What I’m going to discuss today is an example alkaline diet plan that might help you to start feeling more energetic, cleaner inside and generally more up for it. I’m simply going to go over the foods that I ate yesterday to show you that this way of eating is neither particularly special nor complex. However the benefits for overall well being can be profound.
I eat a healthy, well balanced diet. By its very nature, this makes it an alkaline diet. When I first started getting more interested in diets, the so called alkaline diet appealed to me mainly because it suggested eating foods that we all know are good for us. On top of this, it did not seem that I would have to deprive myself of anything either. That said, if you drink carbonated soft drinks every day or eat McDonald’s every day, then to start alkalizing, you would have to make some major changes to your lifestyle.
The gist of the alkaline diet is that since the agricultural revolution, through to the modern era with our reliance on supermarket shopping, we have been consuming more processed as well as more nutrient barren foods. Combined with an increase in meat consumption, this has made our diets today more acidic than at any point in history. We are not talking about the actual acidity of the foods we eat but rather the effect foods have upon the acid/base (alkaline) balance of our bodies. The seminal study on this was written by Remer and Manz and titled Potential renal acid load of foods and its influence on urine pH (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7797810). They demonstrated the effects that various food groups had on the pH of urine. Their PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load) formula can be used to accurately determine the acidifying or alkalizing properties of the foods we consume.
A difficulty that you may come across if you continue to research this way of eating is that you will often find conflicting information about which foods are acid forming and which ones are base (alkaline) forming. Some charts are based on the PRAL calculation while others seem more like guess work. For instance, the PRAL calculation demonstrates that coffee has mildly alkalizing properties. While some other charts tell us it is highly acidic. Whether or not we should regularly consume coffee as part of a healthy, well balanced diet, can certainly be debated. In most cases, the less we have, the better. However, claiming that we should not drink coffee because of its acidity is simply wrong. Beware false prophets!
What I find even more worrying is that some charts tell us that certain fruits and vegetables should be avoided. This is nonsense. The alkaline diet is certainly not about eating only alkaline foods. It is primarily about balance and health. In some ways, the scientific writings on the subject are similar to the Bible. The findings can be twisted to suit different world views, some more extreme than others. I suggest taking a rational approach. The alkaline diet can help us move from a place of tiredness, lethargy, malaise, depression and lack of energy to a more vibrant and positive lifestyle. All it really requires is eating a bit more alkaline foodstuffs and a bit less of the most detrimental acid foods.
As you can see from the meal plan below, the alkaline diet is nothing fancy or particularly complicated. There is one thing you should be aware of, making juices is an important part of the alkaline diet. This makes it really simple to consume higher quantities of fruit and vegetable nutrition than always having to eat them.
- Carrot juice – 2 large carrots (homemade juice)
- Scrambled eggs on toast – 2 eggs, try to use whole wheat bread if possible
- Sliced tomato – 1 medium sized tomato
- Roast potatoes
- Green peas
- Pancakes with mashed banana (1 whole banana) and peanut butter topping
- Coffee – I drink one cup of coffee about 5 days a week
- Brown rice
- Tinned fish – salmon
- Spinach – boiled spinach
I drink a reasonable amount of tap water throughout the day. As soon as I get up, I drink a cup of water to start hydrating my body right away. You can probably tell that I’m not a hard core dieter, but as I discussed above, that’s not what the alkaline diet is about. For me, it is about, eating a decent amount of fruit and vegetables throughout the day. I only had 6 servings yesterday. Some days I make another juice in the afternoon, or have a larger juice in the morning. In the summer especially, a juice with 5 servings of fruit and veg is a great way to start the day. As you can see from this alkaline diet plan, it is simply a balanced diet with an emphasis on making sure that we get a decent amount of nutrition from fresh produce every day. Why not give it a try and see how you feel?
If you enjoyed this article, please click the Facebook “Like” button below.
Influence of Diet on Acid-Base Balance by Thomas Remer Research Institute of Child Nutrition, Dormund, Germany - http://www.vivalis.si/literatura/6a00.pdf
ACID-ALKALINE BALANCE: ROLE IN CHRONIC DISEASE AND DETOXIFICATION by Deanna M. Minich, PhD, FACN, CNS; Jeffrey S. Bland, PhD, FACN – http://www.metadocs.com/pdf/publications/0707_minich.pdf