Heard the term 'alkalising' and have no idea what it means? Here's a beginner's guide.

Words by Jennifer Boustani.

Driven by the need to maintain optimal body pH through the reduction of acid-induced meals, this diet is a call for all foodies to scrap the processed meat and dairy from their diet and substitute it with all things raw, low-glycemic and often, *sigh* green.

However, whilst this new craze might not tickle everyone’s fancy, it provides many benefits for the body, as the ingestion of foods that maintain pH have proven to reduce inflammation, help shed a few kilograms and limit the likeliness of diseases such as osteoporosis and cancer.

green foods
So. Much. Green. Image via Getty.

When food is metabolised, the body extracts energy from the food content. This burning leaves an ash residue within the body, which may be either acidic, neutral or, you guessed it – alkaline.

In this sense, excess in acidic ash may make an individual prone to illness and disease, in comparison to alkaline ash. Dr Stephan Domenig, author of the ‘mindful eating plan’ suggests that individuals aim for a diet that is “two-thirds alkaline, one-third acidic”.

In other words, keep that steak handy, we’re not done here yet.

It is a work in progress, so hold off on posting your quinoa and kale memes, and take a look at the ways you could slowly integrate the alkaline diet into your day-to-day food intake routine.

Drink your alkalised water – yes, it exists!

woman drinking water lemon
Adding cucumber and lemon to water overnight will alkalise your drink. Image via Getty.

We’ve all heard the claim, ‘all water tastes the same’. However, contrary to popular belief, alkaline water is a real thing – and it just might be the perfect time to get onto it. Alkaline water has been tested to have a higher pH level (with 9+ pH), in comparison to regular water, meaning it could work to neutralise the acid in your body.

This water could be sourced from natural water reservoirs, or induced overnight by the infusion of cucumber and lemon slices, which form a perfectly alkalised morning drink.

In the 2001 issue of Shanghai Journal of Protective Medicine, it is reported that by drinking alkalinised water for up to six months, individuals experience lower cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure levels as a result of the alkalising compounds of calcium, silica, potassium, magnesium and bicarbonate.

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Your protein intake is key!

Naturally, when participating in this diet, your daily intake of meat and dairy will be significantly reduced.

woman holding almonds
Less meat and dairy means more nuts and beans! Image via Getty.

Thus, one must work to increase their protein intake with alternative products considered ‘alkalising’. Such foods include nuts and seeds, which are high in fibre and able to keep the body protein fuelled.The most beneficial plant proteins include almonds, lima beans and navy beans.

Raw foods are good foods!

By eating raw foods, the alkalisation of a meal is not restricted, ensuring the body receives the right vitamins and minerals from all meals. These raw foods include vegetables and fruits, each of which is energy fuelled and able to keep the body healthy.

raw fruit and vegies
It's all about fruit and vegetables. Image via Getty.

Further, whilst the human body thrives off our food intake, meaning what we eat is crucial in stabilising our pH, the thought of body acids must not be totally dismissed, but maintained. One may limit their intake of refined grains, such as white bread and substitute it with a wholegrain loaf, slightly reducing the acidic reaction.

Excess acids may also lead to mental decline, as a result of the production of neurotransmitters. Thus, by reducing acid intake, one may experience an increase in clarity and focus – improving their holistic well being.

So if you didn’t know, now you know.

Whilst the debate exists as to whether this diet is just another Hollywood fad, the benefits do seem pretty swell. What are your thoughts on this whole ‘alkalising’ thing?

This piece was originally published on Showpo and has been republished here with permission.