Eating highly processed food, typically on the go, is common these days. But it’s never too late to go back to the basics – a natural/ alkaline foods diet. But we are yet to do a lot when it comes to awareness. Plus, it takes an effort to find the right facts from the overload of confusing and conflicting information.
Ayurveda’s View on Alkaline v/s Acidic Diet
Ayurveda suggests switching from an erratic lifestyle and tuning into our natural rhythm. It also states that food is a medicine that treats illnesses and promotes positivity. On the other hand, processed food leads to increased acidification in our bodies. It has minimum health benefits and more afflictions. This is due to its unnatural form – it is artificially modified. It’s important to know that processed or acid creating foods are beyond potato chips, mac & cheese, pizzas and burgers.
Proper pH balance is key to overall well-being. When out of balance, it creates many complications. Excessive acid production in the body results in symptoms. They are: obesity, skin problems, fatigue, vomiting, depression, heart burns, lack of sleep, PMS, mood swings, and arthritis. It also makes you prone to common colds and flu. However, the symptoms vary among people with different constitutions.
An acidic pH comes from an acidic diet. But it also comes from excess toxins, emotional stress, and lack of oxygen and nutrients in the cells. Sickness arises when your pH levels drop below 7.0.
General Information: The “pH scale” runs from 0 (zero) to 14 being acidic to alkaline simultaneously. Here, 7 is neutral. And your body functions best when at a level of 7.4.
Finding the Right Balance…
Your body needs a balance of both the acidic and alkaline foods diet. Eating it in the right way is most important. This is where awareness plays a major role. While everyone reacts differently to food, 1/3rd of your diet should be acidic and 2/3rd should be alkaline.
So, a 30/70 proportion is perfect.
An Ayurvedic diet fixes the balance of your pH levels as well as your dominant dosha. The philosophy revolves around eating according to your dosha and its elements. For example, imbalanced Pitta easily grows with too much fire and not enough water. Water pacifies Pitta’s fire. So, you should eat cooling or watery food to bring balance.
Balancing out the acidic build up needs a diet rich in alkaline minerals. Your body won’t produce alkaline naturally. So, eating alkaline-forming foods creates healthy acid-alkaline balance. Otherwise, the alkaline sources in your body burn off.
How to Eliminate Accumulated Acid?
- Eat more seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Stay hydrated with warm water.
- Enhance digestion with herbs like cumin and coriander.
- Eat less meat.
- Make sure that you have a wholesome lunch.
- Avoid taking wrong combinations of food.
Why Does Ayurveda suggest an Alkaline Diet?
The alkaline diet creates positive changes in your body. But negativity comes when your eating and drinking habits go wrong. Eat lots of healthy fruits and vegetables, since they take less effort to digest. This, in turn, gives your body more time and energy for other important things like healing. Plus, the benefits are countless! There is mental alertness, clear skin, better sleeping patterns, good digestion, sustainable weight loss, and stronger bones.
Why Be on a Less Acidic Diet?
You should try to reduce acidity in your diet. Acidic foods easily disrupt your bodily functions. So this can even affect your daily tasks. They cause weight gain, bad skin and dull hair, problems in concentrating, depression, digestion and dental problems, fatigue, and weak nails. Plus, Ayurveda says that the build up of toxins is the root cause of most disorders.
What are Alkaline Foods?
These foods protect your body from stress and let you work freely. These are non-acidic foods, they leave a neutral, cooling & calming effect and the alkaline diet foods that are best for your body include:
- Fresh green vegetables and whole foods
- Spinach, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, carrots, and eggplant
- Avocados, bananas, pears, lettuce, peaches, cherries, and apples
- Melon, dates, papayas, grapes, and figs
- Chestnuts, almonds, and fresh coconut
- Unsaturated healthy oils
- Lentils, legumes and pulses
- Brussels sprouts
- Parsley and dill
- Buttermilk and plain yogurt
- Amaranth and quinoa
What are Acidic Foods?
Any edible stuff that creates an acidic environment in your body is an acidic food. The acidic foods to avoid include:
- A majority of processed food items
- Artificial sweeteners and other sweetened foods
- White rice, white sugar, white bread, pasta, and cheese
- Carbonated, alcoholic and/or caffeinated drinks
- Beef, salmon, chicken, and pork
- Processed honey
- Microwavable meals
- Blueberries and cranberries
- Nuts like pecans, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios
- Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- Ketchup, mayonnaise and vinegar
And do you constantly suffer from acidity? Chew a fresh piece of ginger and a decoction of mint leaves in water. You can also eat bananas since they improve digestion and the rest acidic foods list is mentioned above.
There are more acidic/ alkaline foods in the lists than the ones we’ve mentioned. A few things may not affect your body, but too much can be dangerous! In serious conditions, consult your Ayurvedic expert.