Immunity and Energy Benefits of Alkaline Food Diet
Although the medical science is currently inconclusive, there are indications that an alkaline-forming diet has health and longevity benefits. The balance of acid and alkaline in the body is referred to as pH. It measures the concentration of hydrogen in a solution. The more hydrogen, the more acidic it is (low pH) and the less hydrogen, the more alkaline it is (high pH). pH is measured on a scale from pH 1 (the most acidic) to pH 14 (the most alkaline).
In his book “Thrive”, Brendan Brazier provides a good overview of the proposed benefits of an alkaline-biased diet. Because our bodies have pH buffering capabilities, our blood pH will vary to only a small degree, regardless of what we eat. However, the systems required to facilitate buffering in the body use energy and can become strained. If prolonged, a possible result is a weakened immune system which can lead to a variety of diseases. Low-grade metabolic acidosis is when cells remain in an overly acidic state. It can occur by eating too many acid-forming foods or from a high-stress lifestyle. It is believed to be a leading cause of health problems including the development of kidney stones, loss of bone mass and the reduction of growth hormone levels resulting in the loss of lean muscle mass and an increase in body fat. Another longevity concern related to low-grade metabolic acidosis is that it affects the body on the cellular level and is believed to increase the number of free radicals and decrease cellular energy. Yet another possibility leading to disease is that viruses and bacteria are able to thrive in an acidic body.
We can address these problems by eating more alkaline-forming foods and fewer acid-forming foods. Not all of the foods you eat need to be highly alkaline-forming, but for optimal hearth, it is recommended that most of them are alkalizing. Alkaline-forming foods tend to be foods that are in their most natural state meaning that they have not been refined, chemically altered or fortified. Conversely, many of the most acid-forming foods are manufactured and heavily processed. The foods are categorized along the following continuum: highly alkaline-forming, alkaline forming, neutral, acid-forming and highly acid-forming. It’s interesting to note that, while some foods test as acidic, they produce an alkalizing effect after they are digested. Some examples are citrus fruit and apple cider vinegar.
To help with your food choices, here’s a quick list of highly alkaline-forming foods:
Mixed Leafy Greens
Also, here’s a quick list to help you avoid highly acid-forming foods:
Cheese (all types)
Most Commercial Breakfast Cereals