Maintaining an alkaline dominant pH in the body is essential for overall health and well-being. When our bodies are too acidic, it can lead to various health issues. By incorporating alkaline foods you can help restore your body's natural balance and health. In this guide we will explore the benefits of consuming alkaline foods, what alkaline foods to consume and the science behind balancing your body’s pH. We will also debunk common myths and misconceptions surrounding fruit sugar.
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Acidic vs. Alkaline: Understanding the Chemistry of our Foods
The body requires Homeostasis (balance), as it ensures the proper functioning of cells, tissues, and organs, allowing them to maintain overall health. The most important factor to understand about food is how it affects the pH of the body. pH (potential of hydrogen) is a scale used to measure the relative acidity or alkalinity of substances. The scale goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being considered neutral. Below 7 indicates more acidic, above 7 indicates more alkaline.
Acids and base (alkaline chemistry) forms the basis of all matter. Like everything in creation there is an interplay of opposites - acids initial change and alkalis balance it. Foods can also be divided into two basic categories: foods that have an acid reaction in your body and foods that have an alkaline reaction.
Acids are compounds that are low in pH, and are corrosive and inflammatory to the body while base (alkaline) chemistry is the hydrating, healing side - they neutralize acids. For the body to be in a state of true health it must be alkaline dominant.
We do need some acids in life when aggressive activity is required. However, acids are generally the by-products of activity and require to be neutralized or eliminated.
What are Alkaline Foods and the Health Benefits
Alkaline foods are those that have an alkalizing effect on the body. They help raise the pH level and promote a soothing and hydrating environment. Alkaline foods that are in harmony with the human body mainly include raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds (for a full list of foods see Alkaline Food List PDF). These foods contain powerful healing properties and are balanced in their simple sugars, amino acids and fatty acids.
As a general rule, fruits are brain and nerve foods as well as the cleaners of tissue. Vegetables are the builders, which are suited for muscle and skeletal tissue. Nuts and seeds are structural foods and are strengthening to the body as a whole.
Raw plant foods also have many elements and phytochemicals that are vital to health. Some of the most important chemistry of foods including astringents, alkaloids, flavanoids, tannings, tissue salts, saponins, glycols and more.
Flavanoids are vital to calcium and vitamin C utilization. Bioflavonoids are co-factors in strengthening tissue, especially cardio and vascular tissue. Many antioxidants are related to flavonoids. These factors in foods strengthen the heart, brain, vascular walls and promote immune response. Fruits, especially berries, are high in flavonoids and essential to nerve function which is vital to those suffering from acne.
Astringents are vital to moving the lymphatic system and opening the pathways of elimination. Astringents are used for cleaning as they pull and constrict tissue, pulling toxicity and congestion (mucus) out. At the same time these foods stimulate the lymphatic and blood flow within the body, allowing the body to get rid of these toxins and mucus.
Health Benefits of Alkaline Foods
- Digestion: A living, raw food diet is full of enzymes, nutrition and fiber, all of which promote better digestion, bile flow and bowel function.
- Nervous system: Fruits hold the highest electromagnetic energy of all foods and promote nerve and brain regeneration, especially berries.
- Cardiovascular: Lipid (cholesterol) plaque and mineral deposits dissolve, and red blood cells that have bonded will break free. This will increase circulation, blood biodynamics, “thin” the blood, and lower blood pressure. This reduces or eliminates the risk of strokes or heart attacks and increases oxygenation of your body.
- Lymphatic System: Fruits are especially important to lymphatic health as they are full of antioxidants and astringents. They clean, enhance, rebuild and restore the health of your cells. The “kings” of these fruits are grapes and lemons as they have the highest astringents.
- Immune system: Raw, alkaline foods help remove acids, foreign proteins and substances from the tissues that cause inflammatory immune responses. This enhances and eases the function of your immune system.
- Muscular system: raw green leafy vegetables and vegetable juices helps to rebuild strong muscle tissue. These foods are high in superior amino acids and minerals. These vegetables also have a high content of electrolytes (alkaline minerals: calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium). Raw vegetables are high in calcium and magnesium with the proper balance of phosphorus which is vital for bone regeneration.
- Glandular system: a raw food diet energizes the gonads and the glandular system. It is anti-inflammatory to these tissues (prostate, uterus, etc.).
The Power of Fruits
Fruits are the highest electrically-alkaline foods on the planet and vital to your health. They contain sugars that are slow burning but powerful, and will enhance the vitality of cells faster than any other food, and with much less digestive effort.
Their perfect chemistry contains the hydrating, astringent and alkaline properties that cleanse, restore, regenerate and energize the body.
Fruits with the highest astringents include grapes, lemon, limes, oranges, grapefruit and watermelon. Mono-fasting on grapes is one of the most powerful ways to detoxify the body and heal from deeply degenerative health issues.
In general, acidic and sub-acid fruit will be the detoxifiers while non-sweet veggie fruits and sweet fruits slow down the detox.
Fruit sugar myth
There is a great misconception that fruit contains too much sugar and is bad for your health. Its important to distinguish between the sugar found in fruit and complex refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup (added to almost all processed foods). Fruit contains simple sugars, mostly fructose but also glucose - which are the principal energies or fuels for a cell.
Fruit fructose does not spike insulin as it enters a cell through diffusion instead of via active transport. This explains why type 1 diabetics have no blood sugar spikes or extreme fluctuations from only eating fruits (on an empty stomach), as opposed to vegetables. Diffusion also saves energy for the body and cells. Complex sugars (polysaccharides and disaccharides), on the other hand, create excessive glucose levels in the blood, which then creates more insulin demand.
You’ve also probably heard that sugar feeds candida and to stay away from fruits. Simple sugars from fruits are vital in eliminating candida as they are high in antioxidant and astringents properties. They will clean the lymphatic system which is home for these fungi to grow.
How to Transition to an Alkaline, Living Foods Diet and Avoid Cravings
The first step in alkalizing the body is to remove acidic foods from your diet. These foods cause acidity, inflammation and mucus. They burden the lymphatic system causing it to become congested and stagnant, eventually leading to cellular damage.
Symptoms such as fatigue, inflammation, arthritis, edema, acne, hair loss, cellulite, premature aging, cysts, fibroids, tumors etc. are just different stages of acid corrosion.
Acid Forming Foods
- Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, milk chocolate, sour cream, etc.)
- Meat, poultry, fish and eggs
- Grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and starchy foods (rice, pasta, potatoes, rye, etc.).
- Fermented foods (kefir, kombucha, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, soy sauce, tempeh, etc.)
- Processed foods
- Stimulants (Coffee, black teas, sodas, etc)
Once we have eliminated the most acidic foods and drinks from our diet, the body will naturally go through a process known as Regenerative Detoxification where health, energy and vitality are restored.
Many of these foods are highly addictive and eliminating them can be difficult but it's important to understand that cravings are an indication of parasites, fungus or glandular weaknesses in the body. Once we restore the glandular system and remove parasites and fungus from the body, the cravings will go away.
Cravings for starches, fermented foods and sugars
Candida (yeast) creates a craving for starches (pasta, rice, potatoes, breads etc) and sugars. If you keep feeling the yeast with these foods, they will forever crave these foods and continue to spread throughout the body. Once this yeast is eliminated, your cravings will also be eliminated.
This requires us to address the glands and organs involved in sugar metabolism and digestion. Weakened adrenal glands means a decreased output of glucocorticoid steroids resulting in varying degrees of impeded sugar metabolism. Moreover, a weak pancreas will produce a lower output of carbohydrate digestive juices and enzymes. In addition to strengthening these glands, we have to kill these parasites. Raw foods and herbal formulas will accomplish this. Dr Morse's Parasite Micro was created to target fungus while the Parasite General is used to target bigger parasites like worms.
Detox Symptoms and the Important of a Slow Transition
As you begin to eliminate the most acidic foods and incorporate more alkaline foods like fruits and vegetables, you will probably experience detox symptoms (see Detox Symptoms PDF for more information). I would always advise to transition very slowly in order to avoid intense detox symptoms. The Raw Vegan Transition Guide & Recipe eBook can be helpful for ideas of what to eat as you transition towards an alkaline diet.
Relatively minor symptoms include cold and flu-like symptoms, changes in bowel movements, pains of various types, fevers, heartburn, lung congestion, energy loss, swelling and itching. The symptoms or discomforts are all part of the cleansing process, as the toxins and poisons in the body must be expelled. Also old symptoms of past diseases or weaknesses may return and then disappear as the body heals that particular area. These are old, toxic problems that were originally suppressed; and now the body has worked its way into these areas to rebuild and restore normal tissue function.
Generally the healing crisis is short-lived, so give it time and be patient. You can use herbal formulas to increase the cleaning action of congested lymphatic systems, to kill parasites, and to enhance the function of your organs and glands. However, your body has its own pace and rhythm of healing and cleansing itself.
Life-changing Journey Towards Optimal Health
Detoxification is a powerful and life changing journey that will lead you down a path of health, vitality and self-discovery as it cleanses the body and opens up your awareness. Foods can either bind you to this world or set you free. Seek to be free from the chains of food addictions that undermine your health and wellbeing.
As you begin to restore the body back to its original blueprint, you begin to feel superior levels of vitality, energy, presence and mental clarity. Our bodies and minds become open to higher vibration, nutrition and divine light.
Reaching these higher levels of health and vitality requires more than just a 3-day juice cleanse - it's a lifestyle change that doesn't happen overnight. It requires commitment and a willingness to learn, let go of fear and suppressed emotions, overcome negative habits and venture through phases of eliminations (or detox symptoms).