It’s no secret I openly scoff at trends. Maybe it’s because I mostly shop at TjMaxx and Marshalls so I am always a season or two behind. Alkaline, Anti inflammatory and Fermented Foods have become somewhat of a health food trend popping up in magazines, from celebrities and from faint whispers in the back of your yoga class. A trend it is not. These foods have been around for hundred of years in cultures all over the world.
What is alkaline?
Alkaline is a term related to the PH scale. The Ph scale measures how acidic or base a substance is. Acidic meaning acidic and base meaning alkaline.
Why should I care about my PH?
Your body’s most optimal and healthy blood PH should sit somewhere between 7.35 and 7.45. I do want to note that your urine PH and your blood PH are different and come from different bodily regulated systems. PH strips can test saliva and urine but testing your blood PH will require a blood test over a course of time.
Alkaline forming foods- Foods that can be acidic in their natural state, like lemons or apples, but produce an alkaline reaction once they are in your body. What other foods are alkaline forming?
To learn more about the comprehensive specifics surrounding body PH and how it relates to different areas of our body check out this article that breaks everything down for you. You can never stop learning about this stuff…or you can just read the highlights in my articles.
You’ve probably already been eating fermented foods.
If you’ve eaten yogurt as a child or an adult guess what you have been eating fermented foods. See how not a trend this is.
Fermented Foods- Foods that produce helpful bacteria or cultures good for your gut. Some of these can be acidic such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, or kim chi but are still great for your system. An alkaline diet is about balance so the 80/20 rule applies. Don’t go alkaline crazy.
Why should I care about Anti- inflammatory foods?
Anti-inflammatory foods are very important in your diet and the overall health of your immune system. Cultures around the world eat these on a regular basis as part of their day to day meals because of the health benefits.
Anti-inflammatory foods- Foods that reduce inflammation and help your body naturally balance out for optimal health. Inflammation can be caused from exceed bad bacteria in the body, stress, hormonal imbalance, immune system disorders/diseases and a number of environmental factors.
Where did all our food trends come from?
- Tofu – An alkalizing food that contains all 8 amino acids. I’m personally not a fan of soy based on how the U.S has bastardized it but Japanese/Chinese soy all the way.
- Seaweed- Alkalizing and a super nutrient dense food.
- Alkaline water- The rest of the world filters and treats their water differently from how the US does. In Japan regular tap water is alkaline and sadly the US tends to be super acidic. Head over to any health food store and I’m sure you’ll notice at least ten different alkaline water brands now on the shelf. I actually used to work for an alkaline water company long before alkaline grabbed trend status in the U.S.
- Fermented vegetables- Miso is great for your immune system and skin health. Tempeh helps in lowering cholesterol as well as increasing bone density.
- Tumeric- Native to India and while prevalent in its culinary dishes, it is also linked to India’s almost non-existent rate of Dementia and Alzheimers. Tumeric is a miracle root which also acts as an inflammatory.
- Tons of Veggies- See a pattern here?
- Ghee Glorious ghee- Ghee or clarified butter is an anti-inflammatory and good for your digestion. If you’ve never tried ghee honestly just throw out your crappy organic butter and move on over to ghee because it’s so damn buttery it will change your life.
- Fermented foods- A Chinese diet is loaded with alkaline vegetables and fermented foods. The Chinese have always valued their diet and how foods can affect ones overall health and wellness using foods’ hot and cold, yin and yang properties.
- Kim Chi- A fermented food loaded with lactobacilli, the healthy bacteria that is great for your gut. An old NYC roommate of mine was from South Korea and made her own KimChi. The process was stinky but I have no doubt her poop was perfect.
- More fermented veggies- Pickled radish, cabbage, cucumber etc. It’s all about the fermented veggies folks.
- Veggies and Fish- Indigenous cultures from all over the world followed diets consisting almost wholly of vegetables and fish. They have been fermenting foods and using alkalizing solutions for centuries before colonization had an adverse effect on their diets.
Thanks to the cultures from all around the world and our newer quest for healthy living, Alkaline, anti inflammatory and fermented foods are now a part of our conversation when it comes to health. Don’t worry about stocking your shelves with kimchi and tempeh if it’s not in your flavor profile. Keeping a diet rich in veggies is the way to go.
I would also like to give a shout out to homeostasis. Homeostasis is basically your body’s ability to maintain a stable working condition even when outside factors, in this case food, come into play and try to disrupt your system. Does this completely discount eating healthy and all that good alkaline stuff I just told you about? No, guys come on, but it does give you more knowledge that the magical body you live in is full of science; it’s always working for you to rebalance you for optimal survival.
Give your body a break and shove some alkaline, anti inflammatory and fermented foods in your mouth every now and then. Your health deserves it!