Maintaining the balance of alkalinity and acidity in the body is one of the most important roles of nutrition and is key in fighting weight gain.
The blood is designed to have an alkaline PH (Power of Hydrogen) balance of 7.365. It must stay within a tight range in order for us to maintain optimal health. The PH scale ranges from 1 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkaline). All foods eaten leave either an alkaline or acidic residue in the bloodstream.
Different areas of our body has different PH requirements. Our tissues should be slightly alkaline, whilst our colon and stomach slightly acidic. Our skin also has a slightly acidic level of 5.5.
When faced with an acid overload through eating foods that raise blood acidity levels however, we can create major sickness in the body.
You should aim to maintain a 80/20 balance, with 80% of your food from alkaline sources and 20% acidic.
Acid forming foods include –
- All meat (beef, pork, lamb, and chicken) and fish
- Rice (white, brown, or basmati)
- Bread and most other grain products, such as cereals (hot or cold), crackers, and pastries
- Pinto, navy, mung, lentils, black, garbanzo, red, white, adzuki, and broad Beans
- Cheese (Parmesan and sharper cheeses are the worst)
- Wheat germ
- Cola and Fizzy Drinks
- Coffee and other caffeinated drinks
- Sugar and Sweeteners
- Refined table salt
- Soy sauce
- Mustard (dried powder and processed)
- Ketchup (unless natural and homemade)
- Mayonnaise (unless natural and homemade)
- White vinegar (apple cider and sweet brown rice vinegar are less acid-producing and preferred)
- Tobacco and cigarettes
- Practically all drugs
When eating foods as above, the body has to scramble to find way to prevent the blood PH dropping too low. The blood will then take some of the alkaline forming elements from the enzymes in the small intestine to stay balanced. The small intestine in turn then becomes too acidic to digest foods optimally. The pancreas, gallbladder and liver are subsequently forced to make up for this deficiency in order to metabolise foods properly.
This has a direct bearing on metabolic enzyme production, which is literally involved in every biochemical reaction in the body. The result includes –
- Lowered immune function
- Hormonal imbalances
- Absorption and digestive problems
- Water retention and Bloating
- Stiffness and Sore muscles
- Tissue degeneration
- Stress on the kidneys, gallbladder, pancreas and other organs
- Heart burn and Acid reflux
- Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
- Poor metabolism
- Mineral deficiencies
- Brain fog
- Frequent urination
- Faster ageing
- Even premature death
Calcium is also leached from the bones. This can lead to –
- Reduced absorption of supplemental minerals
- Bone density problems
- Increase in insulin levels (possible diabetes)
- Fat is stored instead of being metabolised (weight issues)
In order to maintain a healthy blood level of just over PH 7, aim to eat a 80/20 acid alkaline diet, with 80% of your food intake dedicated to alkaline sources, allowing 20% to be taken from acid forming foods. This means that you can still enjoy a weekend takeaway or alcoholic drink without your body going into overdrive in its pursuit to maintain its PH balance.
- All vegetables and salad
- All fruits, except blueberries, plums, prunes, and cranberries
- Citrus fruits such as lemons and limes which are alkaline producing in the body
- Arrowroot flour
- Grains such as flax, millet, quinoa, and amaranth
- Nuts including almonds, fresh coconut, and chestnuts
- Alfalfa, radish, Sesame and chia seeds
- Herbal tea
- Most herbs
- Cold-pressed oils such as olive oil
Meal plan for a healthy Acid/Alakaline Balanced diet.
Create different options for each meal to help on different days of the week – creating variety. The reason many people fail to keep to a diet plan is because of boredom and lack of variety.
Alkaline breakfast ideas
- Green Smoothie (kale, spinach, apple and melon)
- Poached egg on flaxseed or rye bread with black pepper and basil
- Mushrooms, Spinach and Avocado with garlic, lemon and black pepper seasoning in a wholegrain wrap – (lightly pan fried on both sides in a drizzle of olive oil)
- Scrambled eggs with spinach and mushrooms on wholegrain toast
- Cup of herbal tea or warm water with lemon
- Homemade soup (carrot and coriander or fennel and leek) with mixed herbs
- Mixed Green Salad with homemade mayo or herb dressing
- Herbal Tea or glass of freshly squeezed juice (not shop bought)
- Quinoa and vegetable stir fry cooked in olive oil
- Butter nut Swash and Asparagus vegetable Casserole
- Stuffed Red Peppers (with quinoa, beans and diced onion)
- Glass of water
- Fruit and Nut bar (home made with honey to set it together)
- Handful of almonds and/or pumpkin seeds
- Sliced carrots, apple with hummus Dip
- Fresh Fruit (berries or watermelon)
- Kale and sea salt home made Crisps
- Don’t forget – if you are feeling hungry, you may simply need a drink. (Aim to drink at least 6 – 8 glasses of water a day). Fruit and vegetable water and herbal teas all count.