By Jayashree Mani, MS, CCN
Bone is sensitive to small changes in pH and an alkaline diet provides the balance required for a healthy pH. A metabolically alkaline diet includes foods that have a buffering, alkalinizing effect on cell chemistry. This is often different from the food’s ash residue or physical chemistry. Failure to recognize this distinction has led to a lot of confusion both among clinicians and among people eager to follow an “alkaline” diet.
For example, citrus fruits are alkalinizing because the metabolism of citrate, malate, succinate, and fumarate generates more than twice as much bicarbonate buffer as there is acid in the food itself. This means that citrus fruit and similar foods are acidic in their food state, yet alkaline-forming in the body.
Dietary sugars and refined flours lacking the naturally occurring potassium and magnesium are arguably the single biggest triggers of repair-deficit inflammation. Diets high in dietary sugars, low in fiber, high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 edible oils (soybean, safflower, canola and corn oil) and lacking in anti-inflammatory omega-3s (fish oil, borage, flax seeds and purslane) result in net acid excesses that impair immune defense and repair functions.
The diet and lifestyle described in The Alkaline Way approach reverses excess cellular acid and improves energy production, while enhancing detoxification and intestinal repair.
Top Ten Alkalinization Tips:
- Water / Hydration: Drink two (2) or more quarts of pure, mineralized water daily. Many people add their daily mineral ascorbates to a quart or so of water in the morning and sip on it during the day. Alkaline, mineral-rich (e. “hard”) water is best. Add fresh lemon, lime, or other citrus juices to water and herbal tea to further your alkalinizing efforts. Warm, hot or room temperature beverages are better than cold ones; iced beverages slow down and impair digestion. Water, rather than bottled or canned sodas, helps with weight management and restorative sleep.
- Breakfast – Listen to your body: Some people do better with a large protein-rich breakfast; some do better with a smaller breakfast higher in complex carbs. Either way, breakfast can be an important meal for many:
• Fruit and fruit smoothies
• Eggs and other protein-rich foods
• Granola or steel cut oatmeal as sources of complex carbs.
- Lunch: If a full or big breakfast works better for you, try a salad or soup and salad for lunch. If you prefer a smaller breakfast, make lunch your main meal of the day. Either way, set your work aside when you’re eating, so that your brain can focus on the food, not the busy work.
- Dinner: Eat lighter in the evening. If you are managing your weight, drink a glass of room temperature or warm water before the meal. Consider digestive bitters like Campari or Unterberg to strengthen digestion. Include roasted or baked alkaline-rich foods like sweet potatoes, yams, lentils, beans, chickpeas, and other root vegetables like parsnips, rutabaga, turnips, and kohlrabi. Herbs, seasonings, and spices are also nutrient rich. Avoid those to which you are sensitive or reactive by LRA by ELISA/ACT
- Evening: Drink little within a few hours of going to bed if you want to reduce the
need to urinate during sleep time. Snack on a small number of nuts, sprouts and dried fruit or raw vegetables (if needed).
- Snacks: Snacking is OK, so long as the snacks are healthy, and portions aren’t excessive. Nuts (almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and cashews), dried fruit (raisins, currants, or dates), sprouts, and seeds provide a variety of healthier choices. Find the ones that you prefer and choose the highest quality, least processed (organic certified or biodynamic) ones available.
- Omega 3 and 9 oils: Whole fish from deep, cold water or wild, line-caught fish are recommended. Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) supplements are often helpful along with CLA and omega 9 fatty acids. We only use fish oils distilled under nitrogen to protect the easily damaged fats and remove toxic minerals and solvents from the oils. Increase ascorbates to compensate for toxic minerals in fish and shellfish.
- Balance carbs, fats, protein, minerals, and fiber: Whole organic or biodynamically grown foods provide a better balance of healthy carbs, fats, protein, nutrients and fiber. Choose lots of colorful, fully ripened, nutrient-rich and uncontaminated vegetables, fruits, seeds, sprouts, nuts, lentils, pulses and beans. Avoid added sugar. Sweeteners like organic evaporated cane juice, whole blue agave, rice bran, maple syrup, gur (jaggery), and maple flakes are acceptable if needed.
- Movement, mood and mobility: What is used gets renewed; what is not used atrophies. Movement increases metabolism that helps burn calories more efficiently.
We recommend slow stretches to explore your limits on rising and before bed. Active movement during the day is critical to maintaining skeletal, intestinal and cardiac muscle strength and coordination. Practice stress-busting active meditation or therapeutic biofeedback to quiet and help focus the mind on solutions rather than problems. Increase the activities you enjoy. Connect with and appreciate loved ones.
- Personal care: Use baking soda and buffered ascorbates as a dentifrice in place of toothpaste. Use washing soda for laundry along with natural fragrant oils like lavender. Since hormone disrupters often find their way into personal care and cosmetic products, use organically certified products with ingredients whose names show they are from plants rather than artificially produced.
By following these top ten tips, you’ll be on your way to stronger bones and better health!
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Gonick HC, et al. Reexamination of the acid-ash content of several diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 1968;21(9):898–903 Am J Clin Nutr. 1968; (21): 898-903
Brown SE, Trivieri L. The Acid Alkaline Food Guide: A Quick Reference to Foods & Their Effect on pH Levels. Garden City Park, New York. Square One Publishers, 2006.
Tzanavari T, et al., .TNF-alpha and obesity. Curr Dir Autoimmun. 2010; 11:145-156.
Jaffe R. Joy in Living: The Alkaline Way. Health Studies Collegium Press, Ashburn, VA, 1989-2016. https://www.betterlabtestsnow.com/product/joy-in-living-the-alkaline-way/