If you haven’t heard of the alkaline diet then I really recommend doing some Googling on it! Essentially the alkaline diet (when I say ‘diet’ I don’t mean it’s about losing weight – though it can help shift unhealthy pounds) recognises that the body’s most natural state of well-being is when its PH levels are slightly alkaline (between 7.35 and 7.45 is recommended). You can test your PH levels with inexpensive urine strips from eBay or Amazon.
It is thought that the benefits of getting your body, and keeping your body, in an alkaline state include warding off cancers and other diseases, improving your energy levels, aiding your immune system and empowering your general well-being.
Consumables that are acidic include: processed sugar foods, wheat, dairy, meat, fish, alcohol and tobacco. Foods that are alkaline include: fresh fruit and vegetables, lentils, seeds and juices. There are plenty of articles online to guide you exactly but that gives you a basic understanding for now. Alkaline diet specialists often recommend the 80:20 rule which means consume around 80% of your diet from alkaline forming foods and drinks and 20% from acidic.
It is worth noting that citrus fruits, which we tend to think of as acidic, actually have an alkaline effect on the body.
So how can you alkalise and balance your body quickly? Here are our top twelve alkaline diet habits for optimum health:
- Start your day with lemon water. Squeeze the juice of an organic lemon in to a glass of filtered or mineral water and drink this before you have your breakfast. I also add a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate as that also has a powerfully alkaline effect. Sodium bicarbonates bought from the supermarket tend to include aluminium so it’s worth sourcing an al-free version. I use Bobby’s Healthy Shop sodium bicarbonate which I found on Amazon.
- Include a probiotic in your diet. I don’t think you need to take one all the time but it’s worth taking it daily for a fortnight or a month to get your gut in balance and working effectively. I have done a lot of research on probiotics as it’s a complicated business but the one I found most recommended was BioKult probiotics. If you ever take antibiotics then take the probiotics again for another fortnight or so to rebalance your gut flora.
- Green supplements. Spirulina is a lovely supplement to take – it’s worth buying from a trusted health store to make sure you get a high quality and clean product. I personally like Synergy Organic Spirulina tablets (it’s also available in a powder if you prefer to mix it in to a smoothie). Chlorella, a powerful detoxifier, is often found in supergreen combos – and is not recommended for pregnancy, breastfeeding or if you have amalgam fillings (have them replaced with non-mercury filings before using chlorella)
- Cut out or reduce wheat. This can seem daunting at first given that our society tends to rely so heavily on bread and pasta. In our household; we replaced wheat pasta (and rice for that matter) with buckwheat pasta, quinoa and buckwheat grains. Buckwheat is actually part of the rhubarb family and is therefore not related to wheat, despite the name. Millet and amaranth are also alkaline alternatives – though I’m not personally as keen on them! We also enjoy buckwheat crackers, and there’s buckwheat flour for cooking with. Replacing wheat for healthier alternatives is a great way to lose unwanted weight
- Reduce, or ideally, cut out sugar all together. When I first had my son I ate way too many bourbon biscuits as I was always so tired I became addicted to the energy from the sugar. However, energy from processed sugar is short-lived and harmful to your health. Needless to say I don’t think I could ever face a bourbon biscuit again! I totally understand from experience how a busy person – particularly a busy mum – doesn’t have time to make or cook intricate meals but it really is worth reaching for a piece of fruit or making a salad that will keep in the fridge for a few days that you can dip in to when hungry.
- Increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. Organic preferably. Lentils are alkaline (though beans are not). Seeds, juices, hummus are all great for reducing acid PH and increasing your alkaline levels.
- Have a bath with sodium bicarbonate, Epsom salts or Himalayan rock salt with some lavender oil. Sodium bicarb, Epsom salts and Himalayan rock salts are all great for a natural detox as they draw impurities out of the skin.
- Switch table salt for sea salt or Himalayan rock salt. We have grown up to believe that salt is bad for us. However there are important minerals in salt. Yes table salt is not healthy as it is impure and lacks these key minerals. However sea salt, and particularly Himalayan rock salt, in small doses, are good for your body.
- Take a mineral supplement. I absolutely love Concentrace mineral drops. I add them to filtered water for cost effective mineral water. Bodies become depleted of minerals – from soil deficiency from over farming, from pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and from an acidic diet. Concentrace drops are fantastic for replacing lost minerals. I have them every day. Do build up to the full dose over a week or so though – I felt a little nauseous when I tried to take the full dose straight away.
- Reduce or cut out alcohol. I really enjoy drinking! I don’t however enjoy how low my mood is the day or two after! Alcohol is hugely acidic – I really recommend cutting right down for physical and mental health.
- Switch to cooking with coconut oil and avocado oil. Like salt, we have been brainwashed to think that fats are bad. However our bodies really need fats. Coconut oil (approx. two tablespoons a day) is fantastic for overall health – and can even help one lose weight.
- Think good thoughts! There is more and more evidence to suggest that energy has an effect on water and given that we are mainly made up of water it makes sense that negative thoughts have an acidic effect on the body whilst positive, loving thoughts have an alkaline effect. Use relaxation techniques, opt for unconditional love and smile more for better health! There is a great track on both the Pregnancy and the Postnatal albums called Loving Kindness which is particularly wonderful for creating loving feelings.
It’s up to you how diligent you are with following an alkaline based diet. No need to beat yourself up if you find yourself with a hot chocolate in your hand! I do however find the more I do it the easier it becomes. And the healthier your body, the healthier your mind and emotions.
As always, please remember that I am not a health professional – just someone who knows a lot about maintaining health naturally. This post is intended to increase awareness of the potential benefits of the alkaline lifestyle as I wish I had known about this many years before, however please do your own research.