“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
Hippocrates was definitely on to something. Have you ever wondered why some people are always full of energy, always on the go, don’t need a lot of sleep and are rarely if ever sick?
Most people don’t realize how much the pH level of the food you eat and your body affects your organs and immune system. The typical western diet of processed and fried foods, refined grains, meat, dairy, and sugar are extremely acidic and result in acidic residues after digestion. As our body is approximately 20 percent acidic and 80 percent alkaline it’s recommended that we eat approximately 20 percent acidic foods and 80 percent alkaline foods too. Nearly all of our physiological functions, including immune system, cardiovascular and digestive functions including most of our enzyme and metabolic processes require that our bodily pH is slightly alkaline. This prevents diseases since most bacteria and viruses can not survive in an alkaline state. Also, organs within our digestive system, such as the pancreas, have functions to balance the pH of the digesting food. The pancreas releases sodium bicarbonate into the small intestine to neutralize the stomach acids. Eating acidic foods puts futher stress on the pancreas and can actually cause diabetes. Eating alkaline foods removes this stress from the pancreas and allows it to function properly. An overly acidic system could lead to symptoms like lack of energy, fatigue, digestive disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, allergies, respiratory ailments, depression, colds, flu and other chronic illness. Another affect of having an acidic body is that calcium is pulled from your bones to balance the pH which can cause bone loss.
It’s worth remembering that the pH of the food item itself may not be accurately reflective of its affect on the body. For example, citris fruits are naturally very acidic, however, when they are digested, they have an alkalizing affect on the body. Therefore, oranges, graprefruits, and lemons are considered alkaline foods because of the affect they have on your body’s pH level, not by their natural pH level.
Here are some of my favourite alkaline recipies:
Tamari Pumpkin Seeds
I love adding pumpkin seeds to jazz up salads and pasta dishes and I recently found out that they have the added bonus of also being the only seeds that are alkaline forming. If you want to give them an extra kick try dry roasting them in a frying pan and then adding 1-2 tsp of tamari or soy sauce.
Lemons are veritable wonders. Not only do they top the list of the most alkaline forming foods but lemon juice is high in vitamin C, B6, calcium, potassium, copper, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, iron and magnesium. If that wasn’t enough it also has great digestive qualities and can help cleanse the body of toxins.
Greens are the highest alkaline-forming foods and they are full of vitamins A, K, and D so adding a spinach salad (spinach, walnuts, lemon juice and avocado) to your meal is an excellent way to alkalize your diet.
Millet is punchy powerfood, the only alkalizing grain and is a great source of protein. It has a sweet nutty flavor and is considered to be one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available.