By ILONA WESLE
How about this for some food for thought: fish can only live in waters of the right pH balance for their survival, and plants only flourish in soil that’s matched correctly to their nutritional needs. So it’s no surprise that our health can decline when our diet is off balance. We need equilibrium to thrive, and we could do a lot worse than eating a pH balanced diet.
Our bodies are naturally alkaline, but our eating and drinking habits and the stress we endure creates acidity which can stress the body and cause weight gain, lethargy, bloating, bad skin, a suppressed immune system, concentration problems and all manner of other complaints.
Our hardworking, long-hours culture is a contributing factor to acidity, as well. Stress and tiredness can actually cause acidity in the body, and often when we’re stressed and tired our next move is to comfort eat and reach for acidic comfort ‘treats’. Part of the trick, therefore, is breaking this unhealthy, acidic cycle. Eating a diet that combines both some acid and more alkaline – a 20/80 split, ideally – has endless benefits.
Coffee, alcohol, processed foods, sugar, salt, dairy and too much red meat are all considered acidic for the body. It’s no coincidence that these are often the things we fall back on when we’re struggling to keep up. The irony is, however, that acidic treats and pick-me-ups only serve to perpetuate and worsen the way we’re feeling. Even if you do get a short-lived sugar high off that caramel latte or bottle of fizzy pop, you’ll come crashing down later and feel even more rotten than you did in the first place.
Symptoms of an acidic diet are extensive, but include things like digestive problems, ulcers, dull hair and split ends, weak nails, dental problems, fatigue, headaches, low body temperature, nervousness and even depression.
And how do I alkalise my diet?
Cut down on the offending articles mentioned above, and introduce a greater concentration of fruit and vegetables to your diet, especially broccoli, fennel, kale, beetroot, lemon, grapefruit and dates. Alkaline foods take the least effort for the body to digest, which frees up the body to do more important healing work. The benefits of eating alkaline are countless, but some of the best payoffs are: mental alertness, clear and springy skin, fewer colds and bugs, sleeping deeply, good digestion, stronger bones, deeper energy reserves, and sustainable weight loss.
Sugar is a major acid to try and eliminate from your diet, because it’s addictive. And the only way to kick those sugar cravings is to alkalise the body and break the cycle of addiction, because sugar does not satisfy for long. If you’re like us and have a sweet tooth, try baking delicious raw chocolate brownies, snack on plain yogurt with manuka honey and nuts, or make yourself a big alkalizing fruit salad to dig into during the week – try one with mango, pineapple, melon and kiwi fruit.
Another tip for alkalising the body and curbing acid cravings later in the day is to drink an alkalising green juice at breakfast. Try a cold pressed juice to retain maximum goodness from your ingredients, and throw in courgette, broccoli, lemon, apple and fennel.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ilona Wesle is a nutritionist and co-founder of MyDetoxDiet.co.uk, which provides you with a clean, natural and easy way to clear your body of toxins and regain your natural health, vitality and energy. You can choose a plan that suits you; whether it’s a delicious tailor-made diet or sessions in their innovative infrared dome, or a combination of both. After just a few days you will feel cleaner, healthier and more energised.