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What You Should Eat to Balance Your pH and Alkalize Your Body

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What You Should Eat to Balance Your pH and Alkalize Your Body

The main concept behind an alkalizing diet is that certain foods can create acidic byproducts in your body after digestion. You can reduce the negative health effects of these acids by limiting acid-forming foods in your diet and eating foods that alkalize your body instead.

The benefits of an alkalizing diet are starting to add up. Research has shown that eating more alkalizing foods can:

  • benefit bone health

  • reduce muscle wasting

  • mitigate chronic diseases like hypertension and stroke

  • improve cardiovascular health

  • enhance memory and cognition

And perhaps best of all, alkalizing foods are often cheap and easy to find.

Why Eat an Alkalizing Diet?

It’s vital to human survival that our bodies maintain a blood pH of about 7.4. On the pH scale, this is slightly alkaline. One of the main ways our bodies maintain our internal pH is through the kidneys. They filter out any excessive acids in our system and excrete them in urine.

A problem starts when we consume too many acid-forming foods. The kidneys can’t always keep up with the acid wastes from these foods, causing the acids to accumulate in our tissues.

Studies have found that if this acidic overload becomes chronic, it can lead to various health conditions. Some of these include kidney stones, reduced bone density, muscle degradation and a possible link to the development of arthritis, diabetes and cancer.

Dr. Thomas Remer developed a way to calculate the potential acidifying or alkalizing effect a food may have on your body. This is called the potential renal acid load (PRAL) of a food. It measures how much acid your kidneys need to process after a food has been eaten.

It’s been shown that when you eat foods with a high PRAL, the pH of your urine and saliva often become lower or more acidic. Whereas foods with a low PRAL raise your urine and saliva pH, making it more alkaline. This isn’t a perfect measurement, but it can give a useful general guideline as to how a food is affecting your body.

Alkalizing Food Groups

It’s recommended that 80 percent of your diet is made up of alkalizing foods from the groups listed below. The other 20 percent can be neutral to acid-forming foods, but these should be kept to a minimum.

Always choose fresh, organic foods whenever possible. An important part of an alkalizing diet is getting enough minerals to help your body neutralize acid wastes. Organic foods have often been shown to contain a higher nutritional content than non-organic foods. This will make sure you get as many minerals as possible.

Vegetables

All vegetables are alkalizing. If you simply eat more vegetables, you’re well on your way to a more alkaline diet.

It’s best to eat them in the least processed form you can. Raw or steamed is excellent. Deep fried or made into a carrot cake is not.

All types of seaweed are particularly alkalizing. Greens, such as spinach, parsley, kale and watercress are also highly rated.

This includes herbal teas and fresh vegetable juices.

Fruits

The majority of fruits are also alkalizing. The few exceptions are blueberries, cranberries and plums. These are shown to be acidifying.

It’s recommended to eat fruits raw rather than cooked, pasteurized or processed. This is because cooking can break down some of the vitamins, such as vitamin C.

Some of the best fruits are melons, lemons, limes, dates, figs and raisins. Fresh fruit juice and smoothies are also good.

Even apple cider vinegar rates as alkalizing, which can be confusing because vinegar is clearly very acidic. Whether a food is alkalizing or acidifying is based on the amount of acid wastes that are produced when it’s digested. Your body is affected by these waste chemicals, not the actual acidity of a food.

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, chestnuts, chia and sesame seeds are all alkalizing. Whereas, most other nuts and seeds are slightly acid-forming.

Although, any nuts or seeds will become more alkalizing if you soak and sprout them before you eat them.

Processed nut and seed oils are considered neutral, so eat these sparingly. This includes oils such as almond, sunflower, canola or sesame. Any oil can go rancid fairly quickly, so it’s recommended to always buy fresh, cold-pressed and untreated oils when possible.

Grains and Beans

Amaranth, millet and quinoa are the only grains that are naturally alkalizing. Fresh beans are also alkalizing, such as green peas, lima beans or fresh soy products like tofu or tempeh.

In general, the rest of the grains and beans are acidifying. This is particularly true for any breads, cereals, pastas or other processed forms of grains or beans.

But similar to nuts and seeds, whole grains and beans become alkalizing if you soak and sprout them before preparation.

What foods should you avoid?

The food groups that have been shown to have the most acidifying effect on your body are primarily animal-based. The most acid-forming food group is meat. Fish are slightly better than other animal meats, but they are still significantly acidifying.

Dairy products and eggs are also acid-forming. Goat milk is the least acidifying, whereas hard cheeses are the highest.

The last and perhaps most acidifying food group is artificial sweeteners. White processed sugar is by far the worst, but honey, molasses and maple syrup are also somewhat acid-forming.

An alkalizing diet is about finding a healthy balance in what you eat. It’s not about becoming extreme and cutting out all acid-forming foods. It simply provides a guideline to help make better daily food choices.

Source

Alkalize or Die, by Dr. Theodore Baroody

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In early October, Britain's Prince William teamed up with conservationist David Attenborough to launch the Earthshot Prize, a new award for environmentalist innovation. The Earthshot brands itself the "most prestigious global environment prize in history."

The world-famous wildlife broadcaster and his royal sidekick appear to have played an active role in the prize's inception, and media coverage has focused largely on them as the faces of the campaign.

But the pair are only the frontmen of a much larger movement which has been in development for several years. In addition to a panel of experts who will decide on the winners, the prize's formation took advice from the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace and the Jack Ma Foundation.

With more and more global attention on the climate crisis, celebrity endorsement of environmental causes has become more common. But why do environmental causes recruit famous faces for their campaigns? And what difference can it make?

'Count Me In'

"We need celebrities to reach those people who we cannot reach ourselves," says Sarah Marchildon from the United Nations Climate Change secretariat (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany.

Marchildon is a proponent of the use of celebrities to raise awareness of environmental causes. In addition to promoting a selection of climate ambassadors who represent the UN on sustainability issues, Marchildon's team has produced videos with well-known narrators from the entertainment world: among them, Morgan Freeman and Mark Ruffalo.

"We choose celebrities who have a lifestyle where they are already talking about these issues," Marchildon explains.

"Sometimes they reach out to us themselves, as David Attenborough did recently. And then they can promote the videos on their own social channels which reach more people than we do — for example, if they have 20 million followers and we have 750,000."

Environmental groups focused on their own domestic markets are also taking this approach. One Germany-based organization that uses celebrities in campaigns is the German Zero NGO. Set up in 2019, it advocates for a climate-neutral Germany by 2035.

German Zero produced a video in March 2020 introducing the campaign with "66 celebrities" that supported the campaign, among them Deutschland 83 actor Jonas Nay and former professional footballer Andre Schürrle. They solicit support as well as financial contributions from viewers.

"Count me in," they say, pointing toward the camera. "You too?"

"We are incredibly grateful for the VIPs in our videos," says German Zero spokeswoman Eva-Maria McCormack.

Assessing Success Is Complex

But quantifying the effectiveness of celebrity endorsement of campaigns is not a straightforward process.

"In order to measure effectiveness, first of all you need to define what is meant by success," says Alegria Olmedo, a researcher at the Zoology Department at the University of Oxford.

Olmedo is the author of a study looking at a range of campaigns concerning pangolin consumption, fronted by local and Western celebrities, in Vietnam and China. But she says her biggest stumbling block was knowing how to measure a campaign's success.

"You need a clear theory of change," explains Olmedo. "Have the celebrities actually helped in achieving the campaign's goals? And how do you quantify these goals? Maybe it is increased donations or higher engagement with a cause."

A popular campaign in China in recent years saw famous chefs Zhao Danian and Shu Yi pledge to abstain from cooking endangered wildlife. While the pledge achieved widespread recognition, both Olmedo and Marchildon say it's difficult to know whether it made any difference to people's actions.

"In life we see a thousand messages every day, and it is very hard to pinpoint whether one campaign has actually made a difference in people's behavior," she explains.

Awareness Is Not Enough

Many campaigns that feature celebrities focus on raising awareness rather than on concrete action — which, for researcher Olmedo, raises a further problem in identifying effectiveness.

"Reach should never be a success outcome," she says. "Many campaigns say they reached a certain number of people on social media. But there has been a lot of research that shows that simply giving people information does not mean they are actually going to remember it or act upon it."

But anecdotal evidence from campaigns may suggest reach can make an active difference.

"Our VIP video is by far the most watched on our social media channels," McCormack from German Zero says. "People respond to it very directly. A lot of volunteers of all ages heard about us through that video."

However, some marketing studies have shown that celebrity endorsement of a cause or product can distract from the issue itself, as people only remember the person, not the content of what they were saying.

Choosing the Right Celebrity

Celebrity choice is also very important. Campaigns that use famous faces are often aiming to appeal to members of the public who do not necessarily follow green issues.

For certain campaigns with clear target audiences, choosing a climate scientist or well-known environmentalist rather than a celebrity could be more appealing — Attenborough is a classic example. For others, images and videos involving cute animals may be more likely to get a message heard than attaching a famous face.

"We choose celebrities who have a lifestyle where they are already talking about these issues," says Marchildon from the UN. "You need figures with credibility."

McCormack cites the example of Katharine Hayhoe, an environmental scientist who is also an evangelical Christian. In the southern United States, Hayhoe has become a celebrity in her own right, appealing to an audience that might not normally be interested in the messages of climate scientists.

But as soon as you get a celebrity involved, campaigns also put themselves at risk of the whims of that celebrity. Prince William and younger members of the royal family have come under fire in recent years for alleged hypocrisy for their backing of environmental campaigns while simultaneously using private jets to fly around the world.

But Does It Really Work?

While environmental campaigns hope that endorsement from well-known figures can boost a campaign, there is little research to back this up.

"The biggest finding [from my study] was that we were unable to produce any evidence that shows that celebrity endorsement of environmental causes makes any difference," says Olmedo.

This will come as a blow to many campaigns that have invested time and effort into relationships with celebrity ambassadors. But for many, the personal message that many celebrities offer in videos like that produced by German Zero and campaigns like the Earthshot Prize are what counts.

The research may not prove this conclusively — but if the public believes a person they respect deeply personally cares about an important issue, they are perhaps more likely to care too.

"I personally believe in the power this can have," says Marchildon. "And if having a celebrity involved can get a single 16-year-old future leader thinking about environmentalist issues — that is enough."

Reposted with permission from DW.

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