Turns out, today’s world is highly acidic. Everything from processed foods and huge portions of meat and cheese to environmental toxins and stress hormones cause acid to build inside us. Because too much acid makes us sick, our systems work hard to reduce it, often pulling acid-neutralizing minerals from wherever they can, like calcium from our bones and cartilage and magnesium from muscles, explains Get Off Your Acid (Buy on Amazon, $12.79) author Daryl Gioffre, D.C.
Over time, bones weaken and joints ache. Muscle loss makes us weaker and slows metabolism. Plus, there’s often still too much acid in our systems. When that happens, “a key way our bodies protect us is by using fat as a buffer,” Dr. Gioffre says. This fat barrier gets locked in place, making flab hard to burn. And even stored in fat cells, acid triggers health-dampening inflammation and hormonal problems. The good news? “Reduce the acid, and you’ll feel amazing as fat is quickly released!” That’s where an alkaline diet comes in.
How an Alkaline Diet Boosts Health
The foods you eat on an alkaline diet help the body create an optimal pH. They can be found at any grocery store: colorful veggies, potatoes, ripe fruit, and fat-rich plants like olives, nuts, and avocados. For best results, make these alkaline diet foods your staples, says Dr. Stossier.
He says it’s equally important to limit acidifying options like coffee, sweeteners, refined grains, animal products and processed junk. “Try not to have them every day,” he suggests. “And always pair them with at least two servings of alkaline foods, so you have plenty of nutrients to balance excess acid.”
As you do, there’s evidence chronic inflammation will be relieved, leading to improvements in aches, pains, brain fog, even diabetes and heart disease. A Tufts University study found that older adults with the most alkaline diets had significantly more muscle than those with acidic diets. And University of Texas research found a more alkaline pH is associated with a whopping 52 percent lower BMI. Adds Dr. Stossier: “It leads to optimal health. And I haven’t seen a single person not end up with a much flatter stomach.”
An Alkaline Meal Plan for Weight Loss
Simply increasing intake of alkaline foods — veggies, potatoes, fat-rich plants and ripe fruit — helps trigger weight loss and boost health. Want a jump start? Build all meals around alkaline foods for 14 days. Chew food well; stop eating when lightly full. For more inspiration, visit VivaMayr.com or the blog at GetOffYourAcid.com. Always get a doctor’s okay to try a new plan.
Breakfast: In blender, blitz chunks of 1 frozen banana, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, ½ cup kale, 1 Tbs. chia and ¾ cup nut milk.
Lunch: Top flourless bread (such as Ezekiel brand) with avocado, veggies and a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy with veggie soup.
Dinner: Roast 2 to 3 cups assorted veggies with olive oil or broth and herbs; serve over potatoes mashed with coconut milk.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.