- The List of Symptoms of Being Too Acidic
- Neutralize Your Body pH With the Right Foods
- How Acidic pH Can Lead to Disease
- Which Foods Are Acidic or Alkaline?
- Can You Neutralize Your Body and Eliminate Excess Acid?
- Testing Your pH Levels
- Get Balanced!
- Does the alkaline diet work?
- What is the alkaline diet?
- Is the alkaline diet safe?
- What are the long-term effects of the alkaline diet?
- More popular diet guides…
- Enjoyed this? Now try…
- How can whole grains and milk be considered acidic?
- Is your body too acidic?
- What about alkaline water?
- Is there anything good about the alkaline diet?
- Why Can’t You Lose Weight?Body Acidity May Be The Culprit
- But First, What Is An Alkaline Diet, Anyway?
- The Alkaline Food Chart
- Hesitations, Hesitations, Hesitations
- The Challenge: One Month On The Alkaline Diet
- The Results: Does The Alkaline Diet Work?
- How Your pH Balance Affects Weight Loss
- Alkaline Foods and How pH Balance Affects Weight Loss
- An Acidic pH Balance Affects Weight Loss and May Cause Serious Health Problems
- Eat Fewer Acidic Foods for Better pH Balance and Health
- The Alkaline Diet is Based on how pH Balance Affects Weight Loss
- Wheatgrass is a High Grade Alkaline Food
- Zeal O2 Wheatgrass Supplement and its Alkaline pH Balance Affects Weight Loss and Overall Health
- PH & Weight Loss
- Expert Insight
- What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:
- An alkaline diet: Hype or healthy?
- High alkaline fruits
- High alkaline vegetables
- Is the Alkaline Diet Really Healthy or Just a Fad?
The List of Symptoms of Being Too Acidic
Being too acidic is not suitable for your body. This condition may conceive various symptoms which cause you to suffer from them. You may think you have harmful diseases, and you have a weak immune system, etc. But probably the main reason for all of these is just too acidic. Therefore, you need to check the list of symptoms of being too acidic and may jump into the alkaline diet.
Here is the list of symptoms of being too acidic:
Having Unhealthy Skin
Having unhealthy skin is just one of the symptoms of being too acidic. If your nails are thin and you complain that they break easily, the cosmetics can’t help you. Plus, you may have dry skin, and your lips’ corners may crack. Again the cosmetics can’t solve this. Also, being too acidic cause hair fall, too.
Having Unhealthy Mouth and Teeth
Being too acidic can cause not only sensitive teeth but also losing your teeth. So, you may usually have tooth pain and sensitive gums.
Having Digestive Problems
Lots of people suffer from digestive problems. Being too acidic make digestion harder. So that cause acid reflux, ulcers, and gastritis. You may have one of them with high probability.
Being Joyless and Depressed
If you feel like you’re in a depression and if the drugs are useless, try to think about acidic foods. Acidic foods cause having low energy and joyless. Also, you may feel much nervous.
Being Too Acidic Affects Your Whole Body
If you usually consume acidic foods, you may often have headaches, leg cramps, and conjunctivitis because this condition affects not only your metabolism but your eye health too. Having a low body temperature is one of the symptoms, also. If you get infections quickly or if you have a tendency for it, that is because of being too acidic.
How to avoid being too acidic?
The path to an alkaline lifestyle is not a very difficult one. Basically, by keeping the ratio of acidic food at around 30% and alkaline diet at approximately 70% will do the trick. Have a look at a few tips we provide for our guests at The LifeCo.
1. Go green
Vegetables, some fruits, seeds, nuts, and roots are naturally alkalizing. Increasing the amount of these in your diet will automatically reduce your consumption of acidic foods like meat or grains. Avocados, beetroot, spinach, kale (if you have access to it it is at the top of the nutrition/calorie chart), cucumber are going to boost your alkalinity.
2. Consume acidic foods mindfully
It is challenging to cut out these naturally addictive foods such as any meat, eggs, processed sugars, flour, and dairy products. However, it is considerably easier to reduce their amount in your daily diet to less than 30%.
3. Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol may cause different issues in our lives. However, it inevitably causes dietary problems due to very high sugar content. An occasional glass of wine or a few beers enjoying a sports game is acceptable for social benefit. However, alcohol should be consumed responsibly. Otherwise, it makes the body acidic very quickly.
4. Drinking alkaline water
First of all, we have to admit that most of us do not drink enough water. Everyone has to drink 8 to 10 large glasses of water every day, preferably alkaline water. Tap water or bottled water has a pH of up to 7, whereas alkaline water has an average pH of 9. This helps at balancing the alkaline-acid levels in the body.
5. Choose drinks carefully
Caffeine-containing drinks such as coffee and energy drinks usually urges you to consume more sugar. Choosing natural, alkalizing drinks such as herbal teas (peppermint, yerba mate etc..), lemon water and green powder supplements such as green vibrance can help cleanse the digestive system, optimize metabolism and eradicates excess acid.
6. Exercise (Even if mildly)
You don’t need to exercise hours long consistently everyday. 20-30 Minutes four five times a week is more important than you think. Exercise makes the body alkaline as well as it enables sweat to leave the body. Sweat is acidic so the alkalinity of the body will be increased. Extra support in oxygenation is a huge plus as well.
7. Balance your life
It is proven time after time that stress does more harm than many other more obvious factors. Finding ways to get rid of stress such as yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, mild phsical exercises reduce acid levels significantly.
Disease prevention and other benefits of an alkaline diet
Many people diagnosed with severe reflux try to deal with it with medication, medication that they have to take for the rest of their life. If you are wondering if a more natural solution is possible, then a simple alkaline – acid balance in your diet will do the deal. We have had thousands of guests, who succesfully managed this by adopting an alkaline lifestyle. These guests are off medication and can easily manage their reflux on their own.
Assisting weight loss is not the only perk of such a diet. Your energy will definetely increase and risk of kidney problems, type 2 diabetes and chronic diseases (esspecially for the ones due to lactic-acid build up such as severe cramps, rheamateud arthiritis, etc..) will be reduced.
Take it slow
If you decide to try an alkaline lifestyle, you need to get the knowledge and be in a healing environment such as The LifeCo centers. Symptom management is necessary but never sufficient. The LifeCo professionals will teach you how to live an alkaline lifestyle and you will get the first hand experience onsite by attending one of our retreats.
Neutralize Your Body pH With the Right Foods
The regulation of acid-alkaline balance is one of the most important factors in homeostasis, or dynamic equilibrium in the body. Recent studies show that when the body’s pH is too acidic, it’s difficult for enzymes to function properly, which can lead to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other inflammatory diseases.
The acronym pH stands for “potential for hydrogen,” and measures the hydrogen ions in bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, or urine. Dissolved acid produces hydrogen ions, so the more hydrogen ions in a solution (higher concentration), the more acidic the solution is, and the lower the number on the pH scale.
The pH scale runs from 0 (pure acid) to 14 (most alkaline), with 7 being neutral. The human body functions optimally at a pH of around 7.4, which is just on the alkaline side of neutral.
How Acidic pH Can Lead to Disease
Most people exhibiting symptoms of disease from heart disease and cancer, to osteoporosis, diabetes, and beyond, have a body pH that is chronically acidic. As the body tries to neutralize the pH to keep it close to 7.4, it will take necessary minerals from the body to help with this neutralization process.
For example, the body will pull calcium out of the bones into the urine, leading to osteoporosis and a reduction of bone formation. Potassium and magnesium stores can also be leached from the body, contributing to high blood pressure. Too much acidity can lead to breakdown in muscle mass and an inability for cells to repair themselves as well. These are just a few of the effects of too much acid in the body. Scientists call this shift in body chemistry to the acidic side of neutral chronic low-grade metabolic acidosis. The primary cause of this acidosis is a highly acidic diet.
Which Foods Are Acidic or Alkaline?
The Standard American Diet (SAD) tends to be highly acidic, containing lots of processed foods, sugars, meats, dairy, grains, coffee, and alcohol. The typical anti-inflammatory diet, on the other hand, contains lots of fruits and veggies, which are more alkaline or base in nature.
Many foods that you might think would be acidic, like lemons and limes, are actually alkaline once metabolized. So it’s important to take into account which foods are acidic versus alkaline after they are metabolized, as that’s what matters to the body.
Sugar and artificial sweeteners are highly acidic foods, which is one of the reasons the consumption of sweets has recently been linked to so many health ailments.
Most foods falling between 2 and 9. As an example, battery acid has a pH of zero, while liquid Drano cleaner has a pH of 14. Here is a range of foods from the highly acidic to the highly alkaline (base.)
Mind-Body-Green has a great infographic showing a range of foods from acidic to alkaline.
While the human body needs to remain on the slightly alkaline side of neutral (7.4 pH), it’s important to remember it’s all a balancing act. If you strive for a low acidic diet for your health and eat only alkaline foods, your body can actually become too alkaline, or in a state of alkalosis. This can lead to a host of other symptoms ranging from light-headedness and confusion to seizures and even coma.
Balancing out your diet to ensure you’re eating from both sides of the pH spectrum—but with attention to eating more alkaline (anti-inflammatory) foods than acidic foods—will be good for your whole body.
Can You Neutralize Your Body and Eliminate Excess Acid?
How does your body neutralize excess acid? The main organs involved in acid elimination to neutralize your body pH are the liver and lungs, and the skin to a lesser extent. While the skin helps to eliminate acid buildup through sweat glands, it can only eliminate about one quart of sweat a day, whereas the kidneys can eliminate 1.5 quarts of urine. Interestingly, strong-smelling sweat or bad body order can be a sign of too much acidity in the body. Again, switching to a low-acidic, anti-informatory diet can help to neutralize your body’s pH.
Testing Your pH Levels
One indicator of the body becoming too acidic is an increased respiratory rate. In fact, if your body is too acidic you won’t be able to hold your breath for more than about 20 seconds.
The most common pH test is a urine test. While you can test your own urine using pH litmus test paper, it’s more accurate and recommended to have your doctor do a urine test for you. They will likely want to use urine from first thing in the morning, preferably after you’ve slept for at least six hours, to ensure that the kidneys aren’t overworked at the time of urination.
The bottom line is that eating a diet higher in alkaline foods than acidic foods will be better for your health in the long run, so enjoy those fruits and veggies.
A sophisticated dance is happening inside the body when it comes to pH balance. A measure of how acidic or alkaline the blood is, pH stands for “potential of hydrogen.” The amount of acid in our blood can vary depending on different factors, such as food choices and the ability of organs to filter carbon dioxide out of the body. When pH balance is too far out of whack, the body experiences stress that can lead to health issues. It’s a complex process, but your diet is one of the ways you can influence your delicate pH balance.
pH and Disease
High levels of acid in the blood can cause your body to pull important minerals like calcium from your bones to neutralize the acid, which can lead to decreased bone density and osteoporosis. A pH imbalance caused by over-acidity can potentially cause inflammatory problems like arthritis or even bronchitis. Also, research shows that cancer and autoimmune disease thrive in acidic environments.
pH and Diet
Health experts agree the average American diet is quite rich in acid-forming foods and lacking when it comes to alkaline or acid-neutralizing foods. One of the ways you can work toward a healthy pH balance in your body is through diet. Take inventory of the foods you tend to eat and consider swapping out some acid-forming foods for acid-reducing foods and aiming for a diet with a balance of acidic and alkaline foods.
Acid-Forming Foods. Alcohol, meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and grains are all acid-forming. Surprised by foods like eggs, milk, cheese and grains? As it turns out, what’s important is not so much the pH of the food itself, but the pH that results once the food is broken down in the body. Grains and milk, for example, leave behind acidic phosphates and sulfates after we’ve digested them.
Acid-Reducing Foods. When it comes to foods that reduce acid, it’s simple. If a food comes out of the ground, grows on a bush or on a tree, it’s likely alkaline. This means fruits and vegetables are acid-reducing with these few exceptions: corn, squash, green peas, blueberries, cranberries and prunes. Other alkaline choices include mineral water, almonds, tofu and cultured dairy products.
The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14 with 7 considered neutral. A pH less than 7 is said to be acidic and a pH greater than 7 is alkaline. Our ideal pH balance is slightly alkaline – 7.30 to 7.45. To find your pH level, do a litmus paper test first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking. Purchase test strips online, at vitamin stores, health stores or pharmacies.
Health experts believe there are many effects of an unbalanced pH level, such as low energy, poor digestion, joint or muscle aches and problematic weight management. There are also other factors that contribute to a balanced pH level, such as exercise, detoxification and water usage. Help bring yours in line by making healthy diet changes that will leave you feeling great!
Does the alkaline diet work?
No research has shown that the alkaline diet can raise blood pH.
However, some research suggests that an alkaline diet may improve health, though not in the way that its supporters claim. Alkaline diets reduce a person’s consumption of fatty and processed meats, and they encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables. This offers several health benefits.
Here are some of the benefits that alkaline diet supporters may claim, and the scientific research either supporting or refuting them:
Promoting weight loss
Many strategies can help people lose weight.
Ultimately, weight loss depends on consuming fewer calories than one burns. Diets lower in fat and calories may promote weight loss, but only when a person remains physically active and eats a healthful diet with variety.
An alkaline diet tends to be low in calories, so it may help people lose weight.
Improving kidney health
Raising urine pH may improve health for some people.
According to a 2017 study, the typical diet of people in the United States is very acidic. This can challenge the kidneys. For people with kidney disease, a lower-acid diet may improve symptoms or even slow the course of the disease.
For most people with chronic kidney disease, there is no need to follow a specific alkaline diet. Instead, simply reducing protein, such as milk, meat, and cheese, may help.
Some proponents of this diet claim that it can reverse cancer or support chemotherapy. There is no scientific evidence supporting these claims, and no studies have performed direct tests on this claim.
However, significant evidence from a 2010 study suggests that reducing meat consumption and eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains might prevent cancer.
The study looked at data from the 2010 European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. It found that consuming vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, and a Mediterranean-style diet might reduce cancer risk.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommend a diet similar, but not identical, to an alkaline diet. The ACS advise avoiding processed foods, soft drinks, and many high-fat foods. Instead, it is more beneficial to eat a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
Treating or preventing heart disease
In the U.S., heart disease is the leading cause of death. Lifestyle factors including poor nutrition and low activity levels are major contributors.
An alkaline diet may naturally raise levels of growth hormone, but the research is preliminary and inconclusive. Research finds that growth hormone supports body composition and lowers heart disease risk factors.
Alkaline diets also tend to be low in fat and calories, naturally promoting a healthy body weight and lowering heart disease risk factors. They also reduce or eliminate red and processed meats, removing a major contributor to heart disease from the diet.
Improving growth hormone levels
Better heart health is just one potential benefit of having higher growth hormone levels. Improving growth hormone levels may also promote better brain functioning, particularly memory and cognition.
Some evidence suggests that growth hormone improves overall quality of life.
However, the evidence linking an alkaline diet to increases in growth hormone levels is weak. Some studies have shown that correcting a highly acidic environment with specific supplements such as bicarbonate can promote alkalinity, but this does not necessarily mean that an alkaline diet has similar benefits.
Improving back pain
A small amount of research suggests that supplementing the diet with alkaline minerals might help with symptoms of back pain.
This research does not directly test the benefits of an alkaline diet, so it is uncertain whether alkaline foods might help with chronic pain.
Osteoporosis is a major risk factor for bone fractures, especially in older people and females. Some proponents of this diet say that it reduces the amount of calcium lost in urine, and that this lowers osteoporosis risk. However, no scientific evidence supports this claim.
That said, eating more fruits and vegetables may improve bone health. Alkaline diets are rich in these foods. They also tend to be low in protein, which supports bone and muscle health.
It is unlikely, therefore, that an alkaline diet can prevent osteoporosis. Extremely low-protein alkaline diets may also be an osteoporosis risk factor. A better strategy is to eat more lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
Promoting healthy muscles
People tend to lose muscle mass as they age.
This increases a person’s risk of falls and fractures, and it may also contribute to weakness and chronic pain. A 2013 study offers preliminary evidence that an alkaline diet may improve muscle health.
Researchers examined 2,689 females in a long-term twin study. They found a small but significant increase in muscle mass among females following a more alkaline diet.
The alkaline diet has made big headlines over the last few years, and often for all the wrong reasons. We look into this highly contentious diet and ask whether it is safe, effective and scientifically sound.
What is the alkaline diet?
An alkaline diet is based on the theory that you can change the pH balance of your body and blood through the food that you eat – despite there currently being no evidence to suggest that this is possible.
Advocates of the diet have claimed that high levels of ‘excess acid’ in the body, caused by our modern diets, contribute to a range of health conditions including arthritis, osteoporosis, kidney and liver disorders, and even cancer.
Foods that are cited as being ‘acid-producing’ by advocates of the diet include meat, wheat and other grains, refined sugar, dairy products, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods. Foods that are considered ‘alkaline foods’ include fruit and vegetables.
The diet was originally developed to help prevent kidney stones and urine infections, as the pH of your urine changes depending on what you eat. However, there is no evidence to suggest that this alters the pH of the rest of the body. Blood pH is tightly regulated by our kidneys and is not affected by diet.
Cancer Research UK says that there is no good evidence to prove that diet can manipulate the pH of the body, or that ‘acidic’ diets increase the risk of cancer.
The NHS says that the alkaline diet lacks evidence, and advises against cutting out whole foods groups, as some versions of the diet suggest. The NHS does acknowledge that the recommendations to eat more fruit and vegetables and cut down on sugar and alcohol are in line with current healthy eating advice.
We asked nutritionist Kerry Torrens for her view…
The premise that by following an ‘alkaline’ diet, you will promote a preferential blood pH, which helps your body maintain a healthy weight and optimise your well-being is fundamentally flawed. This is because your body is designed to do this anyway, aiming to keep the blood pH at a constant slightly alkaline level of between 7.35 and 7.45.
That said, the foods recommended by the alkaline diet are good for you and in fact largely those promoted for healthy weight management. So if you are cutting down on meat, swapping fatty, processed foods, refined sugars, caffeine and alcohol for more plant-based foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds and drinking water, you are more than likely going to experience some weight loss. This way of eating may have additional benefits because a plentiful intake of plant-based foods improves the balance of potassium to sodium which helps manage blood pressure and may improve heart health.
As for the evidence supporting other specific health benefits, such as the effects, if any, on bone health, muscle wastage and the possible alleviation of back pain, there are currently limited scientific studies to support such claims. Although, it may be argued that more research is needed.
Is the alkaline diet safe?
The alkaline diet has been cited as a beneficial way of eating for those with chronic illnesses including cancer. However, to date there is no clinical evidence supporting the value and safety of an ‘alkaline’ diet for cancer patients, and in some cases it may prove detrimental.
A plentiful intake of fruit and veg, as advocated by the diet, has been claimed to enhance bone health and possibly protect against osteoporosis because of its high potassium content and lower levels of ‘acidic’ dietary protein. However, the evidence to date is inconsistent and studies involving a more ‘alkaline’ diet and supplements have not shown to be of benefit to bone health. In fact in the elderly, an inadequate protein intake can be a greater problem for bone health.
Cutting out whole food groups, such as dairy, can lead to nutritional inadequacies. In order to address this, followers need to find alternative food sources and consume them in appropriate amounts to ensure an adequate intake of key nutrients like calcium, vitamin A and D.
Read more about why we need vitamins and minerals, and discover the best sources of calcium.
What are the long-term effects of the alkaline diet?
The long-term effects of an alkaline diet will vary depending on the version of the diet that is adopted. A strict eating plan which eliminates grains, dairy and animal foods may be deficient in protein as well as vitamins and minerals including vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium and iron.
However, if choosing a balanced version of the diet which does not eliminate food groups, and includes some grains and animal protein along with plenty of plant-based foods, the long-term effects may be more positive. Eating in line with standard healthy weight loss advice and maintaining a healthy weight may lead to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, although this benefit can be obtained by following any healthy, balanced diet.
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This article was reviewed on 6th November 2019 by Kerry Torrens.
Kerry Torrens BSc. (Hons) PgCert MBANT is a Registered Nutritionist with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food.
All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.
In the case of the alkaline diet, not only is there no data to support it as a healthy way to lose weight, she says, but it’s just one more in a long list of fad diets destined to leave people feeling frustrated and as though they’ve failed.
The alkaline diet first surfaced in the early 2000s when Robert Young (a wellness guru who was sent to jail in 2017 for practising medicine without a license and has faced several lawsuits from former cancer patients who he “treated”) published a series of books, including The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health. Despite the fact Young has been soundly discredited, the idea that the body is too acidic and can be fixed with alkaline foods caught on fast—and stuck.
Andrea D’Ambrosio gets asked about the alkaline diet all the time. “Like any fad diet, people are always intrigued by the promise of fast and easy weight loss,”says the registered dietitian and owner of Dietetic Directions in Kitchener, Ont. “The alkaline diet also grabs people’s attention with celebrity endorsements.” (Kate Hudson, Elle Macpherson, Victoria Beckham and, of course, Gwyneth Paltrow, have all raved about it.)
The alkaline diet is based on the premise that so-called “acid-producing” foods such as meat, fish, dairy products, sugar, caffeine and grains make the body too acidic, which can lead to weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. “The theory is that by cutting out ‘acidic’ foods and increasing the intake of ‘alkaline’ (or basic) foods like fruits and vegetables, you can restore the body’s equilibrium and improve energy and weight loss, as well as prevent chronic diseases,” D’Ambrosio says. But, none of this is borne out of scientific study.
How can whole grains and milk be considered acidic?
Proponents claim that when certain foods (meat, grains, diary, etc.) are broken down, they produce a metabolic waste or “ash” that can be either alkaline or acidic. Acidic ash (caused by so-called acidic foods) make your blood acidic and more vulnerable to disease. But it bears repeating that this is made-up pseudoscience.
Is your body too acidic?
Your body is constantly working to maintain a normal pH (a measurement of how acid or alkaline something is) of between 7.35 and 7.45 in the blood, which is slightly alkaline, Zentner says. “You need that balance to function—pH is to the body what temperature is to the planet.”
The two organs responsible for maintaining that delicate balance between alkalinity and acidity are the kidneys (by retaining or excreting hydrogen and bicarbonate, depending on what our body needs) and the lungs (by getting rid of carbon dioxide). “If you think back to high school chemistry, the more hydrogens in something, the more acidic it is, the more bicarbonate, the more basic,” Zentner says.
But can what we eat alter the pH levels in our bodies? Not in our blood or in our cells, where it matters, D’Ambrosio says. “The fact that certain foods might change the pH of your urine slightly isn’t a reliable indicator for health outcomes, it’s a sign that your kidneys are efficiently excreting waste to maintain your body’s equilibrium.”
What about alkaline water?
Some parts of the body have a different pH, like the stomach, which has a pH of 2. “Stomach acid could burn a hole through a table,” Zentner says. Which means that, when it comes to eating more alkaline foods or chugging alkaline water, you’re just wasting your time—and your money. “Alkaline water might be alkaline in the bottle, but it’s not going to be alkaline once it hits your stomach.”
Zentner also questions why anyone would want to make it harder for their body to do its job. “It’s not possible to change the pH of your body with food and even if you could, it certainly wouldn’t be healthy.” In fact, alkalosis—when your body is too alkaline—is actually a condition that can cause nausea, vomiting, light-headedness, confusion and muscle spasms. There are two types: respiratory alkalosis (which can occur when there is too little carbon dioxide in the blood due to things like hyperventilation or being at a high altitude) and metabolic alkalosis (which can occur when the body loses too much acid due to poor kidney function).
Is there anything good about the alkaline diet?
Medically speaking, the alkaline diet is unlikely to do you any serious physical harm, Zentner says. “However, it takes an emotional toll when it doesn’t work.”
D’Ambrosio adds that strict adherence to the alkaline diet could lead to a lack of essential vitamins, minerals and fibre. “Completely avoiding so many otherwise healthy foods (fish, eggs, meat, dairy, whole grains) means you may not be receiving balanced nutrition,” she says. “Plus, the idea of severely restricting a diet based on unreliable science is troublesome.”
Still, she adds that the one good thing about the alkaline diet is that it encourages people to eat fewer processed foods and more fruits and veggies. “The typical ‘Western diet’ tends to be high in processed foods and meats and low in fruit and vegetables,” she says. “And increasing fruit and vegetable consumption helps boost potassium and magnesium intake, which can protect you from high blood pressure and stroke.” While eating an alkaline diet itself isn’t going to help you maintain a healthy weight or protect you from disease, eating a balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables just might. In fact, the healthiest way to approach your diet is to think about what nutritious foods you can add, not what “forbidden” foods you have to give up.
Recently I’ve noticed a resurgence of “The Alkaline Diet.” Celebs including Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Aniston and Kelly Ripa tout its benefits – claiming it helps you lose weight, reduce inflammation, and even avoid cancer.
But before you get too dazzled by the celebrity endorsements and hop on the “alkaline” bandwagon, it’s important to know the facts from the hype.
Proponents of The Alkaline Diet say that when we load up on excess amounts of protein, sugar, caffeine and other highly processed foods, our pH levels are thrown off track, our bodies become more acidic, and that can lead to weight gain and disease. The remedy, they say? Eat fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and other “alkaline-promoting foods” such as soy products, legumes, and certain nuts and grains. “Acid-promoting foods”, which include meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, processed foods, white sugar, white flour, and caffeine, are discouraged.
The idea of eating a certain way to achieve an ideal pH level has popped up in many diets over the years, so it’s nothing new or groundbreaking. However there is a major flaw with this premise: Our bodies maintain their pH balance regardless of what we eat! In fact, the body has several mechanisms to ensure that pH levels are highly controlled at different specific levels. For example, the stomach has a pH ranging from 1.35-3.5. It must be acidic to aid in digestion. Our blood must always be slightly alkaline, with a pH of 7.35 to 7.45.
Despite this, many of those following an alkaline plan insist on testing the pH of their urine multiple times per day to make sure that their bodies aren’t too acidic. This is a waste of both time and money. While diet and other metabolic processes can affect the pH level of your urine, what you eat does not determine your blood’s pH level. And the pH of your urine has no effect on weight loss and no correlation with the risk of cancer or inflammation-related medical conditions.
Why Can’t You Lose Weight?
Body Acidity May Be The Culprit
Obesity is at an all time high in the United States and there is no indication that the numbers are going to go down. Diet products and programs abound because people are obsessed with losing fat. There are over 300,000 diet books on the market. Fad diets and gimmicks are all over television and the internet; some of which work short term, but in order to lose fat you must understand the base cause of the weight gain.
If you look at the function of fat you will find that a moderate amount of fat is not the enemy, you actually need some body fat, in fact it may be saving your life. Body fat is essential for the normal healthy function of many of the body’s systems, such as, organs, bone marrow, the nervous system, and muscles. It’s also used as energy.
Body acidity and body fat are intricately linked in a way that is generally unknown to most people. Fat is one of the body’s primary defenses used to protect your blood pH. pH is a measurement that determines the level of acidity or alkalinity. Your blood must maintain a pH of 7.3 to 7.4 to sustain life. And when your body’s overall pH level is off there is low oxygen delivery to cells, creating an environment where disease thrives, setting the stage for many normally healthy processes to turn destructive.
To maintain proper pH levels, the body flushes out and removes as many acids and toxins as it can through sweating, urination, and defecation. When there are more toxins/acids than the body is able to dispose of, it produces toxic waste storage cells (fat cells) to store them in. So, you see, fat cells perform an important health function when they store toxins and excess acid. You may not appreciate the extra fat, but if you’re pH is out of balance you may need these fat storage cells to sustain life.
This is an important concept to understand… If you are ingesting toxic chemical food ingredients, such as artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutimate (MSG), unhealthy oils, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, or processed foods or exposing yourself regularly to other poisons and chemicals, like chemical based sunscreens, bug sprays, and body care products, as well as environmental toxins, then your body is working overtime to produce more and more fat cells to store these excessive toxins in. That may be the answer to why dieting, exercise and discipline may not solve your weight issues. With respect to losing weight, you and your body may not have the same goal.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently conducted fat biopsies on 400 people. Each and every person tested contained toxins stored in their fat cells and over 100 different toxic chemicals were discovered.
Want the fatty acids in your body to stick to your artery walls?
Probably not. But, when blood shifts toward the acidic, fatty acids, which would normally be negatively charged, switch to positive. Since opposites attract and artery walls are negatively charged, you now have fatty acids that are drawn to your artery walls.
Blood pH and insulin regulation
Another aspect in the acidity/fat connection is that blood pH controls the efficiency of insulin…and insulin regulation is one of the biggest keys to maintaining proper body weight.
Think your weight gain may be connected to a thyroid problem?
You’re probably right. Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function, but iodine requires a near perfect pH level to be assimilated. Without adequate levels of iodine, the thyroid will not function at peak performance, opening the door to all kinds of health issues, such as weight gain, diabetes, depression, low energy, heart attacks, and more.
The bottom line
Excess acidity throws healthy processes into a destructive mode. The body must either neutralize and get rid of the excess acids/toxins in the blood or risk major health issues.
In essence, one of the healthiest and most effective ways to initiate fat loss, and maintain balanced weight may be to detoxify your body and normalize your body’s pH. Acid / Alkali will always be a balancing act. Your body will be constantly removing toxins and acids from your system as a part of normal function. But, remember, it’s the excess toxins and acids, over and above what the body is able to deal with naturally, that are turned into fat cells, causing the sometimes unexplained and difficult to lose weight.
How do you know if you are alkaline or acidic?
healthy body pH range is between 6.0 and 7.5. A pH of 5.0 would be considered very acidic, and anything higher than pH 7.5 would be outside the healthy alkaline range also. There are many products on the market that either test saliva or urine so you can measure your pH level. Ask your local health food store or go online to search for a reliable pH tester or test strips. It is possible to become too alkaline, so you do not want to be above 7.5
Here’s a quick and general reference of the various effects of acid/alkaline pH levels in the body:
7.0 to 7.5
Optimum health and energy
Beginning of metabolic acidosis
Impaired digestion, hard to lose weight
10 Times less oxygen to the cells
Extreme acidosis, cancer and degenerative disease
100 Times less oxygen to the cells and life threatening
As you can see, maintaining the proper acid/alkaline levels in the body is essential to good health.
Here are some common symptoms of excess acidity:
Low energy, frequent colds, infections flues
Excess mucous production and nasal congestion
Moods, nervous, irritable
Joint pain, arthritis, and muscle pain
Hives and rashes
Weak, brittle nails, dry hair and skin, psoriasis
Acid indigestion, heartburn, nausea
Malabsorption of nutrients
So, where do you start?
You can successfully correct body acidity with changes to diet and lifestyle that include eating healthy natural food, taking supplements that support alkalizing the system, and by incorporating some form of oxygenating exercise into your routine.
If you make some changes to your eating habits and lifestyle, and pay attention to consuming foods and products that are particularly alkalizing, then your body will naturally retain its proper balance and there will be no need for production of these unwanted protective fat cells. Don’t fool yourself, food additives are toxins – they are chemicals and your body sees them as toxins. This is why processed food is so dangerous.
Drinking plenty of fresh purified water will help rid your body of toxins as they will be expelled in your urine. Sweating also helps remove toxins.
You should strive for a diet of 80% alkaline forming food and 20% acidic forming food. Many books and charts are available that list alkaline and acid forming foods to help you make the best food choices. All vegetables are alkalizing, especially leafy greens.
Investing in a quality juicer with the capability to juice greens is a great way to get more alkalizing greens. You can use the leftover pulp in soups or salads (a couple spoonfuls of pulp is a great way to add texture to an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing).
If you don’t have time to juice there are many greens products on the market such as Vital Earth Minerals’ Vital Greens. For extra help alkalizing the body and removing toxins before they are turned into fat cells, Vital Earth Minerals’ Fulvic Mineral Complex is a powerful and completely natural detoxifying and alkalizing agent. Fulvic quickly destroys acids in body fluids, and increases the body’s ability to absorb oxygen.
The benefits of an alkaline body are far reaching
The benefits of maintaining an alkaline pH exceed that of weight maintenance alone. Viruses and diseases cannot survive in an alkaline environment, including arthritis, cancer, and diabetes.
Because this is a very complex subject, our goal with this report is to stimulate your interest in the subject, and encourage you explore it further. There is a lot of information available online, as well as many excellent books on acid/alkali. Good health is all about balance, and pH levels are something that can have an immediate and positive effect on your health if you give it some effort.
For another good article on the subject, read “Acidity – The Energy Zapper” on our website. Learn the symptoms of over acidity, how to test for it, and some solutions for lowering body acidity
But First, What Is An Alkaline Diet, Anyway?
Before we get into my little experiment, you should understand what the alkaline diet is and what it claims to do.
The idea behind the alkaline diet, also known as the alkaline acid diet or alkaline ash diet, is that your food can affect pH levels in the body. Your pH level, in turn, affects your overall health and well-being.
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When you eat something and digest it, your body doesn’t absorb everything. You produce what is called “metabolic waste”, or as proponents of the alkaline diet plan call it, “ash”. If you eat high acid foods, the ash will be acidic. If you eat high alkaline foods, the ash will be alkaline.
Scientists do agree that it’s important to maintain the relatively alkaline pH of our blood, at 7.365-7.4. The acid-ash diet theory believes that you can better manage your blood pH levels through an alkaline diet.
Furthermore, there are supposedly lots other benefits of having an alkaline body. The diet claims to help you shed some pounds, improve energy levels, and prevent diseases like arthritis, osteoporosis, and diabetes. It also recommends alkaline foods for their cancer-busting properties.
The Alkaline Food Chart
The alkaline diet divides food into three categories: acidic, neutral, and alkaline. Acidic foods include red meat, chicken, fish, chocolate, wheat, and alcohol. Neutral foods include natural fats like butter, most oils, milk, and cream. Alkaline foods include most fruits and veggies.
It’s not always intuitive. Is vinegar acidic or alkaline? Acidic. Is lemon acidic or alkaline? Surprisingly, alkaline. You can check out alkaline food lists like the one below for guidance.
Hesitations, Hesitations, Hesitations
Starting out, I was worried a little. I’ve never had an easy time sticking to diets, especially super-restrictive ones that discourage pretty much all of my favourite things. I love a good steak and I snack pretty frequently throughout the day. I’m also pretty partial to the occasional glass of wine.
The alkaline diet also forbids coffee, which I imagine would be difficult for people who need caffeine to jump start their day. Thankfully, I’m not a big coffee person, but I do drink tea every morning. And yep, that’s out of the question too.
While following the alkaline diet was my #1 concern, I was also worried about getting all of the nutrients I needed. I know that protein is an important part of any diet, and I wasn’t 100% confident I could cut it with just tofu and beans.
The Challenge: One Month On The Alkaline Diet
Armed with all of this info, I felt like I was finally ready to take on the challenge. But before I started, I had to make sure I knew what my goals were so I could measure for it at the end of the month.
And why do most people go on diets if not to lose a little bit of weight? I had a few extra pounds I could afford to lose, and a lot of people do choose the alkaline diet for its weight loss benefits. I couldn’t possibly measure for its alleged long-term effects like preventing cancer, but I was curious to see if I would at least feel happier or healthier.
My Usual Diet
As I said, I’m a meat eater. My meals usually consist of meat (chicken, beef, or pork mostly), a starch (rice, bread, potatoes), and a small serving of veggies. I’m a notorious snacker, and I nibble on bits of cheese pretty often. I also have a few glasses of wine or beer a week and a cup of tea every morning.
So, it’s obviously going to be quite difficult to switch!
My Experience With The Alkaline Diet
The highly-anticipated (dreaded?) day has come. I started out the week pretty strong, with chia seeds, coconut milk, and sliced alkaline fruits for breakfast. Lunch was variations of salad or lettuce wraps. For dinner, I’d stir-fry some veggies, beans, and tofu – all high-alkaline foods, according to my research.
The first week was tough. I’ll admit I still felt like I wasn’t eating enough, and I was always super hungry by the end of the day. I usually work out two or three times a week with some mild cardio and weight lifting, but I didn’t go because I was scared I was too weak for it.
My friend – the genius that he is – recommended that I supplement the diet with a protein-packed green smoothie. This way, I could still get my energy, feel full, and stick to the diet. My go-to was blueberries, bananas, spinach, almond milk, coconut oil, and a scoop of organic plant-based protein powder.
As for food, I’ve gotten pretty used to the quinoa-chia seeds-salad trifecta of alkaline diets. I’ve also eaten more avocados in the last two weeks than I have in my entire life.
I’ve settled into the diet at this point. I haven’t checked the scales yet because I’m saving that for the end of the challenge, but I do feel lighter and leaner. I’ve also started going back to the gym, although I’m still not lifting or running as much as I used to.
In the spirit of honesty, I cheated a little bit. A close friend came over for dinner one night and wasn’t aware of this experiment, so guess what he brought over? Wagyu steak and wine.
At first, I felt a little guilty that I broke my two-week streak. Then I justified it to myself as a one-time cheat day. But I felt less bad when I saw this article that said you can still have some acid-forming foods, as long as you keep it to less than 20% of your total consumption.
The final stretch! I was a little more experimental in the last week of my alkaline diet. I had quinoa burrito bowls with beans, corn, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and a squeeze of lime. I kicked dinner up a notch with spelt (not wheat!) pasta, tomatoes, and homemade pesto. I treated myself to as many power smoothies as I wanted.
The Results: Does The Alkaline Diet Work?
Well, I can’t say what the alkaline diet does for cancer or other diseases, but I can say that I slimmed down quite a bit. In a month, I lost about 3kg, or slightly less than a kilogram a week.
My energy levels dipped a bit in the first week, especially since I wasn’t getting as many calories as I did on my old diet. But after tweaking it a little bit and adding protein powder into the mix (literally), I had more energy to go through the day and even hit the gym.
But was it because of the alkaline diet or something else?
Scientists agree that the alkaline diet comes with many benefits, but not because of a more alkalised blood pH level. Compared to most people’s diets, the alkaline diet has more fruits, veggies, and just overall healthier food. There’s just no proof that your diet can affect your body’s pH, or that an alkaline diet is inherently better than any other healthy, low-sugar, nutrient-rich diet.
And what about the alkaline diet’s side effects? While it’s good to reduce your intake of red meat and processed foods, restricting entire food groups like dairy or grains can negatively impact your body. There’s also a huge risk of malnutrition, especially if you’re not taking supplements or getting important nutrients like protein elsewhere.
Most of all, the alkaline diet just isn’t sustainable. For me and for most others. Shopping for fruits, veg, and protein powder can get quite expensive. And eating the same things over and over again can get boring in the long run.
So am I going to continue on the alkaline diet? And do I recommend it? Well, yes and no. Here are the facts: the alkaline diet just isn’t based on any scientific evidence. Eating healthy is a huge part of being healthy, but you don’t need to go on the restrictive alkaline diet to reap the benefits.
If there’s something I can give the alkaline diet credit for is that it inspired me to incorporate more fruit and veg into my regular diet. Who knows, I might even do one or two vegetarian days a week! If making healthier choices was the goal, then I think the alkaline diet helped me achieve it.
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How Your pH Balance Affects Weight Loss
An acidic diet – one that contains too much red meat, junk food, alcohol, heavy sauces and processed foods, can cause dozens of health problems. If you eat mostly acidic foods, you’ll be more likely to suffer from poor circulation, bloating, constipation, fatigue and achy joints. Acidic foods tend to have more calories and are less nutritious than alkaline foods, leading to weight gain. Consider how your pH balance affects weight loss before you eat your next meal.
pH balance isn’t just for your swimming pool. Having a proper alkaline/acid balance in your body affects weight loss and maintenance. Choosing mostly alkaline foods-and, occasionally, cranberries or other healthy but acidic foods will keep your pH balance at the recommended 7.35-7.45 (slightly alkaline). pH balance affects weight loss and overall health, increasing or reducing energy and mental function according to the foods you eat. If you consume many foods containing sugar or carbohydrates, your body’s acidic level increases, compromising your system and leaving you more prone to weight gain. Since your pH balance affects weight loss, eat more alkaline foods to remain energetic and slim. Eating more alkaline foods does more than give you a healthy body. It reduces headaches, helps you function better during stressful situations and puts you in a better mood.
Your pH balance may be too acidic if you suffer from acid reflux, sore muscles, heartburn, indigestion or cracks at the corners of your mouth. Adjust your diet to include more alkaline foods – fruits, vegetables, soy, green tea and whole grains – to improve your health and lose weight.
Alkaline Foods and How pH Balance Affects Weight Loss
Eating mostly alkaline foods is better for your overall health as well as your weight. Most fruits and vegetables are alkaline, along with almonds, chestnuts and tofu. A slightly alkaline pH balance affects weight loss by making your cells function more efficiently.
Lemons and limes are alkaline foods although they are high in acid. A food’s alkaline or acid pH level is related to the end effect of the food after digestion and absorption into the body, not the acid or alkaline level of the food itself. After lemons or limes are digested, they have an alkaline pH. Red meat is alkaline before you eat it, but it becomes acidic in the body. (http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm)
One of the best ways to neutralize an acidic pH is to drink more water. Avoid soft drinks, alcohol and coffee, and stay hydrated by drinking eight glasses of filtered water a day.Your daily water intake includes the water content in food and other beverages.
Here’s a list of some alkaline foods for weight loss and their nutritional advantages:
Broccoli lowers cholesterol and is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, folate, fiber and over a dozen other nutrients. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, lowering the body’s oxidative stress levels and eliminating cancer-causing toxins. Broccoli has high water content and contains only 55 calories per cup. Its alkaline pH balance affects weight loss, and other nutritional qualities make it one of the healthiest vegetables for any diet.
Eggplant – A cup of cubed eggplant is a good source of fiber, Vitamin B1 and manganese, and it has only 35 calories. Eggplant skin has a phytonutrient called nasunin, which is an antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals. In a study on lab animals, eggplant juice was shown to improve blood flow and reduce cholesterol in their aortas.
Garlic – Raw garlic is a natural antibiotic. Garlic is a folk remedy for everything from colds and toothaches to lowering blood pressure. Allicin, the most powerful substance in garlic, may help in weight loss and maintenance. The American Journal of Hypertension (http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/garlic-benefit.shtml )published a report showing that animals with high blood pressure, insulin and triglycerides retained their weight or lost weight when given allicin. Garlic is an alkaline food, so it will normalize your pH while providing other health benefits.
Apples offer fiber to keep you regular and reduce cholesterol (just eat them with the peels still on). It helps to prevent Type 2 diabetes by regulating your blood sugar. Apples contain compounds called triterpenoids which may reduce the chance of developing pancreatic, colon or breast cancer. And this alkaline fruit will help fill you up, causing you to eat less and maintain your weight or even lose a few pounds.
Ginger is one of several alkaline spices, including cinnamon, curry and chili pepper that regulate pH balance while adding flavor to food. Ginger can reduce inflammation and may even prevent colon cancer. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265990.php It contains phenolic compounds to help move fluids and food through the digestive system, keeping you regular and eliminating the extra weight that occurs due to constipation. Ginger helps reduce muscle pain and pain associated with PMS. It contributes to weight loss, too, partly due to its thermogenic (heat-creating) properties. (Thermogenic foods may help burn fat.) A Columbia University study indicated that people who had a hot ginger drink after a meal were less likely to eat more later in the day, aiding weight loss.
An Acidic pH Balance Affects Weight Loss and May Cause Serious Health Problems
If you consume too much acidic food, your body will store some of that acid in fat cells. The body protects you from the harmful effect of excess acid by hiding it from tissues. When this occurs, your body lose calcium, which weakens bones. The body may produce fat cells to protect itself from unwanted acid, causing you to gain weight. By changing your diet, you can get a more alkaline pH balance and lose weight.
An acidic pH balance prevents the body from absorbing nutrients and reduces it’s ability to repair cells and produce energy. Excess acid decreases the body’s detoxifying power, leaving more harmful toxins and heavy metals to cause damage and disease. A high acidic blood pH may cause coma or death under certain circumstances.
Eat Fewer Acidic Foods for Better pH Balance and Health
pH balance affects weight loss because an alkaline pH keeps your digestive system and other functions working well enough to curb appetite and keep you energetic. Acidic foods deplete your energy, leaving you fatigued and contributing to other health problems. Limit your intake of acidic foods for better health and a leaner body.
Refined flour products, a staple in many American pantries, contribute to an overly acidic pH. They include white bread, plain bagels, hot dog buns, pastries, white flour, soda crackers and macaroni. Substitute whole grains, quinoa and buckwheat for refined flour products. Oats and brown rice, while listed as acidic, are better for you than white flour products, so you can consume them in moderation. The goal isn’t to avoid acidic foods completely, but to eat them sparingly to lose or maintain weight and keep your pH balance in check.
Only a few fruits and vegetables are classified as acidic. They include cranberries, blueberries, olives, corn, lentils and any canned or glazed fruits. Eating some of these foods occasionally is fine. Blueberries have antioxidant properties that contribute to all-around health, and lentils are a good source of fiber. Avoid canned or glazed fruits, as they usually have a high sugar or preservative content.
Most beans are legumes are acidic in nature, but they are essential sources of fiber and protein. Balance your intake of beans with alkaline foods, and your pH should remain steady. Butter, cheese and ice cream, sources of Calcium and Vitamin D, are acidic and should be consumed in moderation. Drink low-fat milk or take calcium or Vitamin D supplements (wheatgrass supplements contain calcium) to get more of these nutrients. You can also get out in the sun! Sunshine is the main source of Vitamin D in the human body.
Alcohol and most nuts, meats and condiments are acidic. Junk food, soft drinks, white flour, pork, chocolate and sweetened yogurt are among the most acidic foods. You can eat most acidic foods in small amounts, but avoid cola, coffee and beer if you are trying to lose weight or if you are trying to alter a high acid pH.
The Alkaline Diet is Based on how pH Balance Affects Weight Loss
The alkaline diet is gaining popularity in the media. Several authors have written cookbooks based on an alkaline foods diet, and celebrities have spoken about their success with weight loss plan. The alkaline diet has many pros and cons, according to researchers. One study found that older adults who ate alkaline fruits and vegetables (http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/01/21/pros-and-cons-alkaline-diet/) and fewer proteins and acidic foods retained more muscle mass. This is important for older adults, since we lose 4.4 pounds of lean tissue, on average, per decade.
Alkaline fruits and veggies contain calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium and less of the sulfur and nitrogen of acidic foods. Green foods are the best source of alkalinity – spinach, broccoli, kale, lettuce, vegetable juice and similar green produce.
Wheatgrass is a High Grade Alkaline Food
Wheatgrass is one of the best alkaline superfoods. It demonstrates how pH balance affects weight loss by neutralizing the toxins and acids that lead to obesity. Wheatgrass energizes you and burns fat with the power of B-complex vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and 90 out of 102 possible minerals. Humans can’t digest raw wheatgrass, so it must be taken as a supplement tablet or juiced for a wheatgrass drink. Either way, it is a nutritious alkaline food with the ability to detox your body of poisons and heavy metals. This energizes you and increases your fat-burning capabilities, helping you to lose weight (when combined with a reduced calorie diet and exercise).
The nutrients in wheatgrass have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and help prevent bacterial infections in the body. The main component of wheatgrass is chlorophyll, the pigment that makes plants green. Chlorophyll is rich in magnesium, which helps relax muscles and prevent depression and anxiety. It has also been shown to lower the risk of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
Zeal O2 Wheatgrass Supplement and its Alkaline pH Balance Affects Weight Loss and Overall Health
Zeal O2 Natural Weight Loss Supplement and Energy Booster from WheatgrassLove gives you the alkaline power of wheatgrass to neutralize toxins in the body and bring your pH balance to a healthy level. Once you have a slightly alkaline pH level your body will function better, giving you more energy, increasing mental clarity and allowing you to burn fat more easily. You won’t feel sluggish and heavy from constipation or poor circulation. Magnesium and other minerals in wheatgrass help your digestive system to run smoothly. Wheatgrass is the main ingredient in Zeal O2 but there are over a dozen herbs in the additional proprietary blend to give you even more pep and help curb your appetite. Cayenne pepper, green tea extract, ginger and gingko biloba are mixed together in lab-tested amounts with lesser-known but effective herbs like fo-ti. These herbs fight inflammation, anxiety and make your feel healthier. Citrus Aurantium, a safe alternative to ephedra, is also included in the herbal blend to increase your fat-burning mechanisms. Order Zeal O2.
The pH balancing wheatgrass in HappyGirl Mood Enhancement Supplement relieves mood swings from PMS, menopause or everyday ups and downs. An acidic pH level can cause depression, fatigue and anxiety, and wheatgrass will help change a harmful acid pH balance to a healthier alkaline one. HappyGirl contains additional B-complex vitamins to supplement the ones occurring naturally in wheatgrass. B12, B6 and the other B-complex vitamins are powerful energy and mood-enhancing tools. Like Zeal O2, HappyGirl has a herbal blend of cayenne pepper, green tea extract, ginger and other fat-burning nutrients. Teens, men and older adults can use HappyGirl to improve mood and energy – it’s not just for women! Order HappyGirl.
REVV Natural Energy Supplement balances your pH and gives you a 100% natural and safe burst of energy at the same time. REVV chocolate mint wafers are made with wheatgrass, plus periwinkle herb for extra blood flow to the brain, and L-taurine for energy and better heart health. Take a REVV wafer anytime you need a pick-me-up! Order REVV.
Wheatgrass supplements from WheatgrassLove are made from the finest, high-value wheatgrass and herbs. Our oxygen-infused nutritional supplements are tested in an FDA-registered laboratory and held to the highest quality standards. We guarantee you’ll be 100% satisfied with Zeal O2, HappyGirl and REVV or your money back! Always talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplement.
PH & Weight Loss
To maintain balance, your body first tries to neutralize and excrete excess acid via urine. Continually choosing foods that produce acid ash can overload this buffering process. According to Health Styles 4 U Rx, a natural medicine, integrated health care site, acid ash your body cannot neutralize or excrete becomes stored in body fluids and body fat cells 3. Once inside your cells, acid waste disables enzyme reactions, changes the process of metabolism and stops weight loss.
According to Dr. Susan E. Brown, a medical anthropologist and New York state-certified nutritionist, you can avoid acid-ash overload and prevent its effects from inhibiting weight loss by following a diet that consists of 35 percent acid-forming foods and 65 percent alkaline-forming foods. In general, this means increasing your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts and decreasing your intake of grains, meats and refined sugar
A report published in September 2009 in Medical Hypothesis Journal by science expert Shoma Berkemeyer addresses the issue of blood pH as it relates to weight gain. Berkemeyer acknowledges a relationship between blood pH and weight and suggests that although more research is necessary, it might be less important to eat less of some foods, such as:
The Wrap Up
If weight loss is your goal, you don’t have to look far for a plan guaranteed to work. Keeping weight off requires striking a balance between the calories you consume and the calories you burn. Blood pH, or the acid-base balance in your blood, plays a role in weight loss and determines how you burn fat. In general, this means increasing your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts and decreasing your intake of grains, meats and refined sugar A report published in September 2009 in Medical Hypothesis Journal by science expert Shoma Berkemeyer addresses the issue of blood pH as it relates to weight gain.
What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:
Does It Work?
Maybe, but not for the reasons it claims.
First, a little chemistry: A pH level measures how acid or alkaline something is. A pH of 0 is totally acidic, while a pH of 14 is completely alkaline. A pH of 7 is neutral. Those levels vary throughout your body. Your blood is slightly alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Your stomach is very acidic, with a pH of 3.5 or below, so it can break down food. And your urine changes, depending on what you eat — that’s how your body keeps the level in your blood steady.
The alkaline diet claims to help your body maintain its blood pH level. In fact, nothing you eat is going to substantially change the pH of your blood. Your body works to keep that level constant.
But the foods you’re supposed to eat on the alkaline diet are good for you and will support a healthy weight loss: lots of fruits and vegetables, and lots of water. Avoiding sugar, alcohol, and processed foods is healthy weight-loss advice, too.
As to the other health claims, there’s some early evidence that a diet low in acid-producing foods like animal protein (such as meat and cheese) and bread and high in fruits and veggies could help prevent kidney stones, keep bones and muscles strong, improve heart health and brain function, reduce low back pain, and lower risk for type 2 diabetes. But researchers aren’t sure of some of these claims yet.
People who believe in the alkaline diet say that though acid-producing foods shift our pH balance for only a little while, if you keep shifting your blood pH over and over, you can cause long-lasting acidity.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?’
Following an alkaline diet means choosing fruits and vegetables over higher-calorie, higher-fat choices. You will also shun prepared foods, which often have a lot of sodium.
That’s great news for heart health because these steps help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which are big risk factors for heart disease.
Getting to a healthy weight is also important in preventing and treating diabetes and osteoarthritis.
Some studies have found that an alkaline environment may make certain chemotherapy drugs more effective or less toxic. But it has not been shown that an alkaline diet can do this or help prevent cancer. If you have cancer, talk to your doctor or dietitian about your nutritional needs before starting any type of diet.
The Final Word
The emphasis on fruits and vegetables that is at the core of alkaline diets offers the promise of healthy weight loss. No special gear or supplements are required.
You’ll have the best success with it if you like to choose and experiment with new foods and love to cook.
But following an alkaline diet will be tough for many people.
A lot of favorite foods that are allowed in moderation in other plans (including lean meat, low-fat dairy, bread, and sweets) are forbidden here. Protein is limited to plant-based sources such as beans and tofu. This means you will have to make sure you get enough protein and calcium.
Eating out also can be a challenge. If you travel a lot for work or have a busy schedule, you might feel bogged down by all the food selection and prep.
Finally, many alkaline diets fail to address a major factor in weight loss and wellness success: exercise. You should include fitness in any healthy eating plan that you choose. The American Heart Association and the CDC recommend getting at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. If you have any medical problems or are out of shape, talk to your doctor first.
An alkaline diet: Hype or healthy?
Some celebrities and fitness experts tout the weight loss and health benefits of following an alkaline diet. According to some it can prevent everything from cancer to arthritis, plus help you lose weight. But, does the hype hold up? Does it really matter whether you’re eating too many acidic foods and not enough alkaline-rich choices?
pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of our body’s fluids and tissues. It’s measured on a scale from 0 to 14. The more acidic the lower its pH. The more alkaline, the higher the pH. A pH of around 7 is considered neutral. Your blood is slightly alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Your stomach is very acidic, with a pH of 3.5 or below, so it can break down food. And your urine changes, depending on what you eat—that’s how your body keeps the level in your blood steady.
Following an alkaline diet might help with weight loss, however, it can be challenging because of the number of foods you must avoid, including caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten and refined sugar. Foods that are more acidic tend to be those we already know are bad for us, such as heavily processed foods, dairy, refined sugars, meats and wheat. Limiting consumption of acid-forming foods and eating more alkaline-forming foods can protect your body from obesity by decreasing leptin levels and inflammation, which affects your hunger and fat-burning abilities.
In contrast, foods that are high in alkaline are many of the fruits, vegetables and herbs we already know are healthy for us. Most healthy diet plans call for eating a balance of whole, fresh foods with regular exercise. One of the anti-aging effects of an alkaline diet is that it decreases inflammation and causes an increase in growth hormone production. This has been shown to improve cardiovascular health and offer protection against common problems like high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), kidney stones, stroke and even memory loss.
Consult your doctor or a nutritionist before beginning any diet plan, including this one.
High alkaline fruits
coconut (water, milk, butter, oil)
melons—cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon
High alkaline vegetables
squashes, including pumpkin
Soy, tofu, some nuts and seeds, and most herbs and spices, including ginger and garlic, are also alkaline.
Is the Alkaline Diet Really Healthy or Just a Fad?
So you spent the weekend gorging on burgers and funnel cake (it’s summer, after all) only to find yourself reaching for the antacid on Sunday night—we’ve all been there. While it’s no surprise that certain large, fatty meals can contribute to digestive upsets such as heartburn, specific foods might be to blame as well. Some experts believe acid-forming foods (including some fish, meat, and grains) can lead to tummy troubles, weak bones, and lower-back pain, while foods with lower acidity—hello, fruits and vegetables—may keep the body in better balance.
What’s the Deal?
The idea behind the low-acid regimen often referred to as an “alkaline diet” is that eating more fruits and vegetables can balance the body’s pH, mitigating issues including heartburn and acid reflux (among others). Now, let’s teleport back to high school chemistry class for a second: pH is the measure of how acidic or basic a solution is. A pH of 1.0 is highly acidic, while a pH of 14.0 is very basic, and 7.0 is neutral. Our blood usually maintains a pH of between 7.38 and 7.42, while the pH of stomach acid can be as low as 1.35The alkaline diet: Is there evidence that an alkaline pH diet benefits health? Schwalfenberg, G.K. University of Alberta. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Journal of Environmental Public Health, 2012;2012:727630.. When these numbers get out of whack, it can spell trouble for our bodies.
But just because a food is acidic or has a low pH does not necessarily mean it’s considered “acid-forming”—that’s a matter of how the food changes the acidity of body fluids in the kidney and urine post-ingestion. This is measured using potential renal acid load (PRAL) scores. One study that tested various foods for their PRAL score found that fruits and vegetables had low PRAL scores, while processed foods, dairy, and meats had high scoresPotential renal acid load of foods and its influence on urine pH. Remer T., Manz F. Research Institute of Child Nutrition. Dortmund, Germany. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 1995; 95(7): 791-7.. A higher PRAL score (indicated by a positive number) means that a particular food is very acid-forming, while a lower PRAL score (indicated by a negative number) classifies it as alkaline, meaning that it produces more basic compounds rather than acidic ones.
So what foods are allowed? It’s complicated. Most vegetables are a-okay, as are most fruits and soy products, and some nuts (including cashews and almonds), grains (including quinoa and whole-grain rice), oils (including , and legumes (including lentils and green beans). Meat, fish, poultry, dairy, processed foods (including white sugar and white flour), and caffiene are no-nos. The tricky part is that there are many foods that fall somewhere in the middle: Dairy products can range in PRAL score from around one, all the way up to over 30. Even vegetables—which are largely considered a healthy part of the alkaline diet—range from -14 (good!) to 0 (not as good!). (Fruits are in the same boat.)
A key point to remember is that just because a certain product is in itself very acidic doesn’t mean it is acid-forming. Lemons are a great example. These sour citrus fruits are themselves pretty acidic with a pH of 2.0. However, a lemon’s PRAL score (per the study mentioned above) is -2.5, meaning it is alkaline when digested within the body.
Why Do People Care?
With health issues such as food intolerances and allergies, celiac disease, and other chronic health conditions on the rise, it seems like people will do just about anything to alleviate symptoms. Since the alkaline diet offers hope of eliminating or lessening unpleasant symptoms like acid reflux and heartburn, it’s become a popular option among the health-conscious community—andamong well-known celebrities including Jennifer Anniston and Victoria Beckham.
The alkaline diet’s supposed benefits likely stem from an increased intake of fresh produce, not necessarily a change in the body’s pH. There are few downsides (and lots of benefits) to consuming a healthy dose of veggies. There is also some skepticism regarding our ability to actively change pH through diet: Some experts argue that while eating less acid-forming foods may change the pH of our urine, it can’t really change the pH of blood, which our bodies meticulously maintain on their own. And with a strictly “alkaline” diet, you’ll be missing out on (for example) healthy doses of omega 3s in fish and other healthy fats it suggests scaling back on.
And some of the benefits attributed to a low-alkaline diet might in reality come from just upping produce intake. One three-year study found that men and women who consumed a low-acid diet with potassium-rich fruits and vegetables lost less muscle mass than those with a lower potassium intakeA higher alkaline dietary load is associated with greater indexes of skeletal muscle mass in women. Welch, A.A., Macgregor, A.J., Skinner, J., et al. Department of Nutrition, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom. Osteoporosis International, 2013; 24(6): 1899-908.. This may have to do with the fact that potassium is traditionally considered an important mineral for proper muscle function, so getting enough of it can keep your tissues in tiptop shape.
Diets high in fresh produce have been linked to lower risk of heart attack and strokeTotal antioxidant capacity from diet and risk of myocardial infarction: a prospective cohort of women. Rautianen, S., Levitan, E.B., Orsini, N., et al. Division of Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. American Journal of Medicine, 2012; 125(10):974-80.Fruit and vegetable consumption and stroke: meta-analysis of cohort studies. He, F.J., Nowson, C.A., MacGregor, G.A. Blood Pressure Unit, Cardiac and Vascular Sciences, St George’s University of London, London, UK. Lancet, 2006; 367(9507):320-6. What’s more, they can boost your mood. Plus, if you cook meals paired with veggies, one study suggests it makes others think you’re a better cookHow vegetables make the meal: their hedonic impact on perceptions of the meal and of the preparer. Wansink, B., Shimizu, M., Brumberg A. Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Public Health and Nutrition, 2012; 15:1-7..
Scientists also speculate that when the body’s acidity is too high, it pulls minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium from bones in order to help neutralize itself. Pulling too much calcium from bones can lead to weaker skeletonsExcess dietary protein can adversely affect bone. Barzel, U.S., Massey L.K. Montefiore Medical Center and The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York. Journal of Nutrition, 1998; 128(6): 1051-3.. This may also explain why some countries that chow down on calcium-rich dairy can still have high levels of osteoporosisShould dairy be recommended as part of a healthy vegetarian diet? Counterpoint. Lanou, A.J. Deparment of Health and Wellness, University of North Carolina, Asheville, North Carolina. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009; 89(5): 1638S-1642S.. Just keep in mind this link is not definitive—other research suggests certain dairy products such as milk and yogurt can indeed improve bone densityMilk and yogurt consumption are linked with higher bone mineral density but not with hip fracture: the Framingham Offspring Study. Sahni, S., Tucker K.L., Kiel, D.P., et al. Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife and Harvard Medical School. Boston, MA. Archives of Osteoporosis, 2013; 8(1-2):119.. And when combined with adequate calcium intake, diets higher in protein (another acid-forming food group) might actually result in fewer fractures and greater bone massAmount of type of protein influences bone health. Heaney, R.P., Layman, D.K. Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008; 87(5): 1567S-1570S..