by Ramesh Bjonnes
In my work here at the Prama Wellness Center with hundreds of clients over the past seven years, as well as in healing my own chronic diseases, I have observed the importance of an alkaline diet. The most alkaline diet possible is experienced during a juice fast. I have observed, for example, how a prolonged juice fast for 10-30 days can reverse many chronic ailments otherwise difficult to heal.
But what is an alkaline diet, and why is it so important? An alkaline diet is simply an easy-to-digest diet, while an acidic diet is simply a hard-to-digest diet. Truly, it is that simple.
While lemon water is acidic, lemon water is also very easy to digest, hence it has an alkaline effect on the body—it does not raise the production of acidic digestive fluids. Meat, on the other hand, is difficult to digest and will, if consumed daily, increase acid fluid levels in the digestive system.
According to the American Cancer Society, these acidic bile fluids—produced by an acidic diet of meat, sugar, animal fat, dairy, and refined carbs—are one of the main causes of cancer. Moreover, too much toxic acidity in the body is, according to traditional naturopathy, the main cause of most chronic disease, including heart disease and diabetes.
So, what is the most optimum diet for humans? It is a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Fruits and berries provide disease fighting antioxidants and vegetables, especially greens, provide valuable super-nutrients. A primarily vegan diet on fruits and veggies is not only the most nutrient dense diet possible; it is also the most alkaline diet possible.
Here are six ways to stay both alkaline and nutrient dense:
- Eat a large raw salad every day, especially in the warm season. The basis of this salad should consist of leafy greens to which you may add other raw vegetables, olives, artichoke hearts, peppers, cucumber, avocado, sauerkraut, etc. In the wintertime, you may steam the vegetables, or eat them in the form of a soup.
- Eat fruits and berries every day, preferably for breakfast with some plant-based, unsweetened yogurt made from cashew, almond, or coconut.
- Eat beans and other legumes daily—besides being rich in protein, they also contain many valuable antioxidants.
- If you still eat animal proteins, which are very acidic, only eat those foods 3-4 times a week, and in small portions only. As you get healthier, try to reduce the amounts of fish, meat, and eggs in your diet even further.
- Practice intermittent fasting on a regular basis. This can mean juice fasting for one day every two weeks, skipping meals when not hungry, limiting your eating time to only 9 hours every 24-hour period, replacing a meal with fresh vegetable and fruit juice only, or by simply drinking a glass of lemon water instead of having a meal.
- Drink plenty of clean water everyday—at least 8 glasses per day and even more on hot summer days.
To know what to eat is one thing; to know how to make these meals tasty is another. So, make sure you learn a few great plant-based recipes that you enjoy making and eating. To enjoy the taste of the healthy food you are eating is one of the most effective ways to not fall back on old habits. Bon Appetit!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ramesh is the Director of the Prama Wellness Center where lifestyle is considered our best medicine. Ramesh is also a writer, yogi and workshop leader. He studied yoga therapy in Nepal and India, Ayurveda at California College of Ayurveda and is a certified yoga detox theraphist from the AM Wellness Center in Cebu, Philippines. He has taught workshops in many countries and is the author of four books, including Sacred Body, Sacred Spirit (InnerWorld) and Tantra:The Yoga of Love and Awakening (Hay House India).