Our Western dietary habits are harmful to our health for many reasons, one of them being that our commonly eaten foods adversely affect the pH balance of our bodies, rendering them far too acidic. An acid imbalance in the diet is thought to be responsible for a large range of medical conditions, as well as for general feelings of malaise and lack of energy. To combat this, many people recommend an alkaline cleanse diet, in order to restore the body to its right balance between acid and alkaline levels.
One of the many reasons why an acid imbalance causes health problems is that when there is an excess of acid, the body has to draw essential minerals from the bones and muscles, in order to neutralize the acid and restore the balance. This means that a regular diet of highly acidic foods, such as burgers, fried foods and soda drinks, ultimately results in reduced bone strength and lack of muscle tissue. At the same time, the acid is encouraging the presence of free radicals, which promote conditions such as cancer, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and digestive problems.
It is clear from this that in order to promote good health, it is essential to achieve the right pH balance, by increasing the levels of alkaline minerals in the bloodstream. For most people, doing this is likely to involve a fundamental change in eating habits. This is because most of the staple foods of our normal diet, such as meat, white bread, cookies, burgers and pizzas, create high acid levels in the body. It is therefore necessary to substitute foods that are alkaline rich in order to redress the balance.
The best way to identify the most alkaline rich foods is to look at the main alkaline minerals that our bodies need, and see which foods contain the highest amounts of these minerals. The primary alkaline minerals are:
• Calcium is found at the highest in spinach, chard, kale, goat’s milk, and herbs such as basil and thyme.
• Magnesium is found in the highest quantities in spinach, Swiss chard, kale, turnips and broccoli.
• Iron, found primarily in spinach, chard, kale, bell pepper and ginger root, plus turmeric and thyme.
• Potassium, found mainly in spinach, chard, broccoli, kale, eggplant, and ginger root.
• Manganese, a trace metal providing alkaline buffers which neutralize acids, mainly found in chard, kale and spinach.
It is clear that there are just a few foods, all green leafy vegetables, that contain all these essential alkaline minerals, the leading three being spinach, chard and kale—ideally eaten raw or with the minimum of steaming or cooking. However, this obviously does not mean that these three foods should be eaten to the exclusion of everything else. Good health depends on maintaining a balanced diet, which for most people means about 60 percent alkaline and 40 percent protein and other acidic foods.
If you have found yourself suffering from low energy levels, or frequently recurring health problems like headaches, colds or digestive issues, an excess of acid is likely to be the reason. A balanced diet, including plenty of these three alkaline rich foods, spinach, kale and chard, will cleanse the toxins from your system and almost certainly result in greater vitality and energy. Click here for more information on how you can improve your health through improved diet and lifestyle.
About the Author: Joyce G. is a professional health blogger and writer. She currently partners with Nordictrack.com in raising awareness about the importance of health and fitness. NordicTrack has come to symbolize the means for serious athletes and fitness-buffs alike to “get ready for adventure,” whatever that may be. For more information on these ellipticals and others from among the superior range of ellipticals from Nordictrack.com, click here.