There’s been a lot of talk lately about the need to alkalize one’s body. An alkaline diet does just that – changes the pH balance of your blood and cells through the food you eat.
Western-type diet is highly acidic which contributes to a number of health conditions, some of which lead to life-long degeneration, eg osteoporosis, arthritis, kidney and liver disorders, cancer, etc.
Unfortunately, most acid-producing foods are those that people find hard to give up, eg meat, sugar, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods. As a rule of thumb, these foods are tasty, high in fats, salt, and sugar but also very unhealthy.
On the other hand, alkaline foods, especially fruits and vegetables, that are very healthy and highly nutritious is what most people eat only occasionally or in small quantities.
The Alkaline Vegan Diet
An alkaline diet revolves around alkaline foods, mainly fruits and vegetables. As it excludes dairy, meat, and eggs, it is, actually, a vegan diet.
To maintain balanced pH levels and ensure the optimal functioning of your body, you should eat alkaline foods and avoid or limit the intake of acidic foods.
In humans, the pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Anything below 7 is considered acidic and anything above 7 is said to be alkaline. Ideally, you should aim for 7.30.
The reason an alkaline diet is considered so healthy is that it creates an environment in the body that prevents the development of the disease. Not everyone agrees with this view but more and more people do because experience shows that following an alkaline diet does lower the risk of disease.
However, there are also claims that the reason an alkaline diet is so healthy is not because it’s alkaline but because some of the alkaline foods contain nutrients that promote overall health.
Reasons for High Acidity of Modern Diet
The reason the typical Western diet is so different from the diet of about 100 years ago is not only because it contains more meat and sugar but because it revolves around processed foods that are very acidic. Besides, the soil and oceans that our food comes from are now more acidic than they used to be due to the higher CO2 levels and contamination.
Acidic soil does increase the acidity of the foods grown on it, however, it’s important to understand that individual foods CANNOT change your pH levels. That means that if you have a highly acidic meal one day, it will not make a major difference in your pH levels. It is your lifetime eating habits that affect your body’s chemical balance.
However, some scientists believe that what improves the alkalinity of your blood and what makes an alkaline diet so healthy is not the alkaline foods you eat but the absence of processed foods that are not allowed in an alkaline diet, especially the Dr. Sebi alkaline vegan diet. This makes sense because processed foods are usually very high in flavor- and color-additives as well as in salt, sugar and calories.
Be it as it may, there is a definite list of acid-forming foods that should be avoided on an alkaline vegan diet. These include meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.
There are many milk alternatives available to those who follow a vegan diet and the best ones are those from foods listed on the Dr. Sebi nutritional guide. That is to say soy and pea-based blends that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D are not better alternatives.
Alkaline Vegans looking for good dairy alternatives can try blends that have vitamin B12, vitamin A, and DHA/EPA omega-3s added to them.
Possible approved milk alternatives include coconut milk, oat milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, and walnut milk.
Avoiding milk from animal sources is only part of the game. You should also stay away from all dairy products (cheese, cream, butter, ice cream, and yogurt). You can replace them with coconut cream, butter and yogurt, pumpkin-seed butter, tahini, and similar non-dairy products.
Side Effects of Dairy Products
Our view of dairy has changed drastically over the last 30 years. For a long time, we believed that milk and dairy products are the main sources of calcium but we now know that this is not the case. Besides, today, about 65% of adults have some kind of lactose intolerance and it seems to be particularly common in people of South American or African ancestry.
However, not all dairy products have the same effect on your body. It seems that milk comes with the most side-effects although there is a major difference between drinking organic milk produced in small farms and commercially produced milk.
One of the main reasons more and more people are choosing non-dairy products is that even those who are not lactose-intolerant can experience many negative side-effects if taking too much dairy.
4 common side-effects of eating too much dairy:
- Bloating and digestive problems
If your body can’t break down lactose, it will eventually be broken down by gut bacteria which creates a process of fermentation. Typical side effects on internal fermentation are bloating, gassiness, stomach cramps, etc.
- Growth hormones and antibiotics
All commercially grown livestock are fed growth hormones and given antibiotics throughout their short lives and these quickly find their way into your digestive tract. This can have a number of serious side-effects especially for pregnant women who by eating this kind of food pass on these hormones to their unborn children and young girls who as a result may enter puberty sooner.
- Increased risk of certain cancers
A high intake of dairy is linked to a higher risk of prostate and breast cancer. On the other hand, some studies suggest that dairy can lower the risk of colon cancer.
- Increased risk of heart disease
Milk can increase your risk of heart disease, so if you have heart issues, stop taking milk. However, cheese and yogurt may help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. This shows that it is the milk alone and not all dairy products that can negatively affect your heart health.
Alkaline Nuts and Seeds to the Rescue
Nuts are super rich in omega-3s, and you should eat a dozen or so every day.
If taken regularly, nuts, especially walnuts can easily reduce your cholesterol levels, improve insulin sensitivity, boost memory, and protect you against certain types of cancers.
They are the best recommended alternatives to conventional dairy products especially cow milk. Apart from being alkaline, it is super nutritious and contain far less antigens that could cause allergies.