Too much processed food, sugar, caffeine, meat and alcohol will leave you with an acidic gut - the cause of inflammation, bloating, weight gain, susceptibility to illness, fatigue, headaches, insomnia and countless other undesirable symptoms.
“When your body is bombarded with acid-forming foods, it has to rely on supplies within your body to recalibrate your blood pH so that it stays within its strict limits,” says gourmet vegetarian chef, Natasha Corrett . “This can mean you leach minerals out of your bone tissue or put extra work on your kidneys and liver.
However, by stopping the consumption of acid-forming food/drinks and replacing them with nutrient packed raw fruit and vegetable juices, the body can return to an alkaline state, rid itself of toxins and allow the digestive system and liver to rest and recuperate. “For your body to work optimally, all the biochemical reactions that take place to supply you with energy, digest your food and control your mood have to take place in controlled conditions,” says Natasha. “The pH of blood sits in a narrow range of 7.35-7.45, slightly alkaline, and your body does everything it can to maintain this value.”
When managed successfully, opting for alkaline can leave the body feeling lighter, cleaner, and bursting with energy, which is why it’s is championed by a-listers such as Elle Macpherson, Jennifer Aniston and Victoria Beckham (to name a few).
This week GTG sat down with the Honestly Healthy author, Natasha, to discover what other vital benefits eating green can have on our bodies.
It’s super simple
“It’s simple to follow - if you can remember this one line every time you take a bite of something, it will help you get on the right track: ‘Eat as mother nature intended’. All you have to do is eat as purely as you can. Fresh vegetables should make up 70% of your daily food intake while you should also work to stay away from processed foods, sugar, wheat, gluten, caffeine and alcohol. However, don't panic as we believe it’s a lifestyle not a diet, so it’s okay to follow this rule 70% of the time.”
It improves your sleep
When packing in leafy greens and alkaline options, a night of tossing and turning will become a thing of the past, assures Natasha. “Living the alkaline diet can help give you a better night's sleep,” says Natasha. “A reduction in acid forming foods will help bring balance and harmony back into your system allowing you a more restful night's sleep.”
Watch the weight fall off
“Natural weight loss is another great effect of going alkaline,” says Natasha. “Most alkaline foods are superfoods and whole foods, which help speed up your metabolism. Eating alkaline also allows your body to get what it needs from good-quality food, resulting in the right body for you, with a lower body mass index and a trimmer figure.”
(In fact, the positive effects of eating alkaline are believed be so great, Natasha argues it is a surefire way to reduce the fastest-growing health issue in the Western world, obesity.)
It helps you pack in important nutrients
“The alkaline lifestyle helps your body absorb nutrients from your food much better,” says Natasha. “Before I started Honestly Healthy, an ayurvedic doctor I went to see told me my body wasn't absorbing the nutrients from my food because I was so acidic. So, I went on his 21 day alkaline detox and started to feel so much better in a short amount of time.”
Not to mention, the foods recommend on an alkaline diet are all nutrient dense and packed full of goodness for the body. So, by swapping in kale for cookies, you’ll be both clearing out your acidic system, allowing more nutrients to be absorbed, as well as including a lot more mineral packed plants in your daily diet.
It’s a natural energy booster
“For your body to make energy, you need all three food groups (protein, fats and carbohydrates), but the body favours carbohydrates as its primary source of fuel,” says Natasha. “This is why so many people declare they can’t live without pasta and potatoes. These foods are what we call ‘simple’ carbohydrates, as they have been processed to a point where there is little nutritional value, and only supply a short burst of energy. Alkaline foods, on the other hand, select the complex carbohydrates, derived from whole grains, since these all contain abundant nutrients, as well as providing long-lasting energy.”
In addition, “when you eat foods based on the 70:30 ratio, you’ll feel more satisfied on less food,” says Natasha. “This is because all alkaline foods tend to nourish without requiring excessive energy to digest them, thereby balancing blood sugar levels and providing you with more energy.”