The Alkaline diet was developed by the New York physician Dr. William Howard Hay in 1907. He believed that the accumulation of acids in the body leads to weight gain, feelings of fatigue and some chronic diseases.
Our body contains about 42 liters of liquid (obviously, more liquid if the person is larger) and the natural form of this liquid is alkaline. The stomach requires a highly acidic environment in order to process the food we eat (about 1.5 – 2.5 pH), but the optimal pH for all other fluids in our body should be about 7.4 in order to be in good health.
“The trouble is that many products that we take such as meat, alcohol, caffeine, are highly acidifying – explain nutritionists. The kidneys are designed in a way to “flush” unnecessary acid in the urine, but if you eat products that form a lot of acids such as junk food, too much sugars etc. we will be overloading the kidneys.
In this situation, the body attempts to restore normal alkaline environment by extracting minerals such as calcium and magnesium from bones and other vital locations throughout the body, so it can cope with the excess amount of acid. “
As a result, come fatigue, sleepiness, migraines, and weight gain because the body stores excess calories as body fat.
“If our body starts wasting valuable minerals to deal with excess acid, it gets shortage of these substances, and this negatively affects the hormonal and brain activity,” experts say. “This is how problems such as fatigue, nervousness, bad mood, severe premenstrual syndrome start.”
“The basic principle of this diet – says nutritionist Charlotte Watts – is that fruits and vegetables alkalize the body and protein products such as meat, cereals and processed foods supply it with acids. To be in excellent health, we should consume 80% foods that are alkaline and 20% acidic products.”
Alkalization of the body is not only determined by what you include in your diet, but what we exclude from it. Among the prohibited products on the menu are junk food, chips, sweets, some dairy products. Adhere strictly to the diet during the first month, and then when you see that it acts beneficial, let yourself go from time to time and enjoy your favorite food – a bar of chocolate, a piece of cheese etc. The key to excellent health is a balanced diet.
3 Steps to start the Alkaline diet
Menu in the 80/20 ratio
This means that your menu should contain 80% alkaline foods and 20% – acidic. Look at your plate – in it, there should be a small portion of protein in the form of a piece of meat, chicken, fish, a small portion of carbohydrates like brown rice or a sweet potato and the rest should be packed with plenty of vegetables.
Add lemon to your food
Most people believe that citrus fruits are acidic, but according to the action they have in the body, lemons (yellow and green) are – alkaline products. So add them to your food regularly.
Drink lots of water
The minimum is 8 glasses of water a day – this way you promote the excretion of excess acids through the urinary system and provide the necessary alkaline environment.
How to achieve balance
- Cut or reduce these acidic foods and drinks from your diet: beverages with caffeine, chocolate, sweets, snacks (including muffins and some small bites and chips), soft drinks, alcohol, hard cheeses, refined carbohydrates, processed meats.
- These alkaline foods should make up 80% of the total quantity of foods you eat: green tea, herbal tea, raw honey, freshly squeezed juices, more fruits (especially kiwi, melon, grapes), all kinds of vegetables, olives, olive oil , linseed vegetable oil.
- Consume no more than 20 percent of acidic products. Choose the best as rye, wheat and corn bread, cherries, chicken and turkey meat, cheese, fresh eggs, fish (especially salmon, sardines and mackerel), legumes, pulses, brown rice, sunflower seeds, yogurt.