Lets talk acids and alkalines…
… in my last food post I talked a little bit about acids and alkalines when I told you why I decided not to eat any white flour nor any refined sugar for (at least) a year. Some of you asked why sugar and white flour is bad for you so I thought it may be a good idea to write a little bit more about acids and alkalines (which are only PART of the story of why white sugar and white flour is bad – the other part is all about the gut flora which I may write about someday too).
Now, what is the story with acids and alkalines? Your body maintains a delicate acid-alkaline balance and everything, truely everything, in your body (and outside too actually – like water, soil…) is affected by pH. PH stands for “potential hydrogen” and it is the measure of hydrogen ions in a particular solution, like your blood for example.
The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is and ranges from 0 to 14. Seven is neutral. Below 7 becomes increasingly acidic, above 7 increasingly alkaline. Proper pH varies throughout your body for many reasons. For example, your bowels, skin and vagina should be slightly acidic – this helps keep unfriendly bacteria away. There is a constant balance throughout your body when it comes to acids and alcalines. Hence, acids are not always bad and alkalines not always good – its all about the balance.
By far the most important measurement is your blood. For optimal cellular health, your blood pH must be slightly alkaline with a pH between 7.365 and 7.45. Your body will maintain this range no matter what, since even the slightest dip or rise in pH can have seriously dangerous consequences. Now here is where food comes in: when you eat loads of acidic substances and foods, like meat, dairy, highly processed food products, white flour, and refined sugar your body has a looooot of work to do to keep up with a healthy pH.
To keep up the pH between 7.365 and 7.45 your body is forced to borrow minerals—including calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium—from vital organs and bones to neutralize the acid and safely remove it from the body. Because of this strain, your body can suffer severe and prolonged damage due to high acidity — a condition that may go undetected for years and can lead to various symptons, such as cardiovascular damage, bladder and kidney conditions, including kidney stones, immune deficiency, premature aging, osteoporosis, joint pain, low energy and chronic fatigue.
By eating a more alkaline diet (leafy greens, veggies, sprouts, fruits) as opposed to an acidic diet (high in animal products, white flour, refined sugar, soda, etc), you will give your body more alkalinity, vitamins and other nutrients.
So far so good. But what is an alkaline diet and how many acids do you need?
The most acid foods are animal products of any kind, white sugar, white flour, all processed foods, soda etc. The most alkaline foods are all fruits (except for cranberries), all veggies, all greens, almonds, quinoa, amarant, wild rice etc. However, some foods are somwhere in the middle – like oats, corn, or potatoes. So even on a plant based diet you will get some acids. And this is good! Because you need SOME (around 20%). However, you only need SOME! When eating animal products, white flour or sugar you will easily come up with muuuuuch more than 20% of your total food intake as acids and hence, you will be out of balance.
This is why I decided to stop eating white flour and refined sugar on top of eating a vegan diet 🙂
Does this sound too complicated to you? Its not! Its easy – just eat all the good whole plants out there and you will have so much fun in the kitchen, feel full of energy, save the planet (animal production is responsible for 50-85% of emissions!) and be happy 🙂
And in case you need some help to begin with, there are tons of awesome ready made products out there which are truely healthy for you and the planet. I recently tried this yummy quinoa mix from Alvito which is composed to help you to get your alkalines. Its full of alkaline ingredients such a herbs, veggies, quinoa, amarant and millet. Plus its really tasty. I added some extra veggies to it and had some chicory and chili-soy-yogurt with it. Delicious!
Feel free to check out more alkaline products on alvito.com (German only as far as I can tell)
Writing my Thursday posts is always so much fun! I am really happy with the decision to post only twice a week instead of three times. I have more time to prepare my posts and I enjoy writing these long posts on Thursdays. I am already looking forward to next weeks Thursday post (it will be beauty related…;)) and for the one the week after (which will be sweet and yummy ;)).
But now tell me how you liked this post and if you were familiar with the topic before! Are you now able to understand better why I decided to stay away from refined products such a white flour and sugar?
Sending sooooo much love to all of you wonderful readers and friends!