What are the Benefits of Alkaline Food and Side-Effects of Acidic Food?
The alkaline diet or food is also known as the alkaline ash diet which helps in improving the pH levels of the human body, also useful in the management of weight and combating cancer. There are certain foods that are high in acid and disturbs the pH levels of our gastric juices giving rise to various digestive problems. It is important to maintain a healthy diet to achieve a healthy lifestyle and you can achieve it by including Alkaline rich foods in your daily diet. Through this article, we are going to discuss the health benefits of Alkaline foods and the side effects of acidic foods.
If you have ever paid attention to your biology classes then you may have heard about gastric juices or acids and their importance of pH level. Our digestive tract secretes digestive acids that help in supporting the digestive process and breaking down food during the process of digestion. The healthy pH level for the gut is between 2.0-3.5, more than that is considered as highly acidic. It is very important to maintain pH levels to regulate the smooth functioning of the digestive system. There are times when due to an unhealthy diet and poor lifestyle choices, the acidic levels elevate resulting in gastric issues.
Nowadays due to rapid globalization, diet and food habits have completely changed and there is more consumption of acidic foods like pizza, burgers, kebabs, samosa, pastries, french fries, and many more. This food then leaves residues behind causing stomach distress.
Healthy Benefits of Alkaline Foods
Alkaline foods are important as it helps in maintaining the pH levels of our body. It is proven by experts that alkaline foods are helpful in bringing down acidic levels. Alkaline food helps in countering the risk of acid reflux as well as acidity too and helps in giving relief. Most of the traditional foods made in India are alkaline in nature. Therefore, choosing alkaline foods will help to keep the pH level balanced and also will enhance the overall health. Here are some alkaline-rich food which you should include in your diet:-
1. Cruciferous Vegetables
This includes broccoli and cauliflower are best known for balancing the alkaline pH levels in the system. They are rich in nutrients like Vitamin A, C, K along with phytochemicals, plant compounds, and folate that are very useful in reducing inflammation and also the risk of cancer.
2. Green Leafy Vegetables
It is said that green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, etc. are highly alkaline. These vegetables are rich in Vitamin B, E, A along with folic acid, calcium, minerals, and also calcium. They help in building the immunity stronger and keeping the gut health good.
3. Citrus Fruits
It is believed that citrus fruits are highly acidic and it would cause an acidic effect on our body, but it’s not true. In fact, citrus fruits are the best sources of alkaline. Lemon or oranges are packed with Vitamin C which helps in removing toxins from the body and relieving heartburn and acidity.
4. Seasonal Fruits
Every nutritionist or doctor will advise you to include seasonal fruits in your daily diet and it provides health benefits. They are rich in minerals, anti-oxidant, and vitamins which help in enhancing various functions of our body. Fruits like kiwi, grapefruits, watermelon, apples, and apricots are highly packed with alkaline nutrients.
Eating a fistful of nuts will help in reducing your hunger issues and will keep you satisfied. They are packed with good fats and also provide an alkaline effect on our system. They have proteins, anti-oxidant and helps in reducing the spiked levels of blood sugar. Including almonds, cashews and walnuts will help you in improving the health of the heart and managing the weight.
6. Root Vegetables
This includes taro root, lotus root, sweet potato, carrots, and beets which are highly rich in alkaline. Make sure not to overcook because by doing that it will lose all its nutrients.
Side Effects of Acidic Foods
People who include too much acid-producing food like sugar or proteins can make the urine more acidic which puts a negative impact on their health. This may result in the formation of uric acid stone, which is a type of kidney stone. It is also speculated that including too much acidic food causes muscle and bone deterioration. The bones contain calcium, which is used by the body to restore the blood pH balance.
Some of the studies suggest that darker sodas have phosphoric acid which is said to be the cause for lowering bone density. Too much acidity can increase the risk of developing cancer, heart and liver disease. There are some beverages and foods which produce fewer acids than sodas but still, they don’t have an alkaline effect on our body. Acidic foods are also responsible for causing an alteration in hormonal levels, GERD, and also chronic pains. It is better to avoid food that is high in acid in order to maintain the healthy functioning of the body. Here are some acidic food that you should limit in your diet:-
- Caffeinated drinks
- Artificial sweeteners
- French fries
- Corn syrup
- Table sugar
- Hot chocolate
It is debatable that what type of foods have a healthy effect on our body. Most health experts focus on including alkaline foods in the diet and reducing or cutting off the intake of acidic foods. The human body is built in a way that it naturally maintains the alkalinity and acidic levels (pH level). As we have discussed above the difference between acidic and alkaline food, it’s concluded that alkaline-rich foods are better for our body. So, instead of consuming acidic rich food, we should focus on foods that are rich sources of alkaline food. The above mentioned are all the sources of food that will help you in balancing the pH levels. Your pH levels are the key to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
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