Why Alkaline Foods Are Important
‘Your health depends on the balance of an alkaline environment, created by eating foods such as tomatoes, avocados and green vegetables…striking the optimum 80/20 balance and regulating your body’s acid/alkaline chemistry through simple changes in diet can result in weight loss, increased stamina and strength, a stronger immune system and a greater sense of wellbeing.’
1. SPINACH -All leafy greens should be eaten in abundance but spinach is my absolute favourite because it’s easy to buy, easy to use in recipes and salads and is delicious. Baby spinach or fully grown spinach are Nutritional powerhouses and are incredibly alkaline. As with all green foods, spinach is rich in chlorophyll (see more about the health benefits of chlorophyll here), a potent alkaliser and blood builder. It is also super high in vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin c, vitamin b2, calcium, potassium, vitamin e, dietary fiber…I doubt there is a more all round healthy food on earth and I highly encourage you to eat spinach throughout the day, every day.
2. KALE -Kale is another leafy green beauty that is widely known for its Cancer-Fighting, Cholesterol-Lowering, Antioxidant-rich, and Detoxifying goodness. Less popular than spinach, but only because it has a history of being cooked poorly (like cabbage) – when done right it is absolutely delicious (see recipes below, you’ll thank me). If you eat kale 2-3 times per week you’ll know it. Like spinach it is massively high in vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C and being Leafy Green it also has a huge Chlorophyll content. The reason it is so powerful against the Cancer Fight is that kale contains at least four Glucosinolates. I don’t want to lose you here by using words like glucosinolates – all you need to know is that as soon as you eat and digest kale, these glucosinolates are really easily converted by the body into cancer fighting compounds. Also quite amazing for Lowering Cholesterol, it should be noted that steamed kale is more effective for cholesterol lowering than raw.
3. CUCUMBER The beauty of cucumber is it’s water content – 95%. That is phenomenal and you won’t find that anywhere else. It’s the daddy of water-content. This of course makes it an incredibly hydrating food to consume, that ALSO contains superb amounts of antioxidants, including the super-important lignans. These highly beneficial polyphenols have more commonly been associated with the cruciferous vegetables, but their content in other veggies such as cucumbers is gaining more and more attention. Cucumbers contain a right load of lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol , three lignans that have a huge and very strong history of research in connection with Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular disease as well as several cancer types, including Breast, Uterine, Ovarian, and Prostate Cancers. The best thing about cucumber is that they provide the base for practically every alkaline soup, smoothie and juice – giving you a very alkaline, very nutritious base that also tastes great. In terms of the actual nutrient RDA per serve, cucumbers contain fair amounts of vitamins K and C, and slightly less of vitamin A and the B vitamins. Cucumbers also contain the following alkaline minerals: calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, selenium, copper, manganese, iron and zinc.
4. BROCCOLI – Broccoli is just a must. If you are serious about living with health, energy and vitality you simply have to eat broccoli, if not on a daily basis, then at least 4 times per week. Broccoli has been proven over and over and over again to be incredibly powerful in inhibiting Cancers, supporting the Digestive System, the Cardiovascular System, the Detoxification processes in the body and also supporting the Skin, metabolism, İmmune system, being an Anti-Inflammatory and providing ample Antioxidants. Eaten steamed or raw its a Hugely Alkaline, Hugely Nutritious food. Please, please, please eat lots and lots of it. Put it in salads, juices, smoothies, soups…steam it with other veggies – you can even roast
5. AVOCADO -I eat a LOT of avocado. Not a salad, smoothie or soup goes by without me adding at least 1/2 an avocado per person. I probably eat at least five-seven per week, myself. Now, I know a lot of people give avocado a bad rep because it is a high-fat food (85% of it’s calories come from fats) – but this is totally insane. These are good fats that will not make you gain weight. If anything, due to the high content of oleic acid (making it an Omega 9 fat and very similar to olive oil), it can lower total cholesterol level and raise levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) while lowering low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), also known as the “bad” cholesterol. Oleic Acid also slows the development of heart disease, and promotes the production of Antioxidants. These beneficial omega oils also help speed the metabolism, actually leading to weight loss rather than gain. So now we’re over the fat issue, avocado also contains a wide range of other nutrients that have serious Anti-İnflammatory, Heart Health, Cardiovascular Health, Anti-Cancer, and Blood Sugar Benefits. Containing key Antioxidants such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, selenium and more – it is a powerful, alkaline, nutrient-dense superfood.
6. CELERY – Celery, like cucumber is a favourite because it’s alkaline AND really high water content, so is used very frequently as a base in juices and soups (not so much smoothies as you have to juice it first…and then you have double the washing up). One of celery’s big benefits is it’s vitamin C level, which has the well known benefits – but two of it’s lesser known nutrients are phthalides which have been shown to Lower Cholesterol and coumarins which have been shown to inhibit Several Cancers. The beauty of vitamin C rich foods are that they help with the most common and most challenging health concerns – they support the İmmune system, inflammation (so helps with Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Asthma etc), and vitamin C also helps significantly with Cardiovascular Health. If you are on a weight loss journey, you’ll also be happy to hear that this alkaline staple contains plenty of potassium and sodium and so is a diuretic – meaning it helps rid the body of excess fluids.
7. CAPSICUM / BELL PEPPER / PEPPER – The antioxidant superpower, bell pepper is one of my all-time-favourites because it is sweet, crunchy and refreshingly delicious. You can use it in almost any meal raw, grilled, fried, and roasted and it is always a winner. Impressively beneficial to our health cartenoids are highly researched and get a lot of attention in the health field and bell peppers contain over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family. The only other food that is close to this is Tomato and all other foods are also-rans. Bell peppers have shown up in research relating to decreasing the risk of Cardiovascular Disease, type II Diabetes, Macular Degeneration, Cancer, inflammation and more. Alongside these lesser known or more complex-named antioxidants, bell pepper is one of, if not the best food source of the more common antioxidants: vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E. In fact, bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as oranges. Here are just SOME of the antioxidants bell pepper contains: – Flavonoids – luteolin – quercetin – hesperidin – Carotenoids – alpha-carotene – beta-carotene – cryptoxanthin – lutein – zeaxanthin – Hydroxycinnamic Acids – ferulic acid – cinnamic acid.