Guest Author - Caitlin McLeod
There are many paths to increased health and vitality; one of them is through a change in eating habits and improved nutrition. So much of our food today is processed, pre-packaged, ready-to-eat, and microwaveable; there is not a lot of nutritional value in such foods. Whatever happened to fresh produce and home-cooked meals? It seems our society’s urge to rush everywhere, to work inordinately long hours, and to go, go, go, has replaced the family meal time, and nobody has time or energy to prepare healthy meals at home any more. One can literally purchase just about any food one eats, pre-cooked and/or pre-packaged.
One of the drawbacks to this insane pace is that many people suffer from eating too much acidic food, which creates the environment for illness, including cancer, in the body. Fast foods, meats, dairy, coffee, sugar, prescription medications, alcohol, tobacco, and artificial sweeteners are some of the major culprits.
It is relatively simple to switch to a mostly alkaline diet, balanced with some acidic foods; one must, however, be willing to give up or severely reduce consumption many acidic foods in order to allow the body’s ph balance to be restored.
What are alkaline and acidic foods? Alkaline foods include most vegetables and fruits, millet, quinoa, certain nuts, sea vegetables, avocadoes, olives, and certain condiments and minerals. The list of alkaline foods is quite long; one need not starve on an alkaline-rich diet!
Acidic foods include all meats and fish, dairy, sugars, eggs, coffee, black tea, alcohol, certain fats, most grains, legumes, and lentils. The Western diet contains far too much of these foods, and far to few fruits and vegetables.
A balanced diet is about 80% alkaline and 20% acidic. So, potentially you can still have small amounts of the acidic foods, unless your body is already too acidic, in which case you might consider going for an all-alkaline diet, at least until the ph levels are back in balance.
It is particularly important to increase your intake of fresh greens and other vegetables, reduce your consumption of coffee, alcohol, meats, dairy, sugar, and tobacco, and make sure you’re getting plenty of fresh air, exercise, and drinking large amounts of purified water. The general rule of thumb is, take you body weight, divide the number in half, and that’s the number of ounces of water you should consume daily.
After all, our bodies are made up of 50%-70% water, depending on age and gender; we expel water through regular bodily functions, and more so during exercise. So we need to replenish frequently. People who are over-weight have a significantly lower percentage of water in their bodies than others in their age/gender category, since adipose (fat) tissue does not contain much water. Drink up!