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How To Choose The Right Alkaline Foods? Here’s What You Should Be Eating

How To Choose The Right Alkaline Foods? Here’s What You Should Be Eating

Have you ever had heartburn? It’s an uncomfortable subject. You feel the stomach acid painfully welling up in your chest, then seeping up your throat. You’ve probably also heard people refer to it as acid reflux. Around 19.8 percent of adults have a recurring heartburn condition called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).[1][2] Fortunately, an alkaline diet can help stave off the effects of acid reflux. An alkaline diet works by balancing the pH levels in your body. It also helps maintain muscle and bone density.

The modern American diet consists of a lot of acidic, protein-rich foods, which create an imbalance between acidity and alkalinity. According to Healthline, a medically-reviewed source for health information, there are multiple problems with eating too many acidic foods full of protein:

  • The acid can build up in your urine, causing a type of kidney stone called uric acid stones to form
  • The acid can build up in your blood, causing bone and muscle deterioration and leading to conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, as well as liver problems

To help balance your pH levels, tame the heartburn beast, and reduce the risk of debilitating conditions, consider this list of alkaline foods.

Note: Some foods, such as corn, have a high pH value but don’t convert to alkaline ash in the body. The following list includes foods that:

A) Have a high pH value and also convert to alkaline ash in urine

B) May not have a high pH value but are known to contribute to higher alkaline ash levels in urine

The pH values range from 0 to 14, where 0 is highly acidic, 7 is neutral, and 14 is highly alkaline.

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Consult with a physician before making any drastic changes to your diet.

Tofu

    The pH of soybean curd tofu is 7.2. Soybean curd also provides a good source of vegetable protein. You can add tofu to all sorts of dishes, including stir fry, curry, and casseroles.

    Honeydew

      Yes it’s hard to find the perfectly ripe honeydew, but when it comes to flavor, the search is well worth it. When it comes to alkalinity, the honeydew can reach 6.67 pH. Combine with other kinds of melon for a flavorful and healthy combo.

      Broccoli

        You might hate it, but this stuff is great for you. Broccoli is high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, B6, and vitamin A. It’s actually a fairly good protein source, and its pH value can reach 6.85.

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        Cabbage

          Cabbage can reach a pH value of 6.8. For a truly healthy, tasty cabbage meal, try a Mexican Cabbage Soup.

          Spinach

            The whole “eat your spinach, it’ll make you stronger” thing (you remember Popeye?) has a health-benefit basis. Spinach has a pH value of up to 6.8, and it‘s high in insoluble fiber, which helps with digestion. One cup of spinach has a gram of protein, and is packed with vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron.

            Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil

              Flaxseed is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, and ALA Omega 3 fatty acid, which helps prevent heart disease and high cholesterol.[3] Flaxseed oil has the heart benefits of flaxseed without the fiber, and both convert to alkaline ash as they make their way through your digestive system.

              Lemon and Lemon Juice

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                Lemons have high acidity, but you convert it to alkaline ash during digestion. Some sources indicate that, along with watermelon, lemon yields the most alkalinity for your system. Lemons are fantastic for a lot of reasons—lemon juice turns water into an even healthier beverage, and lemons have a ton of vitamin C.

                Beets and Beet Juice

                  Beets check in at up to 6.6 alkalinity, and they may benefit your brain. Researchers from Wake Forest University found that beet juice improved blood flow to the brain because beets have a lot of nitrate, which you convert to nitrite. In turn, nitrite opens up blood vessels.

                  Kale

                    What a fantastic leafy green! In addition to promoting healthy alkaline levels, kale is packed with even more fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C than spinach.

                    Sprouts

                      Brussel sprouts have a pH value of up to 6.3, and they’re chock full of phytochemicals such as isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates might suppress tumor growth and hormone production. Meanwhile alfalfa sprouts have essential amino acids, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals.[4] And, sprouted breads are a great option to replace the carb-heavy, flour-based breads we’re used to buying at supermarket.

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                      Quinoa

                        Of course! Quinoa is a great source for your protein, as it’s a complete protein.[5] It’s also great for balancing your alkalinity. The majority of meat protein sources are acidic. Along with a balance of the other foods on this list, quinoa could potentially replace meat in your diet.

                        Herbs and Spices

                          Besides salt, mustard, and nutmeg, most herbs and spices are alkaline. So season and spice your meals to perfection. In particular, capsaicin (a chemical in chili peppers) can help reduce pain and may even help treat heartburn. Also, studies are showing that cinnamon can help with weight loss, can help reduce blood sugar levels, and may be an anti-aging agent.[6]

                          Featured photo credit: freestocks.org via pexels.com

                          Reference

                          [1]Medical News Today: Alkaline Diet Can Combat The Effects Of Acid Reflux
                          [2]GERD Help: GERD and Food
                          [3]University of Maryland Medical Center: Flaxseed
                          [4]Food Source Information: Sprouts
                          [5]Huffington Post: 5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Quinoa
                          [6]Time: Why Cinnamon Is Insanely Good for You

                          More by this author

                          Daniel Matthews, CPRP

                          Daniel Matthews is a Certified Psychosocial Rehabilitation Practitioner and freelance writer with an extensive background working with clients on community-based rehabilitation.

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                          Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                          7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                          7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                          Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                          Video Summary

                          Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                          There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                          This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                          Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                          In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                          One Exercise, multiple benefits

                          There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                          By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                          When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                          Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                          In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                          What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                          What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                            1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                            Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                            • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                            • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                            • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                            • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                            2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                              Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                              Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                              3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                  Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                  A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                  A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                  On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                  5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                    Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                    6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                      Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                      7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                        Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                        How to hold a plank position

                                        1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                        2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                        3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                        4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                        5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                        6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                        7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                        Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                        Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                          How to improve your plank time gradually

                                          1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                          2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                          3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                          Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                          Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                          You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                          • Prolapse
                                          • After prolapse surgery
                                          • Pelvic pain conditions
                                          • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                          • Previous childbirth
                                          • Overweight

                                          Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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