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Alkaline Diet: What Is It and a List of Food That Are Alkaline- Promoting

Alkaline Diet: What Is It and a List of Food That Are Alkaline- Promoting

There are many different diets out there but the term diet can be quite negative as it alludes to restricting or denying yourself. The approach to take is a healthy eating lifestyle. It’s more about including as much beneficial nutrition as possible and that’s what the alkaline diet is. In this article I’ll give a quick breakdown along with a list of alkaline foods.

What Is The Alkaline Diet?

The simple definition of eating alkaline is consuming foods that put your body in more of an alkaline state as opposed to an acidic state. When you’re in an acidic state it can make your body vulnerable to illness and disease.

We measure whether something is acidic or alkaline on the pH scale and if you can transport yourself back to high school the pH scale goes like this:

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  • 0-7 acidic
  • 7 is neutral
  • 7-14 is alkaline

If it’s been awhile you can be forgiven for not remembering what acid is but you are NOT forgiven for the acid washed jeans you wore in high school…

How Does The Alkaline Diet Work?

People who support the alkaline diet say that when you replace acidic foods with alkaline ones you can really improve your health. The first step is eliminating those foods that can be seen to cause an acidic state in the body. Not surprisingly that would include things like refined grains and sugars, processed foods, and alcohol. Also on the list would be:

  • Meat, poultry, and fish
  • Wheat
  • Eggs
  • Dairy

So what’s the list of alkaline foods that you want to include to be as healthy as possible?

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  • Most fruits and vegetables
  • Soybeans and tofu
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes

What you are looking at here are real whole foods that can fit into a mostly vegetarian lifestyle. It can also accommodate vegans with it not including dairy. Ideally you want to for the best stuff you can find specifically local and organic. A lot of these things you can even grow yourself to save some money while you’re at it.

Is The Alkaline Diet For Everyone?

Ideally you want to keep your body in an alkaline state and your blood is always at that state being around 7.34-7.45 on the pH scale. Your stomach on the other hand is highly acidic, around 2-3.5. This is critical though as the hydrochloric acid in the stomach needs to be that way to break down food.

The problem that arises is that your urine pH and blood pH can be different. A urine pH reading does not indicate the same thing in the blood. The urine measurement may be high but that doesn’t give a good indicator of body pH and your overall health. There’s really nothing you can do to change your blood pH as your body will regulate that itself.

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Another issue is the possibility of being deficient in other nutrients when you cut out quite a wide variety of foods. But even if you are a full on carnivore your diet should still be plant based. You are wanting to include many of these alkaline food each day for optimal health. You should be aiming for double digit servings of non-starchy vegetables each day.

The foods listed as alkaline are good for you so should be included daily and if you do consume animal proteins you want to look for the cleanest sources possible. Ideally grass fed and finished animals that are free from hormones.

What Are Some Take-aways From The Alkaline Diet?

One of the main things the alkaline diet is based around is not just about what it includes but what it DOES NOT include. There aren’t any processed and junk snack foods. There isn’t any fast food, refined carbohydrates, alcohol or trans fats. There isn’t any high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors and sweeteners. It’s focused on real whole foods that are nutrient dense and natural. As far as diets go it’s pretty good because of what it promotes.

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When you start eliminating those things is when you can start seeing some improvements in your health. When you make it a point to include things off this list of alkaline foods each day you make it easier for your body to run optimally and for you to feel your best. When you combine this with good exercise, reducing stress, and getting quality sleep you start getting yourself on the road to true wellness.

Remember, you always want to check with your doctor before embarking on something new as it pertains to your health.

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Jamie Logie

Personal Trainer

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Last Updated on October 23, 2018

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

The Neural Knitwork Project

In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

The knitting and neural connection

The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

More mental health benefits from knitting

Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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“You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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“People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

The dopamine effect on our happiness

Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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