7 ways to become more alkaline and less acidic

Go alkaline for 30 days to help your body refresh and recharge for the year ahead.

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green vegetables and herbs

Photo, Getty Images.

A new year means it’s time for a fresh start. Every year thousands of Canadians use January as a time to change their diet, improve their health and try to feel better. The key is to make a change that’s manageable and sustainable. Well, the alkaline diet is both.

More than just a diet
Alkaline diets have become a big trend. A growing number of celebrities (Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow) are talking about them. But why?

Think back for a moment to high school chemistry. Remember the pH scale? It provides a measure between 0 (most acidic) and +14 (most alkaline). Your body’s optimal pH is 7.36, which is slightly alkaline. The alkaline diet is based on making food choices that help your body reach and maintain a balanced pH level so your body can function at its best. The problem is many of the foods we love are very acidic. Over time, too many acidic foods strain the body’s normal function, leaving you tired with a lowered immune function.


Related: The 7 day meal plan to help you kick your sugar habit


Choosing an alkaline lifestyle can be done quite easily. As a rule of thumb, choosing 70 percent alkaline foods (veggies and legumes) and 30 percent acidic foods (meat and carbs) is the way to go, but any little change makes a difference. Here are some key steps to living an alkaline lifestyle:

1. Eat green
Fresh fruit, vegetables, roots, nuts and legumes are alkalizing to the body, so increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat. Aim to have some at every meal and make vegetables the focus rather than meat or grains. Reach for dark or green vegetables such as beetroot, avocado, broccoli, spinach, kale, peas, beans and cucumber.

2. Reduce acidic foods
You don’t have to cut them out altogether but try and limit your intake of meats, eggs, refined sugars, white flour and dairy.

3. Limit alcohol consumption
Most alcoholic beverages have a high sugar content and are highly acidic. You don’t have to cut it out altogether if you enjoy the occasional beer or glass of wine, but be aware of what you are drinking. (Click here for more on the benefits of cutting back on alcohol.)

4. Drink alkaline water
Drinking water is vital to our health and most of us don’t drink enough to begin with. Hydrate yourself with eight to 10 large glasses of alkaline water per day.

Most tap water has a pH of 6.5 to 7, while alkaline water has a pH of 9, making it better at rebalancing the acid-alkaline levels in your body. Alkaline water molecules are also smaller than those of tap water. This means they permeate your body more thoroughly and leave you more hydrated than regular water.


Related: Going Paleo? Here’s the truth about the latest fad diets


5. Choose natural energy-boost drinks
Forget sugar- and caffeine-laden energy drinks. Choose natural, alkalizing energy drinks such as peppermint tea, yerba maté tea, lemon water or a green powder supplement that can cleanse the digestive system, stimulate your metabolism and buffer excess acids. (Click here for a great alkalizing smoothie recipe.)

6. Break a sweat
Exercise for at least 30 minutes three to five times a week. Among its many benefits, exercise helps counteract acidity in our bodies and sweat gives acid another pathway out of the body. Plus, it helps to oxygenate and alkalize your blood.

7. Seek balance
Stress contributes to acid build-up so find ways to de-stress. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing and long walks are all great ways to de-stress and reduce acid levels.

Disease prevention and other benefits
Several years ago, my husband, David, was diagnosed with severe acid reflux, and his doctor wanted to put him on prescription drugs that he would have to take for the rest of his life. I thought there must be another more natural solution. My reading and research lead me to study the acid-alkaline balance in our diets, and to change our family’s eating habits to an alkaline diet and drinking lots of alkaline water. By adopting the alkaline lifestyle, David’s health improved and his need for prescription drugs ended.

In addition to helping you losing weight, the alkaline diet is also able to give you more energy, lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, kidney problems and other chronic diseases, reduce joint pain and lactic-acid build up (leg cramps), give you clearer skin and improve your bone health.

Take it slow
If you decide to go alkaline, start by making incremental changes to your diet. You’re most likely to succeed if you take on change gradually. Every little change is one more step toward better long term health.

Let us know what your first change will be in the comment section below. To find out whether you’re too acidic and how to balance your pH click here.

Yvonne Anderson is Vancouver’s alkaline specialist and the CEO of Santevia, a company she co-founded out of her passion for promoting an alkaline lifestyle.

DoDietEbookCoverIt’s the new year, and you know what that means: no more excuses. It’s easier than ever to get back on track with our new Do Diet ebook. Our dietitian-approved meal plan, great weight-loss tips and easy-to-do-anywhere workouts will help you drop a dress size in just a few short weeks and get you swimsuit ready by spring.

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3 comments on “7 ways to become more alkaline and less acidic

  1. Pingback: Does the grapefruit detox really work? - Chatelaine

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  3. Hi there. i try to become alkaline along with my family after battling years with hypertensions ups and downs, wrong diagnostics and treatments. My health had been on the edge of death several times. i had severe uterus enlargement and almost bled to death. now due to natural treatment and c since the diet change my uterus tumors cleared up and i n i only have a small fibroid on my cervix left and my womb is again normal size.i tested my salt and found out that my salt was too high, but my doctors kept treating me with high salt, sugar and licorice and diuretics to cure my kidney infections. potassium and other minerals too low . i went to different natural practitioners just to get from natural practitioner, homeopath, western doc to another only tho become bedridden. i read up ,much as i could. i began to leave the salt and sugar and licorice medicines wand changed my diet to low sugar, low salt, potassium enriched salts and no processed foods, low diary, egg..
    i lost within 2 weeks almost 5 kg. all water and fat. my metabolism speeded up and i had more energy my teeth begin to rebuild enamel. but sadly i live in [pakistan and many of the fruits and vegetables i would love to eat are not available here and very expensive. right now i still have weak liver, spleen and dizziness from weak nervous system,s. i could fill a book with all my health problems.right now i am bloating ,m having asthma problems, nasal congestion and liver pain. all my tests are normal.natural practitioners said my liver and kidneys .

    sadly the citrus fruits and lemon water only make my nasal congestion and asthma problems worse as well as the reflux issues and according to chinese medicine i cant eat certain fruits and vegetables which would aggravate my liver and spleen condition. and peppermint aggravates my acid reflux as well. diary, egg, some nuts, fish, etc spices, give me intense heat that i get high blood pressure , panic attacks etc.

    i am not in position to purchase books, etc.

    any help from experts is needed. my urine ph was below the lower limit.

    thanks in advance umm

    Reply

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