You are concerned about your health and living a healthful lifestyle. You’ve heard that one effective way to ward off disease and premature aging is by keeping your pH balanced through an alkaline diet. But is there such thing as being too alkaline?
Avoid acidic foods, eat alkaline foods. This information has been circulating the internet, written up in books, and advocated by health professionals for a while now. You’ve likely checked out an acidic/alkaline food list yourself. Or maybe you are full on gung ho for the alkaline diet.
Great! Or is it? Can you be too alkaline?
An optimal pH level is said to be between 7.35 and 7.45. This is sort of a mid range between acidic and alkaline. While closer to alkaline may be better than acidic, going all the way is not really the goal.
We certainly love a good mission and many of us tend to take a health challenge to the nth level. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we may be missing the whole point of a balanced lifestyle. Drive and perseverance are good, but extreme dieting and exercise can have detrimental effects on the body. And yes, you can go too far when working to alkalize your body.
Acidosis is when the body’s pH level is overly acidic. This condition is linked to health issues, premature aging, and disease. Studies show that an alkaline diet may help to reduce serious health issues. Less often discussed are the negative health effects associated with alkalosis, or when the body is overly alkalized. Some symptoms of alkalosis are nausea, lethargy, and muscle spasms. While the condition is rare, it is important to realize that super alkalized is not the goal.
Another problem with going too alkaline is a greater risk of developing candida, a yeast overgrowth in the system. The body needs a balance of good bacteria to function properly. Have you ever developed an upset stomach, bloating or yeast infection while taking antibiotics? This is the body’s reaction to too much good bacteria being destroyed with the bad. The same thing can happen when not enough acidic foods are consumed.
As with most things in life, the whole pH issue seems to come down to balance. Too much of any good thing is still, well, too much. Ayurveda promotes balance in all things for a reason. It’s not only the healthiest way to go, it is also the most enjoyable.
With most alkaline diet plans acidic foods, like sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, are to be avoided, with a focus on eating fruits and veggies. Stress is also deemed acidic. Sounds like a basic healthy diet and lifestyle plan, right? That’s because it is. Rather than focusing so heavily on which foods are alkaline and checking pH levels, eating a balanced diet with a focus on fresh, healthy foods and stress management is the way to maintain good health.
If you do opt for an alkaline diet, talk to your doctor and take a moderate approach. This is the best and safest way to get the most benefit from any healthy eating plan or lifestyle change.
Related on EcoSalon
Image of woman with stomach ache via Shutterstock