With the unhealthy lifestyle we lead and the amount of junk food we consume daily, it is no wonder that visits to the doctor for acid reflux cases have been on the rise.
Our blood maintains an optimal pH for the general well-being and proper functioning of our body and when we consume a diet that is acidic it not only disrupts the general pH equilibrium of the body but also has the potential of increasing your overall weight.
And therefore through this article, we are going to talk about one such diet plan which is known as an alkaline food diet which according to several magazines and websites touted as the best way to combat acid reflux.
But is following an alkaline food diet plan the correct way to combat acid reflux? What are the regulations of this diet plan? What can be consumed and what cannot? Or will the diet plan be hazardous for our health? If you are also curious to know more about this diet plan, continue reading the article then as we share with you all the details of the alkaline food diet technique.
What is the alkaline food diet plan?
The alkaline food diet is based on the theory that consuming foods that have a high acidic pH stimulates the body to produce acid in the system which disrupts the functioning of the body. And eating certain alkaline foods and beverages alters the affected pH levels and makes it more favorable for the proper working of the body.
However, it should be kept in mind that the food we consume does not alter the pH in our bloodstream. The bloodstream pH is tightly regulated by the body itself. Having an alkaline diet will only affect the pH of urine. And urine pH is generally considered as the parameter for overall body pH and general health.
It is also believed that following an alkaline diet not only improves overall health but also helps in losing weight effectively. Proponents of alkaline diet also claim that an alkaline diet can combat cancer.
According to certain studies, it has been inferred that cancer cells thrive in body environments that have a low pH, and consuming a diet that has high alkalinity will help to create an environment that can hinder the growth of the cancerous cells.
What to consume and what not to?
You may be wondering what are alkaline fruits and vegetables to include in your diet? Well, let us help you out then. Listed below is the list of the best alkaline foods that can help you to maintain the optimal pH levels in your body.
What can be eaten?
- Green leafy vegetables
Bestowed with nutrients like Vitamin A, B, E, folic acids, and other minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and iron, we all know that how green leafy vegetables are crucial for the overall health of our body. Apart from that, green vegetables like cabbage, celery, kale, lettuce, and spinach are said to have an alkaline effect on the body.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower deserve a special mention in this list. They not only contain immense amounts of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals and help in balancing the excess levels of acids in the system but are also extremely effective in lowering the risk of inflammation and cancer.
However, we do advise you to limit your consumption of these cruciferous vegetables as excess intake can lead to problems like gas problems and bloating.
- Root vegetables
We cannot stress enough the fact that vegetables are important for the general well-being of our body and root vegetables are no exception to the fact. Sweet potatoes, turnips, radish, and beets are amazing sources for facilitating the pH levels in balance. These vegetables are a great source of dietary fibers and can boost good bacterias in the gut and also lowers the risk of chronic ailments.
- Citrus fruits
Surprised to see citrus fruits in a list of food items for an alkaline diet? Citrus fruits like lemon, lime, and oranges are considered to have an alkalizing effect on the body. Being abundant with Vitamin C, the citrus fruits not only detoxifies the system but also helps in ameliorating heartburn and acidity.
The bite-sized nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts, not only keep your hunger pangs at bay but are also supposed to have an alkaline effect on the body. Packed with a healthy dosage of fats and an array of antioxidants, plant sterols, and proteins, nuts help in regulating blood sugar levels and also regulate weight and boost cardiac health.
Apart from the above mentioned, including seaweed, sea salt, seasonal fruits, onion, ginger, and garlic in your alkaline diet can also help you to manage the pH levels in your body.
What to avoid?
It is essential to know about the acidic foods that should be limited during your alkaline diet.
Some of the foods to avoid are as under:
- Meat and poultry
- Milk and milk products
- Grains like brown rice rolled oats, spaghetti, cornflakes, and rye bread
- Alcohol and soda
Is following an alkaline diet beneficial for health?
The goal of following an alkaline diet plan is to limit the consumption of acidic foods and increase the intake of alkaline foods. The proponents of alkaline diet believe that the metabolic waste or the ‘ash’ produced due to consuming excess acidic food is directly proportional to the acidity of the body and consuming a diet that is rich in alkalinity helps in promoting a healthier body.
The supposed benefits that come with following an alkaline diet are:
- Preservation of muscle mass to prevent the risk of fractures in the future.
- Prevents the risk of diabetes. An alkaline diet helps in regulating glucose levels in the bloodstream.
- Protects against kidney ailments. Following an alkaline diet helps in reducing metabolic acidosis.
- An alkaline diet is also said to keep cardiovascular diseases at bay.
And as for potential health hazards, there are generally no health risks associated with the alkaline diet. However, there needs to be more research performed to completely solidify the claims. Also, people who follow an alkaline diet have observed that the diet produces a very little impact on their weight.
Now there you go, everything you need to know about following an alkaline food diet. It is important to remember that completely avoiding all the foods which have an acidic pH can have a drastic effect on our body as some of the food items are abundant in nutrients. Therefore the key to optimal health is to limit your acidic food intake and not completely avoid it. And also do not forget to consult a dietician or a nutritionist before inculcating an alkaline diet in your regime.