
The alkaline diet assumes that our body is a perfect machine that needs balance to function well. To get it, according to this theory, it is good act on the pH of the body, most often overloaded with excessive acidity, bringing it back to the right levels (i.e. slightly alkaline ones) to prevent healthy cells from degenerating or the immune system allows germs and bacteria to proliferate.
How do you do this? Maintaining the correct and natural blood pH through proper nutrition and perhaps also using alkaline and / or ionized water with the aim of detoxifying and revitalizing our body.
There are therefore a series of foods that are acidifying and others alkalizing. The determination of the acidity or basicity of a food is calculated by analyzing the residual ash left after its digestion. These are mainly made up of acid minerals or basic minerals and on the basis of this the action of that particular food within the organism is determined.
It is important to point out that they exist foods that we consider acidic that in reality inside the body after a series of chemical reactions they turn into alkaline. An example for all is that of lemon whose starting acids are transformed into alkaline (basic) carbohydrates useful for the body. This process can occur normally in healthy people but can be interrupted in several cases, for example if there are difficulties in digesting or excessive stress.
We specify that not all experts agree that the alkalizing diet is really useful although the advice to increase the daily intake of fruit and vegetables certainly agrees.
What to eat
The alkalizing diet is mainly based onuse of vegetables and fruits, some cereals and legumes, nuts and oil seeds, sprouts, essential fatty acids such as those found in'linseed oil and in 'olive oil (omega 3 and omega 6).
Among the most alkalizing foods there is grapes, it is no coincidence that this fruit often appears in detox diets, there is even a purification system that requires the intake of grapes only for one or more days.
Others foods with alkalizing power are: beets, turnips, carrots, radishes, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, chard, garlic, lemons, cucumbers, celery, apples, carrots, dried figs, bean sprouts, lettuce, avocado and mushrooms. Condiments with alkalizing power include ginger, chilli, curry, sage, rosemary, cumin seeds and fennel seeds. The only alkalizing cereals (or cereal-like) are quinoa, millet and amaranth.
To recap when following an alkaline or alkalizing diet it is necessary to increase the income of:
- bean sprouts
- Chili pepper
- fennel seeds
- cumin seeds
- extra virgin olive oil
- linseed oil
- nuts and oil seeds
Foods to Avoid
There are several alkalizing foods but this does not mean that you should always eat only those. Excessive alkalinization of the body can also have disadvantages. As always, you must know how to use the right means and, if possible, avoid doing it yourself but rely on the advice of an expert who will best calibrate the best diet to follow on the individual case.
More than foods to avoid, it would be better to talk about foods to limit when you need to alkalize your body. Foods containing yeast and sugar are considered acidifying, those refined, treated, cooked in the microwave but also fermented. Almost all cereals are acidifying, among them: wheat, spelled, oats, rice, rye, corn, barley and all their derivatives, including bread and pasta. Also some legumes among these, chickpeas, white beans and lentils are acidifying. Among animal proteins: meat, but also fish such as cod, salmon as well as eggs, milk and cheese.
Among the sweeteners to limit there are sugar and honey.
In summary, to limit are:
- XNUMX/XNUMX cup sugar
- refined or processed foods
- cooked or microwaved foods
- fermented foods
- bread and pasta
- White beans
- cheese and milk
As we have already specified the foods listed above they are not necessarily to be eliminated completely, the important thing is to know how to find the right balance food avoiding the excessive formation of acids inside our organism If, for example, you realize that your diet is too unbalanced in favor of acidifying foods, you can start adding more alkalizing foods every day.
Generally however the alkaline diet recommends you prefer 70-80% of alkaline foods every day compared to 20-30% of acidic foods. Vegetables should always be eaten at least partially raw.
We introduce you a possible weekly schedule of alkaline diet reminding you that this is just an example. As already mentioned, it is good to discuss your diet with an expert who will evaluate your situation specifically considering your particular needs.
Breakfast: as soon as you wake up a cup of lukewarm water and lemon. Then a fruit and / or vegetable extract
Lunch: millet with seasonal vegetables and an apple
Price: Grilled or baked fish seasoned with olive oil and raw lemon with vegetables
Snacks: fresh or dried fruit
Breakfast: water and lemon and fresh fruit salad
Lunch: amaranth flan with vegetables
Price: Legume soup with raw extra virgin olive oil and vegetable side dish
Snacks: centrifuged or fruit and vegetable extract
Breakfast: water and lemon and then fruit or vegetable extract or centrifuge
Lunch: a quinoa salad with vegetables and dressed with extra virgin olive oil.
Price: tofu with seasonal vegetables
Snacks: raw vegetables to munch on or fruit
Breakfast: water and lemon, fresh seasonal fruit
Lunch: vegetable and legume soup with croutons
Price: vegetable burger with vegetables
Snacks: fresh or dried fruit or green tea
Breakfast: water and lemon, juice or fruit and vegetable extract
Lunch: Risotto with asparagus or other seasonal vegetables and mixed salad
Price: salmon with potatoes
Snacks: freshly squeezed orange juice or fresh fruit
Breakfast: water and lemon, seasonal fruit
Lunch: whole grain pie with vegetables
Price: chickpea hummus with vegetables and wholemeal bread
Snacks: green tea, infusions, fresh or dried fruit
Breakfast: water and lemon, fruit salad or extract
Lunch: salad with mixed seasonal vegetables, avocado and oil seeds
Price: meatballs of legumes with a side of vegetables
Snacks: fresh or dried fruit
learn more about acidity and pH read also:
- ACIDIFYING AND ALKALINIZING FOODS: THE SECRET TO REBALANCING THE PH OF THE ORGANISM
- 10 ALKALINE FOODS TO EAT EVERY DAY
- 4 SIGNS THAT YOUR BODY IS TOO ACID (AND REMEDIES TO ALKALYZE IT)
- ACID-BASE BALANCE IN THE HUMAN BODY: HOW ACID IS YOUR PH?
The expert's opinion
We have an opinion from Roberta Martinoli, doctor and nutritionist, on the possible benefits of the alkaline diet. Here's what she told us:
“A balanced diet is a diet in which alkalizing and acidifying foods balance each other. We could build our diet based on health criteria and in the end we would still be faced with an alkalizing diet even if this was not our intention! It is important to clarify the fact that acidic foods and acidifying foods are not the same. The clarifying example is that of lemon juice which despite having a pH of around 2 (close to that of the stomach) is on the contrary one of the most alkalizing foods that there is.
When we talk about acidifying foods we are actually referring to the effect they produce once they enter the body and this effect has to do with their protein and mineral content. Negatively charged minerals such as chlorine, iodine, bromine, sulfur, phosphorus have an acidifying action; on the contrary, calcium, magnesium and potassium, positively charged, have an alkalizing effect. Proteins, in particular those that contain sulfur amino acids, tend to form organic acids when they are catabolized and are therefore also acidifying ".
What are acidifying and alkalizing foods in broad terms?
“Starting from the concepts just expressed and wanting to give concrete examples, we could say that foods with an acidifying action are salt, milk and dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, cereals and legumes. On the contrary, the alkalizing foods are fruits and vegetables. An excellent discriminant between acidifying and alkalizing foods is the PRAL. The acronym stands for Potential Renal Acid Load or Renal Acid Load Potential. This index establishes the acid-base chemical effect of a compound, naturally absorbable by the digestive system, on the human organism. Foods with negative PRAL are potentially alkalizing while those with positive PRAL are acidifying. Since, regardless of how acidifying our diet is, the blood pH must remain within a narrow range (between 7,35 and 7,45), there are various mechanisms to control this parameter. The main players are the respiratory and urinary systems and the solutes of the buffer systems present in the blood. It is the latter who are the first to intervene.
So qhen we are faced with an excess of acidity because of what we eat the body takes calcium from the bones in order to produce a neutral salt since calcium, like any other cation, has the ability to bind to acids. The neutral salt thus produced can therefore be eliminated through the renal emunctory. It is because of this mechanism that the skeleton undergoes an accelerated demineralization process that will lead to osteopenia and osteoporosis. Fast Bone Losers are defined as those women who in the period immediately following menopause show a reduction in bone mineral density greater than expected. It is probable that as a result of the estrogenic decline, the alkalizing or acidifying diet will make the difference between those who maintain a sufficiently dense skeleton and those who bring themselves close to a condition of osteoporosis! ”.
Which ones are they the benefits of this diet?
"Although the scientific community does not have a univocal view on the usefulness of an alkalizing diet, there is evidence that it:
1. can improve the Na / K ratio and bring benefit to the skeleton;
2. can prevent loss of muscle mass and counteract the onset of chronic degenerative diseases (hypertension, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases);
3. can determine an increase in growth hormone (GH);
4. may lead to an enhancement of the mechanisms that regulate memory;
5. join an increased intracellular concentration of magnesium which acts as a coenzyme in numerous reactions and is also required for the activation of vitamin D;
6. and finally that it enhances the efficacy of many chemotherapeutics which require an alkaline pH to work.
As a professional in the sector, I believe that these are sufficient reasons to support the usefulness of an alkalizing diet ".