Shivani Sikri

Is the Alkaline method for me?

The "alkaline diet" is the new well-being and health trend, adopted by Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Aniston and Victoria Beckham. It is also a well-known philosophy, that of the acid-base balance of the organism. But what exactly is it?

WHAT IS IT ABOUT ?

The alkaline method, or the acid-base diet , involves keeping the body at a pH that allows it to function to the best of its ability and to avoid developing various disorders or diseases. The pH is measured from 1 to 14, the ideal being 7.4 (7 being considered neutral). However, our body is damaged by the acidity of certain foods, even more if we consume them in excess: meat, fish, sugars, industrial products, alcohol, coffee, refined cereals ... It must then draw from its reserves in minerals, hence demineralization (which prepares the ground for osteoporosis). Excessive acidity also promotes a slowing down of the metabolism, increased fatigue, an imbalance of the intestinal flora, disorders of the nervous system ... Returning to a good acid-base balance allows the body to better eliminate toxins , to better digest and reduce digestive disorders, even to improve mood in general.

WHY DOES THE BODY BECOME ACIDIC?

The terrain of the organism depends on our diet. Foods eaten release either acidic or basic residues. In addition to the choice of foods, the way you eat them is crucial. Eating too fast, in too much or too late, not chewing enough, promotes acidity. But factors other than food are also involved: stress, sleep problems , pollution, intense sporting activity, advanced age ...

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS TO RECOGNIZE AN ACID ORGANISM?

Fatigue, lack of tone, bloating, dull complexion, propensity to catch all the small infections that pass ... are indicators that can alert. Gum problems or bad breath can also reflect acidic terrain. But to know its exact pH, you have to go through a test using strips, which can be bought in pharmacies. You can test your saliva, but the result is less accurate because it is affected by the food that has been eaten. If that's the way you go, it's best to wait two hours after eating. The urine test remains the most reliable and accurate because it shows how the kidneys remove acidity. It is recommended that you take the test in the morning when you wake up - explains Dietician in India

IS A FOOD WITH AN ACID TASTE NECESSARILY ACIDIFYING?

Well no! For example, lemon exerts an alkalinizing action on the body when it is digested. The most acidifying foods are found on the side of meats, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, refined oils, fermented dairy products, in particular aged cheeses, foods made from refined flour (white bread, biscuits ...) and industrial foods, with added additives. There are also, but to a lesser extent, dried vegetables (chickpeas, beans, lentils ...), fresh dairy products and nuts (hazelnuts, pistachios ...)

HOW TO COMPOSE ALKALINE MENUS?

The ideal menu combines two-thirds of alkaline foods, and one-third of acidic foods. Suddenly, we do not exclude any food class, but we mix the contents of our plates and we always associate alkaline foods with an acidic food, so as to "buffer" this acidity. We avoid fried foods, and we prefer steamed or simmered foods, adding a little oil or butter after cooking. In practice, we serve our steak of beef (acidifying) with green beans and steamed potatoes, we accompany our spaghetti (acidifying) with diced braised zucchini, fresh basil and a dash of olive oil, and we replace the sugar in the yogurt (acidifying) by diced fresh fruit. The absolute alkaline weapon to add everywhere, from starter to dessert: lemon juice, acidic in taste but fabulously alkalizing. We also think of seeds: linseed sunflower, squash, sesame, wheat germ ... are alkaline allies that can be sprinkled on all dishes. And we drink two liters of water or herbal teas per day.

HOW TO DO “ALKALINE” SHOPPING?

The watchword: the products should be as fresh and as "natural" as possible. We avoid ready-made meals, products containing additives, we opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, seasonal and if possible organic. We prefer quality meats, poultry raised in the open air, fresh cheeses with unpasteurized milk to preserve nutrients. As for cereals, we mix our habits by going for barley, quinoa or buckwheat.

THE ALKALINE FOODS TO FAVOR

• Vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, celery (branch and root), spinach, kale, salad, potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, sprouted seeds, beet, cucumber, carrot, fennel, avocado

• Fruits (very ripe): fig, watermelon, mango, papaya, banana dried fruits (apricots, bananas, plums ...) as long as you choose them without preservative

• Cereals: amaranth, quinoa, rye, buckwheat, barley

• Fresh herbs: basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, peppermint ...

• Seeds and spices: linseed, sunflower, squash, sesame, pine nuts, wheat germ; ginger, coriander, fennel seeds,

• Nuts: almonds, coconut

• Oils (virgin and cold pressed): olive, hemp, flax, pumpkin seeds,

• Drinks: water, herbal infusions, teas ...

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