Words & images: Lakshmi Harilela Today, the majority of people have diets that are highly acidic contributing to health risk factors such as chronic fatigue, headaches, ulcers, acid reflux and leg cramps. These symptoms lead to more serious problems later on in life, such as diabetes, cardiac disease and cancer. If acid is not addressed and paid attention too sooner rather than later, it can be a high risk factor for overall health and wellbeing. Our blood is slightly alkaline with a PH between 7.35 and 7.45, so our diet should maintain this natural PH balance as well. ʻAlkaline diet advocatesʼ state that acidic foods disrupt this balance and leech important minerals from the system.

Lifestyle changes and diet are the leading cause of acid in the body. With lifestyle factors such as higher stress levels and fast food consumption, acid accumulation in the body is increasing. A maintenance of the correct pH level of blood is vital. On the diet side of things, we seem to be consuming more protein, sugar, cereals and meat and less fruits, pulses and vegetables than our ancestors did. We also seem to be consuming more sugar now than ever before, and sugar is highly acidic. Itʼs not so much the sugar but the amount of sugar that is cause for concern; and anything that contains high-fructose-corn-syrup should be banned! High fructose corn syrup is added to many soft drinks on the market and it actually makes you more thirsty, so avoid this where possible, or even just reduce it. It is so important to eat a variety of grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, roots and tubers, fresh fruit and anything that is alkaline in nature. In fact, according to Annemarie Colbin in her book Food and Healing she states that the only vegetable type foods that are acid forming are cranberries, plums, prunes and raw tomatoes with seeds, as they can escalate acid reactions in the body. The concept of acid-alkaline is still very much misunderstood, as foods like grapes and citrus fruits may taste acidic but have a very alkalizing effect on the body as the minerals neutralize body acid. This is also true of sea vegetables such as dulse, nori, hiziki and nori, they are highly alkalizing and can be a great help with detoxifying the body as they contain buffering minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. Sprouted mung beans are a popular choice too as they also alkalize the body. A common misconception is the talk about coffee; coffee is an alkaloid, and as long as it is not decaffeinated, it can sometimes have alkalizing effects on the body.

Having a more alkaline based diet not only contributes to weight loss, but it is also a preventive form of healthcare for the body, as it decreases the risk of many cancers and chronic illnesses too. In our modern day society people are complaining more about low energy, sinus problems, anxiety disorders, colds and congestion, cysts, skin problems, and migraines. Many people switch to more alkaline based foods for various reasons, these reasons have much to do with their constant state of dis-ease with their bodies. So if you are thinking of switching to a more alkaline based diet please visit www.lovetruefood.com for more tips on healthful eating.