Drinking fruit and vegetable juices is an important part of the alkaline diet. The theory behind this diet is that alkaline rich foods (fruits and vegetables) help to alkalize our bodies and help to shift the pH of our bodies to be more balanced. From what I have read about the science behind the diet, this claim about moving the pH of our body seems a bit dubious. Our body has internal mechanisms to prevent the pH level of our organs from changing much at all.
However, I’m not suggesting that the alkaline diet is bogus. Not at all. It is good to consume high alkaline foods. The reason for this is that without them, instead of the acidity of the foods that we eat being balanced by the alkaline foods that we have, our bodies have to use up alkaline deposits from within our bodies. I will introduce some alkaline juice recipes below. Did you know that in some cases, these come from our bones? You may have heard that if you put a tooth in a glass of soda, that it would dissolve. This is due to the acidity of the soft drink.
The USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory has all the data that you need to work out if a food that you eat is either acidic or alkaline. It comes down to a few different factors. The first thing that you have to realize is that the acidity of the foodstuff is not in fact the determinant of its effect on the human body. For example, carbonated soft drinks and freshly squeezed orange juice are both acidic. But it is the soft drink which is an acid drink and the orange juice is in fact alkalizing. The difference is to do with their chemical make up.
Carbonated soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, which gives them their tangy taste. This is also what makes them acidic. Not the acid per se but the phosphorus. Oranges on the other hand contain ascorbic acid but it is their potassium, magnesium and calcium content that gives them their alkaline properties. You can find out more about acid/alkaline values using a PRAL calculator.
The aim then is really to consume a decent amount of alkaline foods in our diet. Realistically this means that if we can consume at least 10 servings of fruit and vegetables, in solid or liquid form, each day, we are doing fairly well. As you know, juicing removes the fiber but we still get almost all of the vitamins and minerals that the produce contains. It is becoming more popular to “juice” with a Vitamix blender since these appliances are so powerful that they simply liquefy everything. Since we are consuming everything, no nutrition is lost. The other good thing is that the fiber provides bulk so we can juice less produce for the same amount of juice.
The most alkalizing vegetables are greens such as spinach and kale. So a “green juice” is an excellent option. These drinks help to make us feel more energetic, our mental focus is improved and we have a sunnier disposition, simply because we give our body some quality nutrition. Remember, all fruit and vegetable juices are alkalizing. For that extra boost, simply try to add some greens. Here are some of my favorite alkaline juice recipes.
Spinach and Spice Juice
This tastes great and is super healthy. What is more, it is real easy to make.
- apple (1)
- spinach (handful)
- ginger (small chunk)
The apple provides the sweetness and liquid volume. Spinach has an earthy flavor and helps to neutralize the sweetness of the apple. What makes this drink though is the addition of some ginger. It gives is a great spicy kick. Even if you are just starting out juicing, you will have no trouble drinking this juice, even though it is full of alkaline greens.
Carrot, Spinach and Ginger
- carrot (3-5)
- spinach (handful)
- ginger (small chunk)
Once you have been juicing for a while, you might decide that apples are just a bit too sweet to have every day. If you ever start to feel this way then simply swap them out for carrots. These vegetables are surprisingly sweet themselves, nowhere near as sweet as apples though. However, when you get used to a juicing lifestyle, you are sure to fall in love with them.
As always, don’t think too hard about what produce to use for your juices. The most important point is to try your hardest to make at least one fruit and vegetable juice a day. Go for it!