(Rhonda Johansson) Darin Ingels, N.D., FAAEM followed the alkaline diet to cure himself of Lyme disease. The naturopathic doctor said that among all the other diets that claim to improve the disease’s symptoms, he found the alkaline diet to be the most helpful.
by Rhonda Johansson, May 23rd, 2018
An introduction to the alkaline diet
The alkaline diet is based on the science of keeping your body pH balanced by consuming foods that encourage equilibrium. As each food is digested and absorbed, they release either acid- or base-forming compounds. Most of the items we consume today increase the acidity levels of our body, which in turn promote inflammation and results in a weakened immune system. As noted by Mr. Ingels, only the stomach, bladder, and vaginal area thrive in acidic conditions. The rest of the body performs better at an alkaline pH.
The alkaline diet, therefore, is an eating plan that promotes foods that increases alkalinity. The diet is rich in vegetables and leafy greens and discourages the consumption of refined grains and sugar. At least 80 percent of one’s meal plan should consist of the following: asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, kale, garlic, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and the like. These foods can be supplemented with a generous serving of almonds, cashews, coconut, and most legumes. (Related: Five easy steps to a more alkaline diet.)
Certain foods can be eaten occasionally and can comprise the remaining 20 percent of the diet. This includes all animal protein and most fruits.
Completely avoid these items: all dairy products, artificial sweeteners, soy sauce, junk food, and any hydrogenated oil. It is also best to limit the intake of any form of alcohol, soda, and coffee.
How to start
The alkaline diet can be an extreme change, especially if one is used to eating fast food and processed meats. However, the transition does not have to be painful. Mr. Ingels suggests following these steps:
- Start hydrating. Many people suffer from chronic dehydration, mostly because the liquids we consume are either sugary beverages or caffeinated drinks. Drink lots of water — aim for at least two liters per day.
- Purchase pH strips from your local pharmacy. Test your first morning urine and then again 30 to 60 minutes after each meal for the first two weeks of the diet.
- Keep a log of your results. An alkaline pH is anywhere between seven and 14. It is normal for your first morning urine to be more acidic. Once you consistently get alkaline pH readings, you can reduce the number of times you check.
- Pick one mealtime and then work on making that meal right for one week and then moving on to the next one.
- Start adding a handful of specific foods per day and eliminating acids one at a time.
- Work your way up to making each meal more alkaline.
Take note that the alkaline diet takes time to work. Do not expect quick results. It took months before Mr. Ingels was back to his best health. However, he says that the dietary change was well worth it, and he has never felt better.
Even if you do not have Lyme disease, the alkaline diet promotes better health by strengthening your immune system. Several studies have been made on its other medical benefits, which include:
- Preserving muscle mass in the elderly;
- Protecting against diabetes;
- Preventing chronic kidney disease;
- Improving cardiovascular health; and
- Decreasing the risk of fractures.
It must be emphasized that if you are currently on medications that affect the body’s levels of calcium, potassium, or any other mineral, it is recommended to speak with a doctor before attempting the alkaline diet.
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