Is it really worth the hype?
The alkaline diet, is one of the breakout diets of the last few years, it promises to improve energy levels and memory as well as help prevent headaches, bloating, heart disease, muscle pain and insomnia. But how does it work and is it right for you? Here's everything you need to know.
What is the alkaline diet?
The Honestly Healthy Alkaline Programme, set up by nutritional therapist Vicki Edgson and organic chef Natasha Corrett (she's also the step-sister of Sienna Miller), involves eating mainly alkaline foods in order to keep the body's pH between 7.35 and 7.45. The ultimate aim is to eat 80 per cent alkaline foods and 20 per cent acidic foods.
How do you test your pH levels?
To really know what your pH levels are you need to test your urine, a far from glamorous experience. On top of this you have to keep an eye not just on what you eat but how you cook it. For example, raw spinach is alkaline, but when cooked it becomes acidic.
What are alkaline rich foods?
Almost all foods we eat, after they have been digested, break down into either an acidic or alkaline base.
Fresh fruit, vegetables, roots, nuts, and legumes are all good. Dates, figs, grapefruit, lemon, lime, fennel, broccoli, artichoke, asparagus, beetroot, kale, spinach, watercress and cauliflower are considered the most alkaline.
Sadly, pasta, wheat, all dairy products, meat, fish and shellfish, coffee, tea, sugar, fizzy drinks and alcohol are all out.
What are the benefits of the alkaline diet?
There are bold claims that cutting out acidic foods and sticking to a mainly alkaline-based diet can help with a range of problems including arthritis, diabetes and cancer, as well as slowing the ageing process. The authors of Honestly Healthy (the cookbook that Victoria Beckham has raved about), Vicki Edgson and Natasha Corrett, say that the diet can improve energy levels and memory and help prevent headaches, bloating, heart disease, muscle pain and insomnia.
Alkaline foods are easier for the digestive system to break down and therefore vitamins and minerals are more easily absorbed. Plus, the seeds and nuts recommended as part of the diet are rich in essential fats which help to improve skin tone.
How do you follow the alkaline diet?
Stick to the 80/20 rule. So, your daily meals will consist mainly of vegetables and then a smaller quantity of grains and proteins. The Honestly Healthy cookbook has a whole load of tasty and alkaline recipes.
What all the drama around the alkaline diet is around
And now you may have seen the alkaline diet in headlines because it sounds as if its creator may be facing prison time... Yup, the man who created the fad diet, followed by celebrities like Kate Hudson, could be facing prosecution and no, it's not because the diet is harmful in any way but because he claimed that it could cure cancer. Truth is, he's not a medically-licensed professional and was also running a 'miraculous ranch property' that offered alkaline solutions that turned out to be mostly baking soda. Uh oh.
What do you think? Does the alkaline diet sound like something you want to try? Let us know in the comment box below.
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