The Importance of Alkaline Foods
Many of today’s diets are heavy in acidic foods. An acidic diet can harm the digestive system, and it also has a number of other negative consequences. It can block the body’s ability to utilize important nutrients, cause weight gain, weaken the immune system, and increase the chance of heart attack and stroke. Due to this, it is important to make sure that your diet is rich in alkaline foods, and this can help to keep your body within a normal pH range.
Alkaline foods are essential to a healthy body, and one reason why they are so important is because the blood is naturally acidic. One of the best aspects of eating alkaline foods is that they can be a great source of other important nutrients. One easy way to promote a healthy pH is to drink vegetable juice regularly. If you’ve been wondering, the age old question, whether to use a juicer or blender, you’re not alone. You can read more about it in our Juicing vs. Blending article.
Beneficial foods include:
- Alfalfa Sprouts
Besides providing support to the body’s pH, these foods are also a good source of fiber. Fiber can help to fight many of the digestive ailments caused by a highly acidic diet. These foods provide both soluble and insoluble fiber, and this can help to promote healthy bowel movements and reduce the risk of diverticular disease. Fiber also helps to slow down the digestive process, and this can be beneficial for glucose and cholesterol levels. These foods also lead to a long lasting feeling of fullness, and this can help to reduce food cravings. Other foods, like pineapple and grapes, provide important vitamins and antioxidants that may promote cellular health. Pineapple may also help the body to use fat as energy, and this can be helpful for weight loss. One of the diets that have been shown to improve cardiovascular health and maintain healthy weight is the Mediterranean diet.
As you can see, eating alkaline foods not only help to promote proper pH within the body, but they also provide you with other opportunities to nutritionally support the body. Alkaline foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, and all of these nutrients can promote the health of the body and its many systems.
Grass Fed vs. Corn Fed
Grass fed cattle provide a superior product when compared to corn fed cattle. There really isn’t much debate, but unfortunately many aren’t aware of the major differences between the two. In this article well discuss why eating grass fed beef isn’t just better for the cow, but also for you and your health.
Grass fed cattle are healthier throughout their life, and this makes their meat safer for human consumption. A cow’s stomach needs to have a neutral pH in order to properly digest its food and to keep its immune system running properly. Cows that aren’t grass fed eat corn and grains, which is not what their stomach is meant to process. This creates an acidic environment where bacteria and parasites can exist, and it puts the meat in jeopardy. E. coli is able to thrive in this environment, and e. coli, which was rare 25 years ago, can now be founding the majority of cattle that aren’t grass fed.
Cattle that are fed grass aren’t just less likely to spread disease, they are also nutritionally superior. Corn fed cattle are high in saturated fat. This fat is within the actual meat, so it can’t be cut off. Grass fed beef has lower amounts of saturated fat, and it is also a good source of vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids. Overall, grass fed beef isn’t as detrimental to the cardiovascular system as corn fed beef.
In comparison to corn fed cows, grass fed cows live a much more humane life. While corn fed cattle live in a world that still resembles Sinclair’s The Jungle, grass fed cattle are awarded the ability to move around. Most of the corn fed cattle are kept in tight quarters that are designed to promote feeding in order to fatten them up. Due to these crowded pens and filth, disease is relatively common among cows. Starting in the mid 20th century cattle farmers began to lace the food with antibiotics. This gave the cattle a longer life, and, in turn, more time to grow into beef producing cattle. This trend continued to grow, and today nearly 80 percent of the antibiotics in the United States are given to animals. This only perpetuates the problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria, and this is of major concern to the health world. Many grass fed beef companies do not use these antibiotics. It is important to do some research into the grass fed beef companies, because some do treat sick animals with antibiotics.
Providing your family with grass fed meats is just a better decision. It largely reduces the risk of cattle born diseases and infections, and it is a much healthier option. Grass fed cattle doesn’t have the high fat content that is found in corn fed cattle, and it is also richer in important nutrients.
Prebiotics Instead of Antibiotics?
Previously, we briefly talked about the antibiotics given to cattle and other farm animals. Antibiotics are used agriculturally to prevent the disease that runs rampant in factory farms, and this is despite the fact that it negatively affects humans. Providing livestock with these antibiotics only contributes the development of pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics, and eventually modern antibiotics may become obsolete. This has lead to some looking for a more suitable and natural form of protection for livestock. Unfortunately, natural protection for these animals is often overlooked in the United States, but countries in Europe, as well as Japan have started to slowly integrate natural protection for farm animals.
So What Are Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics?
The amount of ingredients found in food and agricultural practices that have been banned by the European Union, but still persist in America is disturbing. The European Union banned the use of antibiotics to fatten livestock in 2006, and this left European farmers looking for alternatives. There have been a number of natural routes that have been shown to be beneficial, while also being safe for humans. The use of zinc is sometimes used in European farming. Zinc has positively charged cations, which help to remove pathogens that are negatively charged. Oregano oil has also shown that it can help. Oregano oil naturally fights parasites, fungi, and other pathogens. Farmers that have used oregano oil notice that their animals ten to be healthier, and a mixture of livestock feed and oregano oil that is produced in the Netherlands has out performed some antibiotic feeds.
The use of probiotics and prebiotics has also gained traction in Europe. Humans all over the world consume probiotics to maintain the health of their digestive tract and immune system, and they can work in a similar fashion in farm animals. One of the more feared bacterial strains found in farm animals is E. coli. German researchers found earlier this year that supplying farm animals with the probiotic enterococcus faecium reduced the amount of E. coli found in the digestive tract. Supplying farm animals with probiotics can promote the health of the gut’s microflora, and this can provide immune support to the animal and help to fight other harmful pathogens.
As the rest of the world starts to look for safe agricultural routes, it is also time for America to step up. The importance of money needs to be put aside, and public health and safety needs to be taken into account. Finding safe alternatives to the antibiotics used in farming is essential to prolonging the integrity of contemporary antiobiotics and the health of the American public.
Healthy Alternative to Potatoes
So you’ve made the commitment to eat healthier, and have just bought your organic and grass fed beef. This cut of meat is lower in fat, and now it is time to consume a side that won’t stuff your body with carbohydrates and starches. Potatoes are a common side dish for any kind of meat. The standard red meat dish almost always seems to be followed up by a side of greens and a side of potato. Unfortunately, potatoes supply the body with a lot of carbohydrates and starches, and this can make it nearly impossible to lose weight.
Carbohydrates are essential to the body’s production of energy, but too many carbohydrates can lead to drastic weight gain. This is the reason why many weight loss diets are based on a reduced consumption of carbohydrates. Potatoes also have a high glycemic index, and this means that they can cause a sharp rise in blood sugar. The glycemic index is simply the measurement of how fast food is able to be converted into sugar. Foods with a high glycemic index are generally looked down upon by people in the weight loss and health community, because they quickly raise blood sugar and are believed to cause weight gain.
For people trying to eat healthy, cutting potatoes and other foods rich in carbohydrates and starches are important. There are many alternatives to potato sides and dishes, and some of the best are:
- Turnips are a great way to reduce potatoes from the diet. Turnips can be used to make french fries, and this can cut the calories by a third and the carbohydrates by more than half.
- Cauliflower is a versatile cruciferous vegetable, and it can be used to replace potatoes in a number of dishes. It can be used in potato salad, and the recipe can be left just about the same. For a healthier potato salad, simply replace the potatoes with cauliflower. Cauliflower can also be used to mimic mashed potatoes. It is made very similarly to mashed potatoes. All that needs to be done is to boil and mash the cauliflower, and then add the cream/milk, butter, and seasoning.
- Yams can also be used to make french fries, and this provides the body with protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, manganese, copper, and potassium.
These dishes are easy to prepare, and they also help to reduce the consumption of carbohydrates and starches.
If you’ve made the switch to organic and grass fed beef, you may also want to consider reducing the amount of carbohydrates that you consume. Limiting carbohydrate intake can help with the weight loss process, and hopefully you will find some of these potato alternatives not only nutritious, but also delicious. If you don’t feel you are getting enough quality food, you may want to supplement with a high quality whole food vitamin supplement.
If you have low energy and want to use food to improve your fatigue, check out our article on food for energy.