Over the past 4 years, I’ve been a victim of chronic skin issues, which have blossomed into an awful array of eczema that seems to come and go as it pleases with no apparent rhyme or reason. At this point, I have to take it all in stride and know that I’m gaining valuable knowledge along the way that may someday help somebody else in a similar position, and hopefully one of these days I will actually get to the bottom of my eczema and get rid of it once and for all! On my school break, I pretty much spent my time devoted to getting healthy, and that included days and days of getting acupuncture treatments, various homeopathics and diet changes. All of which helped, but never cured… so my next venture is experimenting with an alkaline diet. I started reading this book “The pH Miracle Diet” and couldn’t put it down. The basic idea of the diet is to maintain a diet that is at least 80% alkaline. The theory behind this is to maintain the bodies normal pH levels in the body.
The pH level of our internal fluids affects every cell in our bodies. The entire metabolic process depends on an alkaline environment. Chronic overacidity corrodes body tissue, and if left unchecked will interrupt all cellular activities and functions, the beating of your heart to the neural firing of your brain. in other words, overacidity interferes with life itself. It is at the root of all sickness and disease.
It may surprise you to know that the average American diet, rich in lots of animal protein, sugars and dairy is highly acidic, and this acidity in our diets promotes a breeding ground for disease in our bodies. This acidity is linked to a laundry list of health issues, such as allergies, headaches, colds, flus, acne, muscle cramps, soreness, skin irritation’s, inflammation, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, gout, arthritis, cancer and many many more.
Since, I’m sure we would all like to know how to eliminate our chances of sickness and live our lives to their healthiest potential I thought I’d share a couple basics I learned that can easily be incorporated into your daily life.
Alkalizing your water: This will neutralize any stored acid waste in your body an gently remove acid from the body. If you don’t have access to a water ionizer, which alkalizes and purifies your water for you there is a cheaper option. Put 5 drops of Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) per 8-12 ounces of your purified water, and presto… you have alkalized water. You can also squeeze lemon or lime into your purified water which will also alkalize it.
Meal plans: In order to maintain an alkaline environment internally, you should stick to a diet that is 80% alkaline (which mostly comes from vegetables). So when you take a visual of your plate make sure 80% is covered by vegetables.
Veggies w/ Protein: It’s important for your digestive systems sake, to eat dark leafy greens with your animal proteins, for these will actually help to breakdown the meat, making it easier on your digestive tract. In addition, you shouldn’t eat animal protein with starches, as they require very different environments for digestion.
Alkaline Foods: In general, veggies are your friend! In addition, you can eat lemons, limes, tomatoes, avocados and even grapefruit, they are all alkalizing. Eat lots of nuts and seeds and even tofu. Some good grains to eat, which are slightly acidic to slightly alkaline include, quinoa, buckwheat, millet and amaranth.
Eat Raw: As much as you can at least! (Just be careful when eating raw during the Winter months, as this can be an unhealthy diet in the wrong environment).
Cut processed foods and artificial sweeteners: These are both highly acidic and if you need a sweetener, stick to plant based sweeteners, such as Stevia or Chicory.
Essential Fats: Make sure you are getting the right oils in your diet, after all they are essential. Surprisingly, 20% of your calories should come from your healthy oils. Some examples include Olive Oil, Grape Seed, Sesame, Flax and Hemp just to name a few. Look for brands that are “cold-pressed”.
Alcohol, Coffee, Chocolate and Sodas: Unfortunately, as you may have guessed all these are highly acidic and should be avoided for the most part.
So, there you are, a few words of advice for taking your health into your own hands. I, myself went alkaline as of 2 days ago and maybe you’ll join me… even if you just work on one thing for now, like making your water alkaline, it’s a step in the right direction!
For a really helpful list of alkaline & acidic foods (it might surprise you); here is a link that a fellow student shared with me! http://manumissio.wikispaces.com/Alkaline+Foods
Sources: Young, Robert O., Young, Shelley Redford, The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health, New York: Wellness Central, 2002; www.snyderhealth.com