The idea of completely changing one’s eating habits to a whole foods, plant-based diet is overwhelming for most people despite the many proven health benefits that may result. Adding to the challenge may be unsupportive household family members who scoff at the idea of eggplant as a main dish for dinner or refuse to even try tofu. In an effort to help, we’ve created a list of nine small, easy, alkaline substitutes anyone can make to improve their alkalinity (some of which you can swap without the family even noticing!). Even if you never make it to the ideal 80% alkaline/20% acidic ratio, these slight changes will be beneficial to your health and won’t feel like much of a sacrifice (if at all).
1. Instead of Vegetable Oil try Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil, and vegetable oil are refined oils that are not healthy and should be avoided and replaced with cold-pressed oils like extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil and hemp oils. Healthy fats are an important part of an alkaline diet and can be obtained through substituting healthy oils for the more mainstream unhealthy oils. All oils can create free radicals when heated, so we recommend using a small amount of water to steam fry your vegetables and then drizzling oil on top, making your own oil-based salad dressings and drizzling healthy oils on top of vegetable wraps.
2. Instead of Sugar or Artificial Sweeteners try Stevia
Sugar has been linked to cancer and artificial sweeteners are not only acidifying but carcinogenic. Swapping your sugar cubes with stevia, an all-natural sweetener derived from herbs, is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. According to Ray Kurzwell, author Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever: stevia is highly nutritious, lowers blood sugar in diabetics while regulating blood sugar in non-diabetics, lowers elevated blood pressure, kills bacteria that cause tooth decay, increases energy levels and mental activity, and reduces cravings for alcohol and tobacco. Other natural sugar alternatives: Chicory root, agave nectar.
3. Instead of Table Salt try Sea Salt
Our bodies contain about a pound of salt, and sodium is an alkaline mineral necessary for survival. But the refined iodized salt that sits on most dinner tables in America is completely unhealthy and the type of salt doctors are referring to when they advise patients to cut down on their salt intake. Refill your salt shaker with unrefined sea salt and sprinkle on top of wraps, soups and vegetables. Other alternatives: Celtic salt, Himalayan salt, Real salt.
4. Instead of Peanut Butter try Almond Butter
Peanuts are acidifying to the body and the moldiest, most undesirable peanuts are what is used to make peanut butter. Swap out your P.B. for it’s healthier cousin almond butter, and spread on sandwiches and use as a dip for pretzels, crackers, fruit, and to make smoothies creamier.
5. Instead of Cows Milk try Unsweetened Almond Milk
Cows milk and other dairy products are not only acidifying but contrary to popular belief they actually rob the body of calcium and create a putrid sludge that wreaks havoc on your digestive system. Dump your carton of cows milk and try unsweetened almond milk instead. It is a healthy, delicious, alkaline substitute for drinking, cooking, baking, creamer and making cereal. Other alternatives (buy unsweetened): Coconut milk, soy milk, goat milk, rice milk.
6. Instead of White Rice try Brown Rice
The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Fully milled and polished white rice is required to be artificially “enriched” with vitamins B1, B3 and iron. Clearly, brown rice is the nutritional winner over white rice. Other alternatives: Basmati rice, quinoa, jasmine rice, wild rice.
7. Instead of Soy Sauce try Bragg Liquid Aminos
Soy sauce is fermented and acidic. A great substitute is Bragg Liquid Aminos, which is a liquid protein concentrate derived from healthy soybeans, which contains 18 essential and non-essential amino acids in naturally occurring amounts, is not fermented or heated and is gluten-free.
8. Instead of Spaghetti try Soba Noodles
Most pastas are made with refined starches that lack nutritional value. Try swapping your spaghetti for soba noodles, tofu noodles, gluten-free pasta, whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash. You can also try making your own pasta sauce from scratch instead of using pre-packaged sauces which tend to contain sugar and preservatives.
9. Instead of Bottled Water try Alkaline Ionized Water
Not all waters are created equal. Most bottled waters, along with distilled and reverse osmosis waters are actually acidic. Tap water is regulated by the government to be at least a 7 pH which is neutral on the alkaline scale, but is littered with contaminants. Therefore your best option is alkaline ionized water from a Chanson water ionizer which you can hook up to your tap. The water is pre-filtered and microclustered, resulting in better tasting water with a smoother feel that doesn’t cause bloating. It is also rich in antioxidants and able to hydrate and detoxify better than standard water due to its smaller water molecule size. Being properly hydrated is the key to overall wellness and you will not regret the switch from bottled water to ionized alkaline water.