Alkaline diets have increased in popularity over the past few months as it helps maintain and balance the body’s natural pH (potential hydrogen) ratio. The food and drinks we consume everyday releases into the bloodstream in an alkaline or acidic base in while the blood, saliva and urine chemistries work to maintain a slightly alkaline regulation.
The ideal body pH level is between 7.33 and 7.4. By maintaining the body in this range, the body is protected from bacterial, fungal and viral invasions. Once the pH level becomes acidic, the body borrows from internal alkalinity sources like potassium, sodium, calcium or magnesium to maintain the body’s pH level. Many people suffer from acidity because of pH imbalances, which is why they start following alkaline diets.
Most of today’s diets are acidic in nature and this imbalance causes both short and long term damage to the system. While some bodies continue with this undetected condition for years, the body gets damaged as its intelligence tries to maintain pH levels using its available resources.
Plaque is the first consequence of acidity and ranges from plaque on the teeth to plaque in the arteries. Acidity also leads to yeast and Candida colonies that grow and expand in the system. While these infections first appear in the digestive tract, it moves through the intestine into the blood stream to eventually rupture at any body part with lots of consequences.
Excessive alkalinity also triggers problems like hive-like itching, sore muscles and joints, drowsiness, cramping and indigestion.
How an alkaline diet helps
An alkaline diet however helps provide a protective shield from all this. This diet consists of legumes, fresh vegetables, tubers, grains, roots and nuts. Though fruits are permitted, it should not be eaten in excess as its glutinous nature leads to its processing as any sugar.
This is why fruits should be eaten cooked, on it’s own or before heavy meals. Fruits should not be eaten after heavy meals as it only ends up fermented and acidic in the body while waiting for its turn to get digested. This thus triggers gas and other digestive complications.
Foods to avoid
The best rule to follow for alkaline diets for relief from cramps is to avoid yeast, sugar and any processed or fermented foods. Chemical foods like NutraSweet and Equal and any form of aspartame should be avoided in alkaline diets as they are very acid forming. As antibiotics also create an acidic environment, they should be followed by a course of probiotics to help replenish and rebalance the system.
On starting an alkaline diet, you will notice that you crave for sugar. This happens because yeast starts dying without any sugar to thrive on. Moreover, as yeast is not fed, you start experiencing flu-like symptoms. This is part of the withdrawal symptoms and lasts for a few days to weeks to subside with time.
While conventional medicine does not endorse the benefits of alkaline diets, this diet helps prevent kidney stones, degeneration of muscle tone and osteoporosis. However people suffering from chronic kidney failure should start the diet after consulting a physician.