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8 Alkaline Foods That Keep You Looking Young

May 15, 2015 by Kangen Singapore in My Blog with 0 Comments

young and radiant asian girl

Introduction:

If you are a health-conscious person, you must be aware that most of the trendy diets and popular nutritional regimens are nothing but a fad that does not offer any health-boosting benefits in the long term. But it doesn’t mean that all nutritional regimens are useless.

Healthcare providers, nutritionist and researchers agree that diet alone can significantly affect your physical fitness, stamina and mood; while minimizing the impact of aging, disease and infectious disorders.

So how to identify the optimal nutritional regimen?

The key to long lasting health and rejuvenation is, learning more about the physiology and biochemistry of your body and organ systems. Human body has a remarkable tendency to heal, repair and revitalize if optimal resources and environment is available. This is possible via different enzymes, growth factors and other chemicals; however, most enzymes are pH sensitive i.e. require certain pH conditions and biochemical environment to work efficiently.

What is normal pH of the body?

ph scale

The normal pH of the body is slightly basis due to blood and other fluids in our body. The optimal pH range for most tissues is 7.35 to 7.45 (except for some parts of gastrointestinal tract where pH is mainly acidic for optimal functioning of enzymes).

Unfortunately, most foods and beverages we consume are slightly acidic in nature that may shift the natural pH balance of the tissues. Likewise, other sources of this biochemical disruption are:

  • All cells of the body naturally produces acid as a result of metabolic activities.
  • Most foods produce acid (or waste products that are acidic in nature) after metabolism or digestion. For example, metabolism of proteins produces nitrogen which is acidic in nature. Same is true for carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Likewise, diets like corn starch, sugars, refined and processed foods and meat also give rise to acids.
  • Intake of certain foods increase the production of acid from gastrointestinal tract such as tea, caffeine, carbonated beverages etc. Same is true for most drugs, pharmacological agents and prescription medications.

In short, our bodies are at much higher risk of biochemical imbalance due to acidity.

A brief overview of alkaline foods:

alkaline fruits and vegetables

Alkaline foods are an effective effort of preventing too much acid accumulation in our body. Here are some alkaline foods:

  • Alkaline Vegetables – Beets, Celery, Cucumber, Kale, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Spinach
  • Alkaline Fruits – Apple, Banana, , Melon, Lemon, Orange, Berries, Cantaloupe, Grapes Peach, Pear, Watermelon
  • Alkaline Spices – Cinnamon, Mustard, Sea Salt, Curry, Ginger,
  • Alkaline Water: Alkaline Water:
  • Alkalinizing Proteins: Chestnuts, Tofu, Almonds
  • Alkaline Fermented foods

How to maintain compliance to alkaline diet?

Make sure to consume more alkaline foods than acidic foods. Healthcare providers recommends that an ideal proportion or ration of alkaline to acidic food should be 80:20. Here are the few tactics that will try to help you in achieving this goal.

  • Increase the intake of green fresh and organic vegetables in your meals. Consume large amount of fruits, nuts, healthy oils, alkaline water and seeds.
  • Avoid fast food as most processed or refined nutrients are acidic in nature. Prefer brown bread over white bread.
  • Limit the intake of caffeine, white pasta, dairy sugar and trans-fats.

Supplements while you are on Alkaline diet:

Use of supplements further potentiate and facilitate the effects of alkaline diet. Here is the list of few supplements that we recommend:

Green powder: Green powder is a powerful alkaline supplement that is made up of powdered grass, wheatgrass, alkaline fruits and vegetables.

Alkaline Minerals: Consumption of alkaline minerals such as magnesium, calcium and sodium in the form of supplements, is also helpful in rapid elimination of body acids.

Omega oils: Omega oil helps in revitalization and rejuvenation of tissues after the removal of tissue acids.

Breathing exercises:

Remove your body acids by simple breathing exercise, follow these steps for a healthy breathing workout:

  • Breath in
  • Hold your breath for 8 seconds
  • Now slowly breathe out
  • Repeat this exercise 10-15 times each day

The aim of this exercise is to increase the depth of breathing to ensure removal of acidic gases (such as carbon dioxide).

8 Alkaline foods to revitalize youth

Alkaline Water:

alkaline water lemonade

Dehydration has a huge impact on your lifestyle and can negatively affect your health and physique. Additionally, healthcare providers believe that inadequate hydration can directly compromise your energy levels and immunity.

Are you aware that according to a new research, more than 90 % of the world’s population is dehydrated? Make sure to maintain adequate fluid intake for optimal health and wellness.

Steps to maintain optimal levels of hydration are:

  • Consume 6 to 18 cups of water daily.
  • Squeeze lemon juice in 2 cups of warm clean water and drink, it will help your digestive system and boost your metabolism.
  • You can also add herbs and natural flavors to maintain normal intake of alkaline water such as peppermint, ginger, kale etc.

You can prepare alkaline water by these three simple techniques:

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By water ionizer: These packs are commercially available and can also individuals to prepare alkaline water at home.

Fresh lemon: Take an organic lemon and cut in two halves. Now put the lemons with the skin in a bottle of water at room temperature (ideally for 12-14 hours). Lemon as a propensity to turn the neutral water alkaline.

Through pH drops: All pharmacies and general stores offer pH drops to pH of the water to your desired value. You can check via pH strips to avoid drinking water of very high pH (highly alkaline water).

Alkaline bottled water: If all this seems like too much trouble, you can always drink alkaline water available in the bottles from various commercial providers.

Kale

kale

Kale has been labelled as a superfood due to its anti-cholesterol and cancer fighting properties. Like other leafy green vegetables, kale is also a powerhouse of nutrients and supply tremendous amounts of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Due to its distinct taste profile, it is less popular as a vegetable, but you can significantly improve the taste profile by cooking or braising with different techniques.

Here is how it tops our list of most preferred Alkaline foods:

  • Kale is richly supplied with at least 4 glucosinolates (glucosinolates are highly potent cancer fighting chemicals that are associated with longevity and disease-free survival).
  • It helps in the detoxification processes.
  • High quality nutrients and ample fiber reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and other age related degenerative issues.

One cup of Kale supplies:

Vitamin K: 1327% RDA
Vitamin C: 88.8% RDA
Manganese: 27% RDA
Fiber: 12% RDA
Magnesium: 11% RDA
Iron: 9% RDA
Calcium: 11% RDA
Vitamin A: 354% RDA
Omgega 3: 7% RDA

Kale and latest Medical Research:

  1. Study reported in peer reviewed journal Carcinogenesis (4), suggested that kale intake can reduce the risk of bladder cancer.
  2. Another study reported in Pharmacological Research (5) further reinforced the cancer-fighting properties of kale and suggested that the high content of allyl isothiocyanate is also preventive against other health issues.
  3. Study reported in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (6), advised that kale intake is cardioprotective and reduces the risk of sudden cardiovascular events.
  4. Another study published in the Molecular Nutritional and Food Research (7) advised that individuals who are on chemotherapy should consume kale to reduce the risk of complications.

Spinach

spinach

Spinach is classified among incredible sources of alkaline vegetables.

Here are a few reasons that makes spinach one of our preferred alkaline foods:

  • It is easier to consume and can be used in a variety of recipes
  • It is cheap and available in most parts of the world in almost every season.
  • Being a green leafy vegetable, spinach is rich in several vital nutrients that are essential for longevity and vitality such as vitamin E, A and K in addition to, manganese, magnesium, calcium, folate, iron etc.
  • Spinach is also rich in fiber that helps in removing fixed acids from the body by improving the basal functioning of digestive system.

One cup of Spinach supplies:

Magnesium – 38% RDA
Vitamin B2 – 27% RDA
Calcium – 25% RDA
Vitamin K – 1110% RDA
Vitamin C – 31% RDA
Manganese – 84% RDA
Iron – 35% RDA
Potassium – 23% RDA
Folate – 65.7% RDA
Vitamin A – 337.3% RDA
Vitamin E – 21% RDA
Fiber – 19% RDA

Spinach and latest Medical Research:

  1. Study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (8) suggested that spinach acts as a powerful antioxidant when consumed in recommended doses.
  2. Study reported in International Journal of Cancer (9) indicated that spinach use can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
  3. Based on the recommendations of American Association for Cancer Research (10), spinach intake is negatively associated with breast cancer.
  4. According to the extensive analysis and experimental study reported in the peer reviewed The Journal of Neuroscience (11), investigators suggested that spinach intake is helpful in reversing the pathological effects of aging; such as cognitive decline, loss of memory etc.

Cucumber:

cucumber

Cucumber is third of our list of preferred alkaline vegetables because of its extremely high water content (i.e. up to 95%). It can be used as a salad, snack or even as a main-entrée with other veggies. The key nutritional benefits are:

  • Cucumbers are high in lignans (very potent polyphenols that serves antioxidant properties)
  • Cucumber helps in fighting against dehydration and poor tissue circulation
  • It also supplies high amounts of vital nutrients and antioxidants like pinoresinol, lariciresinol and secoisolariciresinol (12).
  • Regardless of how you prepare an alkaline meal, cucumbers can serve as a safe alkaline base for your soups, salads, pasta and other entrees.
  • Beside fiber, water and vitamins; cucumber also supplies alkaline minerals such as phosphorus, copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium and zinc.

One cup of cucumber supplies:

Vitamin C: 6%

Manganese: 5%

Magnesium: 4%

Vitamin K: 23%

Molybdenum: 8%

Potassium: 5%

Cucumber and latest Medical Research:

  1. According to a study reported in Journal of Young Pharmacists (13), scientists suggested that cucumber intake protects against free radicals and reactive oxygen species.
  2. Study reported in Current Pharmaceutical Design (14) indicated that cucumber is helpful in fighting age related diseases and disorders such as malignancy and cardiovascular defects.
  3. Investigators believe that regular intake of alkaline vegetables like cucumber can reduce the risk of microbial infections, as published in the research journal Molecules (15).

Broccoli:

brocolli

Broccoli is an alkaline vegetable that can be consumed up to 4 times each week for optimal health.

Here is why we have broccoli here;

  • You can consume it with smoothies, salads, snacks, entrees and even raw.
  • Broccoli improves the functioning of digestive, immune and cardiovascular system. It boosts immunity and improves vitality.
  • It has a strong propensity to mix with different flavors and veggies. You can’t resist broccoli.

One cup of broccoli supplies:

Vitamin C: 135%
Selenium: 4%
Vitamin K: 115%
Phosphorus: 6%
Vitamin B5: 5%
Dietary Fiber: 10%
Potassium: 8%
Vitamin A: 14%
Manganese: 10%
Magnesium: 5%
Calcium: 4%
Protein: 5%
Folate: 16%
VItamin B6: 8%
Vitamin B2: 7%
Molybdenum: 6%
Vitamin E: 4%

Broccoli and latest Medical Research:

  1. Study reported in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (16) suggested that broccoli is protective against cardiovascular disease.
  2. Broccoli is preventive against cancers, as suggested by the latest recommendations of American Chemical Society (17).
  3. Study reported in clinical journal Toxicology (18) suggested that broccoli helps in reducing the impact of free radical damage due to chemotherapeutic agents.

Avocado:

Avocado

Avocadoes are high in omega fats (healthy fats) that are responsible for most of its nutritional properties. In addition, avocadoes are also helpful in the maintenance of normal digestive and metabolic functions.

Additionally:

  • Avocadoes are known to regulate blood sugar levels and blood vessel health
  • The anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties are helpful in delaying the onset of aging and maintaining youth.

Vitamin K: 38%
Vitamin C: 24%
Vitamin B5: 20%
Folate: 30%
Vitamin B6: 19%
Dietary Fiber: 40%
Potassium: 20%

Avocadoes and latest Medical Research:

  1. According to a new report published in Experimental Biology journal (19), nutritionists believe that avocado intake is associated with optimal nutritional indices in adults within United States.
  2. Intake of avocadoes is known to reduce the risk of carcinogenesis via activation of apoptosis (a system of programmed cell death), according to a new study reported in Nutrition and Cancer (20).

Celery:

celery

Celery is yet another preferred alkaline food because of extremely high water content and high proportion of alkaline minerals. The core benefits of celery are:

  • Celery supplies very high amounts of Vitamin C that is exceptionally helpful in the maintenance of youth and rejuvenation of tissues.
  • Besides supporting immune system and strengthening cardiovascular functioning of the organs, this vegetable is also helpful in acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.
  • You can use it as a base for your soup, noodles or salads.

One cup of celery supplies:

Vitamin A: 9%
Potassium: 8%
Magnesium: 3%
Vitamin B5: 3%
Vitamin K: 37%
Calcium: 4%
Molybdenum: 7%
Dietary Fiber: 6%Vitamin B2: 3.5%
Vitamin B6: 4%Folate: 9%
Vitamin C: 5%
Manganese: 5%

Celery and latest Medical Research:

  1. Celery is preventive against hypertension and other vascular disorders such as stroke (21).
  2. According to a study reported in Life Sciences journal (22), the key nutritional and anti-inflammatory benefits of celery are attributed to butanol and high water content.

Bell Peppers

bell peppers

The bell peppers are available in different colors, attributed to a wide variety of active pigments that aid in the maintenance of metabolic and revitalization functions. The refreshing taste and easy cooking makes it a preferable alkaline vegetable. Here is why bell peppers made it to our countdown of 8 preferred alkaline foods.

Bell peppers are rich in active molecules and chemicals like hesperidin, quercetin, cinnamic acid, lutein, alpha-carotene, luteolin, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, ferulic acid and zeaxanthin.

One cup of bell pepper supplies:

Potassium: 6%
Manganese: 5%
Vitamin B2: 5%
Vitamin B5: 3%
Molybdenum: 6%
Vitamin K: 6%
Vitamin C: 195.8%
Vitamin E: 7%
Vitamin B3: 5%
Vitamin B1: 3%
Vitamin A: 58%
Folate: 11%
Dietary Fiber: 7%
Vitamin B6: 14%
Magnesium: 2%

Bell Peppers and latest Medical Research:

  1. Regular consumption of bell peppers can help in reducing the risk of dementia and other degenerative disorders of brain (23).
  2. According to a new study reported in peer reviewed Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (24), investigators suggested that bell peppers are rich in several anti-oxidants and are therefore helpful in optimal management of chronic inflammatory conditions and joint disorders.

Conclusion and Final Words:

It is highly recommended to avoid rapid shifts/ changes in your dietary pattern. For best results, incorporate small changes first (such as replacing your regular water with alkaline water) and so forth. Abrupt changes in the diet can disrupt the biochemical balance and can also lead to poor compliance.

So, keep your diet simple, keep it measured and slow and do not rush!! Do not panic if you mess it up, try all over again for the sake of health and energy it brings to your life.

 

References

  1. Schwalfenberg, G. K. (2011). The alkaline diet: is there evidence that an alkaline pH diet benefits health?. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012.
  2. Hanley, D. A., & Whiting, S. J. (2013). Does a high dietary acid content cause bone loss, and can bone loss be prevented with an alkaline diet?. Journal of Clinical Densitometry, 16(4), 420-425.
  3. Lallès, J. P. (2010). Intestinal alkaline phosphatase: multiple biological roles in maintenance of intestinal homeostasis and modulation by diet. Nutrition reviews, 68(6), 323-332.
  4. Bhattacharya, A., Tang, L., Li, Y., Geng, F., Paonessa, J. D., Chen, S. C., … & Zhang, Y. (2010). Inhibition of bladder cancer development by allyl isothiocyanate. Carcinogenesis, 31(2), 281-286.
  5. Higdon, J. V., Delage, B., Williams, D. E., & Dashwood, R. H. (2007). Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis. Pharmacological Research, 55(3), 224-236.
  6. Angeloni, C., Leoncini, E., Malaguti, M., Angelini, S., Hrelia, P., & Hrelia, S. (2009). Modulation of phase II enzymes by sulforaphane: implications for its cardioprotective potential. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 57(12), 5615-5622.
  7. Zhang, Y. (2010). Allyl isothiocyanate as a cancer chemopreventive phytochemical. Molecular nutrition & food research, 54(1), 127-135.
  8. Manach, C., Scalbert, A., Morand, C., Rémésy, C., & Jiménez, L. (2004). Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 79(5), 727-747.
  9. Gates, M. A., Tworoger, S. S., Hecht, J. L., De Vivo, I., Rosner, B., & Hankinson, S. E. (2007). A prospective study of dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of epithelial ovarian cancer. International journal of cancer, 121(10), 2225-2232.
  10. Longnecker, M. P., Newcomb, P. A., Mittendorf, R., Greenberg, E. R., & Willett, W. C. (1997). Intake of carrots, spinach, and supplements containing vitamin A in relation to risk of breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 6(11), 887-892.
  11. Joseph, J. A., Shukitt-Hale, B., Denisova, N. A., Bielinski, D., Martin, A., McEwen, J. J., & Bickford, P. C. (1999). Reversals of age-related declines in neuronal signal transduction, cognitive, and motor behavioral deficits with blueberry, spinach, or strawberry dietary supplementation. The Journal of Neuroscience, 19(18), 8114-8121.
  12. Milder, I. E., Arts, I. C., Putte, B. V. D., Venema, D. P., & Hollman, P. C. (2005). Lignan contents of Dutch plant foods: a database including lariciresinol, pinoresinol, secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol. British Journal of Nutrition, 93(03), 393-402.
  13. Kumar, D., Kumar, S., Singh, J., Vashistha, B. D., & Singh, N. (2010). Free radical scavenging and analgesic activities of Cucumis sativus L. fruit extract. Journal of Young Pharmacists, 2(4), 365-368.
  14. Rios, J. L., Recio, M. C., Escandell, J. M., & Andujar, I. (2009). Inhibition of transcription factors by plant-derived compounds and their implications in inflammation and cancer. Current pharmaceutical design, 15(11), 1212-1237.
  15. Tang, J., Meng, X., Liu, H., Zhao, J., Zhou, L., Qiu, M., … & Yang, F. (2010). Antimicrobial activity of sphingolipids isolated from the stems of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Molecules, 15(12), 9288-9297.
  16. Wu, L., Ashraf, M. H. N., Facci, M., Wang, R., Paterson, P. G., Ferrie, A., & Juurlink, B. H. (2004). Dietary approach to attenuate oxidative stress, hypertension, and inflammation in the cardiovascular system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101(18), 7094-7099.
  17. Finley, J. W., Ip, C., Lisk, D. J., Davis, C. D., Hintze, K. J., & Whanger, P. D. (2001). Cancer-protective properties of high-selenium broccoli. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 49(5), 2679-2683.
  18. Konsue, N., & Ioannides, C. (2010). Modulation of carcinogen-metabolising cytochromes P450 in human liver by the chemopreventive phytochemical phenethyl isothiocyanate, a constituent of cruciferous vegetables. Toxicology, 268(3), 184-190.
  19. III, V. L. F., Dreher, M., & Davenport, A. J. (2013). Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008.
  20. Ding, H., Han, C., Guo, D., Chin, Y. W., Ding, Y., Kinghorn, A. D., & D’Ambrosio, S. M. (2009). Selective induction of apoptosis of human oral cancer cell lines by avocado extracts via a ROS-mediated mechanism. Nutrition and cancer, 61(3), 348-356.
  21. Kurl, S., Tuomainen, T. P., Laukkanen, J. A., Nyyssönen, K., Lakka, T., Sivenius, J., & Salonen, J. T. (2002). Plasma vitamin C modifies the association between hypertension and risk of stroke. Stroke, 33(6), 1568-1573.
  22. Tsi, D., & Tan, B. K. (2000). The mechanism underlying the hypocholesterolaemic activity of aqueous celery extract, its butanol and aqueous fractions in genetically hypercholesterolaemic RICO rats. Life sciences, 66(8), 755-767.
  23. Devore, E. E., Grodstein, F., van Rooij, F. J., Hofman, A., Stampfer, M. J., Witteman, J. C., & Breteler, M. M. (2010). Dietary antioxidants and long-term risk of dementia. Archives of neurology, 67(7), 819-825.
  24. O’Sullivan, L., Jiwan, M. A., Daly, T., O’Brien, N. M., & Aherne, S. A. (2010). Bioaccessibility, uptake, and transport of carotenoids from peppers (Capsicum spp.) using the coupled in vitro digestion and human intestinal Caco-2 cell model. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 58(9), 5374-5379.

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