Healthy. It’s a physical state of being free of disease or aliment that your body works tirelessly twenty-four hours a day to try to achieve and maintain.
You are what you eat
Your body does an amazing job in spite of what you ingest however there comes a point that you need to be conscious of the food choices you make and the impact they have on your body and resulting health.
Innately you know healthy is the right condition for your body to be in however for many, this is not the case as you get caught in the rush, hustle and stress of modern life.
The modern western diet is acidic forming and causes stress to your body systems. Grains, dairy products, meat, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco are all acidic food items that can cause inflammation in your body that if consistently eaten over time, can lead to disease.
What have you eaten today?
Chances are, if you have time and are trying to be healthy, you may have started with an orange juice, cereal and/or toast followed by a milk-based coffee. If you’re short on time it could be a carbonated energy drink and a cigarette consumed on the commute to work.
Lunch may be a takeaway meal of fried food or perhaps a couple of sandwiches with another coffee or energy drink.
Throughout the day to give yourself an energy lift, you may eat refined wheat and sugar based product such as a doughnut/muffin/cake or chocolate with a coffee.
Dinner may be a packaged microwave meal consumed with a carbonated drink/soda (quite possibly a diet one), or a glass or two of wine.
The common element in eating this way is the acidity of the foods consumed. A diet high in foods that produce acidity will cause imbalance in your body systems and impact negatively on your overall health.
What is Acidity?
Acidity and alkalinity are measurements of the hydrogen ion concentration (pH) in your body and are two opposite states on the pH spectrum. All substances have a pH level: seven is neutral with levels towards zero considered acidic and level towards 14 considered alkaline. The ideal pH level for your body is between 7.35 and 7.45. If it is higher or lower you will experience negative health effects in your body.
The body is naturally alkaline and functions best when it is able to remain in an alkaline state. The modern western diet however is very acidic so much energy is spent by the digestive system trying to maintain an alkaline state. In order to be healthy and resist disease you need to be eating a diet of more alkaline foods than acidic.
A diet high in alkaline food will help prevent kidney stones, migraines, constipation, diabetes, obesity, improve heart and brain function, strengthen bones and muscles, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and boost immunity.
In all aspects in life it’s about maintaining balance. When it comes to diet, if you want to be healthy you owe it to your body to create balance with the foods you eat every day. An occasional treat is fine however it’s the cumulative consumption that you need to be mindful of.
As a general guide, manufactured and processed foods are alkaline producing whereas natural plant based foods are alkaline producing.
So here is the simple secret to being deliciously healthy:
Eat green food.
LOTS of it.
And the easy way to do this is to have a serve of green at every meal.
Get to know what foods are acid or alkaline producing: to help you have a look at the list below. Avoid the foods that are highly acidic the most and whilst your diet doesn’t need to be all alkaline foods, make the majority of your foods alkaline rather than acidic and incorporate some green at every meal, even breakfast!
Simple ways to have green at every meal are:
Breakfast: green vegetable juice or a smoothie that contains leaves
Lunch & dinner: green salad/steamed vegetables with quinoa and/or salmon or vegetable and lentil soups
Snacks: celery, cucumber, carrot with hommus
Food pH Spectrum
Highly Alkaline: 9.5 pH alkaline water, grasses, cucumber, kale, spinach, parsley, broccoli, sprouts, sea vegetables, green drinks
Moderately Alkaline: avocado, almonds, beetroot, capsicum, peppers, cabbage, celery, collards/spring greens, endive, garlic, ginger, green beans, lettuce, mustard greens, okra, onion, radish, red onion, rocket, tomato, lemon, lime, butter beans, white haricot beans
Mildly Alkaline: artichokes, asparagus, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, carrot, chives, courgette/zucchini, leeks, new baby potatoes, peas, rhubarb, swede, watercress, grapefruit, coconut, buckwheat, quinoa, spelt, lentils, tofu, goats milk, most herbs & spices, avocado oil, coconut oil, flax oil, Udo’s oil
Neutral/Mildly Acidic: black beans, chickpeas/garbanzos, kidney beans, cantaloupe, currents, fresh dates, nectarine, plum, sweet cherry, watermelon, amaranth, millet, freshwater wild fish, rice milk, soy milk, brazil nuts, pecan nuts, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil
Moderately Acidic: fresh natural juice, tomato sauce/ketchup, mayonnaise, butter, apple, apricot, banana, blackberry, blueberry, cranberry, grapes, mango, orange, peach, strawberry, brown rice, oats, rye bread, wheat, wholemeal bread, wild rice, wholemeal pasta, ocean fish
Highly Acidic: alcohol, coffee, sweetened fruit juice, black tea, cocoa, honey, jam/jelly, mustard, rice syrup, soy sauce, vinegar, yeast, dried fruit, bee, chicken eggs, farmed fish, pork, shellfish, cheese, dairy, artificial sweeteners, syrup, soft /carbonated drinks
Until next time, wishing you a delicious day filled with love, laughter, happiness AND plenty of GREEN plant food!