The DO's of an ALKALINE DIET
By Dr. Robert O. Young
Due to their valuable ingredients, certain foodstuffs have an alkalizing and health-enhancing effect. Learn the foodstuff which should be on top of your menu.
Vegetables are the most important source of nutrients nature has to offer. It provides alkaline-forming minerals, energizing proteins and a multitude of cell-protecting vitamins and secondary plant substances – with a really low calorie and sugar content. In addition, there are dietary fibers and enzymes which we need to ensure regular digestion. Greens such as leafy vegetables and salad should account for the major part of our diet as they reveal a wide range of nutrients and are good chlorophyll suppliers.
Grasses vereineunite all benefits of green vegetables in themselves –even exceeding them. Edible types include types such as wheat grass, barley grass, oat grass, couch grass and field horsetail. Some of them are available in health food stores but they can also be taken in as food supplements.
Sprouts and germlings from the seeds of corn, legumes and other plants are loaded with minerals, vitamins, proteins and enzymes. In addition, they are more wholesome than raw or cooked peas, lentils and so on. Homegrown sprouts and germlings can usually be harvested within a few days and guarantee absolute freshness all over the year.
Soy in the form of soybeans and soybean sprouts as well as tofu is an excellent source of proteins and contains a number of unique secondary plant substances protecting not only the cells.
Nuts, seeds and oils made of them provide valuable fatty acids. If you soak almonds, sesame or linseeds, you can even increase their nutritional value as the water activates the enzymes contained therein.
Fish is valuable food as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as in other vital nutrients and is advised as a transitional food for those who are starting out on their alkaline journey. Like all animal products, it generates acids in the body though – this is why we should only enjoy it occasionally and in moderation. It is important that the fish is freshly caught. Advisable species are salmon, sea bass, red snapper. But you should avoid shellfish. Some of the shellfish species are really omnivorous and do not even spare feces of other fish.
Herbs and spices refine every dish and lend some extra health to it. Fresh green herbs provide us with an additional portion of chlorophyll. Garlic, onions and ginger in turn combat harmful micro organisms, and chilli, cayenne and cumin stimulate digestion.
The DON'Ts of an ALKALINE DIET
A lot of widespread food takes an active part in making the body overly acidic and colonizing it with pathogenic micro organisms. In an alkaline diet we should avoid such food or eat it very sparingly.
Meat, milk and eggs as well as any products made of them contain protein which the body metabolises acidly. Moreover: Animal food is rich of saturated fats burdening the cardiovascular system and putting high demands on digestion. In addition, milk sugar or lactose, like any other type of sugar, encourages the growth of yeast.
Sugar is primarily responsible for the spread of yeast as it is its preferred food. This is true both for white retail sugar and for brown sugar, fructose or the sugar contained in honey or syrup. If you abstain from eating sweet things can sustainably prevent fungal infections. Artificial sweeteners are no alternative either as the body also forms acids out of them.
White flour made of wheat grain is one of the strongest acidizers and – like sugar – allows the development of yeast. It serves as a basic ingredient of a lot of bakery and pasta products – from bread via cake through noodles. It is true that types such as millet, buckwheat or spelt generate clearly fewer acids – cereals should not account for more than a maximum of 20 per cent of the daily diet though.
Convenience products such as foil dishes, deep-frozen menus or canned soups are inconsistent with a healthy diet as even the few good ingredients lose their nutritional value in processing them. Mostly, they even contain sugar, hydrogenated fats or artificial additives which have and acid-forming effect. By the way, this also applies to condiments such as ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise as well as to pickled or marinated foodstuff.
Yeast refers to a certain group of quickly reproducing fungi which colonize our body and can make us ill. This is why we should avoid yeast-containing products. Since yeast – in the form of brewer’s baker’s or nutritional yeast - is hidden in a multitude of foodstuff and beverages – from beer through bread to spice blends and broth – it is advisable to read ingredients lists carefully and look for alternatives, if required.
Fruit is not unhealthy but rich in sugar and therefore has an acidizing effect on the body. This is the reason why only small quantities of fruits with high sugar content such as pear, apple or banana should be consumed. Limes and grapefruit, instead, contain less fructose and have an alkalizing effect after consumption. For a chart showing the fructose content of fruits, please go to the website of the German Association for Nutrition .
Luxury foodstuffs such as coffee, tea and spirits increase the development of acids. Coffee increases the production of gastric acid and fosters digestive problems. Beer, wine and a lot of spirits are produced with the help of yeast fungi which may damage the body in the same way as alcohol does.