What is an alkaline diet?Everything around us is made of chemicals that are either some level of acidic or basic (alkaline). Chemicals are numbered on the pH scale from 0-6 as acidic, 7 as neutral, and 8-14 as alkaline, and more people are talking these days about the negative effects of diets high in acidity. A minimally acidic, or alkaline, diet will contain mostly foods with a pH above 7. Research shows that some chronic diseases (such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease) and even cancer are linked to eating a highly acidic diet. An acidic environment is a breeding ground for bacteria, disease, and decay, and is the primary culprit behind chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is one of the main contributing factors to many different health problems. Eating an alkaline diet can counter these effects. Your body actually has great natural processes for balancing your internal pH, but you can relieve stress on these systems by eating less acidic and more alkaline foods. An alkaline diet aims to support your internal organ systems and the overall function of your body.
Benefits of an alkaline diet for oral healthToo much acid in the body can leech calcium, which is bad for your bones. This includes your teeth since teeth are bones! Eating an alkaline diet and lowering your acid intake can help protect your teeth and oral health. Of course, acidic foods can be a problem for your teeth even before you fully digest them. Too much acid wears down your enamel (the hard, white, outside layer of each tooth). This is bad for tooth sensitivity, cavities, and the life expectancy of each tooth. Some studies found that the acid in dark soda (phosphoric acid) is particularly bad for your teeth. Unfortunately, the standard American diet is high in processed, acidic foods like sugar and dairy, so it takes some effort to lower your consumption of them. But don’t worry; eating more alkaline foods is easier than you might think – and actually quite enjoyable!
Alkaline diet foodsAlkaline foods tend to be raw and unprocessed. Think of fresh leafy greens, salads, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The more colorful your diet, the better off you will be. The most alkaline foods include:
- Fresh vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, celery, cucumber, endive, garlic, grasses, kale, parsley, sprouts, spinach
- Fresh fruits – avocado, coconut, grapefruit, lemon, lime, pomegranate, rhubarb, tomato
- Beans, lentils, quinoa
- Oils and fats – flax, hemp, avocado, olive, evening primrose, borage
- Nuts and seeds – almonds, buckwheat groats, caraway seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds
- Hummus, tahini
- Processed foods
- Saturated fat
- Vegetable oil
Sources: http://www.healthline.com/health/acid-foods-to-avoid#5 http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/article/how-high-alkaline-foods-benefit-your-teeth-1215