Acidity vs. Alkalinity

There are a lot of myths surrounding alkaline diets in regard to inflammation. This may not be the “cure all” diseasefighting diet that will reverse any disease.

There isn’t really any one thing that you could do that with.

We remember the PH scale from school. It’s a range from 0 – 14, with the lower the number indicating acidity and a higher number meaning more alkalinity.

Let’s also be clear, your blood’s PH does not change, other than in lifethreatening situations. Your body has buffers in place to keep your blood PH extremely close to 7.4.

So when I discuss eating a more alkaline diet, I’m not necessarily saying that it will drastically change your entire bodies PH, because your body is smart enough to prevent that.

For example, your blood is around 7.4, and your stomach is around a 3.5. That is because your blood can harm you if it reaches to far in either direction, and your stomach needs to be a bit more acidic in order to break down the food you eat.

When I refer to an “alkaline diet,” I essentially only mean you should change what type of food you are eating.

Certain foods cause specific reactions and changes in the body that can lead to inflammation. Inflammation is harmful for a number of reasons, which we actually discussed in this article.

Veggies help prevent inflammation

Important Preface About an Alkaline Diet and Inflammation!

Let me restate what I said a moment ago;

Your blood’s PH does not change, other than in lifethreatening situations. Your body has buffers in place to keep your blood PH extremely close to 7.4.

With that being said, let me further explain exactly what I mean by an “alkaline diet.”

Your body is essentially a metabolism.

What I mean by this, is that at a cellular level your body is constantly breaking down what you consume. After your body breaks down food, you have eaten, it leaves behind what is known as metabolic waste.

This is what I mean when I say alkaline diet. This waste can become alkaline, neutral, or acidic.

This article offers further insight into metabolic waste. Here are the points they make on what food cause what metabolic waste PH reactions:

  • Acidic: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains and alcohol.
  • Neutral: Natural fats, starches and sugars.
  • Alkaline: Fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables.

So while you cannot change the entire PH drastically, due to the buffers discussed before, you can change what waste is left within your body.

Your urine is where PH is monitored. That is your bodies way of reducing he acidity in your body.

So if you eat a bunch of meat, dairy, and alcohol your urine will be much more acidic a couple hours later, after your body has had the chance to metabolize it.

I am not going to make claims about how an alkaline diet can cure anything.

There are claims that an alkaline diet can cure or prevent:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Even cancer!

I am not claiming any of this, as there is not enough proof of any of this.

Arthritis is inflammation in the joints

What Foods Cause Inflammation

There are foods that cause inflammation, and unfortunately most of them are typical in the Standard American Diet (SAD Diet).

These would include:

  • Refined Sugars
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Trans Fats
  • Unhealthy Oils
  • Refined Carbs
  • Alcohol
  • Processed Meat
  • Fried Foods

These are all too common in our daily lives. It’s hard to escape, because all of these are found in basically anything you try to eat.

Attempt to walk into almost any grocery store and buy groceries with none of those additives in your food.

Have fun being vegan!

Veggies prevent inflammation

What To Do for Inflammation

Inflammation can be limited by the foods we eat.

Here are our tips to reducing inflammation.

What Foods to Eat

Vegetables

Vegetables are on the list of producing alkaline metabolic waste. There are many reasons that vegetables are great for our health.

  • Vegetables are mostly water
  • They are packed with nutrients
  • They are filling
  • Vegetables are an all-around great option for your health

Regardless of what anything you could find about alkaline or inflammation dieting, vegetables can really never be a harmful thing. You could eat them until you feel sick, and your body will know what to do.

Fruits

Low sugar fruits are preferable for this type of dieting.

These would include:

  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries

A lot of people that go on specific diets do not include fruits because of sugar content. One thing that you have to remember, is that fruits are not straight sugar. They also have fibers that help the sugar absorption, so fruits are not entirely harmful for you.

That being said, consult with a dietician before you completely cut out fruits. They are beneficial foods, so be cautious of completely cutting out this entire food group.

Water

Ideally, we would all be drinking only water.

That’s not entirely viable though, because… you know, coffee…

That being said, if you have issues with inflammation you should increase your water intake. Water is great for flushing toxins out of the body.

And at all costs, cut out soft drinks. Pop is terrible for inflammation, it is full of sodium, sugar, synthetic sugar. It’s all around not a healthy choice.

Garlic is great at preventing inflammation

Garlic

Garlic has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties.

I personally love garlic, I load it into just about everything I cook. It adds a great flavor to the food, and provides a ton of health benefits.

It is preferred to eat garlic raw, because cooking it can cause some nutrients to be broken down, limiting the health effects of eating it.

What we do is chop it up as finely as possible, and throw it in after the food is done cooking. It helps it maintain more of its flavor as well as ensures that every nutritional benefit is being taken advantage of.

Turmeric

Turmeric is another great anti-inflammatory superfood.

This is a root plant that can be grown, or found ground up into a spice.

We use this as often as possible, adding just a little bit to just about everything that we eat. It doesn’t really have a flavor, so you won’t know it’s even there!

Other than the fact it turns your food a little yellow..

Sweet Potatoes

I believe that many people have demonized carbs.

People go on next-to-no-carb diets, then begin to feel tired and drained because their body is missing an important source of energy.

Sweet potatoes are very similar to regular white potatoes, they simply have a bit more sugar than regular potatos. The main difference, is that sweet potatoes have massive amounts of the phytochemical beto carotene.

This gives sweet potatoes their distinct color, as well as some additional health benefits.

What is the main difference between sweet and white potatoes?

While sweet potatoes have a bit more sugar, they are actually quite a bit lower in the glycemic index. This means while they do technically have a bit more sugar, that sugar does not cause such a big change in blood sugar.

This is a big reason they are recommended over regular potatoes, and why I mention them here.

Beans/Legumes

Beans are a great anti-inflammatory food because they are loaded with fiber and protein.

The best types, according to the Arthritis Foundation, are:

  • Black
  • Pinto
  • Red Kidney
  • Garbanzo

These are great with a variety of foods. We use Garbonza beans to make hummus, or even different vegan cheeses!

We use black beans in tons of recipes as well, including nachos, tacos, burritos, and chili.

This makes them extremely easy to implement into any diet.

Dates

Dates are, first of all, delicious!

They are also extremely beneficial to your health for a lot of reasons!

They contain high amounts of:

  • Fiber
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B6

They are not only full of nutrients, but because they are so great for your digestive system, it means they are great for inflammation. From what I have read, this is also due to the high level of magnesium, which has known anti-inflammatory properties.

I would suggest just eating a few a day. You can obviously eat more, but be prepared to make good friends with your toilet!

Apple cider vinegar can aid your body in preventing inflammation

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is acidic, can it really help with inflammation?

Yes, it can!

Well, the research behind this isn’t massive, I’ll admit. But ACV has many great benefits, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Weight loss
  • Digestive health
  • Antimicrobial
  • Full of probiotics and prebiotics

It’s something that we would ideally be consuming a small amount of every day.

It tastes disgusting, however. So I would recommend diluting it before consuming it. Add just a tablespoon or two in your morning water.

We used ACV in our anti-fungal balm to treat our son’s ringworm!

This can be applied topically, and is simple to make:

  • Use a carrier oil, like organic coconut oil
  • Add a bit of ACV
  • Add some essential oils for added effect and scent
  • Mix well and allow to solidify

There have been claims that a balm such as this one could assist with Rheumatoid Arthritis pain. I am not stating that as 100% fact, but I’m sure it couldn’t hurt those affected.

Here are 5 great options to use ACV for inflammation

Green Tea

Green tea is a delicious and simple way to fight against inflammation. This is due to the high levels of antioxidants that are found in green tea.

If you don’t already drink it, try drinking one cup day. You might end up loving it, then you can begin drinking it as a replacement for your morning coffee.

Or you could be like us, and try that… Then revert back to the sweet black nectar of the goddess…

We have failed trying to stop drinking coffee a lot, we have a pretty bad addiction at this point…

Salads for anti inflammation

Other Tips for Relieving Inflammation

Eating a Broader Variety of Vegetables and Fruits

We have already discussed that getting more leafy greens and fruits in your diet will help with inflammation.

Another key tip would be to get a wider variety of those foods in your diet. Most people don’t necessarily enjoy eating fruits and veggies, and I get it.

It is beneficial to at least try to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to these foods, however.

The more vegetables you can find that you love, the healthier and more complete your diet will become.

Trust me, we went full on vegan pretty quickly. I had never tried the following in my life until we went full vegan:

  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Dates
  • Figs

I’m sure there are many others that I can’t think of at the moment.

My point is, try new things! I had never tried any of those things and they have all become something that I eat on at least a weekly basis, if not daily.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are great for aiding inflammation, but also for a host of other reasons.

Oxidants, aka free radicals, are unstable molecules that can damage your bodily cells. Antioxidants fight against this harmful process.

Some great sources of antioxidants are:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Dark chocolate
  • Pecans
  • Artichokes
  • Black beans
  • Cranberries
  • Apples
  • Pinto beans
  • Potatoes
  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Kale
  • Spinach

See why I say to eat a broad variety of fruits and veggies?

Cleansing for Inflammation

Cleansing is a great way to flush your body of toxins and unwanted substances.

Ideally, we wouldn’t put anything bad in our bodies.

But sometimes, cravings can overpower even the healthiest of wills.

So we should do what we can to clear out our bodies periodically.

We all know that lymph nodes are those bumps we get around our body when we deal with illness. The point of these, however, is to remove toxins from our body. Doing a cleanse can be great for moving this system along.

Exercise equipment

Exercise

Exercise is a great idea for any health situation. Regardless of your health issues, you should always do what you can to find some form of activity and stick to it daily.

Exercise has been long known to have anti-inflammatory benefits, but new research has expounded on that fact.

They have shown that just 20 minutes of moderate treadmill exercise per day and produce certain immune cells. These immune cells can fight off diseases and infections, and leave your immune system stronger than those who are not active.

Exercise is also great for your digestion and metabolism, so it will help your body metabolize and get rid of anything it doesn’t want.

Conclusion

Chronic inflammation is important to prevent disease and illness.

You can’t stop yourself from getting sick, but you can follow a diet such as this one to prevent it.

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