Lately, there has been a lot of talk about alkaline foods. But what does that mean? As you learn about this fashion term, you will realize that the pH of your diet really matters. In fact, your risk of chronic disease and inflammation may depend on it.
What are Alkaline Foods?
Each food releases an acid or base when it is digested, absorbed and metabolized. If a food releases a base, it is alkaline. This is measured by a pH scale of 0 to 14. The acids are below 7, the bases are above 7, and the body is typically 7.4. Now, the food is not acidic just because it has something like lemon juice or vinegar. PH refers to the way it acts in the body, not the food itself.
Why is Alkalinity Important?
Alkaline diets keep some of the most life-threatening diseases at bay:
Control High Blood Pressure:
“The alkalinity control hypertension or high blood pressure”.
It is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease and one of the leading causes of death for men and women in many countries of the world.
The type 2 diabetes, which is among the top 10 leading causes of death worldwide according to WHO, can also be prevented with alkaline foods. It works by improving insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. However, acidic foods induce metabolic acidosis, a situation for type 2 diabetes.
It Slows the Progression of Kidney Disease:
Age also affects muscle mass and kidney health, but alkaline foods help. A 2008 study found that alkalinity preserves muscle mass in older men and women, while a 2015 study found that it delays the progress of chronic kidney disease. Meanwhile, the metabolic acidosis of acidic foods had the opposite effect.
Reduce Chronic Inflammation:
Alkaline diets also provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods, which fights cancer and inflammation. Asthma, kidney calcium stones and osteoporosis are also less likely.
Is the Western Diet Balanced?
The pre-agricultural diets were alkaline and were full of fresh fruits, vegetables, tubers, roots and nuts. The overall health was also much better. But with the increase in processed foods, our diet became acidified and our health plummeted. Today, the modern western diet consists of meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, and cheese, milk and cereal grains.
11 Alkaline Foods to Prevent Chronic Diseases:
Ready to alkalize your diet? Eat more of these 11 foods.
Fresh fruits such as berries are alkaline, delicious and easy to prepare. They are also packed with antioxidants, which makes them a smart choice for disease prevention. Berries are actually one of the best sources of antioxidants, according to a 2010 study that tested the antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods. Great sources include Indian gooseberries, goji berries, blackberries, blueberries, wild strawberries, and black currants.
The lime may be acidic, but as fresh fruit, has an alkaline effect. Use it to flavor water or food for a nutritious boost. It is the perfect way to “slip away” in some extra alkalizing action.
The bananas are easy to carry, inexpensive and alkaline. A banana a day also keeps high blood glucose away, according to a 2014 study. It is essential for the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Like bananas, oranges are easy to carry. In addition, between alkalinity and vitamin C, they are a smart choice for disease prevention. Eat it alone or in a fresh fruit salad.
5. Bone Fruits:
Do not forget the stone fruits such as peaches, plums and apricots. These fruits with high antioxidant content are the best in summer and fall. In a salad, stone fruits also sweeten things.
6. Green Leaves:
From kale to spinach, green leafy vegetables are essential for an alkaline diet. These fresh vegetables treat the body to stimulate the immune system of vitamin A. The high content of vitamin K also reduces inflammation, making it useful for arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. It is a great reason to make more green smoothies or salads. Use larger leaves as wrappers to avoid grains, an acidic food.
Tomatoes are alkaline, rich in vitamin A and full of flavor. Even tomato-based sauces have many antioxidants. Add them to the vegetable “pasta” for an alkaline meal.
8. Sweet Potatoes:
Tubers such as sweet potatoes are also alkaline. Other options include jicamas, so don’t feel limited! They will know like autumn.
Root vegetables are highly alkaline, and ginger should be at the top of your list. Gingerols, their active compounds, are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial. Dry ginger also works, so add it to your meals!
To fight cancer, take more turmeric, an alkaline root. A study conducted in 2017 found that it suppresses tumor cells while offering anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant effects. Looking for more tubers? Look for carrots, parsnips, kohlrabi, beets, turnips, onions and garlic.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, nuts are also alkaline, for example, almonds, peanuts, cashews and walnuts. Add them to salads for a crispy touch.