Navigating the aisles of a grocery store has become a kind of quasi-obstacle course, where processed sugars, trans-fats, and unpronounceable chemicals threaten to invade your shopping basket. But in a society where convenience is key, it can be challenging to decipher what foods are actually good for you. On top of that, there are so many different rules and diet regimens that you begin to wonder what’s best for your body.
Grocery shopping should not be intimidating. Food and drinks are meant to fuel our body and help it perform at its best. However, many of the ingredients in today’s fast foods and lunch box snacks are riddled with harmful, acidic ingredients that are inhibiting our body’s natural processes.
Acid-forming foods cause excess acid to build up in the body leading to acidosis. A good rule of thumb is to look primarily for fresh, local foods and pronounceable ingredients. Santevia has compiled a list of the best alkaline foods and best alkaline drinks that contribute to a healthy alkaline diet and achievable lifestyle.
Top Alkaline Drinks
Although we call it milk, you won’t find this delicious drink down the dairy aisle. But don’t bash it ’til you try it either. A healthier alternative to the traditional cow’s milk, almond milk has been a popular plant-based alternative since the Middle Ages. Almond milk contains most of the same benefits as super-food almonds, like vitamin E and riboflavin. But be careful when perusing the aisles because not all almond milks are created equal. Watch out for brands that are hiding a few tricks up their sleeves. Avoid brands that use sugar or artificial sweeteners and opt for a healthy, unsweetened variety.
The best part of this plant-based elixir? It’s now available at most of your favourite coffee shops. Swap out skim milk for almond milk to make your morning latte that much better.
While it may be true that you Shoulda’ had a V8, there may be some healthier ways to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables. Different varieties of juices can be found almost anywhere – from the checkout of the grocery store to the gas station to your favourite lunch spot. But once again, not all juices are created equal. When you have the option, choose the brand that packs the most vegetables into each serving. Avoid bottles that have any added sugar, sweeteners, and especially artificial sweeteners – the fruit and vegetables should pack enough of a punch to satisfy your cravings on their own.
Our best tip? Make your own juice at home; that way you can see exactly what’s going into it. For an even healthier alternative, try a vegetable smoothie to ensure you’re getting all that healthy fibre as well.
Before you head down the street to your local lemonade stand, hear us out first. While traditional lemonade is packed with sugar, an equally refreshing drink is alkaline water with lemon. Lemons are a great source of folate and potassium and an excellent source of Vitamin C. So grab a cold glass of mineralized water with a slice of lemon, and head outside to enjoy your healthy lemonade.
Say goodbye to artificially sweetened and acidic sports drinks and say hello to nature’s sports drink – coconut water. Packed with Vitamin C, riboflavin, calcium, and dietary fibre, this delicious drink will not only quench your thirst after a vigorous workout, but it will also keep your body nourished. Full of electrolytes and sodium, this drink is perfect for athletic recovery.
The taste may take a little getting used to, but your body will reap the benefits almost immediately. Watch out for brands that use sugar or artificial flavours to sweeten this tropical drink. Look for bottles with the shortest ingredient list so that you’re getting the least processed variety available.
Herbal tea does not need to be reserved for gloomy, winter days – it can be enjoyed all year long. With many different flavours to choose from, this delicious and alkaline drink can be enjoyed hot or iced. For extra health benefits, try a ginger tea or – even better – adding fresh sliced ginger to your hot water or tea. Ginger can be used to relieve digestive problems, nausea, loss of appetite and motion sickness. Several studies even suggest that increased consumption of ginger can decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Here at Santevia HQ, we are firm believers of saving the best for last, which is why we put mineralized, alkaline water at the end of our top alkaline drinks list. Mineralized water is the healthiest (and simplest) alkaline drink on the market! The Santevia pitcher filters out a host of contaminants including chlorine, aluminium, copper, and lead. Say goodbye to harmful heavy metals and disinfectants, and hello to pH-balanced water that will aid your body in maintaining a healthy pH.
Top Alkaline Foods
Popeye isn’t the only one who can enjoy spinach on a daily basis! Spinach is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, making it the most alkaline food on our list. It’s low in saturated fats and cholesterol and is an amazing source of niacin, dietary fibre, protein, and Vitamin A, C, E, and K. Not sold yet? It’s also high in Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. (All alkaline-forming minerals!) Studies show that spinach is a powerful antioxidant and aids in different types of cancer prevention.
To learn more about the benefits of adding this leafy super-food to your diet, check out this Health Ambition’s informative article.
Spinach can be a great addition to many recipes, including pasta, soups, and even smoothies! Below are some of our favourite ways to cook with spinach.
Sautéed Spinach: http://juliasalbum.com/2015/04/how-to-cook-fresh-spinach/
Reaping similar benefits to its other leafy counterpart, kale hosts a handful of amazing nutritional benefits – and it’s highly alkalizing. A mere cup of kale contains more than 200% of your Daily Value of Vitamin A, 130% of Vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of Vitamin K! No chance of anyone getting scurvy with this mighty vegetable in your diet. Packed with the enzyme sulforaphane, kale aids in keeping cancer and other illnesses at bay. Kale can also be added to soups, salads, smoothies, and - our favourite way to eat it – chips!
While cucumbers may not receive as much attention as their “super-food” friends, this widely cultivated vegetable offers a unique combination of vitamins and minerals that will help your body neutralize acidity and stay alkaline. Cucumbers are a great source of antioxidants: they contain phytonutrients such as cucurbitacins, lignans, and flavonoids. These phytonutrients also have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Not only are they packed with these amazing nutrients, but they’re also made up of mostly water – so there’s not need to be worried about dehydration. Our favourite way to eat these delicious gourds is to simply slice em’ and dip em’ in something nutritious like hummus or tzatziki, or add them to salads and sandwiches. You can even make cucumber chips!
Packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Potassium, broccoli is a wonderful addition to any meal. Broccoli also contains numerous other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts such as folate, manganese, and iron – which will all aid your body in neutralizing harmful acidity. An important property of broccoli, sulforaphane (also found in kale) has protective effects against various types of cancer. Beyond the aforementioned health benefits, broccoli has also been linked to improved eye health and lower cholesterol levels. We like to chop it up and eat it with hummus as a snack, but the possibilities are endless.
Roasted Vegetables: http://www.eatyourselfskinny.com/perfectly-roasted-broccoli-sweet-potatoes/
Avocados are a highly alkaline and nutritious fruit that host an array of health benefits. While it may get a bad rap for its fat content, it’s actually a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid which has been linked to reduced inflammation, heart disease, and cancer prevention. The list of health benefits doesn’t end there! This small fruit also contains a significant amount of folate which is vital for healthy cell function and tissue growth, vitamin K (which aids in bone health), potassium (which is an alkalizing essential mineral), copper (which aids in heart health), and much more! Avocados can be eaten with almost anything – our favourite way to start the day is with a slice multigrain toast topped with a whole avocado and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt. Below are a few other ways to enjoy this alkaline fruit.
Yes, it’s true that celery can be used for more than just a soup base and a topping for your weekend Caesar. The health benefits of celery begin with its high antioxidant properties and beneficial enzymes. It also hosts a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin B6. Our favourite part of celery though is its high water content and astronomical fibre content that boosts digestion and weight loss. One cup of celery is not only highly alkalizing, it’s also only 16 calories – so snack away! A nostalgic favourite is “Ants on a Log” which is simply celery, peanut butter, and raisins (and unlikely combo – but definitely delicious).
Although not as much research has been conducted on sprouts compared to other vegetables, they still host an array of different nutritional benefits. These little guys pack a punch of vitamins and minerals into a small little snack. Sprouts like alfalfa are high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron - which all contribute to neutralizing acidity and replenish your body’s mineral stores. Radish and sunflower sprouts contain chlorophyll (among other alkaline minerals), which has been linked to cancer prevention and DNA protection. We like to add sprouts to our sandwiches and as a topping to salads, but here are a few other ways to try them out.
Veggie Burgers: http://www.catchingseeds.com/california-burger/#_a5y_p=5357880
Now that you know what to look out for as you make your way down the aisles of the grocery store and what to do with these foods once you bring them home, it’s time to make an action plan. If you’re trying to help your body neutralize acidity and stay alkaline, you don’t need to cut out all acidic foods all at once. In fact, part of a healthy, alkaline lifestyle is maintaining balance. At Santevia, we like to follow an 80/20 Alkaline Diet rule; we do our best to consume 80% alkaline foods and only 20% acidic foods. Most of us don’t feel any pressure to cut out very many foods, because we can still enjoy our favourite snacks and treats in moderation. You don’t have to swear off your favourite Starbucks Holiday drink or occasional ice cream cone completely, but it is important to consume primarily fresh fruits and vegetables.
Our favourite way to ensure that we’re consuming enough alkaline minerals and aiding our body in acid neutralization? Keep alkaline water nearby at all times. In the office, this includes having a Gravity Water Systems in our lounge, an Alkaline Pitcher in the kitchen, and a Power Stick at our desks. The Santevia Power Stick will keep you alkalized and mineralized wherever you go – simply shake out the chlorine and shake in the alkalizing minerals.