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Health and wellbeing | 28.10.2014

Can an alkaline diet give you beautiful skin?

 

The alkaline diet is the latest health craze to hit Hollywood — Paleo is SO last year darling! Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Aniston and Naomi Watts have all sung its praises. Elle McPherson says she lost weight, had more energy and her skin was not as dry two weeks after embarking on an alkaline diet.

But while the celebs have jumped on the alkaline diet bandwagon, the alkaline diet is not a new concept.

Naturopaths have long prescribed an alkaline diet for optimal health.They say too many acid-forming foods create a breeding ground for disease, while a more alkaline diet makes for a stronger immune system, improved digestion and better skin tone.

The mainstream medical fraternity disputes the theory, saying its the kidneys and lungs that control the pH balance of our blood — not diet. They say the body remains in a slightly alkaline state all the time, regardless of what we eat.

However there is some evidence that a diet low in acid-producing foods, like meat and cheese, and high in fruit and veg, could help prevent kidney stones, keep bones and muscles strong, improve heart health and brain function and lower risk for cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Those who follow an alkaline diet say the proof is in the (sugar-free) pudding. Celebs like Elle report more vitality, more stable moods, clearer skin, weight loss around the belly and fewer sugar cravings.

Perhaps it's more to do with the fact that the types of foods prescribed on an alkaline diet are simply better for us, rather than their effect on the pH of our blood.

The alkaline diet theory

The alkaline diet theory goes that after digestion, all foods have either an acid or alkaline effect on the body. Based on the belief that a more acidic body creates a breeding ground for disease, the diet advocates an 80/20 ratio of alkaline to acid forming foods to create the optimum pH balance in the body.

The acronym 'pH' is short for 'potential to free hydrogen ions' and is a measure of how acid or alkaline any aqueous solution is. Applied to our health, it's basically a measure of how much oxygen is in our blood. The higher a liquid's pH, the more acidic and oxygen deprived it becomes, with fewer free hydrogen ions available; the lower its pH, the more free hydrogen ions it has.

pH scale

The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, and a pH of 7 is neutral. Anything with a pH below 7 is considered acidic; anything with a pH above 7 is alkaline.

Our blood is slightly alkaline, between 7.35 and 7.45. The stomach has a pH of 3.5, which is highly acidic so it can break down food.

 

How can an alkaline diet improve your skin?

Alkaline forming foods are naturally very high in the exact vitamins and minerals needed for good skin — antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C, E, and A, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.

EAT:

DRINK:

REDUCE:

It's hard to imagine NOT having beautiful clear, glowing skin on a diet like that!  Are you a fan of the alkaline diet, tell us why?


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Join the discussion

Phillipa WatkinsPhillipa Watkins says:

Nov 10, 2017 09:02am

I am so surprised that apple cider vinegar is alkaline - when lemon juice and vinegar are very acidic. What's the difference?!


MuktiMukti says:

Nov 13, 2017 05:37am

Lemon juice and ACV convert and alkalise to your body once consumed.

KeataKeata says:

Feb 29, 2016 04:36pm

I hate the word 'diet' and wouldn't advise anyone to be on one. However, it is important to live a lifestyle that promotes healthy eating. My family and I are vegan and eat whole, unprocessed foods. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

TeganTegan says:

Jan 04, 2016 05:46am

I think alkaline should be away of life, we need to step back and simply our lives clearing it from processed foods to begin our journey of achieving optimal health.

RachelleRachelle says:

Jul 24, 2015 10:11am

People often forget that what we put on our skin is just as important as what we put in our body. Whatever we put in can age us, or make acne worse, trigger any skin issue you might have. Health and beauty is inside out!


MuktiMukti says:

Jul 28, 2015 03:45pm

So true!

ClariseaClarisea says:

Mar 18, 2015 05:52pm

Now a days dite is also a very important factor of keeping your skin healthy, do a balace diet.

JaeliJaeli says:

Jan 18, 2015 07:37pm

Id love to go alkaline but I think it's also important as a young person to maintains good level of calcium for your bones. Cheese and milk is important? Osteoarthritis is not what I want to end up with. .I have terrible skin, will I still be alkaline if supplements are taken? Calcium for example? ???? Thanks

LauraLaura says:

Nov 06, 2014 11:54am

I have been getting really in tune with my own alkalinity. I have found green tea to be very helpful for alkalizing. I got the pH strips from the chemist so I can keep track of my acidity/alkalinity levels.

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