Posts Tagged ‘alkaline diet

Ten steps to living longer and healthier

- September 15th, 2011
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Sam Graci is giving a free lecture at 7-9 p.m. today at St. Albert's Enjoy Centre, 101 Riel Dr. (Photo by Cary Castagna)

(Note: The following guest post is courtesy greens+ guru Sam Graci.)

Ten steps to living longer and healthier … now!

When looking at our increased rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer to name just a few, it’s becoming more and more obvious that we’re not as healthy as perhaps we once were. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, we all have the power to influence our health and well-being through the choices we make every day, and I would like to help you realize these powers.

By following these 10 easy steps, not only will you protect your body against disease and slow the aging process, you will enjoy the healthiest, most vibrant and energetic daily life you deserve, naturally:

1. Give THANKS
Begin all meals with a reflective “grace” or “thanksgiving”: A simple reflection before your meal helps to generate a feeling of healthy cohesiveness, which often lasts the rest of your day.

2. Eat as if your life depended upon it!
Eating is a very intimate and important process. Consider each food before you eat it. Also try to eat a diet that contains 75% alkalizing foods and 25% acidifying foods. This will keep your body chemistry in perfect balance and therefore able to operate at peak performance. Have a green drink like greens+ daily. It is a convenient alkalizing ‘superfood’ containing a variety of phytonutrients, antioxidants and more.

3. Exercise daily
Exercise is life supporting. Our bodies were meant to move in a natural, neurologically coordinated way. Walking in particular, is a high quality locomotive movement we should engage in each day. It has a harmonizing effect on the entire central nervous system.

4. Drink water
Aim for 6 to 12, 8-ounce (250mL) glasses of pure water a day: Clean water is one of the most important things you can give your body.  To help digestion and for extra flavour, try adding freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice.

5. Go organic!
Eat 10 servings of organically grown fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains and sea vegetables every day. Whenever possible, purchase foods that have not been exposed to pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and ripening-retardant chemicals. Be alert to the new wave of bioengineered foods and foods that have been irradiated. Avoid chemical-laden and overly processed foods containing MSG, excess sugar, and hydrogenated oils.

6. Balance your foods
Eat low-fat proteins, quality fats, and low-glycemic, complex carbohydrates at every meal: Eat lean cuts of meats and remove all visible fat before cooking. Try to eat salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout two to three times a week. Only consume fat-free dairy products and eat free-range eggs when possible. If you are vegan or vegetarian, try to incorporate nutritional yeast, spirulina, chlorella, and soy isolate protein powder.

7. Reduce stress — naturally
Breathe deeply and reduce stress naturally: Conscientious breathing revitalizes the body with both oxygen and energy. Each morning and each evening take five minutes to breathe calmly and perform breathing exercises.

8. Let the sunshine in
Expose yourself to sunlight and fresh air: Expose your skin without sunglasses, glasses, or contact lenses to the sun for 10 minutes in the early morning and/or 10 minutes in the late afternoon. This limited and gentle sun exposure naturally promotes the production of Vitamin D in your body, while helping your skin build a natural tolerance.

9. Remember your good fats
Take fish oils: Best known for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, skin conditions and arthritis, there is now exciting research showing the positive impact of Omega-3s on brain health and function. Unfortunately, there’s been a radical shift in the Western diet over the last half-century leaving a nutritional void that can easily be filled through proper supplementation. Look for fish oils derived from small, wild and clean sources such as anchovy, sardines and mackerel.

10. Sleep well
Get sufficient sleep: Determine the number of hours of sleep you require to regenerate awake feeling rested and refreshed and aim to get this amount every night. Some people rejuvenate quickly with a 20-minute “power nap” during the day. Practice your breathing and meditation prior to falling asleep to both relax and deepen yourself. Honour your sleep requirements by keeping a regular bedtime and waking time schedule.

By incorporating these 10 steps every day, not only will you feel more energized and full of vitality on a daily basis, but you will also reap the rewards that come with a natural, preventive approach to health and healing such as reduced risk for disease, improved stress management, immune protection and more.

Remember, your health is won or lost each day at the cellular level and only YOU have the power to make the right choices. Eat wisely, feel healthy, live long and be happy — naturally!

About Sam Graci

Since first introducing Canadians to greens+ in 1993, Sam Graci has remained one of North America’s leading experts on nutrition, specifically focusing on the importance of eating healthy, fresh foods for achieving optimal health. Sam is a true believer that eating well and living well go hand-in-hand.  And through Sam’s expertise and inspiring educational approach, he is on a mission to inspire all of us to lead a more energetic, vibrant life.

Without question, the award-winning and research-proven success of greens+, based on over seven years of intense research, helped make Sam a natural leader in the development of a whole new and dynamic category of products known as ‘green superfoods’. Continuing on this path, Sam recently used his expertise to develop two new green formulas: greens+ extra energy and greens+ daily detox. Working together with Genuine Health (the company that makes greens+, proteins+ and other leading health supplements), these new formulas enhance the original greens+ blend to meet your specific health needs.

Always a source of healthy inspiration, Sam is uniquely recognized for his endless energy and vitality. He is regularly featured as a guest speaker at a number of consumer shows, in addition to his popular appearances on a variety of television and radio programs.  Sam continues to write many informative articles on nutrition and health for magazines and newspapers, and has authored two books: The Power of Superfoods (1998) and The Food Connection (2001). His new book The Path to Phenomenal Health: An Inspirational Journey to Vitality and Wellness is due out in September 2005.

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Keeping Fit reader disagrees with pH-level concept

- April 5th, 2010

Sam Head Shot_0Not everybody’s a fan of Sam Graci and his heralded alkaline diet.

Here’s a letter a Keeping Fit reader recently wrote to the London Free Press regarding the internationally renowned researcher – along with Graci’s research-backed rebuttal.

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ALKALINE DIET OUT TO LUNCH

Regarding the article The benefits of a healthy pH (March 22).

Back to basics, not back to basic.

The ‘Alkaline Diet’ is allegedly based on an understanding of how food acidity or alkalinity affects the body’s pH. If we’re born alkaline, and changing what you eat changes your pH, then eating alkalinizing foods makes sense. It sounds persuasive, except it lacks any scientific evidence.

Blood pH is maintained between 7.35 and 7.45. Although this is slightly alkaline, any deviation from this range causes severe illness. If the North American diet was leaving countless people with an acidic pH, as Sam Graci claims, not only would they be fatigued, they would be dead. Your pH is not at the mercy of the foods you eat. The body maintains pH within a narrow range using the kidneys and lungs. No food exists that is acidifying or alkalinizing enough to change the body’s pH balance.

There is no doubt a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has benefits. They include fibre, anti-oxidants and low calories — not alkalinity.
Just try searching for publications about the benefits of this diet in any recognized scientific journal, you’ll be left as unsatisfied as the consumers who buy into an alkaline diet.

Julia Wan
Petrolia, Ont.

***

Maybe Julia’s pH level is a tad too acidic. Here’s the reply from the Greens Plus guru himself.

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March 25, 2010

Attention: John Miner, health editor, London Free Press

Re: letter to editor ”Alkaline Diet Out to Lunch” by Julia Wan

Yes, blood pH is kept strictly regulated for our very survival. The bones represent an excellent reservoir of alkaline minerals which can be utilized to maintain this strict pH in the blood. This is the central tenant to the research behind acid-alkaline dietary components and human health – particularly that pertaining to osteoporosis. Urinary pH fluctuates throughout the day, with typical differences along the circadian rhythm. The diurnal rhythm of urinary pH is such that it is typically increased at night, possibly because calcium excretion is much higher overnight.

• Reference: Konig, et al. Effect of a supplement rich in alkaline minerals on acid-base balance in humans. Nutr J 2009;8:23

A Western, fast-food style diet has been shown in human volunteers to promote significant elevations in the stress hormone cortisol. When the acidic diet was neutralized with an oral alkaline solution, the cortisol levels were returned to normal. This human study has plenty of implications, not the least of which is that chronically elevated cortisol levels (via a top-heavy acidic diet) can promote obesity etc.

• Reference: Maurer, et al. Neutralization of Western diet inhibits bone resorption independently of K intake and reduces cortisol secretion in humans. American Journal of Physiology and Renal Physiology. 2003;284:F32-40.

Much of the more convincing data on the benefits of an slightly alkaline pH has emerged since 2007. Acid heavy diets have been linked to higher body weight and waist circumference. How about links to cardiovascular disease, hypertension and elevated cholesterol. On the other hand, more alkaline urine is associated with greater lean body mass. A more alkaline diet has also been linked to improved mental outlook. It would be easy to write off these associations because a diet with greater alkaline foods (i.e. fruits and vegetables) is one rich in antioxidants and fibre. Yet the connection with cortisol and an acidic diet makes the associations more difficult to dismiss. As for the connection between acidic diets (in the absence of alkaline fruits and vegetables) and osteoporosis, this has become increasingly robust. The notion of low-grade metabolic acidosis, one that cannot be assessed by blood and/or saliva, is moving from theory in the 1980s to a medical reality.

• References: Logan AC. Acid-alkaline balance: the third dimension of fruits and vegetables. Integrated Health Pract 2009;Sept:50-55.

• Welch, et al. Urine pH is an indicator of dietary acid-base load, fruit and vegetables and meat intakes: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Norfolk population study. Br J Nutr 2008;99:1335-43.

• Murakami K, et al. Association between dietary acid-base load and cardiometabolic risk factors in young Japanese women. British Journal of Nutrition. 2008, 100:642-51.

• Torres SJ, Nowson CA, Worsley A. Dietary electrolytes are related to mood. British Journal of Nutrition. 2008;100:1038-45.

• Dawson-Hughes B, Harris SS, Ceglia L: Alkaline diets favor lean tissue mass in older adults. American  Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;87:662-5.

In health,

Sam Graci