When wondering what is an alkaline diet and why you should follow this type of eating plan, there are a few things for you to consider. Some experts believe that alkalizing foods have a powerful healing ability, and that an over-acidic body is a prime breeding ground for disease and dysfunction. Why?
In their view, when you consume too many acid-producing foods, these break down and create harmful acid waste. This is detrimental to the health of your body, and places a great deal of stress upon your system. In contrast, these experts hold that by eating foods high in alkaline instead, you'll be able to lower your toxic burden, and create the conditions for optimum health within your body.
Focused upon alkalizing foods which are high on the pH scale (basic rather than acidic), the alkaline diet plan instructs you to avoid high acid foods. The overall effect is to reduce the acid being produced within your body during digestion. This gives your system the much needed boost that it needs, so it is able to start removing stored toxic buildup in your tissues (like your fat cells, where toxins are often placed to prevent them from circulating within your body).
This is an important fact, as you may find that you experience a healing crisis or Herxheimer reaction (1), when going on the alkaline diet for the first time. This is especially true if you choose to do a green drink cleanse at the outset, in order to jump-start the healing process. With a cleanse, you'll be combining the benefits of a liquid cleanse with the benefits of alkalizing your body, but if you have long-standing health issues or a high level of toxin buildup, you should proceed with caution under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.
Most foods which are naturally green (not artificially colored ones) are very alkaline, and therefore to be consumed freely on the alkaline diet plan. Examples include spinach, collard greens, chives, brussel sprouts and so on. These should be eaten in raw form, as cooking devitalizes food and removes much (if not all) of its enzyme content. As enzymes help your body to break down and absorb the vital nutrients contained within what you're eating, this is an important aspect of the alkaline diet. You'll eat much more raw (or uncooked) food, or foods which have been gently heated - rather than cooked until much of the nutrients and enzymes have been lost.
Interestingly, the addition of some foods which you might associate with being acidic are an also an essential element of the alkaline diet. How so? Lemons and limes are a cornerstone of the program, and you're encouraged to add lemon or lime juice to your drinking water (2). Why? This raises the pH, though some believe that alkaline water filters are a superior choice, as they can massively raise the alkalinity, but also the Oxidation Reduction Potential of your drinking water (see the article on this topic to learn more) (PUT LINK TO THE WEBPAGE WITH THAT ARTICLE HERE).
When asking “What is an alkaline diet?”, the above information is a good starting point. However, you may be looking for a big picture of what you'll be eating on a daily basis. According to Dr. Susan Brown (who is a Certified Nutritionist as well as holding her PhD), overall the alkaline diet focuses on eating whole foods. These include vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans and whole grains. At the same time, you'll be cutting out processed foods, those with artificial additives and preservatives, sugar and removing or cutting way back on dairy and meat (3). However, even some whole foods can be acid-producing, so overall, you'll try to eat a great deal of low acid vegetables and fruits as the basis for the diet plan.