Alkaline Nutrition – That’s Why It’s Healthy

The alkaline diet is a diet that is free of acid-forming foods but rich in alkaline minerals. It is carried out at short notice, i.e. as part of a course, e.g. B. 10 to 14 days. It is light and rich in vital substances, supports purification, and relieves the organism. The base excess diet, on the other hand, is a permanent form of nutrition. We explain the exact difference in this article.

The basic diet

The alkaline diet is a diet made up of alkaline foods. At the same time, acid-forming foods are completely avoided.

The alkaline diet naturally prevents hyperacidity (which from a naturopathic point of view is responsible for almost all chronic diseases and many signs of aging) and helps to reduce existing hyperacidity. The alkaline diet ensures a balanced acid-base balance and thus automatically more well-being and healthy body weight.

Alkaline diet and alkaline excess diet: the difference

The alkaline diet consists of 100 percent alkaline foods. It is ideally suited to accompany a purification cure, detoxification, colon cleansing, heavy metal elimination, a weight loss cure, or a deacidification program.

In most cases, alkaline nutrition is therefore only practiced as a cure, i.e. temporarily, e.g. B. 10 to 14 days or once for 4 weeks. Because at some point the organism is clean, detoxified, purged, and cleaned.

Now the organism needs the power and strength of the alkaline excess diet. With a base-excessive diet, you use around 70 to 80 percent alkaline and 20 to 30 percent healthy(!) acid-forming foods. This is based on the volume of the food on the plate, not the calories.

Base excess nutrition: the advantage

In our opinion, the plant-based alkaline diet is the perfect diet that you can practice consistently.

The advantage over a purely alkaline diet is that in an alkaline-excessive diet, those foods are also used that have a very high nutrient and micronutrient density, such as e.g. B. Nuts, pseudocereals, peanuts, legumes, seeds, and whole grains.

Healthy acidic foods

With the alkaline diet, you also eat acid-forming foods, but only healthy acid-forming foods. Just as there are unhealthy alkaline foods, there are not only unhealthy foods but also healthy or good acid-forming foods.

Good acidifiers

Examples of good acidifiers include:

  • nuts
  • legumes
  • High-quality cocoa powder, preferably raw food quality
  • millet
  • Pseudo-cereals (quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat)
  • Organic cereals e.g. B. spelled, Kamut or barley in small quantities – ideally as sprouted bread or in the form of sprouts (if there are no intolerances or health problems)
  • In manageable quantities, high-quality animal products from organic farming, e.g. B. organic eggs or fish from organic aquaculture
  • High-quality organic tofu

Bad acidifiers

The bad, i.e. unhealthy, acid-forming foods include all highly processed products of the food industry, such as e.g. B.

  • Ready-to-eat products of all kinds (also many ready-to-eat drinks)
  • Dairy products (with the exception of butter, ghee, and cream (in organic quality), which are classified as neutral)
  • Heavily processed soy products (especially the textured soy protein, which is abbreviated TVP and is sold in dried form as a basis for ground meat substitutes, goulash substitutes, etc.)
  • Grain products made from flour (baked goods and pasta such as cakes, pastries, sweet pastries, pasta, etc., some breakfast cereals such as cornflakes, ready-to-eat muesli, crispies, crunchy, etc.)
  • Products made from gluten ( seitan ), e.g. B. vegetarian sausages, cold cuts, Bolognese, or similar.
  • All products containing sugar
  • Products containing alcohol and caffeine
  • Products from conventional animal husbandry
  • Good acid-forming foods can be used very well in the base excess diet, they should even be consumed. Bad acid-forming foods should be avoided.

The alkaline diet and the pH value

Acidic and acidic foods do not necessarily have a low pH – and alkaline foods are by no means automatically blessed with a high pH. It is much more the case that the metabolism of acid-forming foods produces acids that put a strain on the organism and can lead to an imbalance in the acid-base balance.

In the case of good acidifiers, however, the advantages outweigh them, namely their wealth of vital substances and roughage and their naturalness. The body can easily compensate for the acids that are produced when they are metabolized.

How alkaline nutrition regulates the acid-base balance

The alkaline diet contributes very well to the regulation of the acid-base balance. A healthy acid-base balance is characterized by the correct and healthy pH value in every part of the body.

pH indicates how basic or how acidic something is. pH is measured on a scale from 1 to 14, with anything below 7 being acidic and anything above 7 being basic, with 7 being neutral.

Where in the body is it basic, and where is it acidic?

However, a healthy acid-base balance does not mean that the body has pH values ​​above 7 everywhere. On the contrary. There are parts of the body that must be acidic (e.g. stomach, vagina, large intestine) and parts of the body that must be alkaline (e.g. blood, lymph, saliva, bile, a large part of the small intestine).

When the acid-base balance is disturbed, areas of the body that should be alkaline may be acidic or not quite as alkaline as they should be. Other areas of the body that should be acidic may not be acidic enough or may even be alkaline.

With an alkaline diet, the entire body is not put into an alkaline state, which would be just as unhealthy as an overly acidic body.

Instead, the alkaline diet deacidifies the connective tissue, the lymph, the small intestine, and all other organs and body areas that require an alkaline pH value.

At the same time, the alkaline diet ensures that the production of gastric acid levels off in the stomach (not too weak and not too strong) and that the beneficial bacteria that provide the necessary acidic environment can settle in the colon and vagina again.

Acid-base tables based on the PRAL value

If you look at many an acid-base table (e.g. based on the PRAL value) that has been prepared using highly scientific analytical methods, you will find that among the alkaline foods there are e.g. Wine, nut nougat spread, jam, beer, and ice cream can be found.

Excellent, you’ll think, those are all things I like. Unfortunately, if you put together your menu from these “alkaline” foods, you will wait in vain for well-being and recovery.

Why is that? If the basic potential of food is examined, then you burn it and now examine how basic or acidic the leftover ash is. The combustion process here is intended to mimic digestion in the body a little.

In addition, one looks at how high the content of acid-forming amino acids is in the respective food. In our opinion, however, these two aspects are not enough to determine the actual alkaline and health potential of a food.

The ones for healthy alkaline foods

In order to be able to identify foods that are actually alkaline and healthy, we have put together 8 criteria. If foods meet all of these 8 criteria, they are – according to our point of view – healthy alkaline foods.

So they have an alkaline effect on eight levels – and not just on two levels like the food from the conventional PRAL tables.

Alkaline foods have an alkaline effect on 8 levels

Alkaline foods are alkaline on at least 8 levels:

  1. Alkaline foods are rich in bases: Alkaline foods have a high content of alkaline minerals and trace elements (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron).
  2. Alkaline foods are low in acid-forming amino acids (methionine and cysteine). If there is an excess of these acidic amino acids – e.g. B. if you eat too much meat, fish, and eggs, but also too many Brazil nuts, too much sesame, or too much soy – they are broken down and sulfuric acid is formed.
  3. Alkaline foods stimulate the body’s own base formation: Alkaline foods provide substances (e.g. bitter substances) that stimulate the body’s own formation of bases in the body.
  4. Alkaline foods do not slag: Alkaline foods do not leave any acidic metabolic residues (slags) when they are metabolized.
  5. Alkaline foods also contain certain substances (e.g. antioxidants, vitamins, phytochemicals, chlorophyll, etc.) that revitalize the body, strengthen its detoxification organs, relieve its elimination organs and support the immune system. In this way, alkaline foods enable the body to independently neutralize and eliminate excess acids, toxins, and waste products, which prevents hyperacidity or reduces existing hyperacidity.
  6. Alkaline foods have a high water content, so the body always has enough liquid (even if you don’t drink enough) to be able to quickly excrete acids or other waste products through the kidneys.
  7. Alkaline foods have an anti-inflammatory effect – due to their high content of vital substances and antioxidants as well as the right fatty acids. Chronic latent inflammatory processes are often at the beginning of many chronic lifestyle diseases (from rheumatism and arteriosclerosis to diabetes and autoimmune diseases) and initially go completely unnoticed. Inflammatory processes, however, lead to endogenous (taking place in the body) acid formation and thus increase acidification. Alkaline foods also alleviate or prevent hyperacidity by inhibiting risky inflammatory processes.
  8. Alkaline foods promote intestinal health and stabilize the healthy intestinal flora. The healthier the intestine is, the better and faster acids can be excreted, the more complete the digestion is and the fewer waste products are produced in the first place.

Acidic foods

Just as healthy alkaline foods have to meet 8 criteria in order to actually be considered healthy and alkaline, bad acid-forming foods can be recognized by the fact that the opposite of these criteria applies to them:

Acid-forming foods are acidic on 8 levels

Bad acidic foods are acidic on at least 8 levels:

  1. Acid-forming foods are rich in acidic minerals: Acid-forming foods contain plenty of acidic minerals and trace elements (e.g. phosphorus, sulfur, iodine, chlorine, fluoride).
  2. Acid-forming foods are rich in acid-forming amino acids (methionine and cysteine), so over-consumption leads to the formation of sulfuric acid.
  3. Acid-forming foods cannot stimulate the body’s own base formation: Acid-forming foods are extremely poor in those substances (e.g. bitter substances) that would stimulate the body’s own formation of bases in the body and could contribute to deacidification.
  4. Acid-forming foods lead to slag formation: Acid-forming foods contain so many harmful and acid-forming ingredients that when they are metabolized, enormous amounts of acidic metabolic residues (slags) are formed. Acid-forming ingredients are, for example, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, or synthetic food additives (preservatives, colorings, etc.).
  5. Acid-forming foods prevent the body’s own deacidification processes: Acid-forming foods contain no or significantly fewer substances (e.g. antioxidants, vitamins, phytochemicals, chlorophyll, etc.) that would motivate the body to deacidify itself.
  6. Acid-forming foods often have a very low water content, so the body – especially if too little water is drunk at the same time – hardly has enough capacity to be able to excrete acids or other waste products quickly via the kidneys. Some of the slags, therefore, remain in the body and contribute to increasing acidosis.
  7. Acid-forming foods promote the development of smoldering (unnoticed) inflammation in the body, e.g. B. because of their high content of pro-inflammatory fatty acids, but also because they are poor in anti-inflammatory substances. However, where there is inflammation, more acids are produced.
  8. Acid-forming foods worsen gut health and damage gut flora. However, the sicker the intestine is, the worse and slower it is for acids to be excreted, the more incomplete digestion is, and the more waste products are produced as a result. In addition, those bacteria that predominate in damaged intestinal flora produce toxins that also contribute to acidification and slagging.

Good acid-forming foods only meet a few of the above criteria (low water content, high in acid-forming amino acids) and are therefore not among the foods that should be avoided.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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