If you’re curious about the Alkaline Diet, this article lays it all out. We’re going to dive into what the Alkaline Diet is and the benefits it entails. Hang tight and get reading to find the answers to your questions and more.
What is the Alkaline Diet?
The Alkaline Diet is a way of eating that primarily includes veggies and fruits in an effort to balance your body’s pH levels. In other words, as your metabolism breaks down the food you eat, it’s assumed that some kind of ‘ash’ is left behind, which is known as metabolic waste. The metabolic waste is thought to be acidic, neutral, or alkaline. It’s thought that by eating certain foods you can control this pH balance. Thus, making your internal environment less acidic and more alkaline.
This diet further assumes that any acidic ‘ash’ may lead to ill health, such as disease or sickness. Acidic food examples include eggs, dairy, chicken, fish, alcohol, and grains. Neutral foods include sugar, fats, and starches. Meanwhile, alkaline foods include fruits, veggies, legumes, and nuts.
The concept of this diet emerged in the 1800s. At the time, it was referred to as ‘the dietary ash hypothesis.’
Unfortunately, there is little scientific evidence to fully support this diet. At the same time, however, it appears that following this diet can actually improve the foods you eat, such as including more veggies and fruits, and therefore, improves your overall health and well-being.
So, how can the alkaline diet help you exactly? What are the potential benefits? The following provides a brief overview.
1. It May Help You Lose Weight
The truth is that the Alkaline Diet cuts out a ton of junk food and other unnecessary food items that contribute to obesity and other health issues. As such, this may help you lose weight by cutting down the number of calories you consume. For example, if you’re eating a handful of fruit compared to a handful of candy or chocolate, it’s inevitable that you will eat fewer calories and fewer chemicals or other substances.
2. It May Help Improve Your Kidney Health
A 2017 study stated that the current western diet is very acidic. Ultimately, this can place an additional burden on the kidneys. For individuals with poor kidney health or kidney disease, they may benefit from following the Alkaline diet or something similar. However, as with any illness, it’s very important to follow your doctor’s advice. They know you and your health situation best and can provide the most suitable recommendations.
3. It May Help Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States of America. This is frequently attributed to the obesity epidemic and the high consumption of fast foods and junk food. Since the Alkaline Diet actually reduces the consumption of these foods, it may lower your risk of heart disease and associated illnesses.
4. It May Reduce Back Pain
Some research suggests that following an Alkaline Diet may help reduce back pain. However, the research overall was somewhat inconclusive. Yet, at the same time, eating the proper nutrients that your body needs, which is supported by the Alkaline Diet, may help reduce pain and illness, leading to overall better health.
5. It May Improve Your Bone Health
Eating more fruits and vegetables is associated with improved bone health. Osteoporosis is a prevalent disease amongst older individuals, particularly females. Thus, following the Alkaline Diet or a diet similar may help promote better bone density, health, and reduce osteoporosis as a major risk factor. However, it should be noted here that the Alkaline Diet tends to be lower in protein. For proper bone health, protein intake is necessary.
6. It May Encourage Healthy Muscle Growth
As you age and after the age of 30, the body naturally loses muscle mass. Ultimately, this can lead to increased injuries and pain due to falls or a lack of support at one’s joints. A 2013 study indicated that the Alkaline Diet may help improve muscle mass in women. However, again, it’s important to be aware of your protein intake, since protein is necessary for both muscle growth and bone health.
Should You Try It?
Whether or not you try the Alkaline Diet is entirely up to you. Before you begin any diet, especially if you have any underlining health conditions, you should discuss your options with your doctor. Again, they know you and your health situation the best and can make informed decisions based on that.
Overall, the Alkaline Diet can improve your overall health by guiding you toward better food choices. Your body receives more nutrients via these choices, which it may not have been receiving previously. In turn, this is often why many people report improvements with this specific diet, such as the benefits listed above.
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