Potassium: The Forgotten Alkali.
By Ian Blair Hamilton
What is it? It’s the 3rd most common element in our body.
It is one of the seven essential macro minerals, along with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, and sulfur.
We require at least 100 milligrams of it daily to support key bodily processes.
Without it.. we simply don’t function.
Few people make any sort of decision to include it in their diet. 98 out of a hundred people lack the right level of it.
Potassium is an incredibly important electrolyte. We get it in many healthy foods including leafy vegetables, legumes and fish, such as salmon.
Almost all of it resides within our cells. 80% of it is in our muscle cells, and 20% in our bones, liver and red blood cells. From our point of view as one of the Big 4 alkalis, it’s no less important than magnesium, calcium or sodium because the body will ‘harvest’ ANY alkali it can find to counteract our slowly deadly acid tide we create every day of our modern lives.
So it has more than one function. It’s a player in the anti-acid battle, and it also is involved in managing muscle operation, heart function and, along with sodium, water balance (4, 5).
If you have enough potassium, you’ll have a lower risk of high blood pressure, kidney stones and osteoporosis, plus many other benefits (8, 9, 10).
In many countries, a Western diet is blamed. It’s the easy answer. Just blame it on McDonalds, KFC, Taco Bell.. anyone but ourselves! This rationale says that because we eat too much processed foods, we are automatically and unconsciously depriving ourselves of potassium’s benefits (11).
I’m making a lot of noise about it.. so why can’t we identify any trend or malaise directly attributable to a lack of potassium?
Because not having enough doesn’t mean what you have isn’t still helping.
A real life potassium deficiency, (AKA hypokalemia), is characterized by a blood level of potassium less than 3.5 mmol per liter (12).
Now here’s the thing that may be hard to accept, given what I’ve already said.
Deficiencies are rarely caused by a lack of potassium in the diet (13).
They usually occur when for some reason, we lose too much potassium. If we have a bout of diarrhea or vomiting, out goes the potassium. We may also lose potassium if we take diuretics, (medications that cause your body to lose water (14, 15)).
Symptoms depend on your blood levels.
Big 3 symptoms of deficiency (12):
Mild: When a person has blood levels of 3–3.5 mmol/l. Usually no symptoms.
Moderate: at 2.5–3 mmol/l. Symptoms may include cramping, muscle pain, weakness and discomfort.
Severe: at less than 2.5 mmol/l. Symptoms include irregular heartbeat and paralysis.
Now we understand the problem. What about the solution?
Best Dietary Sources of Potassium
The best way to increase your potassium intake is through diet.
Water – no matter how much you spend on that flash new electronic water ionizer – won’t do it. Potassium is seldom found in any valuable levels in our drinking water, so even if you pay $5000 for a water ionizer, it won’t fully alkalize because it has nothing in the water to give you. An electronic water ionizer only concentrates the alkaline minerals already in the water, so in that sense it does not alkalize.
Let’s get back to DIET and see whether we have enough already.
Potassium is available in a variety of whole foods, but especially fruits and vegetables.
Crazy as it may seem, everyone knows we need it, but no-one agrees on a standard ‘Recommended (or ‘Referenced’) Daily Intake’.
An RDI is the daily amount of a nutrient likely to meet the needs for 97–98% of healthy people (16). And amazingly, we don’t actually have one for Potassium!
Here are some excellent sources of potassium, andl as how much they contain in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving (17):
Beet greens, cooked: 909 mg
Yams, baked: 670 mg
White potatoes, baked: 544 mg
Soybeans, cooked: 539 mg
Avocado: 485 mg
Sweet potato, baked: 475 mg
Spinach, cooked: 466 mg
Edamame (soy) beans: 436 mg
Salmon, cooked: 414 mg
Bananas: 358 mg
Now.. I’ve been around the block a few times about diet, and I have observed that for most of us mere mortals, unless we can really, clearly see a reason, we won’t change our diet. Perversely, the only way to get some people to change diet is to scare the willickers out of them. I’m not going to do that because you may well have survived at some level of health without optimal levels of potassium, and so you probably wouldn’t believe me.
(Erica, our naturopath shared men’s favourite website for any and all health concerns. www.whenwilliewontwork.com)
My Dad once said “I am an expert at giving up smoking. I’ve done it dozens of times.” He obviously didn’t believe it could kill him. And I think generally speaking it’s fair to say that we prefer to ignore than advance plan our health. Even the bleeding obvious like smoking.
Health Benefits of Potassium
A good potassium-rich diet has some impressive health benefits. But as I discussed, many people will only start taking notice when they are sick. So let’s look at what a maintained level of adequate potassium can help.
Studies have shown:
High blood pressure:
Potassium-rich diets can lower blood pressure, especially for people with high blood pressure (8, 18, 19).
People with this condition experience a 10% increase in blood pressure after eating salt. A potassium-rich diet may eliminate salt sensitivity (20, 21).
Osteoporosis: (The Western ‘plague’)
A potassium-rich diet may help prevent osteoporosis, a condition associated with porous bones (9, 26, 27, 28).
Potassium-rich diets are associated with a significantly lower risk of kidney stones than diets low in this mineral (10, 29).
How Much Should You Aim to Consume Per Day?
Your daily needs depend on a variety of factors, including your personal health, activity level and ethnicity.
Although there isn’t an RDI for potassium, organizations around the world (World Health Organization (WHO), and countries including the UK, Spain, Mexico and Belgium) have recommended consuming at least 3,500 mg per day through food (6, 30).
Other countries, including the US, Canada, South Korea and Bulgaria, recommend consuming even more: at least 4,700 mg per day through food (7).
Here in Australia, the RDI is 2.8g for women, 3.5 for men.
Although evidence points to the fact that when people consume more than 4,700 mg per day, there appear to be little or no extra health benefits (7, 23). However… there are several groups of people who may benefit more than others from meeting the higher recommendation. These include:
Athletes: If you partake in long and intense exercise you may lose a significant amount of potassium through sweat (15).
African Americans: It has been found that consuming 4,700 mg of potassium daily can eliminate salt-sensitivity, a condition more common among people of African American descent (20).
High-risk groups: People at risk of high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteoporosis or stroke may benefit from consuming at least 4,700 mg of potassium per day (10, 18, 22, 26).
I aim to consume 3,500–4,700 mg of this mineral per day from foods. I suggest that people who need more potassium should aim towards the higher end.
What about Supplements?
Surprisingly, potassium supplements are usually not great sources of this mineral.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limits over-the-counter potassium supplements to less than 100 mg per serving — which is only 2% of the US daily recommendation (31).
This formulation is the result of a very careful FDA who are concerned that the amount in over-the-counter supplements should be restricted due to the risks of overdosing. So.. let’s get this thinking in perspective. We are stopping potassium being available in a simple daily optimal dose because we don’t trust you to not overdose.
It’s true that too much potassium can build up in the blood, which is known as hyperkalemia. In some cases, this may cause an irregular heartbeat, called cardiac arrhythmia, which can be fatal (32, 33).
It’s also been discovered that potassium supplements that provide high doses may damage the lining of the gut (34, 35).
However, the reality still applies: people who are deficient or at risk of deficiency may require a high-dose potassium supplement. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe a higher-dose supplement and monitor you for any reactions. The range we look for in a supplement here in Australia is 3-8 grams per day.
How Much Is Too Much?
For a healthy adult, there is no significant evidence that potassium from foods can cause hyperkalemia (16).
For this reason, potassium from foods does not have a tolerable upper intake level. This is the most a healthy adult can consume in a day without adverse effects (6). Put another way, you can’t eat enough food to overdose on potassium.
There is another advantage to getting it in foods. It’s absorption ability. Good healthy food is a ‘package deal’. You get all sort of goodies that assist each other to maximum effect. In the case of potassium, foods may help absorption with such things as selenium, zinc, molybdenum and chromium.
Hyperkalemia generally affects people with poor kidney function. This is because excess potassium is mainly removed by the kidneys. Poor kidney function may result in a buildup of this mineral in the blood (36). I would suggest you ask your doctor for his opinion on your potassium levels.
A proviso: poor kidney function isn’t the only cause of hyperkalemia. Taking too many potassium supplements may also cause it (33, 37, 38).
The problem lies in the ease of taking supplements. Taking too many at once may overwhelm the kidneys’ ability to remove excess potassium (39).
Additionally, there are several groups of people who may need less of this mineral than others, including:
People with chronic kidney disease: This disease increases the risk of hyperkalemia. People with chronic kidney disease should ask their doctor how much potassium is right for them (40, 41).
Those taking blood pressure medications: Some blood pressure medications, such as ACE inhibitors, may increase the risk of hyperkalemia. People taking these medications may need to watch their potassium intake (42, 43).
Elderly people: As people age, their kidney function declines. Elderly people are also more likely to take medications that affect the risk of hyperkalemia (44, 45).
Summarizing, it is difficult for a healthy adult to overdose on potassium from foods. However, people with kidney problems, as well as the elderly and those who take medications for blood pressure, may need less potassium.
How do I get mine?
Well, I take a level teaspoon of our own sports supplement, which has been formulated by our in-house naturopath to give us an idea and synergistic daily top-up of the ‘Big Four’ Alkalis: Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium. As we discussed earlier, taking a supplement of any form can be greatly enhanced if, at the same time, you get synergistic other elelments that give better net uptake. In our case, our formulation includes trace elements Zinc, Chromium, Selenium and Molybdenum, all ‘Potassium suporters’.
All the above in a ‘takeaway statement’.
Potassium is an essential mineral and electrolyte that’s involved in heart function, muscle contraction and water balance. A high intake may help reduce high blood pressure, salt sensitivity and the risk of stroke. Additionally, it may protect against osteoporosis and kidney stones.
Despite its importance, very few people around the world get enough potassium. A healthy adult who cares enough can aim to consume 3,500–4,700 mg daily.
The humble banana has been the subject of some controversy about its alkalizing properties.
Alkaline Diet aficionados added it to their alkaline foods list because it contains a small amount of potassium. The controversy surrounds the fact that it also contains a massive dose of fructose – the nasty sugar that acidifies as badly as any other food. So the net effect may be to acidify.
In our own studies of the foods often classified as ‘alkaline’ we have seen that many recommended foods have the same dilemma. They really aren’t great sources of alkaline minerals, and a simple alkaline supplement of the ‘Big 4’ alkaline minerals is still the easiest way to maintain our alkaline buffers.
So why do these foods help us?
Well, our research has shown that in most cases there are many other ingredients which, although not specifically alkaline, have the potential to affect our health dramatically. We posted recently on the anticancer ability of broccoli sprouts, incredibly rich in sulforaphane, a very powerful cancer fighter.
Now we discover that although the humble ‘nana’ may be low in alkaline minerals, it has its own secret weapon.
Riper is better
It seems that the riper the banana, the better anti-cancer qualities it possesses. When fruit is at its peak ripe stage, it contains the highest concentration of vitamins, minerals and crucial cancer-fighting phytonutrients. When fruits are fully ripe they also contain all of the necessary enzymes for helping digestion.
Japanese researchers have now shown that ripe bananas fight cancer.
The dark spots on ripe yellow bananas signal that your banana contains high levels of a substance called Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF), which has the ability to destroy cancerous tumors. Now I’m allowing our bananas to sit on our kitchen windowsill until fully ripe. With higher antioxidant levels, (better immune-strengthening effects), and a higher white blood cell count, it’s a taste win-win!
And get this! Yellow-skinned bananas with dark spots were found to be 8 times more effective at enhancing the cancer-fighting properties of white blood cells than their green-skinned counterparts.
TNF-α is a cytokine (cell-signalling protein), that works in prevention of systemic inflammation. It’s produced chiefly by macrophages (a type of white blood cell that digests foreign substances and dead cells). Its primary role is in the regulation of immune cells, and directing cell movement toward inflammation and infection sites in the body. It helps prevent the growth and spread of tumour cells and triggers apoptosis (cell death).
The Japanese studies revealed have found that the levels of TNF-α increased significantly with dark spots on the skin, before the entire banana peel turned brown.
How strong is it?
The study found that the activity of dark-spotted bananas was comparable to that of Lentinan, a chemical immunostimulant intravenously administered as an anti-cancer agent to stimulate white blood cell production. One ripe banana a day (or more!) might just keep the cancer away…
Our normal blood pH of the body is 7.35 and this will be maintained at all costs.
If it falls, the body will take bicarbonate from the blood stream, or calcium from the bones and teeth to compensate.
If this goes on long enough, your teeth and bones will turn to mush. Before ‘mushing’, bones become brittle and break easily.
This is usually a sure sign of osteoporosis, as I discovered when I fell off my son’s electric skateboard and broke my leg. You may also begin losing tooth enamel.. or you’ll simply lose your teeth or enrich your dentist with a mouthful of crowns. Again, I know. My dentures attest to the power of a daily guzzle of CocaCola as a high school kid. I was the Coke guzzling champion!
And of course, many scientists assert that diseases like cancer, bacterial infections and yeasts are related to an acidic body.
There are hundreds if not thousands of websites talking about pH balance now. When we introduced the concept to Australia in 2000 the word ‘alkaline’ just wasn’t seen. Now it’s the choice of much-publicised celebs, and the vast majority of these websites basically agree with or copy each other, saying that excess acidity causes yeast infections and that the simple answer is a high alkaline diet.
Is it that easy? Well.. not exactly. Certainly our immune system performs best in an alkaline environment. And in this environment, beneficial flora are happier.
But this is not the full answer.
We now know that the connection between candida albicans and an alkaline body is not as clear as we had hoped. Candida flourishes in an acidic environment as low as pH 2, but it also exists happily in a body pH of 8- healthily alkaline.
Yes, our body does prefer being slightly alkaline. It’s default 7.35 is enforced with some quite strong support systems. Getting a higher pH therefore, is virtually impossible. We can therefore say that Candida survives in any pH the blood is capable of.
Meat, dairy and grains are on the acidic side. Most Fruits and vegetables test alkaline. Almost every website will advise you to follow the 80/20 rule of ingesting 80% alkaline forming foods, and 20% acid forming foods.
Meat inevitably gets a bad rap – often because the website owner is a vegetarian, But meat has an offsetting effect that no one seems to want to mention.
Meat protein stimulates the release of the hormone insulin. (Growth factor or IGF-1). Increasing IGF-1 triggers bone growth and mineralization – so there’s an incredibly important role for meat if you agree that a major purpose of the alkaline diet is maintenance of our bones and teeth. As a long term vegetarian, when I fell off the skateboard i was forced to accept the unpalatable observation that 12 years of alkaline diet had NOT given me strong bones. I was forced to take a broader view and make changes. I cut out all sugar, reduced carbs as much as I possibly could, and made the huge decision to eat grassfed beef for its unparalled array of amino acids and its Vitamin K2. I reduced fructose laden fruits and kept up the dark leafy greens. As a result, my annual Dexascan showed me my bone strength was improving.
I understand many people will want to disagree with this, and I honour their ethical standpoint, but I have researched this for over 3 years, and I believe that early man was vegetarian by necessity with meat as a luxury. The paleo man carved up the bison he had killed and the tribe converged, seeking the fat and organs before the meat. They knew innately that this was the best the bison could contribute to their survival odds.
Since grains have entered the scene they have (for the most part) displaced vegetables. The result is obvious. Most of us now tend to eat an acidic diet.
Today, grains these days account for about 38% of Americans diets. So our acid loading has dramatically changed post grain-era.
It’s my opinion that ethics aside, when eating to combat candida, meat ‘s ability to stimulate the release of the hormone insulin and IGF-1 means it has a place in serious health endeavors.
Dr Robert O Young once wrote an article on the amount of Kale one should eat a day to achieve pH balance. I nearly fell over when I saw the mountain of kale I’d be buying weekly!
Grains, however are still the big nasty – especially wheat, which contains sulphuric acid. Yes, Battery acid.
No, bread isn’t going to burn you like battery acid. Wheat contains diluted amounts, but there is no escape from the truth that if you eat it, consuming green vegetables will go some way to offsetting the acidity.
If you are thinking of switching to oat bread, be aware that oats have even more sulphuric acid than wheat!
Way back in 2000, Dr. Linda Frassetto, Todd, Morris and Sebastian published a study on the worldwide incidence of hip fractures in elderly women. The conclusion still holds true.
With a 50/50 meat to vegetable intake of 1:1 the incidence of hip fractures was 200 out of 100,000.
In women that ate a vegetable to meat ratio between 2:1 and 5:1, hip fractures were less than 10 out of
If Dr Frasetto and her team had performed this study using the SAD (Standard American Diet 1/3 meat, 1/3 grains and 1/3 vegetables) the results would have been even worse.
Our easy access to grains via our modern food system, and our reduced vegetable consumption has resulted in 53% of women with a fractured hip by age 50. Men? 21%.
If you cast back in your memory, you’ll most likely remember a family member that died shortly after suffering hip fracture.
This is a TERRIBLE statistic.
One Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study of over 9400 women discovered that bone density starts decline in women at 25 and men at 40. At age 40 the women are zooming ahead. At age 70, both sexes begin an acceleration of bone loss. By age 80, 97% of women have osteoporosis.
It’s not just wheat.
Many grains cause blood sugar level spikes. Sugar, of course, causes our body to move from ketosis (fat burning) to glycation, where sugar becomes the fast fuel, the supercharged alternative to the traditional source of energy. That’s why we call it a ‘sugar high’.
Glycation is the result of the bonding of a protein or lipid molecule with a sugar molecule. Our cartilege is an early casualty because it is very susceptible to glycation.
Cartilege cells simply lose fexibility.
We know it as Arthritis. Perhaps it should be called ‘Grainitis’.
Go here to access a simple way to alkalize without filling your shopping cart with kale.
In my opinion, the perfect alkaline diet or for that matter the
best diet to follow, would be one consisting of 30 to 40% meat
and the rest fruits and vegetables. Ditch the grains, especially
New UK research shows that doubling the daily recommended amount of vegetable produce from 5 to 10 servings a day has significant health benefits.
Was eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day challenging?
It’s going to look easy in comparison to the latest s from the world’s nutritional experts.
Researchers are now suggesting that doubling the current recommended amount – upping your daily intake to ten servings – could significantly reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke, and prevent 7.8 million premature deaths annually.
Scientists at Imperial College London analyzed nutritional data from 95 different studies of 2,000,000 participants. They looked at 43,000 cases of heart disease, 47,000 cases of stroke, 81,000 cases of cardiovascular disease, 112,000 cancer cases and 94,000 deaths, and published the results in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Ian: Now THIS is what I call a study!
Not surprisingly, they found that the more vegetables and fruits a person eats, the healthier they become.
“Eating up to 800g [approximately 1.5 lbs] of fruit and vegetables – equivalent to 10 portions and double the recommended amount in the UK – was associated with a 24% reduced risk of heart disease, a 33% reduced risk of stroke, a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13% reduced risk of total cancer, and a 31% reduction in premature deaths.”
A ‘portion’ is roughly equivalent to a banana, a pear, an apple, a large mandarin orange, or 3 heaping tablespoons of cooked vegetables, such as spinach, peas, broccoli, or cauliflower.
Now imagine multiplying those items by 10 each day. It would mean a whole lot more vegetable- and fruit-eating than is currently being done by most individuals. Fewer than one in three UK residents is thought to reach the official target of five portions per day.
Raw or Cooked?
Researchers reported no difference between raw and cooked produce, although certain vegetables and fruits appear to reduce risk of specific diseases:
To prevent heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and early death,
eat apples and pears, citrus fruits, salads and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and chicory, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
To combat cancer risk,
eat green vegetables, such as spinach or green beans, yellow vegetables, such as peppers and carrots, and cruciferous vegetables. The latter contain glucosinolates, which activate enzymes that could prevent cancer.
Lead author Dr. Dagfinn Aune advises eating whole vegetables and fruits, which are also beneficial for gut health:
“Most likely it is the whole package of beneficial nutrients you obtain by eating fruits and vegetables that is crucial is health. This is why it is important to eat whole plant foods to get the benefit, instead of taking antioxidant or vitamin supplements (which have not been shown to reduce disease risk).”
Ian: This relates to what we’ve been saying about the alkaline level of a food. It’s just part of the picture!
Increasing one’s intake of fruits and vegetables for health reasons also reduces our environmental impact. When meals are rounded out with vegetables, it often translates to less meat and dairy on the plate. Focusing on vegetable-centric eating is something that many people are trying to do as a climate change mitigation strategy. A win-win situation for all.
As you know, we are BIG on the benefits of alkaline water. recently we have been focusing on molecular hydrogen, which is infused into our UltraStream water as a result of a reaction between the purified water in the UltraStream and a special form of magnesium.
But alkaline water – especially magnesium-rich alkaline water, still has real benefits, especially considering the simple fact that vast regions of the world are deficient in magnesium. A recent Israeli report even blamed rising cardio vascular deaths on drinking reverse osmosis water and magnesium deficient soil!
So yes, our UltraStream water does contain magnesium and molecular hydrogen, but if you don’t have an UltraStream here’s a Do-It-Yourself tip for making a magnesium supplement equal to any on your health food store shelves.
Here’s how to easily and cheaply make magnesium rich alkaline water with a simple recipe. It really couldn’t be simpler.
What Do I Need?
You’ll need 2 litre bottle of carbonated water, and a bottle of plain Milk of Magnesia. This will make a concentrate- you need only add 2 Tablespoons (one ounce) per gallon of drinking water. It’s enough to treat over 135 litres of water!
How Does It Work?
The plain Milk of Magnesia (or magnesium hydroxide) is normally sold as a laxative, because the body isn’t able to effectively break the bond between the magnesium and hydroxide atoms. Because the body can’t break it down, the magnesium is not absorbed. This triggers a quick exit, which is why it’s such an effective laxative.
But don’t worry. This recipe causes a simple chemical reaction, which creates a highly absorbent form of magnesium. The carbon infused in the water (carbonated!) bonds with the magnesium, and creates magnesium bicarbonate. Remember chemistry class?
Mg(OH)2 + 2CO2 —> Mg(HCO3)2
Is This A Good Magnesium Supplement?
We use magnesium bicarbonate in our alkaline drops. Magnesium bicarb is absorbed at around a 50% rate, and in studies has raised blood levels of magnesium on par with IV infusions. If you compare it to tablet forms, liquid form is much more desirable for absorption.
How Much Magnesium Do You get?
By our reckoning, each 250ml (8oz) glass of alkaline water (using just 1 oz per gallon of the concentrate below) yields about 5 mg of magnesium and about 2.5 mg of bicarbonate. The Linus Pauling Institute supports the latest RDA for magnesium intake (400-420 mg/day for men and 310-320 mg/day for women) so you’re not going to overdose.
Keep it labeled and in the fridge, and you can add it to a container of drinking water in the fridge each morning, so the whole family can reap the benefits.
No, it won’t give you molecular hydrogen and yes, you will still be better off with your own Ultrastream!
Thanks to Gwen’s blog for this. Here’s her page where you can download the recipe.
Let’s talk about high blood pressure..and why chronic dehydration is seen by many experts the root of high blood pressure.
What is the common why to treat high blood pressure? Medication! For many people it does help drop their blood. But WHY do we have HBP? Have we addressed the root of the problem (chronic dehydration) or only masked it?
Over time there’s a high possibility that side effects of blood pressure medication may affect other organs.
People with high blood pressure on any form of blood pressure medication need to understand how dangerous high blood pressure is and what it will do to your body over time.
You don’t need to be a doctor to find out the root of your problem. It’s water. Or rather, the lack of it. To take it a little further. GOOD water.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and blood Institute high blood pressure (HBP) can lead to coronary heart disease,heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and more health problems.
“Blood pressure” is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.
If you are a victim of this, you’re in a very big club. About 1 in 3 adults in the United States has HBP. The condition itself has few signs or symptoms. You may have it for years without knowing it. During this time HBP my be quietly degenerating your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of your body.
Blood pressure doesn’t stay the same all the time. It lowers as you sleep and rises when you wake up. Blood pressure also rises when you’re excited, nervous, or active. If your numbers stay above normal most of the time, you may be at risk. Risk grows as blood pressure numbers rise. “Prehypertension” means you may end up with HBP.
If you’re being treated for HBP and have repeat readings in the normal range, your blood pressure is under control, but you still have the condition. You should see your doctor and follow your treatment plan to keep your blood pressure under control.
Blood pressure tends to rise with age. Following a healthy lifestyle helps some people delay or prevent this rise in blood pressure.
People who have HBP can take steps to control it and reduce their risk for related health problems. Key steps include following a healthy lifestyle, having ongoing medical care, and following your treatment plan.
But.. we mentioned water. What does that have to do with it?
CAN INSUFFICIENT WATER CAUSE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?
Absolutely. Think of cooking Porridge.
You have ample water in the pot. Once the oatmeal is cooked, you can turn the pot upside down and the oatmeal will run out of the pot. Why? Because gravity is strong enough to pull the oatmeal from the pot.
Put too little water in the pot when cooking the oatmeal, the oatmeal will not run out of the pot when you turn it upside down.
Why? Because gravity is not strong enough to pull the thick oatmeal from the pot.
This is what happens when you don’t drink enough water and end up dehydrated. When you don’t drink enough water, you don’t have enough water in your blood – causing your blood to become too thick.
When the heart squeezes and pushes the thick blood up into the aorta, the blood has to fall down out of the aorta where the aorta bends. This is the equivalent of turning the pot of oatmeal upside down.
There is an intrinsic link between chronic hypertension, renal (kidney) failure, dehydration and a deficiency of alkjaline minerals. The real irony is that pharmaceutical medications to treat high blood pressure may further exacerbate dehydration and mineral loss in the body, which contributes to and in many cases causes renal dysfunction and sets up pictures for heart disease and congestive heart failure.
Water and alkaline electrolytes are absolutely two of the most critical components of normal, physiological function. Without a correct balance of fluid and electrolytes, the cells of our body lack the essential electrical conductivity necessary for cellular energy production. When fluid retention (A.K.A. oedema) accompanies hypertension, it is a primary indicator of intracellular fluid loss, and an accumulation of extracellular tissue fluids.
Oedema has very damaging effects upon cellular function because it damages and impedes the electronegative colloidal properties of body fluids.
Blood pressure medications, such as thiazide are diuretics. Diuretics deplete the body of alkaline potassium and magnesium, two critical electrolytes which maintain normal blood pressure and cellular function.
So what can you do?
1. Ensure you drink sufficient water.
2. Ensure you are getting sufficient alkaline electrolytes.
There is growing evidence that molecular hydrogen, the smallest, most common element in the world may assist blood pressure problems. This study is one of over 700 studies into the effects of H2, covering over 150 disease conditions.
Metabolic Acidosis: The Modern Scourge Escalating Digestive Disorders
Digestive disorders are now considered rampant and new evidence is pointing to the rise in metabolic acidosis, the new ‘disease of civilisation’, as the cause.
by Toni Crisp (Nut Med) B Arts (Journalism)
Metabolic acidosis is a condition in which the body produces too much acid or when the kidneys cannot remove or neutralise acids in the body.
Scientists have found that low grade chronic metabolic acidosis is common but often goes undetected because it most often occurs despite normal blood pH and bicarbonate levels.
All of us will experience some level of metabolic acidosis at some time however there remains a surprising key nutrient intervention that may resolve this disease: pancreatin.
Authors of a 2014 review article published in Journal of the Pancreas suggest our modern lifestyle contains many factors that are shifting the body’s internal environment from slightly alkaline to acidic, causing metabolic acidosis. We are eating more processed foods that are devoid of enzymes, bicarbonate, vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc; more acidic foods such as red meat, sugars, and white flours and rice; and we are over-consuming acid-producing alcohol, chemicals and medications.
The two organs affected by this lowered pH are the liver and pancreas which produce alkaline bile and pancreatic juice respectively. Normal exocrine pancreatic function in particular is considered the core of proper digestion.
The pancreas takes bicarbonate ions from the blood to produce pancreatic juice which is then released into the duodenum. The alkalinity of pancreatic juice, when released into the duodenum, takes the pH up to a level where the digestive enzymes are most active. An acidic duodenum inactivates pancreatic enzymes, and in fact, pancreatic lipase stops working altogether at a duodenal pH of less than 4.5. Digestion then becomes compromised.
The result for clients is that improperly digested foods will accumulate in the small intestine where they are fermented by bacteria and yeast, causing gas and bloating. The undigested food has only two ways to go. Moving up can cause fullness, heartburn, nausea, gas, bloating and cramps. Moving down causes flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation and lower abdominal pain.
A decreased pH also reduces the antibacterial activity of pancreatic juice, which in turn, can be the cause of small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO is responsible for many symptoms including indigestion and abdominal pain.
Other research has found a link between coeliac disease and impaired pancreatic function that occurs in a vicious cycle. Deficiencies of amino acids occur as a result of altered small intestinal amino acid uptake, leading to reduced precursors for pancreatic enzyme synthesis. Reduced numbers of pancreatic enzymes lead to compromised protein digestion and absorption.
Ian: A good summary of the increase of acidosis in everyone.
If you’d like to investigate your own condition, a pH test kit may be a good idea.
Reverse Osmosis water killing people? Yes.
There’s a whole industry profiting from our concept of ‘pure’ water.
And yet, we’ve never had ‘pure water’ in our whole history except, perhaps when we opened our mouths in a rain storm.
Pure water is NOT natural, and this report really shows its effect.
A new Israeli report states reverse osmosis desalinated water lacking magnesium is dangerous for heart patients and may have led to the deaths of hundreds of citizens last year. Magnesium is a critical element in more than 300 metabolic functions, but is lost through the desalination process. This is particularly problematic for Israel, as nearly 75 percent of its tap water is desalinated, more than any other country. So far the nation’s Finance Ministry and Water Authority have opposed plans to replace the pivotal mineral in drinking water, citing cost concerns.
~The Jerusalem Post
The authors noted that Israel began producing desalinated sea water in 1978 but the level has increased steeply over just the past decade. Fresh water from the Israeli National Water Carrier accumulated in underground aquifers or the Kinneret naturally have significant amounts of magnesium and calcium, they wrote, but when salt and other minerals together with it are removed from the Mediterranean’s sea water, little or none of the minerals remain.If you don’t believe us, here’s another study where scientists changed the water fed to rabbits to reduced minerals. They changed nothing else, but the result was clear.
Increased cardiovascular risk.
Reverse osmosis desalination strips all minerals from our water.
And yes, that’s why we use magnesium as our alkalizing mineral in our ultra filtration UltraStream.
We encourage you to investigate it as a real alternative to reverse osmosis. It’s our own design, made in the US and is the most tested domestic water system available.
In fact we’ll make a bold claim. It is extremely close to RO in filtration using new technology only available in the Ultrastream
Incredibly efficient filtration over a vast spectrum of contaminants, both organic and inorganic.
One filter cartridge instead of up to seven.
Simple 5 m filter change. No need to call in an expert.
Adds molecular hydrogen.
Dr Lynda Frassetto has been in alkaline diet and water pages all over the web for years, based on one important study she completed years ago.
Today I discovered a newly uploaded version that reiterates her basic theory; that modern man has lost the ability to maintain a healthy acid-base metabolism.
Heres the link, and here’s the most relevant excerpts from her abstract. It’s a pretty clear endorsement of the alkaline diet!
‘We propose that reducing the net acid load from the diet is not sufficient to reverse age related osteoporosis because it fails to supply base needed to restore the large amount of base in bone that had been lost by reacting with the net acid load of the diet that had been consumed for years or decades. Reducing the net acid load from the diet might be expected to have little ameliorative effect or merely slow the progression of the disorder. We hypothesize that both to restore osteoporotic bone to, or nearly to, its pre-disease state, as well as to eliminate the risk of fragility fractures, requires consuming diets that produce net amounts of base to restore the base lost from years to decades of consuming diets that produce net amounts of acid. We hypothesize also that the excess base and attendant subclinical metabolic alkalosis will both stimulate the cellular process of bone formation and suppress the cellular process of bone resorption, and thereby implement the restorative process.’
How long has it been since I first heard a doctor telling people we need no help in alkaline balance – that’s it ‘just happens naturally’?
It began almost 15 years ago as I remember – and continues today.
So.. I’m just a basic human. No degree. No white coat and stethoscope… but…
Please explain to me how the body can adjust its pH if all we eat is acid forming? It’s a simple and incontrovertible fact that alkaline neutralises acid, so a body chock full of acids can only be rebalanced by……….. I’d love these doctors to fill in the gap. What does it use to effect the rebalance?
Here’s a typical Doctor’s quote:
“It’s a complete waste of money. Your body maintains its pH within very tight parameters all by itself no matter what you drink. The idea that drinking alkaline water would have any affect is just counter to biochemical science and reality.”
(Monica Reinagel, nutritionist quoted in the National Post.)
So is there a middle ground in this argument? I do accept and understand that my body can and does regulate itself, but it doesn’t answer my query. And.. what about alkaline water vs. alkaline food?
Does the body regulate pH, and how?
It’s pretty simple. My body needs minerals. Minerals build our body, minerals aid digestion, minerals help me hydrate. I use minerals to build systems (ie skeletal~ calcium), I use minerals during digestion (Sodium Bicarbonate), I use minerals to support hydration, (Sodium). And as my body sources and utilises these minerals, its actual metabolic process creates acid waste.
It’s pretty obvious that we need a steady intake of minerals in both our liquid and our solid intake. The only other way I know is to take an Epsom salt bath, or use magnesium oil.
Along with intake we also have to consider how we get rid of wastes if we are trying to understand the theory the good doctors propose of allround automatic balance.
As much as we’d like it to, alkaline water doesn’t come anywhere near our daily required intake of alkaline minerals. Just look up RDA for calcium., then ask your water alkalizer man how much is in a glass of his water. Unless you live in a highly alkaline area it will be nowhere near your daily need.. and if it was you wouldn’t want to drink it. It’s be like a glassful of liquid chalk!
Of course it can help, (just as water dripping on a rock can help crack a rock), but I think we are all seeking the most practical way to supply our daily alkaline minerals, aren’t we?
There are other homespun ways – like drinking bicarb of soda in water… taking supplements and persevering with a mineral rich diet. It all works together.
Back to Reality
We are still baffled by the doctors’ statement of some sort of independently operating auto levelling pH system. Does it mean we can chug Coke all day to no effect? I did that as a kid. I was the Coke guzzling champ of high school.. and my teeth paid the price! It makes no sense.
So.. as I said earlier, I’m a mere mortal, a basic human.. but I’d really like to give the doctors who make this ‘Straight from the med school textbook’ statement a chance to explain themselves.
What I DO know is that whatever we use, our purpose of uptake of alkaline minerals is to replenish our depleted alkaline store within our body. The only assumption we make is that this buffer is depleted due to our modern acidic lifestyle. So it follows that whether it be food, water or supplement, it’s the alkaline minerals we want in an assimilable form. The four minerals are calcium, Magnesium, potassium and calcium. I use Alkaline Booster, which has all four minerals in a balanced form. A teaspoon a day fulfils my daily needs. Yes, I also eat as many good alkaline greens as I can and choose to drink alkaline water. But in my experience, this method ‘fills the cracks’ in my alkalizing strategy. If I haven’t gotten enough with my water or my food, Alkaline Booster makes sure i have enough. And enough means I’m saving my skeleton.
Please note: Alkaline Booster isn’t yet in some of our stores but we are happy to send from Australia.
Dominic Spiers runs our Alkaline Diet discussion Group on Facebook.
Here’s his latest alkaline diet concoction; a might alkalizer for people without their own water ionizer.
Juice of 4 lemons. then top up with water (1 part water to 1 part juice)….then add a tsp of bicarb and it will fizz. It tastes a bit like fizzy lemonade. add the bicarb in small increments otherwise the fizz might overflow out of the container!
Our lime tree is groaning with fruit right now so it will be lime instead of lemons for us!
Firstly, we need to look at whether we are talking about ‘alkaline food’ or alkaline-supporting food.
There are very, very few alkaline foods, but many foods that support us to alkalize in the body.
This covers many interpretations, from the production of sodium bicarbonate in the stomach, to improved support against acidifying inflammation.
So I’m suggesting water cress is firmly placed in group two.
Watercress: Carcinogen Chaser.
Watercress is an often-overlooked, leafy green food source. It’s a close cousin of mustard greens, cabbage, and arugula. And.. it’s a powerful anti-carcinogen. It can help starve tumours of essential blood and oxygen significantly inhibiting the activation of carcinogens.
Many natural health writers score it as among the top 36 foods that help cleanse our entire body. We can give our liver a big boost with the cleansing action of watercress. It helps to release enzymes in the liver that clean it out and help rid it of toxic buildup. It contains glucosinolate compounds, which have been found to have anti-cancer properties.
A phase II clinical trial demonstrated and presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) showed that watercress extract taken multiple times a day can significantly inhibit cancer.
The trial showed that the watercress extract detoxifies environmental carcinogens and toxins found in cigarette smoke. (It also discovered that the effect is stronger in people who lack certain genes involved in processing carcinogens).
Researchers found that the compound, phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), (that’s where it gets that unique peppery taste), can interfere with the function of a protein that plays a critical role in cancer development.
“Cigarette smokers are at far greater risk than the general public for developing lung cancer, and helping smokers quit should be our top cancer prevention priority in these people,” said Jian-Min Yuan, M.D., Ph.D., associate director of the UPCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Science and an epidemiologist with Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. “But nicotine is very addictive, and quitting can take time and multiple relapses. Having a tolerable, nontoxic treatment, like watercress extract, that can protect smokers against cancer would be an incredibly valuable tool in our cancer-fighting arsenal.”
Dr. Yuan, who also is Pitt’s Arnold Palmer Endowed Chair in Cancer Prevention, and his colleagues enrolled 82 cigarette smokers in the randomized clinical trial. The participants either took 10 milligrams of watercress extract mixed in 1 milliliter of olive oil four times a day for a week or they took a placebo. Each group of participants then had a one week “wash-out” period where they didn’t take anything and then switched so that those getting the placebo now received the extract. They all continued their regular smoking habits throughout the trial.
In one week, the watercress extract reduced activation of the carcinogen known as nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone in the smokers by an average of 7.7 percent. It increased detoxification of benzene by 24.6 percent and acrolein by 15.1 percent, but had no effect on crotonaldehyde. All the substances are found in cigarette smoke.
Participants who lacked two genes involved in a genetic pathway that helps the antioxidant glutathione remove carcinogens and toxicants from the body saw an even bigger benefit to taking the watercress extract, which increased their detoxification of benzene by 95.4 percent, acrolein by 32.7 percent and crotonaldehyde by 29.8 percent.
A phase III clinical trial in hundreds of people must be performed before the treatment could be recommended for smokers, and Dr. Yuan warned that while eating cruciferous vegetables, such as watercress and broccoli, are good for people, they are unlikely to have the same pronounced effect as the extract.
Read my article on celery yet?
And my article on the humble cucumber?
We recently posted about the amazing health benefits of the humble cucumber.
But what salad is complete without a crunchy celery stick?
Celery is often overlooked. many of us think of it as “crunchy water” and assume it has little nutritional value.
Oh Boy, How wrong we can be!
But I always have a problem talking about alkaline diet foods. Am I talking about the food’s ability to help my alkaline balance to be regained, or am I talking about the health benefits beyond alkalizing? It’s my humble opinion that beyond the alkalizing benefits, much of the ‘pH Miracle’ cures we read about come from the additional super-properties of these basic foods. Celery is no exception.
Celery is in the Apiaceae / Umbellerifereae family. It’s been recorded as grown as far back as 1323 BC in Egypt, Europe and the Mediterranean. When Tutankhamen was entombed, he was garlanded with celery leaf. (A bit late to get the health benefits, unfortunately!)
More than a billion pounds of celery are harvested each year in the US, primarily in Michigan and Florida. It’s used in soups, appetizers, entrees and as an addition to tuna and chicken salads. We consume as much as six pounds of celery over the course of a year. (Yes, most of it water, I admit.)
It’s a “negative calorie” food – only 16 calories per cup chopped serving.. Our body almost burns as many calories digesting it as celery itself contains.Low caloric content combined with the high-fiber definitely make celery a fabulous food for weight loss goals. It has an extremely high rate of nutrition compared to a very small amount of carbohydrates. And.. of course.. it’s also an alkaline food, helping to balance acid levels in the blood.
Celery and Your Brain
Scientists have now discovered the link between a flavinoid compound called luteolin and brain health. Older mice in a recent study retained youthful brain functioning when their diet was enriched with luteolin.
This flavonoid works throughout your entire body to fight the effects of free radicals that can speed up the cellular aging process.
Linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer, it’s reasonable to say that celery (which is high in luteolin) reduces inflammation naturally. This is especially beneficial to the brain. Inflammation is believed to be a leading cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.
Celery and Total Wellness
Proven carcinogen detoxifiers phthalides, coumarins and polyaceylenes found in celery enhance white blood cell effectiveness.
Pthalides lower stress hormone levels in the blood and relax muscles around the arteries. Blood vessels dilate smoothly, resulting in lower blood pressure.
The abundance of heart-healthy calcium, potassium and magnesium found in celery also regulates blood pressure. Pthalides increase the body’s secretion of bile which helps to lower cholesterol and prevent clogging of the arteries.
Inflammation is the primary cause of the pain we experience from arthritis, gout, and asthma. Coumarins found in celery control inflammation and lower swelling in and around joints. Coumarins have proven effective in lessening the severity of asthma, treating muscle pain and getting rid of migraines.
How about a Celery Smoothie
packed with vitamins, minerals and compounds that balance acidity in the blood, this vegie smoothie goes a long way toward total body health minus the fat and carbohydrates. Rinse or scrub each vegetable and trim the ends! Super easy and delicious.
2 medium carrots
2 celery stalks
5 – 6 leaves leaf lettuce
1/2 golden delicious apple
1 small beet.
Hey, we love to help people learn about the alkaline diet.
I’ve written a small book on the diet that you can download as a .pdf.
And.. if you are a newcomer to the benefits of the alkaline diet, take a look at our hugely successful New Alkaline Diet and Defence Program. It’s the most comprehensive and highly regarded program available on everything alkaline.
Fructose linked to gene damage
Fructose is a natural sugar commonly found in fruits, corn and plants. So.. it’s ‘natural’, right? Must be Ok, right?
Wrong. Especially now it’s used in many processed and ultra-processed food products and soft drinks as a cheap sweetener, usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.
Previous studies have already found it to be to be hazardous to health, leading to insulin resistance, obesity and elevated blood pressure to name just a few.
A new study has increased this list further. Scientists at the University of California found that, “A diet high in fructose can kill hundreds of genes in a way that could lead to several diseases”. Interestingly, the researchers found an omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid(DHA), was able to go some way to reversing the effects.
In our opinion it’s perhaps the most insidious element of the ongoing acid assault on our health and wellbeing. because it’s mainly in fruit, we see it as healthy.
Here’s a chart that assists us to work out just how much of this is sneaking into our systems via our fave fruits and smoothies.
OK, It’s a war zone ‘down there’. Or at least a ‘postwar zone. Your elimination system has been battling with acid overload all night, and in the early hours of the morning has assembled all that nasty acid in your bladder. That’s why your first ‘pee du jour’ is your most acidic.
It’s obvious that your body has worked selflessly to get you back in balance ready for another day battling the dark acid forces.. so it’s a really good idea to begin a daily practice of supporting your fragile alkaline balance.
It’s something I love.. and I am already a serious ‘alkalizer’.
If you already have a routine — morning meditation, a quick surya namaskar, a brisk walk around the block – I’m suggesting you add this to your ‘package’ of morning ritual. As Anthony Robbins teaches, by linking it to other daily choices, it becomes a part of the whole.
So here’s my suggestion. It’s neither original nor new, but it is GOOD. A glass of warm lemon water with Himalayan salt.
If you take on this daily ritual you’ll be joining many elite athletes who have already learned its value.
One 250ml glass of warm lemon water with Himalayan salt in the morning can do wonders. Would you believe increasing your immune function, decreasing your uric acid to fight inflammation, improving digestion, and balancing your body? Much of this is the vitamin C in the lemon juice plus the many essential minerals in Himalayan salt.
When I began writing this I could think of about 6 benefits. After a little time communing with Mother Google, I ended up with NINETEEN benefits!
1 Lemons are serious anti inflammation warriors.
The juice can help dissolve the uric acid in joints. It’s also have been reported to help build and repair tendons, ligaments, and bone.
Lemon juice’s anti-inflammatory property could of course be especially beneficial for people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, according to an American College of Physicians study on osteoarthritis, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (2000).
2. Lemon juice supports good food and water absorption.
Only one glass a day will provide a better overall mineral balance, which in turn promotes proper food and water absorption in your body, allowing essential nutrients to get where they need to be.
3. Alkaline Powerhouse! (pH). The alkalizing effects of lemon and the natural salt are going to buffer your body’s delicate pH balance, depositing alkaline minerals into your depleted storehoue, your alkaline buffer.
4. Boost immune function.
Just 1 lemon serves up 139% of your RDA for vitamin C. One lemon’s juice is a natural alternative to that vitamin C supplement you may be taking.
5. Cellular detox
Himalayan salt mixed with lemon juice and water helps to pull toxins from your cells, reducing cellular toxicity. How? Well, your interstitial liquid – the liquid surrounding your cell has to be the right pH because it needs it for the right electrical conductivity. That’s why alkalizing is so important, and also why pure neutral pH is empty in health terms.
6. Bye Bye cellulite.
Natural salts like Himalayan salt have been used for centuries for skin care. Many spa treatments for cellulitis contain some form of salt and/or citrus blend. A daily gulp of lemon and salt water in the morning may firm up a few of those unsightly areas. Now you’ve mastered one, why not two!
7. DayGlo Skin.
Natural salt for skin problems, such as psoriasis and eczema, dates back to ancient Roman times. According to Science Tribune (1999), Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius’ doctor, Galen from Pergamum, used sea salt for skin diseases,
8. Ease up on allergies!
Some people say that the combination of lemon and salt, mixed into warm water, acts as a natural antihistamine for allergies. It may be the perfect alternative to those pink pills that leave you feeling drowsy. I can’t vouch for it but if we are getting all these other benefits, wouldn’t it be cool if it ‘just happened’?
9. Sleep Easy.
Lemon and Himalayan salt have hormone-balancing properties, which may be more than useful at ‘zedtime’.
10. Control blood sugar.
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2000), the fiber in lemons helps to balance blood glucose levels, which is useful for type 2 diabetes patients and prediabetics alike, so don’t bother holding back the fibre as you juice.
11. Detoxify your liver.
Vitamin C helps us to produce glutathione, a foundational player in detoxifying the liver. It also has antiseptic properties that are useful for liver function.
12. Fresh breath! This drink may not be the first thing we think of when you think of fresh breath. Lemon and salt in this simple morning drink help kill the bad breath bacteria that build up while you’re sleeping.
13. Chill out!
Easy on the anti depressants! Chill out and return to Buddhahood by upping your vitamin C levels first thing in the morning.
14. Blood pressure.
Lemons are not all about vitamin C and fiber. They also have potassium, which is a must-have for flushing excessive sodium from the body.
15. Hey, Baby!
The same vitamin C content and hormone-balancing properties of our drink can help lift your mood. And a good mood is essential for a more er.. playful future.
16. Hydration is the KEY
We tend to forget how important hydration is, especially after a long sleep with no water. Start your morning off right and get hydrated. The water, salt and lemon will get your day off to the perfect start.
17. An antioxidant powerhouse.
Lemon holds a wealth of vitamins and minerals. Himalayan salt boosts your mineral and trace mineral levels even more. The antioxidant and detoxifying properties of lemon saltwater pack a powerful, free radical knockout punch.
18. Improve your heart health?
Lemons and real salt are reported as exceptional for increasing heart health on their own. Combine the two into one vibrant morning drink, for chest-thumpin’ health..
As I mentioned earlier, natural mineral rich salt supports electrochemical reactions in the body. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2006), the Vitamin C in our lemon zinger is, “associated with lower endothelial dysfunction in men with no history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes,”
19. A Well Belly
Before breakfast, or any meal, this drink will signal your liver to produce the essential bile needed to clean out harmful gut bacteria. The fiber content and natural salt will also promote digestion.
A glass of AlkaWay purified water rich in H2 (what else?) with a squeeze of one lemon plus half a teaspoon of Himalayan salt. Too easy.
More great alkalizing ideas are in our New Alkaline Diet and Defence Program, available here now. It’s approaching 5000 downloads and is packed with 16 years of accumulated wisdom.
And yes, it’s free right now.
Our friend Bert Middleton is the Gout Killer and this is a great post. Look when it was written! He’s still relevant today!
This Is Where It All Begins.
I hate to be the one to tell you but . . . you probably have gout because your gout diet isn’t exactly and anti-inflammatory diet.
But what are you gonna do? Just run right out there and get yourself one? Change your whole life? Give up all the stuff you love?
It’s going to be easier than you think, I promise, and you’re going to love it. There are some great solutions and you’re gonna be damn happy you found them.
Other Than an Anti-inflammatory Diet,
What Are the Alternatives?
Think back to the last time you had an attack. How long ago was it? Do you remember how it started? How long did it last? How did you finally get rid of it? What does it feel like when it starts to come on? Do you recognize it when it first starts to creep in? Do you panic? What DO you do?
The question is: How does “inflammation” happen in the body? What actually happens?
Here’s a brief explanation:
- “Inflammation is the body’s to response to injury or disease. Typically the heat, swelling and redness are due to increased fluids and white blood cells moving into the affected area to fight infection or protect the damage.”
- “The anti-inflammatory response happens on a chemical, cellular and molecular level, either biologically or with the assistance of different drugs and food sources and/or icing.”
(that is about as technical as you are going to see me get)
To get this conversation about an anti-inflammatory diet started, let’s make a note about one thing: Antioxidants.
If you Google “anti-inflammatory diet”, you will get endless search results for antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavonoids.
For the second part of your homework, get back to Google and go down the list of all the diseases and illnesses that are linked to free radical damage and combine them on your search like this: Heart Disease + Inflammation
Go one by one and try them all. What did you find? Did they all have some sort of connection with systemic inflammation? As in when chronic inflammation moves beyond the immediate tissues and on into the lining of the blood vessels and organs.
Here’s the Scary Thing . . .
. . . if you have gout you are also at risk for at least one or more of those diseases on that list.
Are you wondering which food has the most antioxidants in it? And how do you measure how much antioxidants are in a particular food? Keep reading. We briefly touched on what foods and food groups are high in antioxidant content on both my antioxidants page and my flavonoids page.
The Anti-inflammatory Diet Rundown:
- Many fruits have the antioxidant power to help bring down inflammation. A few are blueberries, peaches, oranges, cherries, and apples. Usually the darker the skin the better.
- Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, beets, onions, and squashes are a start. Dark leafy greens are always a good choice.
- You have to be careful with beans and legumes. They are typically big sources of protein and their is an important balance that needs to be maintained when it comes to gout. In moderation red, black, pinto, and kidney beans are known to be a good source of antioxidant potency.
- A few different grains offer some free radical protection but they are not at the forefront of the better choices. Rice, wheat, rye, soybean seeds and wheat bran have a component called Inositol that show some evidence for protection from the ultra-violet radiation from the sun.
- Healthy fats, oils and nuts can be very good for keeping with the anti-inflammatory diet but not always because of their antioxidant content. Salmon and other fatty fishes are good for omega-3 fatty acids and are known for their anti-inflammatory assistance. Pine nuts and pecans are well-known antioxidants and olive oil is often referred to for it’s polyphenols.
- Soy products have a wide range of antioxidant producing activity that should be noted for it’s Isoflavones.
- Various mushrooms like shiitake and oyster mushrooms are not antioxidants but are a good choice for their anti-inflammatory abilities.
- Clean sources of protein like organically grown chicken and grass-fed beef help keep inflammation down as well as omega-3 enriched eggs and raw-milk dairy products. (remember: pesticides, antibiotics and growth-hormones are potential instigators of free radical damage)
- A variety of spices like tumeric, curry, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, basil and others have many anti-inflammatory qualities and some are strong antioxidants.
- Green Tea is always in the news for it’s antioxidant power.
- Supplements are essential but it gets into some fairly technical speak about how vitamins and minerals get absorbed in to your system compared to regular food. The term “functional food” is now commonplace. They can be absorbed and used by the body more easily but still have high value in vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Supplements in general promote a fair amount of antioxidant activity.
But now we are getting to the good ones: red wine and dark chocolate! This is good since you and I have the “Disease of Kings”. Can we cure gout with red wine and chocolate? We would certainly have the most popular “anti-inflammatory diet” out there if we could.
Red wine has been in the news because it contains the antioxidant resveratrol. I’ve experimented heavily with this one to try to understand the proper dosage for ample anti-inflammatory response but I’ve not been able to come to any conclusions.
Dark chocolate or more specifically, raw cacao has also been in the news heavily for its high antioxidant content. Raw cacao has one of the highest, if not the highest ORAC scores of all known food sources.
Food . . . Anti-inflammatory Diet . . . Be Thy medicine” ~ Hippocrates
Ian: Personally, I’ve been getting and hearing great results from our molecular hydrogen water and dissolvable tablets. Molecular hydrogen is an emerging buzz subject that is attracting huge interest – 700+ scientific studies since 2007, over 150+ disease types. The two that have really interested me are it unequalled antioxidant capability and its anti inflammation ability.
Most people think a cucumber is a vegetable ( technically a fruit) that we add as an afterthought in salads and side dishes. But it’s a ‘power’ alkaline diet essential, simply because it’s so easy to eat!
But.. even I don’t see cucumbers in the grocery store and say, “Wow, I just gotta have those amazing cucumbers!”
I feel guilty about brushing them off. Cucumber is an amazing vegetable with an impressive nutritional profile. It can even be eaten in place of your daily multivitamin.
More about this humble veggie
Cucumber, or Cucumis sativus, is of the same family as melon and squash. Chefs divide them into two groups, slicing and pickling. Slicing cucumbers generally have thick skin and are larger than the thin-skinned pickling cucumbers.
Cucumber has even escaped the eyes of researchers, being upstaged by the cruciferous crew (broccoli, cabbage, etc.) Now it’s been discovered it contains three beneficial lignans (lariciresinol, pinoresinol and secoisolariciresinol), which have been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as several different types of cancer, including ovarian, prostate, breast and uterine.
Cucumber: a nutritional powerhouse
Forget the Brazilian or Tibetan Goji berries.Cucumber is a real superfood. It contains almost all the vitamins you need each day, including B vitamins, vitamin C, fiber, vitamin K1, copper, potassium and manganese. You can keep your supplement costs down with just one cucumber daily in place of a multivitamin.
Want an energy boost?
Don’t reach for that third cup of coffee. Chomp on a cucumber instead. The carbs and B vitamins in cucumber provide sustaining energy that can last for hours.
Drank too much?
To avoid having your night out turn into a morning nightmare, try eating some cucumber. Eat a cucumber right before bed and your hangover pains will be lessened. Cucumber contains a mix of B vitamins, and essential alkaline electrolytes that keep you hydrated and feeling great after a night out on the town.
Too much sugar?
Snack on cucumber slices rather than reaching for sugary snacks. Keeping a little dish of sliced cucumber by your work desk. With a sprinkle of sea salt and a little pepper, this snack will keep you satiated all day long!
Boil a few slices of cucumber on the stove. Breathe in the steam. The aroma of cucumber can promote feelings of calm and relieve anxiety. Add a few drops of anxiety-busting lavender essential oil into the mixture.
Suffering from halitosis, or bad breath? Good alkalizers don’t have it and cucumbers support us in alkalizing. Think about it: how about eating cucumber instead of reaching for sugar laden breath mints. and… phytochemicals in cucumbers can kill bacteria that cause bad breath and cavities. Try a slice after each cup of coffee or meal for breath that stays fresh all day long.
Are you stopped up?
There are any number of reasons for constipation. It may, for instance, be the result of stress, medication or eating a highly processed diet. Cucumbers are high in fiber, which can keep you regular and keep your digestive system working at full speed.
Do you need a detox?
Cucumber not only contains a lot of water, which helps keep the body hydrated, but it also has detoxifying properties. A study from 2013 published in the journal Fitoterapia found that cucumber has “a cleansing action within the body by removing accumulated pockets of old waste materials and chemical toxins.” Want to detox? Eat a cucumber… or three! Better yet, eat cucumber daily to keep toxins from building up.
The blend of nutrients in cucumber make it ideal for boosting the immune system and treating common ailments like the common cold and flu viruses. The anti-inflammatory properties of cucumber fight inflammation of the nose and throat when you are suffering from a cold. And of cxourse, the cucumber’s alkaliune minerals are working 24/7 to rebalance the acidity that is causing low immunity.
High blood pressure?
High levels of potassium in cucumber help regulate blood pressure by boosting electrolyte levels and mitigating the damaging effects of sodium overconsumption.
Cucumber, is high in antioxidants. This prevents the spread of free radical damage that can lead to premature aging and cancer.
Nutrients in cucumber make it effective at relieving inflammation both internally and externally. Place fresh cucumber directly onto swollen areas to reduce puffiness within just a few minutes.
Every once in a while, we just feel bloated. All we need do for relief is eat a cucumber! The high water content and alkaline potassium in cucumber make it a mild diuretic that can ease bloating.
Cucumber is high in alkaline magnesium, calcium, plus vitamin K1 — all essential for bone health. Eat cucumber regularly if you are eating a low-meat or low-dairy diet.
Ian: I have a whole cucumber every day in my work lunch. They accompany just about anything!
Want to know more about the AlkaWay New Alkaline Diet? We’re giving away 20 free Alkaline Diet Programs this month. Check it out!
How to end carb cravings … FINALLY!
I don’t think there’s anyone on earth that has escaped suffering the intensity of carb cravings.
The bread basket at the restaurant just sits there openly seducing you.
That load of pasta that was supposed to feed eight has mysteriously .. gone!
The chips machine at work whispers to you every time you pass.
Your mind tries to work but just can’t rid itself of the image of a muffin, donut or bagel .
This is the nether world of carb cravings, and it’s real for 99.9% of people. But like a true addict, most of us deny it.
The Truth: All carbs are not created equal
Yes, carbohydrates may be a necessary food group, but starchy carbs are the least healthy (and most addicting) form.
Yes, they may provide some nutrients, but starchy carbs turn to sugar upon digestion. They aren’t much better than eating a candy bar or cookie. Want an example? Potato!
So for healthy, nutritious carbs, vegies and legumes are by far your best choice.
Why must you be so deprived?
There are many reasons that we carve carbs, and you can help curb your cravings if you figure out what may be behind them.
Here are some possibilities: (feel free to den them, but they ain’t going away!)
Most of us are Carbohydrate Addicts
Current research says very clearly that the primary underlying cause of carbohydrate addiction is in your brain’s reward system.
Sugar and starchy carbohydrate foods cause the release of serotonin (your body’s feelgood chemical) and it gives us a calming sensation.
Refined Carbohydrates also trigger increased releases of dopamine and norepinephrine. Your brain becomes deluged with these neurotransmitters, and a feeling of euphoria results and a craving for more refined carbohydrates is stimulated. Crazy, man!
An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) may cause feeling of fatigue. Many people reach for refined carbohydrate pick-me-ups including soda, chips, candy bars, crackers and other similar foods to combat this fatigue.
Yeast feeds on sugar, and with enough sugar can multiply out of control and overcome your friendly intestinal flora (which normally helps to keep yeast in check and under control).
A vicious cycle begins where yeast, wanting more nourishment, triggers cravings for sugar, which in turn leads to greater yeast overgrowth, which then triggers more intense cravings for sugar.
Stress and adrenal overload
Stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol which can give you an intense appetite for sugars and fats.
Menopause and/or pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
When levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone drop, women may be more prone to insulin resistance The body’s cells don’t respond as they should to insulin. This can cause sugar cravings to soar. The cells haven’t received the glucose they were expecting from the bloodstream.
Depressed people often report feeling less depressed after eating high-carb snack foods.
This can be a demonstration of the increased production of serotonin after refined carbohydrate ingestion, which mimics the action of antidepressant medications.
Lacking nutrients can trigger cravings, especially the B vitamins.
What You Can Do
Obviously if there is an underlying problem, we need to address it. Here’s some measures that can help:
- Probiotics: help keep yeast under control.
- Multi-vitamin: To ensure that any nutrients that may be missing in your diet are provided.
- Vitamin D: Low Vitamin D levels are associated with decreased satiety.
- Eat a healthy, whole foods diet to provide a variety of healthy nutrients, fiber and antioxidants.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates at all cost. Completely eliminate them from the refrigerator, cupboard and pantry, and bring protein snacks to work with you. There no simple or halfway answer here. Would you suggest your heroin addicted son could just shoot up on weekends? It’s cold turkey or nothing.
- Cook meals at home versus dining out. At home meals can encourage better control over what is served, and avoids the temptation of the bread basket, desserts and carbohydrate-rich dishes like pasta. And.. even if the restaurant is expensive.. it’s still not going to make food or oil choices with the same intention of your ultimate health that you can have with your own food selections.
- Drink plenty of alkaline high hydrogen water. Dehydration is the number one nutritional deficiency in North America. Our bodies often mistake hunger for thirst, and not drinking enough water can lead to overeating. but remember.. there’s water.. and there’s water!
- Avoid caffeine. Caffeine can aggravate sugar addiction (when a person comes down from a caffeine-induced energy ‘high,’ they often reach for sugar).
You can do it! We did, and there is still the same love of food on the ‘other side’.
If you’ve ever used pH strips.. then used liquid pH reagent, you’ll now that the strips seem to read lower than the reagent when used to measure alkaline water.
We’d have people calling us up to tell us their AlkaWay system wasn’t measuring up.. and eventually we got it! They were using pH strips.
We send them pH drops, and voila! like magic, their water is testing good pH again.When they use pH reagent drops that change the water color to show pH level , it immediately registers correct.
It’s all about alkalinity vs. pH.
pH test Strips are designed to test body fluids. Our body fluids – urine and saliva are ‘alkaline’ but not high pH (see the video below.) This just means our fluids have a concentration of alkaline minerals in the water. Things like electrolytes, salts and other mineral compounds constitute the alkaline material. It’s this concentration which registers on a pH strip
With what we generally refer to as alkaline water, there is a difference between alkalinity and pH level.
With electric water ionizers, that don’t actually add any alkaline minerals to the water, that difference can be pretty large. It’s the reason the pH level can fall quickly after removing it from the the machine. With natural systems like the UltraStream, that difference is usually less, which results in a water that loses pH slower.
In the UltraStream we are using alkaline calcium and magnesium that contributes to the alkalinity of the water, and a reaction of the water awith the special Japanese magnesium media that concentrates molecular hydrogen in the water over and above the H2 in the H2O. Asa result it’s been tested to almost 4 x the H2 of a $4000 electric water ionizer.
It’s this difference between alkaline and pH that causes the strips to be inaccurate when testing the water. We use drops to test our water, and strips to test our body pH.
Go here to check our pH strips and for our pH reagent. Watch the short video below for more info.
When someone is trying to sell you a $4000 water ionizer, here’sa simple question that will throw them right off their pitch. Here’s a sampling of what you may hear in response.
“Too much baking soda isn’t good for you”
“Too many side effects! Gas and diarrhea”
“It’s not alkaline. Look at my pH meter. It’s the same.”
Well.. there’s a little truth in everything.
Yes, overdosing with too much baking soda is NOT good for you. just as is too many carrots.
Yes, have too much and you may fart and lot and …….!
The third one needs help, and if you understand this, you may like to pass on the facts to the poor alkalizer salesman or woman. I’m assuming they do wnat to hear the truth and not just collect a commission, right?
Adding baking soda to H2O does make alkaline. Furthermore, baking soda is a great way of alkalizing the body and supporting your natural alkaline buffer. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s alkaline sodium bicarbonate, exactly what we use every day in the stomach and gut to balance excessively acidic food.
Remember, pH and alkalinity are not the same. We’ve written about this many times.
So.. of course adding sodium bicarbonate to your morning glass of water will help you alkalize. What your salesperson doesn’t want you to know is that as a restorer of your internal; alkaline water, it’s MUCH better than his $4000 water ionizer!
So let’s cut the poor salesperson some slack. They may not get that right, but they should be able to show you that their water machine has other benefits – enough to persuade you to part with +/- $4000.
The real questions you may choose to ask are:
1. What contaminants does your system remove?
2. Can you give me the tests to prove it?
3. What amount of molecular hydrogen can I expect?
Once upon a time we too confused alkaline water and high pH water. Today we like to advise people that to alkalize, food or alkaline supplements are more effective and balanced than water from a water ionizer. So we help people work out the best way to alkalize with alkaline minerals, and we help them to get the cleanest, highest concentration of beneficial molecular hydrogen as possible from their water.
It’s pretty simple really. Most water supplies are already alkaline.
So why are you paying premium dollars for bottled alkaline water – in plastic?
Yes, we’ve all accepted that drinking alkaline water was good for us and the metastudy we have on our website proves it.. but no-one asked about the water they already drink from their home tap and whether drinking $5 worth of bottled water (sent from Italy to Australia or America) a day will actually restore our alkaline balance.
So here’s the truth. It won’t! The best way to restore the alkaline minerals used up by our bodies in counteracting our acid overload is simple. Replace them in quantities sufficient to restore balance.
Sounds so simple, and it is. Yes, alkaline water will help, as will alkalizing foods, but for my money, taking the actual minerals in their original form is the obvious answer. That’s why every morning I take a glass of UltraStream water, and add a teaspoon of Alkaline Booster. That way I have my molecular hydrogen and my alkaline minerals aplenty.
Take a look at this video as I explain in full.
Answer: A true “alkalarian diet” is 80% + raw, but “raw diets” are not always alkaline.
The raw food diet is built on one basic premise… cooking your food destroys enzymes, leaches minerals, damages vitamins, and denatures antioxidants. All of which are true.
The Alkaline Diet (acid – alkaline diet / pH diet) is built on one basic premise as well…certain foods contribute to acidification of your body, and some help to alkalize your body. It just so happens that most foods are more alkaline forming when they’re in their raw state.
Alkaline diets are mostly raw, but raw diets aren’t necessarily alkalizing.
For example… raw foodists may eat a lot of raw fish (sushi), raw dairy (cheese), or raw meat (tartare) – all of which are acidifying. You’ll also see a lot of “raw treats” in raw food books (like cookies, ice cream, etc)…which are also acidifying. While raw food diets are certainly much more healthy than our conventional cooked diets, eating just “raw” isn’t going to necessarily help you get your pH up.
If you are acidic, then you need to get more alkalizing foods into your diet. Our Alkaline Diet and Defence Program is free right now and you can dive right in the what we can say is your most comprehensive resource on the Web. Click on the link and you’ll find your invitation.
As you’ll see in the lessons, foods are more alkalizing in their raw form, but you have to be eating the right kinds if you want to get your body back into a pH balanced state.
Kale is simply one on the healthiest food choices you can put on your table.
It’s a member of the cabbage family, power packed with vitamins A, K, C, with serious amounts of B vitamins as well as trace minerals. And… it’s low in carbs and calories.
However… there’s another really important attribute of Kale.
Along with Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Bok Choy Pak Choy and cauliflower, kale is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning the flowers take the form of a cross. It also means that like other cruciferous vegetables, kale is rich in a chemical called sulforaphane, and this may be one of kale’s most important health attributes.
Sulforaphane is a sulphur-rich chemical that activates a gene pathway in animals as well as humans called Nrf2. When Nrf2 is ‘turned on’ by consuming sulforaphane rich foods, several important health-promoting mechanisms fire up. These include a reduction in inflammation, enhanced antioxidant protection, and powerful amplification of our ability to detoxify potential damaging chemicals.
Kale and all the other cruciferous vegetables are smart choices well beyond their simple nutritional content – they actually change the expression of our DNA for the better.
And.. now we also know that alkaline superfoods like Kale remove fluoride!