Most Americans have terrible diets. Not just terrible, but deadly. Just think of all the chemical-laden, fatty, fried, acid-forming foods that are commonly eaten in the United States. We live in a “fast food” society and to eat healthy is most certainly not the “norm”, and it’s not popular with the big food corporations either. Everything around us pushes boxed foods, processed carbs, fast fixes, and all kinds of “foods” that might taste good, but offer very little in true nutritional quality… and are far more likely to hurt us over the long run.
It’s difficult, because many people get caught up in this mess—eating a lot of “so-called” food instead of real food—and they do so unintentionally because of the habits that they’ve been taught by the world that we live in. For example, a family may decide they want to save money on grocery shopping, and so they turn to the one place they’ve been constantly conditioned to turn to for saving money: coupons. But guess what? There are rarely coupons for fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Instead, coupons are usually for processed, sugar-laden, acid-forming foods that would probably not have been readily identifiable as “food” to our ancestors.
The good news is that with some thought and planning, it is perfectly possible to fight the trend and avoid getting caught up in the patterns that lead to the over-utilization of processed and fast foods.
The place to start is with your everyday foods. What can you use to build your run-of-the-mill, every day meals and snacks? Here are 6 alkaline-forming foods that are budget friendly and easy to utilize in a variety of ways.
Now why would I start with lemons, you ask? What on earth can you make with lemons? Lemons are a great way to add flavor to a lot of dishes. They can be used in preparing sauces and as edible garnishes, and can even go into soups and traditionally savory dishes. You can flavor drinks with them. They’re also great as a component in salad dressings.
Now we’re talking, right? Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are extremely healthy alkaline forming foods that are all relatively cheap to buy and easy to prepare. Broccoli and Cauliflower are great snacks when cut up fresh. They can also be used to make stir fry, are great steamed, and of course go great in soups and on salads. Cauliflower has also been used as a low-carb substitute for rice or potatoes. (Google “riced cauliflower” for some ideas!)
Spinach and kale are perhaps two of the healthiest foods a person can eat. And spinach especially is cheap and versatile. When you buy spinach, purchase it from the fresh section where you can pay for it by the pound. (Avoid the prepackaged bags and bunches if possible.) Spinach can be used in all kinds of dishes and prepared in a variety of ways. Steamed, stir fried, and of course fresh—as in salads—spinach is a cheap and easy ingredient to incorporate into your daily food habits.
Root vegetables like radishes and carrots make great snacks and are excellent in salads and in a variety of prepared forms. Turnips, beets, and horseradish are also great for your health and tend to be low cost at most grocery stores. In addition to their other amazing health benefits, these vegetables are also alkaline-forming in the body. They definitely deserve a spot in your weekly menu.
Cook with garlic. Fresh garlic is great for your health. It gives amazing flavor to many savory dishes. Whether you’re cooking Asian or Italian, garlic is a big winner as it offers a log of health benefit and is alkaline-forming, too!
This is perhaps one that you wouldn’t expect to find on such a list, but cayenne peppers have many health benefits and are also alkaline-forming. They can be used to add heat and flavor to a variety of dishes, dressings, and sauces.
Incorporating these 6 alkalizing foods into your everyday meals and cooking routine will go a long way towards improving your health and overall well-being. If you’re hesitant about trying new foods or new ways of approaching meals, just take small steps and work into it a little at a time. Start by replacing a couple of acid-forming foods with alkaline forming ones in a meal or two each week. Then grow and expand from there. Once you experience the emotional and health benefits of better eating, chances are you will want to incorporate these and other healthy foods into your diet more and more!