What is the Alkaline Diet?
The alkaline diet is based on the premise that some food makes the body acidic, which is bad for overall health.
Proponents of the alkaline diet believe eating alkaline foods will improve health, reduce the risk of cancer, and help with weight loss.
Though this area of nutrition still needs a lot of studies, the alkaline diet may be beneficial for your gut health. It reinforces good eating habits such as eating less meat and more plant-based foods.
Water becomes alkaline when it picks up minerals like calcium and magnesium from the rocks it flows over. Natural alkaline water has many health benefits.
It may prevent acid reflux that causes heartburn.
Alkaline water may also increase weight loss. Fat cells may form to neutralize acid, and by reducing the acidity of the body, the number of fat cells may also be reduced.
The small molecules found in alkaline water may be easier to absorb. This means alkaline water may be better for hydration.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Spinach, kale, and swiss chard are noteworthy alkaline foods. Green leafy vegetables are a nutritional gold mine:
- They’re high in calcium and vitamin K, which are both needed for bone health.
- Vitamin C helps produce collagen and improves iron absorption.
- They contain plenty of iron, needed for essential biological functions like regulating temperature and brain function.
Incorporate more leafy green vegetables into your diet by adding them to smoothies and salads.
Sweet potatoes are an alkalizing food that provide your body with vitamins and minerals, along with fiber.
The fiber helps release sugars slowly, so it keeps blood sugar levels stable. This means higher energy levels throughout the day.
The fiber and antioxidants in sweet potatoes are also beneficial to gut health. They promotes healthy bacterial growth, including certain Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species.
Swap regular potatoes for sweet potatoes to get more of those alkalizing vegetable in your diet.
Although carrots are best known for their eye-health benefits, there’s a lot more to this vegetable.
Carrots are a weight-loss-friendly food that contains vitamin K, vitamin B6, and potassium.
One of the most essential nutrients found in carrots is beta carotene. Beta carotene converts into vitamin A which is good for eye health, immune function and may promote younger looking skin.
Carrots have also been linked to lower cholesterol levels. They may reduce the risk of certain cancers like prostate, colon, and stomach.
Add carrots to salads or include a side dish of roast carrots with meals. Eating carrots cooked helps to improve absorption of beta carotene.
This cruciferous vegetable is high in fiber and B-vitamins and may protect against cancer.
The high fiber content may reduce the risk of inflammation-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It also aids digestions and may support immune function.
Cauliflower may improve memory, sleep, and learning because it contains choline. Choline helps maintain cell membranes and nerve impulse transmission.
Here are some ways to include more cauliflower in your diet:
- Cauliflower rice
- Steamed or roasted
- Cauliflower crust pizza
- Pickled cauliflower (great for gut health)
- Added to soups, stews, and curries
**Cauliflower contains high levels of vitamin K, which may interact with blood-thinning medication. Check with your doctor before including large quantities in your diet.
Zucchini is an excellent source of lutein. Lutein is an antioxidant that protects eyesight and supports the immune system.
The soluble fiber in zucchini feeds the good bacteria in the gut. The beneficial bacteria then produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFA).
SCFAs nourish gut cells and may reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Zucchini pasta is a great gluten-free alternative to regular pasta. What’s more, it’s low-carb, it may lower blood sugar levels, and it’s vegan!
Though some people choose to avoid bananas because of their high sugar content, bananas are alkalizing and may reduce appetite.
Bananas are good for heart health because they contain some magnesium and potassium. Potassium may also reduce the risk of kidney disease.
They’re also high in antioxidants that may reduce free-radical damage.
Include bananas in smoothies or make “nice-cream” from frozen bananas.
These small fruits have plenty of health benefits. They’re full of vitamin C, K, E, and folate.
The high vitamin C content may also prevent cold and flu-like illnesses.
Kiwis are a great addition to smoothies and salads. Add sliced kiwi to a cup of natural yogurt for a gut-healthy breakfast.
It’s best not to cook kiwis because cooking reduces the vitamin C it contains.
Cherries contain antioxidants, which may reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of cancer. Antioxidants also have anti-aging properties and promote healthy hair.
Cherries contain melatonin, which may prevent insomnia by regulating the body’s sleep/wake cycle. Improved sleep quality has been linked to weight loss and enhanced immunity.
A post-exercise cherry smoothie may reduce lactic acid build-up and limit stiff muscles.
The alkaline diet has many health benefits. Include these alkaline fruits and vegetables along with alkaline water to your diet for improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and better gut health.