There are all types of diets out there — some good, some bad — but there is perhaps no diet better for longevity and staving off disease than an alkaline diet. Don’t just take my word for it.
A 2012 review published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that balancing your body’s pH through an alkaline diet can be helpful in reducing morbidity and mortality from numerous chronic diseases and ailments — such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, vitamin D deficiency, and low bone density, just to name a few.
How do alkaline diets work? Research shows that diets consisting of highly alkaline foods — fresh vegetables, fruits and unprocessed plant-based sources of protein, for example — result in a more alkaline urine pH level, which helps protect healthy cells and balance essential mineral levels.
Alkaline diets (also known as the alkaline ash diets) have been shown to help prevent plaque formation in blood vessels, stop calcium from accumulating in urine, prevent kidney stones, build stronger bones, reduce muscle wasting or spasms, and much more.
What Is an Alkaline Diet?
An alkaline diet is one that helps balance the pH level of the fluids in your body, including your blood and urine. Your pH is partially determined by the mineral density of the foods you eat. All living organisms and life forms on earth depend on maintaining appropriate pH levels, and it’s often said that disease and disorder cannot take root in a body that has a balanced pH.
Although some experts might not totally agree this with statement, nearly all agree that human life requires a very tightly controlled pH level of the blood of about 7.365–7.4. As Forbe’s Magazine puts it, “Our bodies go to extraordinary lengths to maintain safe pH levels.”
Your pH can range between 7.35 to 7.45 depending on the time of day, your diet, what you last ate and when you last went to the bathroom. If you develop electrolyte imbalances and frequently consume too many acidic foods, your body’s changing pH level can result in increased “acidosis.”
Wondering what exactly “pH level” even means?
What we call pH is short for the potential of hydrogen. It’s a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of our body’s fluids and tissues. It’s measured on a scale from 0 to 14. The more acidic a solution is, the lower its pH. The more alkaline, the higher the number is. A pH of around 7 is considered neutral, but since the optimal human body tends to be around 7.4, we consider the healthiest pH to be one that’s slightly alkaline, and pH levels vary throughout the body, with the stomach being the most acidic region.
Even very tiny alterations in the pH level of various organisms can cause major problems. For example, due to environmental concerns, such as increasing CO2 deposition, the pH of the ocean has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 and various life forms living in the ocean have greatly suffered. The pH level is also crucial for growing plants, and therefore it greatly affects the mineral content of the foods we eat. Minerals in the ocean, soil and human body are used as buffers to maintain optimal pH levels, so when acidity rises, minerals fall.
How an Alkaline Diet Works
Here’s some background on acid/alkalinity in the human diet, plus key points about how alkaline diets can be beneficial:
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