The Basics of an Alkaline Diet
The fact is that most North Americans equate the “long weekend” with cottages and barbecues laden with meats of all kinds and a good amount of drinking. It’s no wonder most people don’t feel that great when they get back to work on Tuesday.
What does meat consumption have to do with “not feeling well”? Well, high meat consumption creates more acidity in your body… And when your body (really your blood) becomes more acidic than what is optimal, things start breaking down and not working as well as they should.
I’m a big proponent of an alkaline diet, which essentially boils down to eating more fruits and veggies, and so too are hundreds (if not, thousands) of studies which show that eating more plant foods is the KEY to greater health.
But still, there are many cavemen (sorry, I mean dietitians and doctors) that still don’t get it. Just yesterday, I was doing some research on this topic of the alkaline diet when I came across an article on the website of “Brigham and Women’s Hospital” (which is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School). I thought, “Ok, cool. Maybe they’ll have some new info or research on this topic that I don’t know about yet.”
I was pumped. But then I was outright livid! The DIETITIAN writing the article on alkaline diet and cancer concluded with the following question and answer:
“Do dietitians and other health professionals recommend alkaline diets? No. Studies of alkaline diet are limited to animal and test tube trials. While research is currently in progress regarding the correlation between alkaline diets and bone health, there are unfortunately no major human studies in regards to alkaline diets and cancer at this time.”
Come on lady! Are you on drugs? What planet have you been living on? If she or other health professionals (apparently I would be included under that umbrella) don’t recommend an alkaline diet, what would they recommend instead? An acidic diet?
It’s no wonder the meals at any hospital in our country are outright nasty. White bread, chocolate milk, pudding, etc…
As you can tell, this kind of nonsense really gets me going because these “health promoters” are essentially telling patients that eating fruits and vegetables doesn’t really matter and that they WON’T improve your health or lessen your risks of cancer, bone loss, or other problems by doing so.
Thankfully, there are many studies that do show the importance of keeping your body alkaline, especially when it comes to bone loss and osteoporosis.
Backing the Alkaline Diet
Did you know that in 1999, 1,167 scientific articles on bone health and osteoporosis were added to the index Medicus database, representing about half of the peer-reviewed studies published on the subject that year? And that number continues to grow as osteoporosis continues to cost our society in big ways.
The worst part is that all of these osteoporosis and bone loss issues are avoidable, witnessed by the fact that osteoporosis is uncommon in many cultures outside of the western world. For example, no sign of bone loss can be found among the Maya Indians, who eat an alkaline diet. Africans have been classified as “almost immune” to osteoporotic fracture. The Chinese were found to have only one-fifth the U.S. fracture rate, despite eating as much, or nearly as much protein (but predominantly from plant sources). Societies with the lowest osteoporosis rates follow the basic premise of eating a predominantly alkaline diet – that is plant-based foods.
Compare that with what’s happening in the US: only 15% of the total United States population meets the fruit (2-4 servings) and vegetable (3-5 servings) recommended intakes on a daily basis. And even those recommendations are outdated and still too low. And french fries do not count as a veggie!
Among children, only 7% consume two fruit servings and three vegetables per day, with french fries accounting for nearly 25% of vegetables, in diets of the children surveyed.
I think it’s pretty obvious that our dietary and lifestyle choices are the most important factors determining our health. That’s why I keep telling you that you must take 100% responsibility for your health. Anyone telling you otherwise is full of you know what!
Alkaline Raw Food Diet and Weight Loss
A raw food diet and weight loss go hand in hand. Alkaline foods are best eaten raw as they retain the vitamins, minerals and especially enzymes that would otherwise be lost by cooking them.
The benefits of eating more raw foods are numerous and once you understand them you'll probably wonder why you haven't eaten more raw in the past. You'll also think twice about eating dead cooked foods ever again.
Raw Foods Give You More Energy
I don't think I know of a single person who eats at least 80% raw foods who doesn't enjoy far more energy than the average person. I know that when I transitioned away from eating a diet made up of breads, dairy, and cooked foods, and adopted more of a raw foods diet, my energy went through the roof. And I'm not talking about the quick surge you would get from an espresso but rather long-lasting energy that enables you to do more with less.
For instance, eating raw will allow you to sleep less and have far more energy than you ever thought possible. When I'm eating at least 80% raw, I can easily function on just 4-5 hours of sleep. I literally bounce out of bed and don't require any naps throughout the day. Oh yeah, did I mention that I workout every single day as well? Sometimes, even twice!
There are several reasons why a raw food diet will give you more energy. First, raw foods are rich in food enzymes. Enzymes are required for every single reaction in the body. Unfortunately, our bodies only have a finite number of these enzymes, so when we run out, we run out of life! To add to this, when you heat foods above 118 degrees fahrenheit, you destroy the food enzymes that are naturally present in all raw foods. Therefore, if you eat a predominantly cooked foods diet, you're not getting enough food enzymes, which means that your body will have to produce and use more of its own to digest and metabolize your foods.
The more energy your body needs to divert towards digestion, the less energy you will have for other activities. You will feel more lethargic and tired as your body is trying to breakdown "dead" foods and figure out what to do with them.
So, the food enzymes inherent in raw foods are a big reason for boosting your body's energy. They are the spark plugs and are intricately related to the next property that make raw foods so energy-boosting.
When raw foods are left intact, they are also known as living foods. They are called "living" because they carry an incredible amount of life force. Now, since every living being has an aura or energy field illuminating from their body, which foods do you think would enhance yours? High energy raw foods or cooked foods that dead? I think we both know the answer. As I like to say, "eat alive and you will thrive".
Raw Food Diet and Weight Loss and Beautiful Skin
The other highly sought-after quality of a raw foods diet is its ability to help you lose weight and beautify your skin. Almost all raw foodists have reported losing weight they could never lose. At the same time, they notice an instant improvement in their skin. They look younger and have a natural glow that comes about because of the "living" nature of raw foods, their abundance of enzymes, and of course the plethora of nutrients that are ingested when eating more fruits and vegetables.
You will find it easier to lose weight on a raw food diet because your getting more nutrients and, therefore, your body won't crave "dead" foods. Second, the enzymes help to breakdown the foods you are eating and excess energy and fat stores in your body. Third, raw foods are water-rich, which helps you feel more satiated, as well as hydrated.
Many of these reasons also help us explain why living foods make you look younger and beautify your skin. Enzymes, life force, water, and high quality nutrients all play a role in natural skin care.
We could talk about the benefits of a raw food diet for hours but the only way to truly understand them is to experience them for yourself. So why not take action today and start to enjoy the health, the body, and the vitality that you deserve!
About the Author
Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s leading holistic nutrition and health experts. If you want to lose weight and live your healthiest and most energetic life ever, then learn more about his raw food diet and weight loss course: Eating for Energy.
- Brown, S. & Jaffe, R. (2000). Acid-Alkaline Balance and its Effect on Bone Health. International Journal of Integrative Medicine, Vol 2 (6).
- Schweitzer C, et al: Dietary intake of carotenoids, fruits, and vegetables in the US: CSFII 1994-1996, a national survey. Proceedings from the 12th International Carotenoid Symposium, July 18-23, 1999, Cairns, Australia.
- Krebs-Smith SM, et al: Fruit and vegetable intakes of children and adolescents in the United States. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 150:81-86, 1996.
Lists of acid-producing and alkaline-producing foods, to help you plan a balanced and healthy diet.
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