The modern diet is based on unhealthy and processed foods. On this diet, the body is out of balance. These foods cause the body to accumulate toxins and increase in acidity. With the lack of nutritionally dense foods and outdoor activities, the body cannot naturally detoxify to neutralize and eliminate toxins. Not surprisingly, the modern diet has been linked to the rise of chronic diseases.
This issue was embraced by Herman Aihara, a pioneer in macrobiotics. He lectured and wrote books on how foods either develop an acidity or alkaline effect in the body. Even though we agree with the basics of his teachings on acid and alkaline diet, we have reinterpreted his work. Here is our take on the benefits of balancing alkaline and acidic foods.
Signs of High Acidic Foods Diet
One of the biggest complaints of acid and alkaline diet imbalance is fatigue. The lack of energy is caused by the diminished capacity of hemoglobin combining with oxygen. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen and carbon dioxide back and forth from the lungs. When the blood is high acidic from eating processed foods, hemoglobin is less efficient when carrying out these functions and delivering oxygen to vital organs.
On top of it when the body is unbalanced and lacks alkalizing foods, the digestive system struggles to absorb nutrients and minerals. The extra work and lack of nutrition breaks down the body causing muscle weakness, reduced bone density, increased negativity and depression, faster heartbeat and breathing, digestive issues and headaches. This leads to premature aging and chronic diseases because the high processed acidic foods impair the body to rebalance, repair, and regenerate.
How to Have a Balanced Acid and Alkaline Diet
Many diets try to classify different foods into two categories, acidic foods and alkaline foods. This becomes complicated because the list of alkaline and acidic foods does not always correlate with yin and yang. Technically, grains and beans are considered more acidic foods but in my experience and understanding, if cooked and eaten properly then they become alkalizing. (Here is our recipe for cooking brown rice.)
We recommend the best way to balance acid and alkaline is to eat less processed foods and move towards a plant based diet. Plant based diet has the most alkalizing foods because they are high in fiber, nutrients, and minerals. The high fiber assists the body to detoxify the gut and digestion. Also improves the ability to absorb nutrients. The alkaline foods to eat are whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds and naturally pickled and fermented foods because they are stable therefore will improve the balance in your body.
Other ways to become alkaline balanced:
- Eat at regular and scheduled times
- Exercise and eat in moderation. Overeating and strenuous exercise can build acidity in the body.
- Going outside into the sunshine
- Doing natural life activities like gardening, eating, and sleeping
Why Alkaline Diet?
Alkaline and acid balance diet not only improve bodily functions but also mental outlook. According to Mental Health America, depression is the most common mental illnesses among adults. People who find balance with alkaline and acidic foods are more positive because they feel in control and no longer fatigued.
Finding balance with alkaline and acidic foods can take time. It is similar to learning to ride a bike. At first, you need training wheels but eventually you become one with the bike and know how to stay on without any support. Eating habits are the same.
There is a learning curve in understanding how to sustain a healthy balance with food and life. At Strengthening Health Institute, we recommend our Macrobiotic Intensive Program to start learning that balance of acid and alkaline diet. The goal of the Intensive is to quickly and effectively teach students about the SHI Approach to Macrobiotic Practice. This program instructs on macrobiotic principles, seven steps to a great life, and healthy cooking demonstrations. It is available both online and on-site for your convenience so start today. Learn more about our macrobiotic courses.
Do you want to learn more about balancing your diet?