What is an alkaline diet? Often also referred to as the acid alkaline diet. The general idea behind this way of eating is that certain foods, when and how they are eaten, can have a major effect on your internal pH balance. Your internal pH balance plays a crucial role in determining your state of health, which ultimately may affect or contribute towards infertility or sub fertility.
The consensus among mainstream and alternative health practitioners, seems to be that an extreme acid condition; acidosis, could cause chronic health problems. Under very acid conditions the body will try and compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals, thus depleting the body of essential minerals in the process.
Many believe that due to the body’s design of certain organs, we should simply eliminate or get rid of excessive acid through our urine. Our kidneys, lungs, and skin, are designed to eliminate excess acid from the body. However, if food intake is generating a high amount of acid, this could strain your body’s coping mechanisms. The result could be a chronically acidic internal state, which in turn could contribute to chronic health issues. Another description of this state, is termed “inflammation”.
While good health is always essential, how does an alkaline diet benefit your infertility status The short answer is that the more acidic the body’s environment, the more difficult it is for the sperm and egg to penetrate and survive the journey up the Fallopian tube to the uterus. Sperm survival is dependant on a correct pH balance. In actual fact, slightly alkaline is better for sperm survival.
Sperm analysis provides essential information in regard to sperm health. Another important consideration for sperm health is detailed on vitamin e benefits. Women who are diagnosed with endometriosis, are often forced to follow a very healthy eating regime, as it seems to alleviate the severe symptoms experienced by this condition.
The pH scale
The body contains both acidic and alkaline conditions, and together, the pH balance is derived. It stands to reason then that too much acid is bad, but if the body is in a high alkaline state, this is also not ideal. Research suggests that acidity or alkalinity is determined by the hydrogen ions.
The term pH stands for “potential for hydrogen” This measures the number of hydrogen ions in a standard volume of liquid. The pH scale spans from 0 – extreme acidity to 14 – extremely alkaline. If a food or substance contains a pH of 7, this is considered neutral. If it falls on either side, then it is either too acidic or alkaline.
The ideal balance for the human body is slightly alkaline, with a measurement of about 7.35 or 7.45. An ideal fertility status!
What are Alkaline Diet Foods?
The typical American diet and possibly most Western World diets, is far to high in acid producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, with not enough alkaline producing foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Added to this, our diets also contain acid producing processed foods, like breads, pasta, white flour and sugars and acid forming drinks like coffee and soda drinks. Very popular for those trying to shed that extra weight, are artificial chemical sweeteners; deemed to be highly acid forming.
An alkaline diet food is food that makes the body more alkaline. Terms like – alkalizing food, or alkaline forming food, or alkaline producing food, may also be applied, generally with the same meaning. In order to maintain a good balance, it is suggested that 80% of your daily food intake should consist of alkaline forming foods, and 20% acid forming foods.
Alkaline diet foods provides a list of the more common foods, fruits and vegetables to help you when planning your meals.
Alkaline Diet guidelines:
“Alkaline” foods are found in most fruits and vegetables, peas, beans, spices and herbs, and seeds and nuts. Fruit is one of the most important foods to eat. It is essential to eat it at the right time. Fruit is designed to be quickly absorbed in the stomach and intestines and is an excellent source for pH balance. Always eat all fruit on an empty stomach. Eating fruit like this allows it to go straight through the stomach. It should not be held up by a meal that is being slowly digested. If fruit remains in the stomach on top of another meal, fermentation begins, causing an acidic reaction.
Another way of avoiding acidic forming conditions, is at what time of day and when fruit and raw vegetables like salads, are eaten. Fruit eaten first thing in the morning to “break the fast” is excellent, as well as during the morning before lunch and mid afternoon, before supper. Fruit should never be eaten late in the evening, especially after a big supper. Fruit juices have very high concentrates of fruit and should ideally be diluted with water, and sipped slowly, allowing saliva in the mouth an opportunity to begin the digestion process.
Fruit ingested in its natural form is of course best. The same should be applied to vegetables. Always eat salads during the day and not after 17h00 in the afternoon. Eat cooked foods and vegetables in the evenings as this is easier to digest before bedtime.
“Acid” foods include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, grains and legumes if eaten in large quantities. Most artificial sweeteners, and most medications, drugs and chemicals i.e. – Aspirin, Pesticides and Tobacco are included in this category.
Alkaline Diet food recommendations
There are some foods that are very beneficial to the alkaline diet guidelines, such as: lemons, watermelon and apple cider vinegar. A simple increase in eating fruits and vegetables, and cutting down on other food items, like meat and bread products, will show immediately in the body’s ph balance.
When changing your lifestyle to incorporate the alkaline diet way of eating, immediate results may be expected. However patience will be needed as it may take some time for your alkaline balance to be restored.
The expected time frame for any health benefit to be realized, is generally 2 to 3 months. Many give up, as they get impatient after a week or two when no results are forthcoming. Only conventional medication shows quick results. Going the natural health route will take longer to build up the bodies immune system and restore the correct pH balance. Conception may take you by surprise in the 4th or following months…
Infertility medical conditions
Your doctor may have performed all the infertility tests required for both you and your partner and finding no physical medical condition may have diagnosed “unexplained infertility”. Under these conditions there are still many options to consider. Assisted-reproductive-technology (ART) and other technical medical treatments like In vitro fertilization (IVF) arebeing used more and more to treat infertility. These treatments are preceded by certain types of drugs necessary to enhance the success of the treatment. While infertility medications cannot be avoided, they will almost certainly upset the body’s pH acidic and alkaline levels. Therefore even when using the technology route, following the alkaline diet foods recommendations will enhance and assist these treatments.