Let’s first start off by defining exactly what it means for the body to be alkaline. Alkalinity is based on the acidity or pH balance of something. Rating below a pH of 7 determines it to be acidic. Anything at 7 or above is considered to be alkaline or base. Is this all coming back to you now from high school chemistry class?
Some suggest that consuming alkaline foods (fruits and vegetables) as part of your regular nutrition plan can help you to feel more balanced, increase your energy levels and possibly lose a few pounds. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 13.1% of Americans consume the recommended daily amount of fruits and 8.9% veggies.
This past October, I decided to test this theory out to see if I noticed any difference in how my body looked or felt.
My meals were planned around a structure of 1/2 veggies, ¼ protein, ⅛ healthy fat and ⅛ complex carbs. The acidic, inflammatory and addictive foods that I eliminated were: coffee, gluten, yeast, alcohol, refined sugar, dairy and processed foods. Within the first 2 days I felt very lethargic and low energy. From my research, these were some of the signs of withdraw from all of my addictive food habits like coffee and breads/pastas. Due to me cutting back on coffee, I started my days off with water instead. Also, eliminating my usual glass or 2 of wine every night allowed me to sleep a bit better.
By the third and fourth day I started to recognize a very noticeable difference in my energy levels. My skin started to appear more smooth and alive. The funny thing is I was getting in the same hours of sleep every night and working out 5 days a week as usual. The only thing that had changed was the food I was putting into my body. Being an active and health conscious personal trainer, I did not expect to really lose any weight. To my surprise I lost 8 pounds after just 30 days!!! Totally unexpected, but enjoying my new leaner physique.
There are studies that suggest that consuming a more alkaline diet has positive effects like promoting strong bones, reducing symptoms of hypertension, reducing risk of stroke, lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes and decreasing the chances of suffering from other chronic diseases. If your body becomes more acidic than it should be you may start to exhibit symptoms such as fatigue, skin breakouts or irritable bowel syndrome. An acidic body promotes the growth of bad bacteria, yeast, fungi and reduced cellular turnover.
To helo the body maintain more of an alkaline state, I suggest consuming 50%-75% veggies and fruits as part of your regular nutrition plan. The remaining 25-50% should be comprised of lean proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats. These alkalizing foods will help you combat all of the above symptoms as well as help you maintain a healthy weight.