We hear a lot of buzz about the importance of clean eating and organic lifestyles. Now more than ever, doctors, researchers, nutritionists, and even chefs and foodies are digging deeper into the foods we all consume to answer how different food combinations affect our bodies. Currently, about 6-7% of the US population has been identified as having some type of sensitivity to foods containing gluten or lactose. When poor diet and undiagnosed food intolerances go untreated, the body becomes unable to function properly because the endocrine and immune systems are under increased strain. Hormone health, in particular, is a key factor of infertility, as well as weight loss or maintenance.
Natural concepts such as diet, exercise, and supplements are the easiest and most affordable way to try and increase fertility in women trying to conceive, and this natural approach is where the Alkaline Diet has a lot of potential. Due to acid indigestion from diets rich in acid-forming foods, blood cells become unable to access enough oxygen to clean and detoxify the body from outside factors. Body tissue that has become too acidic eventually leads to various diseases, including, but not limited to, heart disease, cancer, obesity, memory loss, low stamina, and even infertility. Recent conversations about the Alkaline Diet support its connection to fertility, so we were eager to find out more about it!
What is the Alkaline Diet?
This Alkaline Diet focuses on foods that are alkaline-based. These are mostly comprised of fresh fruits and vegetables; foods that are low-acid. A food’s acid or alkaline forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. Although it might seem that citrus fruits would have an acidifying effect on the body, the citric acid they contain actually has an alkalinizing effect in your system. Surprisingly, meats, grains, and even dairy products are high in acidity and should be avoided while on the Alkaline Diet.
Oh no! Not another restrictive diet! I know, this might come off as a fad diet that simply just restricts your eating to near-unhealthy levels, though we should look into the scientific reasoning behind the Alkaline Diet and how it relates to fertility before we pass judgment.
Can pH Levels Affect Fertility?
Our blood has a normal pH level between 7.35 and 7.45, which is naturally just slightly alkaline. Eating foods high in acid can decrease pH levels in the body. Studies show that when your pH is out of balance, the rest of your body functions can follow suit – this is especially important when considering the topic of pH level as it relates to fertility. Women who consume highly-acidic foods can increase the acidity of their cervical mucus, which creates a hostile environment for sperm cells. With your body’s pH level and fertility in mind, and with special consideration to the scientific support, the Alkaline Diet seems like a commonsense way to counter a whole-body pH imbalance, possibly increasing your chances of conception.
Is the Alkaline Diet Right for You?
Remember to first consult your healthcare provider. Then, if this diet seems like something you want to incorporate into your lifestyle, check out the following list of foods – to eat or not to eat – and helpful sites you can visit for delicious, Alkaline-safe recipes:
Foods to Eat for an Alkaline Diet
Artichokes, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Green Beans, Kudzu, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onion, Radish, Rutabagas, Sprouts, Spinach, Watercress, Spirulina, Wheatgrass, Pumpkin
Avocado, Banana, Coconut, Grapefruit, Lemon, Tomato, Watermelon
Nuts & Seeds
Almonds, Pumpkin, Sunflower, Sesame
Fats & Oils
Avocado, Borage, Evening Primrose, Flax, Hemp, Olive
Foods Not to Eat
Asparagus, Beans, Brussels Sprouts, Catsup, Cocoa, Coffee, Cornstarch, Cranberries, Eggs, Flour-based products, Most meats, Milk, Mustard, Olives, Pasta, Pepper, Sauerkraut, Shellfish, Soda and soft drinks, Sugar, Vinegar