Alkaline broth is used as part of an alkaline diet to help maintain proper pH levels (the measure acidity or alkalinity) in the blood. The blood pH of humans is naturally slightly alkaline. The immune systems, internal organs, digestion and other bodily functions work best with a pH in the range of 7.35 to 7.45. Anything outside this range can result in serious illness or even death. To keep pH levels balanced, many nutritionists and alternative healthcare practitioners recommend eating a diet that is high in mineral-rich alkaline foods.
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Importance of a Balanced pH
When blood levels become too acidic, the body must find ways to compensate and keep excess acid from damaging the internal organs. In the process, the body loses important minerals, such as potassium, magnesium and calcium. When pH falls below 7.35, the resulting state of acidosis can cause headaches, nausea, muscle weakness, coughing, diarrhea and other symptoms. According to Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, a certified clinical nutritionist, a low pH is a "likely contributing factor to all degenerative and autoimmune diseases," including cancer, heart disease, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis.
Factors Contributing to Acidosis
Almost all the foods release either an acid or alkaline base when digested and metabolized. Our ancestors ate a largely alkaline diet, which was very high in fruits and vegetables, with little or no processed foods. Over the years, the typically Western diet has changed greatly, to include foods, such as refined grains, milk, cheese, salt, meat, and poultry--all foods that produce acid when digested. In addition, exercise produces lactic acid that can build up in the system, and other lifestyle components, such as stress can contribute to a pH imbalance.
Proponents of alkaline diets recommend eating a diet that is 80 percent alkaline (fruits and vegetables) and only 20 percent acidic (proteins). Alkaline broth is a mineral-rich liquid that can help meet these requirements. The broth, which is made from vegetables and roots, such as green beans, zucchini, spinach, broccoli and carrots, can be used as a soup, a drink or a cooking stock. Consuming 2 to 3 cups a day can make a significant difference in an individual's blood pH levels.
Benefits of alkaline broth
Adopting an alkaline diet will help strengthen the immune system and ward off disease. A diet that contains alkaline broth and other alkaline foods can help treat and prevent lack of energy, acid reflux, nasal congestion, frequent colds and flu, headaches, anxiety and cysts. An alkaline diet may also help prevent kidney stones and osteoporosis. Also, because the body stores acid in fat cells, consuming a diet high in acid can result in the production of more fat. According to Better Body Wellness, many people have found that an alkaline diet helps them to shed excess fat.
Making Alkaline Broth
Choose a combination of the above-mentioned vegetables, totaling approximately 2 cups. Chop them into small pieces and place in a pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 45 minutes. Drain and keep the broth. It will keep for three days in the refrigerator, or can be made large quantities and frozen.