When you’re just getting started with the alkaline lifestyle, it might seem like there’s a lot to get used to.
And that’s a good thing – there are many different ways to get off your acid and you can find what works best for you so it’s sustainable.
But there are also essentials that are universal. So if you wondering what to focus on, I’ve boiled it down to 4 “pHood groups” that are guaranteed to bring you more alkaline health if you just focus on these and nothing else.
Now, these are nothing like the 4 food groups you’re used to. Those are filled with acidic foods every category (OLD food groups - grains, meat, dairy, fruits and veggies).
If you’re striving for the 80/20 alkaline lifestyle, you’re not going to eat much from those groups. Instead, you’re going to focus on these 4 groups of alkaline foods, and you won’t need to worry about calories, portion sizes, or your waistline!
Let’s get started.
pHood Group 1: Alkaline Water
This first group could not be more simple, and yet, many people go to elaborate steps to detox while failing to utilize one of the easiest, most effective methods there is.
Think about it this way… What do you do when a plant begins to wilt?
You give it water, right? And if it is not too far gone, the plant comes back to life.
Your body is no different. It needs more water and you will be amazed at what happens when you give it more.
The average person loses 2.5 to 3 liters of water daily, and that’s from everyday activities like walking, eating, and sleeping. Add exercise into this mix, and you can tack on another liter to that statistic.
If your body is dehydrated – and it’s a fact that 90% of Americans are chronically dehydrated – it’s got to work that much harder to do everything that’s required of it.
That’s how chronic dehydration can lead to getting sick and even long-term diseases. The body is too busy compensating for a deficient amount of water to fight off illnesses.
To avoid dehydration and not live in deprivation, drink 3 to 4 liters of good, pure alkaline water every day. If you want to get more specific for yourself, drink half of your body weight in ounces daily. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water every day.
But not just any water, alkaline water!
Consider this… An Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of water quality tests in 201 large American municipal water systems in 43 states conducted in 2011 has determined that each of these systems detected contamination. In short, more than 100 million Americans served by these large waterworks were exposed to toxic trash.
So drink filtered water and add a slice of lemon. These 2 filters are the best types:
Ion Exchange Filters (aka. Ionizer) exchanges natural-forming mineral ions in the water with its own ions, and in doing so, these filters neutralize the harmful contaminants. This is the best type of water filter because it gives you clean, filtered water with a pH that you can select. Many home ion exchange units combine ion filters with carbon filters for greater effectiveness. This is the type of filter I have at home. It’s more expensive, but totally worth the investment (plus they have fabulous payment options).
It is produced by a company called Synergy Science Echo H2 Water, and in addition to the ionized alkaline water and advanced filtration system, you also get up to1.5 ppm Molecular Hydrogen (H2) with every glass.
Why is H2 so important? 3 things…
- Anti-inflammatory – with the amount of toxins and inflammatory Omega-6 fats in the diet, it is a MUST to combat the inflammation in your body on a daily basis.
- Antioxidant (hydrogen is the smallest element, crosses the blood brain barrier, and the body’s most powerful antioxidant)
- Cognitive function - When molecular hydrogen is consumed with water, it stimulates gastric hormones ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the hormone produced in your stomach that stimulates hunger, and leptin is the hormone that tells you that you’re satiated. They work together in concert, and when they are stimulated, they affect the hippocampus, hypothalamus, and brainstem for increased cognitive function.
What I love about my under-the-counter alkaline filter is that it proved me with 3 pH settings:
- pH level 8 and 9 which are great for drinking
- pH 10 level which can be used for drinking (though my opinion, I’d stick with pH 9)
- pH 11 which works better than any detergent as a surfactant and cleaning off dirt, as well as water for cooking, and cleaning your produce before eating). Believe it or not, alkaline water does have a taste, and the it tends to be sweeter in nature compared to that of any other water you have tasted.
There is also a neutral pH of 7, and a setting for acid water with hypochlorous, which works great to kill bacteria. Anyone interested, check out this state-of-the art system at the link below:
Alkaline Filters are your next best bet. They run around $300, and not only do you get good, purified, filtered water, but it doesn’t strip the minerals. In fact, this water has a steady pH of 9.0, which is excellent for drinking. I even use these filters in our shower at home. They remove chlorine, fluorine, and many different kinds of bacteria from your water, and alkalize it at the same time. Good for anyone on a budget.
pHood Group 2: Minerals
Nearly half of all American adults are walking around each day deficient in key vitamins and minerals, according to the EWG.
This isn’t just a statistic – minerals make a big difference in our day-to-day lives. Our energy levels, our ability to sleep and fight disease, our hormones, and our skeletal and muscular systems all depend on our choice to consume plenty of minerals.
Let’s talk about 3 of the most important:
This mineral is responsible for more than 300 enzyme activities within the human body. It’s vitally important for how you feel and how you function, including:
- Ability to sleep easily and soundly
- Mood and hormone balance
- Strong bones and prevention of osteoporosis
- Muscle strength and prevention of cramping and charley horses
- Heart health
- Energy levels
Excellent sources of magnesium are:
- Spinach (1 cup = 49% of the recommended daily value of magnesium!)
- Collard and turnip greens
- Black beans
- Mung beans
- Pumpkin seeds
- Brussels sprouts
You already know that calcium is incredibly important for your bone health. It’s also essential for your heart, muscles, and nervous system. In fact, without calcium, you die!
But if you learn one thing from me today, I hope it’s this: milk does not make your bones stronger. This is a myth thanks to the dairy lobby that has really caught on. Dairy is filled with mucous and sugar so it clogs and acidifies your digestive system and your body.
Milk is acidic, period… and it leaches calcium from your bones! Dairy isn’t the solution. It’s part of the problem. Fill up on these plant-based calcium sources instead:
- Almond, cashew, or coconut milk – 45% of your recommended daily value (RDV) in 1 cup
- White beans
- Sesame seeds
- Bok Choy
- Green beans
Muscle pain, twitching, and cramping after a workout, charley horses while sleeping, and even digestive cramping can be incredibly painful and just plain annoying.
As we age, the problem only gets worse, and it’s easy to assume that it is part of life and that nothing can be done to stop cramping. Or people tell you to eat more bananas because you must be deficient in potassium.
While potassium is part of the solution, a banana a day won’t keep the cramping away!
If you’re experiencing muscle pain and cramping, your body is telling you it needs more alkaline foods and less acid. Highly acidic foods and beverages rob your body of alkaline minerals needed to regulate its blood pH.
So while you can include a banana in a morning smoothie along with alkaline foods to balance the high sugar content, like greens and healthy fats (see below), these foods are great sources of potassium too:
- Beet greens
- Black beans
If it sounds daunting to eat all of these foods that are high in essential minerals, that’s understandable, especially considering that the soil in which our food is grown does not contain nearly as many minerals as it once did. It takes 60 servings of today’s spinach to equal one serving back in 1948!
That’s why it’s important to supplement key minerals to ensure you’re getting enough. It’s what led me to create Alkamind Daily Minerals in the first place. You’ll be amazed at your energy level, ability to sleep, and your overall mood after taking it for just a couple of weeks.
pHood Group 3: Chlorophyll
You might remember chlorophyll from science class as a plant pigment that’s responsible for photosynthesis, when the plant absorbs light and turns it into energy.
But chlorophyll is also an incredibly important superfood for humans. Its many benefits include:
- Preventing cancer
- Promoting liver health
- Detoxifying the body
- Preventing infections
- Improving digestion
- Stopping inflammation
- Helping you lose weight
As you can imagine, green vegetables are a top source of chlorophyll, but not the only source. Eat more of these chlorophyll-rich foods:
- Swiss chard
- Snap peas
- Green beans
- Chinese Cabbage
- Seaweed like kelp and red algae
- Mung bean and alfalfa sprouts
Raw is best. Chlorophyll levels in food are greatly reduced when you cook them, so the more raw, green veggies you can consume, the better.
Add greens to your smoothies and fresh juices, or use them in salads and chilled soups to get more raw chlorophyll.
pHood Group 4: Healthy Fats
If you want to be healthy, lose weight, and get rid of chronic inflammation, I have news for you about the fourth pHood group. While we’ve all been led to believe that fat is bad for you, it’s actually monumentally important that you get plenty of healthy fats daily.
You see… There are fats that kill, and fats that heal!
The first, and arguably most important fat to strive for in your diet is Omega-3 fats. It’s an essential fatty acid, which means that your body requires it, but it doesn’t make it on its own. You’ll find it in:
- Fish oil
- Micro-algae oil (this is the best source for vegans and vegetarians)
There areOmega-3 fats in the following vegetarian sources, but they are ALA (not DHA and EPA as found in fish oil).
- Chia seeds and chia oil
- Hemp seeds
- Flax seeds and
- Walnuts and walnut oil
Here’s the problem – the MOST these healthy fats will convert to DHA and EPA is 5%, and based on current research, the number is under 1%. More importantly, there are NO vegetarian sources of EPA.
You can get small amounts of DHA from plant-based sources like algae and purslane, but again, you cannot get EPA and it will not convert – this is why I STRONGLY suggest all vegetarians to supplement with fish oil, unless there are philosophical reason behind the decision which I absolutely respect.
To summarize, Omega-3 from fish oil is optimal because it is an immediately usable source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids (DHA), whereas plant-based Omega 3s (ALA) have to go through conversions in your body that requires enzymes, time, and energy, and to a minimal effect.
Omega-6 fats are also essential fatty acids, but this one is present in many of the “bad fat” foods that are all too common like fried foods, pasta and pizza, baked goods, and fatty meats. They are pro-inflammatory and in huge excess in the Standard American Diet (the average American Diet has 19X more Omega-6 fats than Omega-3 fats which is BAD!)
Healthy Omega 9 oils, the last of the essential fatty acids is found in:
- Olive oil
- Almonds/almond oil
- Avocado/avocado oil
- Macadamia nuts/ Macadamia oil
There’s one more healthy fat: Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT), which are found in coconut. This is loaded with saturated fat, but current research is showing that healthy saturated fats are so important to the body, so load up on coconut oil for more MCTs.
Did you know that Alkamind Organic Daily Protein includes coconut oil in both delicious flavors – creamy chocolate and vanilla coconut?