Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

        Advertising

        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

              Advertising

                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.

                      Advertising

                      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.

                          How to Change a Negative Attitude That Is Slowly Destroying Your Life 15 Killer Tips on How to Set Professional Goals (Examples Included) 10 Essential Steps to Success to Actually Reach Your Dreams 15 Telltale Signs of Narcissistic Behavior (And How to Deal With It) What is Psychotherapy? How It Can Help You Achieve Your Dreams

                          Trending in Health

                          1 The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight 2 Why Am I Exhausted? The Real Causes and How to Fix It Forever 3 How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success) 4 How to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time (And the Real Causes Explained) 5 Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

                          Read Next

                          Advertising
                          Advertising

                          Last Updated on October 16, 2018

                          The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                          The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                          It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

                          If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

                          One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

                          Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

                          In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

                          Why you can’t sleep through the night

                          The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

                          Advertising

                          Stress

                          If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

                          Exposure to blue light before sleep time

                          We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

                          While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

                          Eating close to bedtime

                          Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

                          Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

                          Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

                          Advertising

                          Medical conditions

                          In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

                          The vicious sleep cycle

                          The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

                          Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

                          You get a bad night’s sleep
                          –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
                          –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
                          –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

                            You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

                            Advertising

                            How to sleep better (throughout the night)

                            To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

                            1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

                            What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

                            Here are a few suggestions:

                            • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
                            • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
                            • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
                            • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
                            • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

                            2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

                            What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

                            • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
                            • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
                            • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
                            • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

                            3. Adjust your sleep temperature

                            Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

                            Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

                            Advertising

                            Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

                            Sleep better form now on

                            Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

                            I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

                            As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

                            Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

                            Reference

                            Read Next