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Diet Q&A: What It Means to Be Alkaline

An expert weighs in on why you should avoid certain foods at all costs if you want to live longer and feel better now.

When it comes down to it, an acidic body is not a healthy body. Being in an acidic state more often than a neutral one, you put yourself at greater risk for all kinds of disease, chronic illness, weight gain, and even shaving years off your life. Keeping your body balanced and functioning optimally depends almost completely on your diet. An alkaline diet can boost your energy, help you sleep better, slow down aging, protect against cancer, and keep your mind sharp. By eating a diet that consists primarily of alkaline foods, about 70–80%, you can drastically improve your quality of life. However, all this talk of pH and alkalinity can get confusing, so we consulted Kerry Bajaj, a certified health coach at Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City to get it straight.

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What does it mean for you body to be alkaline?
It means that the pH of your body is in a more alkaline rather than acidic state. The body is always trying to maintain equilibrium at a pH of 7.365, which is slightly alkaline.  

Why is this good?
If your body is in a very acidic state, it will seek balance, and may do so by drawing nutrients from the bones. When the body is in an alkaline state, you will be less prone to cellular damage and disease.

What kinds of foods can you eat to help restore balance?
Green juice, leafy greens, cucumber, lemons, melons, and chia seeds are some of the more alkaline-producing foods.

What kinds of foods should you avoid?
Processed sugar, dairy, conventional meat, and coffee are some of the most acid-producing foods.

Don't think that you're limited to a short list of unappetizing bites, either. Other alkaline foods include: figs, molasses, almonds, beets, dates, celery, cantaloupe, parsley, garlic, cayenne peppers, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, radishes, carrots, bananas, and tomatoes—the list goes on and on. Try your best to avoid processed foods, soda, and alcohol at all costs.

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