(NaturalNews) You may not have known it, but keeping your diet primarily alkaline rather than acidic is a much healthier alternative and can add years to your life.
"The human body goes to great lengths to maintain a slightly alkaline PH of 7.35, but poor diet and stress can change the PH to an acidic one in which disease can thrive," says Raw Food Health. You can help your body out tremendously just by adjusting your eating habits.
"Unfortunately many people don't pay much attention to their diet until they experience a major health scare and then, they do so in a desperate attempt to regain their health," adds food lifestyle educator Carol Galanty. "Thankfully, many are able to do so, but it would be so much better all around if diet were treated as a means of preventive medicine before signs of imbalance start to occur."
Here are five reasons to switch to a diet made up primarily of alkaline foods:
Boost your energy dramatically. Tens of millions of Americans consume caffeine (coffee, tea) or so-called "energy drinks" by the gallon each week, despite the known dangers of such products. If you want to boost your energy naturally and safely, stick to an alkaline diet.
That is one composed primarily of alkaline-forming foods like figs, molasses, green, leafy veggies, almonds, beets, dates, celery, cantaloupe and parsley. "In addition to eating these foods, taking one teaspoon of a greens powder every morning mixed into juice or a smoothie can also raise energy" levels, says About.com guide Cathy Wong, a licensed naturopathic doctor and an American College of Nutrition-certified nutrition specialist.
An alkaline diet will also helps you get a better night's sleep and one that is infinitely more restful, helping you keep energy levels high throughout your busy day.
Keep your body functioning at its optimal level. "Our bodies perform optimally when in an alkaline state, yet the majority of food that Americans eat are acidic (meat, dairy, fish, eggs, sugar, soda, coffee, tea, alcohol, nicotine, processed foods, etc)," writes Galanty. "This heavily weighted acidic diet brings our bodies to a state of imbalance and eventually disease."
She and other experts say that by maintaining a primarily alkaline diet - somewhere in the range of 70-80 percent - can help you maintain or return your body to balance (called homeostasis in medical lingo). "A state of wellness where you feel healthy, energenic, have smoothing glowing skin and an alert, focused mind," says Galanty. "Sluggish, tired and overweight is not a normal state to be in."
Slow down the aging process. An acidic diet can take its toll on our bones and muscles the older we get.
"As we age, there is a loss of muscle mass, which may predispose to falls and fractures," says an analysis by the National Institutes of Health. "A three-year study looking at a diet rich in potassium, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as a reduced acid load, resulted in preservation of muscle mass in older men and women."
"Conditions such as chronic renal failure that result in chronic metabolic acidosis result in accelerated breakdown in skeletal muscle," the NIH analysis continued. "Correction of acidosis may preserve muscle mass in conditions where muscle wasting is common such as diabetic ketosis, trauma, sepsis, chronic obstructive lung disease, and renal failure."
Lower your cancer risk. Some research suggests that an alkaline-rich diet is linked to lower rates of cancer, if only because such diets consist primarily of vegetables.
Remember Kris Carr's 2007 film, Crazy, Sexy Cancer? The documentary tracks "the actress and photographer's journey after a 2003 diagnosis of stage-four epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, a rare cancer found in the liver and lungs' blood vessel linings," the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.
Nine years later, eating only a plant-based diet, Carr's health is good - a phenomenon she attributed to staying pH-balanced.
Keep off the extra pounds. By boosting your consumption of alkaline-producing foods, you can naturally shed weight.
"Promoting things like weight loss, improved immunity, and even disease prevention, celebrity nutritionist Dr. Lindsey Duncan is a proponent of the alkaline diet. He says our meals are increasingly acidic, and our bodies are paying the price," ABC News affiliate KTRK reported.
Things like "cardiovascular disease, depression, forgetfulness, poor mood, mind, memory," he says.