One of the best ways to be healthy, relieve chronic pain, attain a desirable weight and promote longevity is through our diet. Unfortunately, many of us have been given the wrong information on what, how and when to eat. This article will describe an alkaline anti-inflammatory diet, why it is so good for our health and how to utilize this natural nutritional approach.
To begin a little human history is in order. For most of the history of humans on this planet we were nomadic. We traveled around the globe in search of large mammals that could be killed and eaten. Alternatively, humans herded mammals such as goats, sheep, reindeer and other cattle that required traveling to abundant pasture lands. Our ancestors ate a lot of meat and fat. They did not stay in one place for very long, therefore they were not able to farm. They did collect vegetables, a small amount of fruit and a very small amount of grains. There were very few starchy carbs such as cereal, bread, pasta and other grains in their diet. It wasn’t until about 5000 years ago when the Egyptians began to farm that humans began to have a large amount of starchy carbohydrates to eat.
Now, let’s introduce some very simple and easy to understand biochemistry. We have all heard of fish oil and its main component of omega-3 fatty acids, sometimes called omega-3 oils. Most know that these omega-3 oils are good for us. Another, sometimes overlooked, oil is omega 6 fatty acid. When our ancestors were nomadic and ate few starchy, carbohydrates their diet consisted of an approximately 1:1 ratio of omega-3 and omega six fatty acids. This ratio is very healthy for the body. It makes the body more alkaline versus acidic. The more alkaline we are the healthier we will be.
However, if we become imbalanced in our omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids we become more acidic and have more inflammation in the body. More inflammation leads to chronic pain, weight gain and lifestyle related diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular problems, arthritis and other disease processes that affect us today. When we eat high amounts of carbohydrates such as wheat, corn and rice we are ingesting foods with more omega 6 fatty acids. These may create a ratio imbalance of 1:10 omega-3 versus omega 6 fatty acids or more. Potato chips, for instance, have a 1:60 ratio of omega-3 versus omega 6 fatty acids.
Inflammation created by in improper balance of omega oils from too many carbohydrates creates a systemic, general inflammation in the body. Conversely a diet lower in carbohydrates, promoting a ratio more in line with 1:1 fatty acids allows the body to heal and function more optimally.
A very simple way to achieve an alkaline anti-inflammatory diet is to simply eat fewer starchy carbs. If one were to consume 100-200 grams per day of products containing grains this would lead to a healthier lifestyle. Certainly, this diet would include high amounts of vegetables and a reasonable amount of foods containing proteins and fats like eggs, meats, fish and nuts. It is also recommended that this diet be low in sweets and sugar, like candy, cookies, soda, sports drinks and cakes and pies.
This diet does not have to be excessively stringent. Most people who do not have serious metabolic diseases could certainly afford to have a “cheat day” or two each week when they could exceed the 100-200 grams of starchy carbohydrates and some sweets.
Not all healthcare practitioners or nutritionists will necessarily subscribe to what has been detailed here. However, there are many books and healthcare practitioners who align themselves with this plan. Some of these would include The South Beach Diet, The Paleolithic Diet, The Keto Diet and The Mediterranean Diet.
People interested in this dietary approach can certainly find an expert who can give them more guidance.
Most people utilizing an alkaline anti-inflammatory diet will find they have improved health in a reasonable period of time. Many of us who initially utilized this approach found that within a year we reached a desirable weight, eliminated chronic pains, had increased energy and better sleep. While an alkaline anti-inflammatory diet may not be mainstream there is certainly enough scientific and anecdotal evidence for one to investigate this lifestyle.