I’m constantly trying to find healthy ways to improve my diet and lifestyle to ultimately improve my health overall. Having Fibromyalgia and POTS, I find that I have to go the extra mile to ensure that I’m being as healthy as possible- although I do have some bad habits that I’m still working on.
When I transitioned to a vegan lifestyle, 2 years ago, I had quite a smooth transition because I’d always eaten more fruit and vegetables than meat/dairy anyway. Dairy always made me feel sick and I could only eat meat when I really felt like it, so cutting them all out and going vegan wasn’t hard at all. However, not everyone is like me, so I often have a lot of questions from ‘dairy lovers’ and ‘fish fiends’ who need specific step-by-step guides on what to eat or where to start.
So I thought that I’d do a little post on the alkaline diet and how going from an acidic lifestyle to an alkalizing one, the vegan way, can improve your health.
The alkaline diet is a way of maintaining or restoring health by ensuring that you eat a balanced amount of alkaline and acidic foods. The alkaline diet requires that you eat either 60% alkaline 40% acid (to maintain health) or 80% alkaline 40% (to restore health). It claims to improve overall health, including appearance (weight/skin) and hep control chronic illnesses; and cancer.
Acidity or alkalinity is measured using the pH scale. The pH scale ranges from 1 (extremely acidic) to 14 (extremely alkaline). In the middle of the pH scale is water, which has a pH of 7 usually; also known as the neutral pH balance. The pH of blood is just above neutral, ranging between 7.35-7.45. The pH of blood will vary throughout the day but will ultimately always fall within its narrow range. Illnesses can cause blood pH to fall outside of this range, so if your pH balance is completely off and hasn’t fallen back within the usual range, please see a doctor.
Foods carry their own pH values which change once the food is digested. This is because, once food is digested an “ash” is formed, and that is what forms a new pH balance. In order to accurately measure the alkalinity of food, you need to find out how the food changes the pH value of bodily tissues.
Don’t be fooled by what you assume is a typical acidic food, like a lemon for example- which is actually alkalizing once digested. Cows milk (which is for baby cows!) is alkaline but acidic upon human digestion; so there’s another reason not to drink it.
Below I have attached two lists: One for alkaline and one for acid.
My advice is, look over the lists and increase the amount of alkaline foods you eat and reduce the amount of acidic foods you eat. Please be aware that other charts may vary slightly due to the fact that the mineral content of food varies depending on the soil used to grow it. Also, replace processed foods with fresh foods so for example, try to get fruit and vegetables from a market rather than a supermarket BUT if you do have to go to a supermarket, then buy the produce that is open and not packaged (i.e. don’t buy a packet of potatoes, buy them individually).
Click the links below to find the lists. They are in PDF format so you can save them directly to your desktops or iBooks.