The anti-inflammatory alkaline diet
One of the best ways to stay healthy, relieve chronic pain, reach a desirable weight, and promote longevity is through our diet. Unfortunately, many of us have been given incorrect information about what, how and when to eat. This article will describe an alkaline anti-inflammatory diet, why it is so good for our health, and how to use this natural nutritional approach.
Starting a bit of human history is in order. For most of human history on this planet, we were nomads. We traveled the world in search of large mammals that could be slaughtered and eaten. Alternatively, humans herded mammals such as goats, sheep, reindeer, and other cows that required travel to abundant grasslands. Our ancestors ate a lot of meat and fat. They did not stay in one place for long, thus, they were unable to cultivate. They collected vegetables, a small amount of fruit, and very little grain. There were very few starchy carbohydrates like cereals, bread, pasta, and other grains in her diet. It wasn’t until about 5,000 years ago, when the Egyptians started farming, that humans started having a lot of starchy carbohydrates to eat.
Now let’s introduce a very simple and easy to understand biochemistry. We have all heard of fish oil and its main component of omega-3 fatty acids, sometimes called omega-3 oils. Most know that these omega-3 oils are good for us. Another oil, sometimes overlooked, is omega-6 fatty acid. When our ancestors were nomads and ate few carbohydrates, their diet consisted of a roughly 1: 1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-six fatty acids. This ratio is very healthy for the body. Makes the body more alkaline than acidic. The more alkaline we are, the healthier we will be.
However, if we unbalance our omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids, we become more acidic and have more inflammation in the body. More inflammation leads to chronic pain, weight gain, and lifestyle-related diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular problems, arthritis, and other disease processes that affect us today. When we eat large amounts of carbohydrates such as wheat, corn, and rice, we are eating foods with more omega-6 fatty acids. These can create a 1:10 ratio imbalance of omega-3 versus omega 6 or more. French fries, for example, have a 1:60 ratio of omega-3 versus omega 6 fatty acids.
Inflammation created by an improper balance of omega oils from too many carbohydrates creates general and systemic inflammation in the body. In contrast, a low-carb diet, which promotes a more in-line 1: 1 ratio of fatty acids, allows the body to heal and function more optimally.
A very simple way to achieve an alkaline anti-inflammatory diet is to simply eat fewer starchy carbohydrates. If one were to consume 100-200 grams per day of grain-containing products, this would lead to a healthier lifestyle. Certainly, this diet would include large amounts of vegetables and a reasonable amount of foods that contain protein and fat such as eggs, meats, fish, and nuts. It is also recommended that this diet be low in sweets and sugar, such as candy, cookies, sodas, sports drinks, and cakes and pies.
This diet doesn’t have to be overly strict. Most people without serious metabolic diseases certainly could afford to have a “cheat day” or two each week when they could exceed 100-200 grams of starchy carbohydrates and some sweets.
Not all health professionals or nutritionists will necessarily subscribe to what has been detailed here. However, there are many books and health professionals that align with this plan. Some of these would include the South Beach diet, the Paleolithic diet, the ketogenic diet, and the Mediterranean diet.
People interested in this dietary approach can certainly find an expert who can provide further guidance.
Most people who use an alkaline anti-inflammatory diet will find that their health has improved in a reasonable amount of time. Many of us initially using this approach find that within a year we reach a desirable weight, eliminate chronic pain, increase energy, and sleep better. While an alkaline anti-inflammatory diet may not be mainstream, there is certainly enough scientific and anecdotal evidence to investigate this lifestyle.