A popular trend that has grown to be even more popular over time is alkaline diet. Careful not to be fooled by celebrity endorsements and internet buzz articles, however. It is not a fad diet. Choosing the health benefits of alkalinizing foods over acidifying ones has been supported by various research studies.
Studies have shown that the conventional American diet is contributing to the high amount of chronic diseases in the population, and is far too acidic in itself. The studies also reveal that switching to an alkalinizing diet may provide the following benefits: improve bone structure; reduce muscle deterioration; improve cardiovascular health, memory, and cognition; enhance Vitamin D activation. All of these benefits are attributed to the united work of your body’s mechanisms, as they keep your body functioning correctly. It just so happens that there is a great deal of benefits to oral health from alkalinizing foods: protecting the mouth from gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.
It all boils down to pH
The idea behind alkaline diet is quite simple - monitoring the pH of the food you consume. The range of pH is scaled from 1 to 14, where 1 is the most acidic, 14 being the most basic (or alkaline), and 7 being neutral. If the pH levels of your body drop too low - the acid may be able to cluster, leaving the body open and vulnerable to various states of disease. On the other hand, a level of higher pH guards your body from disease. In theory, more alkalinizing diets means more alkaline in our bodies, and as a result – we become much healthier. In addition, it is easier on your body to digest alkaline foods; therefore, our body is able to absorb vitamins and minerals more efficiently.
Alkalinizing vs. Acidifying foods
The following foods are included in the alkalizing category: vegetables, most fruits, legumes, fresh herbs, sprouts, and wheat grass. The following foods are included in the alkalizing category: meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, bread, processed foods, sugars, and alcohol. Note that such foods as pomegranates, pineapples, raspberries, and frozen vegetables are also acidifying. Categorization into alkalinizing or acidifying foods depends on both the pH of the food itself, but the effects on the body once it is has been metabolized. For example, both lemon and apple cider vinegar have a low pH, but both of them also have alkalinizing effects on the body. As with all things in life - balance is the key to success. An ideal diet should consist of 75% alkalinizing foods and 25% acidifying foods, since there are some acidifying foods (dairy products and protein) that strengthen the bones and aid in maintaining good health in general.
Alkalinity & oral health
Alkaline diet is no exception when it comes to healthy habits for the betterment of your body and your mouth. Too much acidifying foods may be devastating for your oral health. That is because acidifying foods rapidly degrade the hard mineral layer that covers our teeth – the enamel. Once the enamel has been damaged, or even destroyed - it will not regenerate, leaving your teeth completely naked and unprotected from acids and plaque. While alkalinizing foods cause almost an opposite effect - eliminating acids in the mouth and protecting your teeth.
Fact - a chronic inflammatory disease affects nearly 50% of all American citizens Protect yourself from the ill effects of a periodontal disease with the help of an alkalinizing diet. Coincidence or not, the Gram-negative bacteria that may cause periodontal disease thrives in acidic environment, while the Gram-positive, (good) oral bacteria prefers a more alkaline environment. Keeping to a diet with the correct correlation between alkalinizing and acidifying foods still causes the pH of the oral environment to lean towards alkalinity, which in turn creates a healthier balance of good vs. bad bacteria. In combination, the consumption of alkalinizing foods, drinking plenty of water (roughly 8 glasses\day), and maintaining correct home care (such as brushing and flossing) - leads to a healthier oral condition, by eliminating and preventing a great amount of harmful pathogens. Maintaining an alkaline oral environment also keeps your breath fresh, as the very same bad bacteria that may cause disease are also attributed to bad breath.
You’ll be, without a doubt, positively shocked when you experience the results of some simple dietary adjustments. Being aware regarding the kinds of foods we consume is a simple way to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.