Alkaline Diet Health Benefits
Although there are a ton of different diets out there that claim to help increase longevity and reduce the risk ratio of chronic diseases. None have received as much attention as the alkaline diet. The reason behind this is due to a review published in the Journal of Environmental Health back in 2012. It stated an alkaline diet can help reduce the mortality rate from various chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and hypertension.
What is the Alkaline Diet?
An alkaline diet is one which helps the body maintain its acid-base balance, primarily helping it maintain the pH level it needs to be at. According to the review published in the Journal of Environmental Health. The “human body requires a tightly controlled pH level in the serum of about 7.4 to survive” (Schwalfenberg, 2012).
This means that if the body is below or above the range of 7.35 and 7.45, it can become disease ridden due to acidosis, and electrolyte imbalances. Acidosis means that there is too much acid within the body fluids, cells, and tissues.
How does the Alkaline Diet work?
When there is too much acid built up, it can accelerate the aging process of cells. It will take minerals from the bones and organs, as well as inhibit organ function. However, when the body is at its optimal levels of alkalinity, chronic diseases seen at the cellular level are minimized. There is improved energy, enhanced detoxification, and a mineral-rich environment for the cells to thrive in.
Important to note
The most common misunderstanding of the alkaline diet is that it works by optimizing your blood pH levels. That the more foods you eat which leave behind alkaline ash, the higher your alkaline environment will be.
This misunderstanding is also applied to acidic foods. However, don’t be fooled into thinking your body is programmed to keep your blood pH levels at an optimal level. The foods you eat will only influence the pH levels in your urine. Rather, the alkaline diet works not because it changes the pH levels in your blood.
Rather, it ensures you are cutting out processed foods, refined sugars, caffeine. Whilst eating more plant-based foods like vegetables (especially leafy greens), nuts, fruit, and seeds. It also encourages individuals to drink tons of water which helps flush out the acidic build up in the body.
Health Benefits of Eating Alkaline Foods
The main benefit is that it eliminates the potential for acidosis. This is what contributes heavily to weight gain and low energy levels. Even mild acidosis will lead to higher incidents of “arthritis and joint pain, muscle pain, and diabetes. It can also contribute to cardiovascular damage, kidney stones and disease, osteoporosis, immune deficiency, and acceleration of free radical damage,” (Nutrition Now, 2017).
Acidosis contributes heavily to these chronic diseases as the acid waste builds up in the blood. Which then carries to the kidneys, which becomes overtaxed with work resulting in kidney disease. It can also cause imbalanced pancreatic fluids, which impairs insulin production, which leads to diabetes. It also inhibits cells from using energy efficiently, causing toxic cell residue which leads to inflammation. Inflammation is directly related to high blood pressure, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and auto-immune disorders.
Essentially, by eating non-processed foods that are low in acidity, you can reduce chronic diseases. Including those related to chronic pain and inflammation and hypertension and stroke. It will also help individuals maintain a healthy weight which protects your body from obesity; a known factor in other chronic diseases like heart disease.
It can also help improve immune function as the body can properly dispose of waste. Meaning the immune system isn’t weakened by accumulated toxins and pathogens. It also helps protect against cancer, noted by the British Journal of Radiology. Apoptosis or cell death is more likely to occur in an optimal alkaline body. Finally, it helps balance out the mineral ratios, so lean muscle mass and bone density are protected.
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