Following an Alkaline diet can have remarkable effects on our skin, digestion and mood. This is due to the fact that our blood is slightly alkaline, measuring 7.35 to 7.45 on the PH scale. Sticking to alkaline foods like kale, beetroot, fennel and grapefruit, while avoiding highly acidic foods like fizzy drinks and coffee, will prevent our body from becoming acidic, which causes inflammation and puts stress on our digestive system.
Benefits of the Alkaline Diet
- Alkaline foods are a slow release of carbohydrates and vegetarian proteins, and will greatly improve energy levels by helping to keep blood sugar levels balanced.
- This also means that by eating alkaline, we will not only reduce cravings for sugar, but also for alcohol, coffee and other stimulants.
- The regulation of blood sugar levels over a longer period of time has been known to improve memory and concentration.
- Expect improved digestion as well as less flatulence and bloating of the stomach.
- Eating omega rich foods such as nuts, seeds and their oils, improve skin tone and elasticity as they help to make up the skins matrix.
- Alkaline foods put far less of a strain on the kidneys as do foods such as red meat, dairy products, poultry and fizzy drinks, whereby the kidneys must extract vital minerals such as magnesium and calcium from the bones to neutralise acidity.
- The body is able to hydrate itself from alkaline foods which are loaded with vitamin and mineral-laden water, and are more easily absorbed than plain bottled water.
It’s Not All About Alkaline
Do not fret, we need not eat an entirely alkaline diet, as in moderation some acidic foods are actually very beneficial. The key is to balance our diet in favour of alkaline foods to reverse acidification. We can achieve this by following the 80/20 rule, eating 80% alkaline foods, while only 20% of acid-forming foods. The trick to this is eating more easily processed proteins, for example, legumes and yoghurts, while avoiding hard cheeses, meats and animal fats.
Tips for Eating the Alkaline Way
- Stick to vegetarian foods as these tend to be the most alkaline.
- Instead of processed or refined foods choose whole grains. These have more nutritional content and help to balance blood sugar levels by slowing down the release of glucose in the body.
- Don’t be fooled by acidic tasting foods like lemon, lime and grapefruit. These are in fact rendered alkaline once digested, placing less of a burden on the digestive system as a
- Plan meals ahead of time – try not to eat on the go as this could cause meals to be imbalanced, influencing the acid-alkaline balance.
- Use a food chart of acid/alkaline foods as a guide. These can be found easily on the internet.
Quick and Easy Meal Ideas for an Alkaline Diet
I like to keep things simple, which is why my favourite alkaline diet recipes require barely any preparation or cooking time, but are still tasty and health benefiting. There are however, many more intricate recipes on the web if you like experimenting in the kitchen.
Chia Seed Pudding
Add 3 tbsp of chia seeds to a bowl with almond milk and grown cinnamon. Refrigerate over night. Sprinkle over flaked almonds and enjoy for breakfast. You can make your own variations of this by adding fresh fruit, agave syrup or other nuts and seeds.
Chia seeds have a high level of essential fatty acids. They help to lower blood cholesterol and also balance blood sugar levels. Chia seeds are also a great source of fibre, and are loaded with antioxidants and minerals. I get mine from the Raw Chocolate Company.
Tomato, Mushroom and Spinach Omelette
Whisk 2 eggs in a bowl and set aside. Saute chopped tomato and mushrooms in coconut oil. Remove from the pan wipe clean with kitchen paper then add the egg mixture. Cook for 30 seconds then add the tomatoes and mushrooms as well as a handful of chopped spinach. Cook until slightly browned. Add pink Himalayan rock salt to taste and enjoy immediately. You can make your own variations of this recipe by adding other vegetables. Or instead add chilli which will enhance the flavour and increase metabolism.
Coconut oil, unlike other oils, is stable enough to resist heat damage and is a more alkaline alternative. Coconut oil is also made of lauric acid, a compound with unique health promoting properties to include antibacterial, antiviral and antiprotozoal properties. Try the raw organic coconut oil from Vita Coco it’s a fraction of the price of some of the other coconut oils on the market.
Wholegrain Rye Sandwich with Tahini, Tomato, Avocado and Alfalfa Sprouts
Such a simple quick and easy lunch recipe. Spread tahini over the bread, and add slices of avocado and tomato and sprinkle with alfalfa sprouts. Accompany with spinach leaves for an extra dose of alkaline goodness.
Alfalfa sprouts are incredibly alkaline and contain numerous vitamins and minerals e.g. vitamin A, manganese, zinc and calcium to name but a few. They also have many health promoting benefits, are an immune booster, and are anti-oxidant rich.
Vegetable Stir-fry with Tofu and Coconut Milk
Dice tofu and vegetables of your choice (courgettes, peppers, green beans). Heat coconut oil over a pan and fry the tofu for a few minutes. Then add in the vegetables, as well as chopped tomatoes and coconut milk. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Finally season with ginger, Himalayan rock salt, pepper, curry powder and any of your favourite herbs. You can accompany this dish with brown rice or quinoa.
Tofu is an excellent course of protein for vegetarians, it lowers cholesterol and balances hormones and contains a myriad of nutrients including calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A and K.
Crudites and Hummus or Guacamole
You can use a whole medley of alkaline vegetables to create the perfect snack for sharing, or for on the go as part of your alkaline diet. Cucumber and celery are my favourites, but you can also be creative and try broccoli florets, peppers and radish. Make your own homemade organic humous or guacamole for added nutrients, or instead try San Amvrosia organic hummus.
Oat or Rice Cakes with Nut butter
Going organic is the best when selecting nut butters, as they exclude the high quantities of salt and sugar which are found in most shop-bought products. Brands to look out for are Raw Health and Meridian. Spread over brown rice cakes or oat crackers.
Keep and eye on my blog for more alkaline diet tips.