Alkaline diets in Ayurveda (an interview) - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

Alkaline diets in Ayurveda (an interview)

By on September 13, 2015

The original source of stress is known as a stressor. Most of the stressors in todays’ society (cigarette smoke, alcohol, stress itself, bad diet, coffee, sodas, pharmaceuticals) all produce an acid state in the body. All cancerous states are acid states of long duration.

Research indicates that 90% of our general population is far too acidic, which leads to a variety of negative health effects. Over time, being acidic is the main cause of degenerative diseases and aging. If you have an acidic body, you become energyless, exhausted physically and mentally and you lose the radiance and shine of skin and hair.

Grains, sugar, dairy, animal or vegetarian protein and oils yield an acid ash, while fruits, sea vegetables, vegetables, quality water and herbs yield an alkaline ash. You should consume 20% of your food daily, by weight from the acid ash- forming foods and 80%, from the alkaline ash-forming foods.

pH (standing for ‘potential of Hydrogen’) is a measure of the relative acidity or alkalinity of a solution. The scale of pH ranges from 1 to 14. 14 is totally alkaline and zero is acidic. The middle of this line is 7, neutral. Quality water has a Ph of 7 and you should maintain this level.

What are alkaline foods? Why are they important? How can you test yourself?

In the interview below, Anu Paavola, Ayurvedic practitioner, explains the theory behind alkaline diets, explores the pros and cons of this approach and looks at whether Ayurvedic diets are alkaline. Anu receives patients in her organic treatment center in London, Jivita Ayurveda, and is a contributing author for Nature’s Diet.

1. Dear Anu, nowadays most people consume an abundance of highly processed foods that acidify the body.

At the same time, many people are afflicted with health problems ranging from minor skin irritations, chronic fatigue, back pain, and depression to arthritis, ulcers, and osteoporosis.

Is it fair to make a correlation between those two facts? If so, could you explain it?

Anu Paavola: Highly processed foods have very little health benefits. The ingredients in these foods are not any more in their natural form. You can’t expect the body to accept these food like substances without some kind of side effects like the conditions you have listed. Processed foods are often acidic, causing excess mucous production and increasing inflammation. Depending on individuals you can expect almost any results especially when bad food is combined with bad eating habits e.g. eating too fast and overeating.

Signs of an imbalanced pH or depleted Prana: bad breath, chronic fatigue, allergies, headaches, chronic yeast/fungal infections, boils, canker sores, hypoglycemia, osteoporosis, joint problems, fibromyalgia, hot flashes, dryness and/or burning sensation in various parts of the body, PMS, mood swings.

Signs of an imbalanced pH or depleted Prana: bad breath, chronic fatigue, allergies, headaches, chronic yeast/fungal infections, boils, canker sores, hypoglycemia, osteoporosis, joint problems, fibromyalgia, hot flashes, dryness and/or burning sensation in various parts of the body, PMS, mood swings.

2. Is obesity correlated with an highly acidic diet?

Anu Paavola: It can be. Acidic food increases mucous production. Excess mucous in the digestive tract can impede food from being absorbed properly thus creating low energy levels and cravings.

3. Does that means that it is too late to come back to the basics of a natural diet ?

Anu Paavola: There is a lot of work to be done to create awareness on natural diet and lifestyle. There are certain things nature wants us to do at certain times. Modern lifestyle easily turns our attention away from the rhythms of nature and pushes us to eat foods that are not healthy, to eat food that is not in season and to have erratic daily routines. Frenzy media has created a state of nutritional confusion with conflicting information on nutrition coming up every day. Nature’s Diet helps to navigate through this information overload with confidence, by teaching what to choose and also that there is place for eating everything natural, once it is eaten at the right time.

4. We understand that the body needs balanced quantities of alkaline and acid substances. Some foods, such as fruits, can have either an alkalizing or an acidifying effect, depending on who eats them. Physiologically and scientifically, how do you explain the effects and benefits of those substances?

Anu Paavola: Everyone is an individual reacting in a unique way to anything they are exposed to. We should have 1/3 of our diet acidic and 2/3 alkaline. By eating seasonal diet this need is fulfilled automatically. Spring and summer harvests are mainly alkaline whilst winter harvest is mainly acidic.

5. Concretely, which changes should we make daily in our diet to enjoy optimum health? And should we become vegan to restore our pH balance?

Anu Paavola: Mainly we should pay attention on how we eat. We should eat simple, slow and seasonal. There is no need to become vegan to restore pH balance. Once you follow a seasonal diet there is place also to fit in dairy and meat, if needed. Veganism is not a prerequisite of good pH balance.

According to Ayurveda, pH balance is an index for the total health: when the pH is imbalanced, it disrupts the “balancing factor” itself – a situation which in turn can lead to complications under the guise of various disease.
According to Ayurveda, pH balance is an index for the total health: when the pH is imbalanced, it disrupts the “balancing factor” itself – a situation which in turn can lead to complications under the guise of various disease.

6. Someone who is suffering from acidity since years, for example, how to eliminate the body’s accumulated acids ? Do you advice this person to go for alkalising supplements or an intestinal cleansing?

Return to seasonal diet and reduction of meat (especially red), white flour and white sugar, proper hydration by warm water and enhancing digestive power with appropriate herbs like cumin and coriander. With highly acidic diet the gut is likely to be coated with an excessively thick mucous lining. Sometimes proper intestinal cleanse is very beneficial. There are specific protocols to follow and they cannot be randomly administered to anyone with high acidity levels.

7. How can someone determine his/her acid levels and, as an Ayurvedic partitioner, how to design a diet best suited for everybody’s particular health needs?

Anu Paavola: A heavily coated tongue in the morning is one way to see if there is excess mucous in the gut or a bad breath without any reason. Acidity often causes chronic inflammation. This can be verified by testing white blood cell levels.

To design a diet one needs to come for a consultation where all aspect of life are taken into consideration to create the best plan to achieve balance.

8. Based on Ayurveda, what are your advices to normalize digestion and metabolism?

Anu Paavola: Firstly relaxation and hydration. Proper eating habits, emphasis on lunch and intake of digestive herbs along with food

9. Do you have any highly alkalinizing recipe ideas to share?

Anu Paavola: I love sprouts. I make salads with them with seasonal ingredients. In spring I mix them with steamed spinach and other leafy greens.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

aafwane@yahoo.fr'

About Armanda Dos Santos

Armanda Dos Santos is a French Ayurvedic practitioner and an author. She teaches Ayurveda in France and Ankara (Turkey) and is based in Paris. She founded Ayurveda Magazine France, and co-founded the Nature’s Diet Magazine (UK). Since 2016, she's the new Executive Editor of JAHM (the international Journal of Ayurveda and Holistic Medicines).

One Comment

  1. neelhb@yahoo.com'

    Nisha Mehta

    March 14, 2017 at 12:24 am

    Excellent and well explained.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Receive Everything Ayurveda In Your Inbox. Free!
Subscription and Privacy: Our free weekly newsletter is sent every Wednesday, and it's filled with our newest Ayurveda articles and resources.Your information will never be shared or sold to a 3rd party.
Green Smoothie pop-up
GYAB Webinar pop-up
Non-fat kitchari pop-up
Ayurveda Test pop-up
VA: Reading Pop-Up
VA: Tutoring Pop-Up
Poop Sheet Pop-Up