OK, just one more post about PMDD nutrition before I move on to something else! In my first diet for PMDD post I talked about some simple does and don’ts, then I followed up with another PMDD diet post detailing the science behind how PMDD affects your body and how the food you eat can make it worse or better and why. This post I wanted to explore a more alternative way of looking at food for your health that can help to alleviate PMDD and many other health conditions too.
For some, this approach might seem a little far fetched, or a little out there. This is understandable because there has not been enough scientific tests done to prove the absolute validity of this kind of diet, but there is a growing body of evidence that show it DOES make a serious impact for the better in regards to peoples heal;th when followed properly. What I am referring to is what is called an Alkaline Diet.
What The Heck Does Alkaline Mean?
An odd word if you do not know chemistry. Alkaline is the opposite of acidic basically. There is a measurement called a pH level which measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Too far acidic and of course, it is dangerous, but also too far alkaline is dangerous for humans as well. pH 7 is neutral, neither one or the other. The chart below gives you an idea of what this is like and some comparisons.
As you can see on the image, there is a note saying that human blood is a little but more on the alkaline side than the acidic side at about 7.365 pH. This is the basic underpinning of what an Alkaline diet is about. It is the understanding that the human body is naturally more alkaline than acidic and functions better when it is in this state because that is what we are designed or evolved to be at.
What Does This Mean For Me and PMDD?
Way back in the past, before industrialisation, before civilisation even, we were hunter gatherers and had existed as such for a long long time. We were used to eating different sorts of food back then and our bodies were used to that. The foods we ate back then were much more alkaline in nature and kept our body at its optimum pH level for good health. However, we then started to make different foods with the advent of civilisation. Bread, Milk, access to more meat and a hole host of other things. After this of course we get into the modern age where we have packaged foods, sugary food and drinks, and a whole host of other different types of food that have one thing in common. They drag our bodies pH level towards a more acidic state!
Being acidic is NOT good for your health. Too far either side of the optimum level means you begin to poisons the cells in your body and they start to die. In regards to PMDD treatment the effect is profound because it interferes with the hormonal regulation as well with a knock on effect to your mental health because your mood regulators will be all over the place due to hormonal fluctuations. It has other far reaching consequences for the health of women in particular but I just want to focus on how it effects your condition and how an Alkaline diet can be good PMDD nutrition for you to follow.
So What Is an Alkaline Diet Then?
An alkaline diet is one where you eat foods that are alkaline in nature. Foods that will swing your bodies pH level back toward its optimal state. It is a diet that reduces the intake of acidic foods to stop your pH level moving into dangerous territory. This is a whole different way of looking at foods because it is not just about quantity or calories, it is about quality of food that is good for our internal systems.
There is a LOT to discuss about this so I will just give you an overview of what is good and bad, which will tie in quite nicely with a low GI diet and other things I mentioned in previous posts.
- Many vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables such as Spinach, Broccoli, lettuce, Leeks, Cucumber, Celery and more!
- Selected unsalted nuts like almonds and pine nuts
- Beans, tofu and soy beans among many good legumes
- Some fruits such as bananas, avocado, coconuts and figs
- White Bread (Most breads in fact, the more grains and darker it is the less acidic it is though)
- Most Dairy foods
- Condiments such as ketchup, Mayonnaise, soy sauce etc
- Coffee, Beer, Wine, Spirits
- Some fruits such as Pineapples and Raspberries
- Beef, Pork, Even Salmon (though salmon has many other good nutrients)
- Sugar, artificial sweeteners, honey, etc
Now this does not mean you cannot eat or drink ALL acidic food types, that is way too overboard. What it does mean is that our modern diet is just too acidic most of the time and reducing the acidic foods while promoting more alkaline foods in your diet will make an impact. You do not need to live and eat like a caveman, but you can modify your nutrition for PMDD to eliminate the worst offenders and put in some of the better foods in exchange. Once you start feeling the good effects you might want to continue to reduce the acidic intake even further. You do need a commitment to make a drastic change though so you do begin to see results fast.
There is an excellent site with lots of recipes, more complete food lists and other information about alkaline dieting here: