What is the Alkaline Diet Plan?
Posted on August 17, 2012
The Alkaline Diet Plan has attracted a lot of publicity lately. The purpose of this article is to review the alkaline diet plan in detail, including its benefits and how to implement it.
Benefits of the Alkaline Diet Plan
Many people consider the alkaline diet plan a viable solution for getting or maintaining a healthy mind and body. Benefits include weight loss, mental clarity, increased energy, and even healthy skin and hair. It can also help cleanse the body of stored toxins. Some proponents even state that the alkaline diet plan is a way to reduce and rid oneself of cancer. I will not make that bold of a claim. But I will tell you that I implemented many elements of the plan while I was on high-dose chemotherapy as a treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (a cancer of the immune system), and it really helped me maintain my strength and weight during the treatment. This is a big deal, as many people on the same treatment need to be hospitalized for infections and lose an unhealthy amount of weight.
Let’s start out with some background to better understand alkaline diet plan benefits. Your body’s pH level shows how acidic or basic it is. Alkaline diet plan proponents realize that maintaining an alkaline, or basic, pH level is essential to your health. In fact. blood in a healthy person has a pH of about 7.4, which is slightly alkaline. The logic is that consuming a diet high in alkaline foods helps your body maintain a basic pH and therefore benefits your health. Too much acidity in the body can be very dangerous and can negatively impact all body systems. It can cause inflammation, achy joints, fatigue, and digestive issues – just to name a few problems. I had all of these problems prior to adopting many of the guidelines of this diet.
Alkaline Diet Plan Foods
So, what are foods have an alkaline effect on your body? Here are the main categories:
I would also like to point out, that since one of the big benefits of the alkaline diet plan is to rid the body of toxins, it is critical to eat high quality foods. If you are consuming even natural foods containing toxins, you are making it harder on yourself than necessary. So, raw, organic foods are best. When referring to grains, sprouted grains are best, not regular baked breads. White bread converts straight to sugar, while there are mixed reviews on whole grain baked breads.
Other Alkaline Diet Plan Details
Also, drinking lots of water, in the range of 8 or more cups a day is very important. The body is over 70% water, so it makes sense that replenishing it is critical. Drinking lots of water also flushes out toxins in the body. It is critical to understand that the feeling of thirst is not a reliable indicator that you need water. Your internal organs can require more water to function properly without necessarily sending you an immediate signal that there is a need.
On the topic of water…selling alkaline water has become a big business with proponents claiming that it is more beneficial than regular water. This seems to be controversial with alkaline diet advocates. Whether regular or alkaline water, drinking a healthy amount of it will help to neutralize the stored acids and toxins in the body. I personally have reaped the benefits of increased water consumption by drinking filtered water. I think most of the bottled water out there will work fine. Or, you can get a reverse-osmosis water filter to filter tap water yourself.
Please note that strict adherents to the alkaline diet plan do not consume meats or dairy, are vegan, and eat raw foods. However, there are others who advocate a more balanced approach. One of the benefits of a balanced approach is that it is much easier to comply with a diet that allows for some flexibility. My favorite approach is to make alkaline foods 70-80% of your diet and then to enjoy some of the foods you love for the rest of your calories without guilt. I think it is also acceptable to add lean, natural meats to your diet for an excellent source of protein. These would include wild-caught fish, free range chicken, and grass fed beef, for example. Make sure it is hormone and GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) free. However, it is a highly individual choice dependent on what works for you.
In conclusion, even though this has been a high level overview of the alkaline diet plan, I have summarized the benefits and possible implementation of the plan so you can decide if and to what degree it is for you.
If you would like to learn more about the Alkaline Diet, here are 2 resources I highly recommend:
You can also check out my FREE 10 day e-course on Longevity – Tried and True Tips, which includes a bonus 38 page e-book that expands on some of these concepts and gives 6 weeks of meal plans! I also have a great alkaline diet recipe that I posted previously. Finally, Livestrong.com also has a great article on Alkaline Diet Plan related topics.