The Alkaline Cure
By Dr. Stephan Domenig
Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. (2014)
Reviewed by Kelly Pritchett, PhD, RD, CSSD
Presented as a prescription for health by cleansing the body of toxins and resetting pH balance, The Alkaline Cure claims that the Western diet promotes an acidic environment and that living "acid-free" will lead to increased energy, decreased inflammation and reduced risk of illness including cancer and diabetes.
Synopsis of the Diet Plan
The book provides a 14-day eating and activity plan that is based on a 2:1 alkaline-to-acid food ratio and avoiding "strongly acid-forming foods," such as sugar, dairy, high gluten grains, alcohol, caffeine and animal products. The eating plan is high in "alkaline forming superfoods" — fruits (bananas, watermelon, mango), vegetables (broccoli, kale, spinach, beets, sweet potatoes), new and ancient grains (amaranth, buckwheat, rye, quinoa), fresh herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary) and certain nuts, oils and seeds — and includes three meals per day plus herbal tea. Along with the meal plan, there are daily recommendations for physical activity and beauty regimens, such as footbaths and facemasks. After completing the 14-day cycle, it is recommended to continue the regimen as a way of life.
Nutritional Pros and Cons
Providing recipes and shopping lists to help guide its recommendations for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and ancient grains, it also allows for some meat and fish. Furthermore, the book promotes a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity a day to aid in weight loss, improve mood, strengthen bones and improve blood flow. The Alkaline Cure is focused on pH balance but, while the approach to neutralizing pH is generally healthy, there is little scientific evidence to support the benefits of pH balance and disease prevention.
The Alkaline Cure will likely result in weight loss initially because it is low-calorie and encourages avoiding processed foods and sugars while increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, in line with what nutrition professionals recommend. It promotes the continuation of healthy habits and encourages "lifestyle change," not a one-off diet. However, the plan lacks variety and limits foods, including dairy, with limited scientific evidence to support the benefits of following an alkaline diet.