Once food is processed, it leaves behind metabolic waste, often referred to as an ash residue. Depending on what we consume, the food will produce an ash of a certain pH value. That ash has a pH value which can be either acidic, alkaline or neutral. A number of diets have focused on not combining acidic foods and alkaline foods in order to support better digestion. The idea is to allow the pH balance in the stomach to be one or the other without a sudden variation which would make the body work harder than necessary. Increasingly, it is recommended to limit or avoid acid-producing foods altogether in favor of following an alkaline diet for better weight control and overall health. By enjoying an alkaline-rich diet, we can help our bodies heal and perform at their optimum levels.
What Can We Eat?
The foods included in an alkaline diet are mainly fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. Meat is to be avoided altogether, making this diet a great choice for vegetarians and vegans. Some foods are neutral, such as natural fats, starches, and sugars. Besides meat, other acidic foods include poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, grains, and alcohol.
The majority of foods on an alkaline diet are low-fat and nutrient-dense which is why the diet contributes so well to weight loss. Alkaline dieters report feeling energized and having improved skin and complexion.
Here is a short list of nutrient-dense, whole foods, we recommend incorporating into your diet to promote a more alkaline environment.
1. Hemp Hearts
Hemp hearts, also known as hemp seeds, can help reduce inflammation while providing a complete protein source. These little gems are rich in nutrients and have a mild nutty flavor. Add them to smoothies as a thickener and salads for some extra crunch.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil helps the body’s natural hormone production and is a great alternative to frying with vegetable oil or baking with butter as it is more stable at high temperatures. It does contain saturated fat, so like all fats, it’s recommended to use in moderation.
3. Sprouted Almonds
Besides hemp hearts, sprouted almonds are a good source of protein and fiber and can reduce inflammation. Sprouting increases their alkalinity, therefore increasing their benefits. Sprouted almonds also offer magnesium and potassium which is important for healthy blood.
4. Green Heirloom Pumpkin Seeds
Another great source of protein as well as iron are pumpkin seeds. For best results, they should be eaten raw, not roasted. Like all nuts and seeds, they can be used to make non-dairy milk which is a great alkaline alternative to cow’s milk.
In addition to being rich in antioxidants, turmeric also has anti-inflammatory benefits that help reduce joint pain. The curcumin found in turmeric is where the benefits lie, so be mindful to choose a brand that does not lose the curcumin content when the fresh root is turned into a dry powder. Also, turmeric reacts differently when combined with food. It turns a bright yellow when mixed with acidic foods and a dark pink/red when combined with alkaline ones. As a main ingredient in curry, it’s used when an earthy and pungent flavor is needed, so feel free to add it to soups and stews or try making some golden milk.
Written by Erika Long