"My doctor told me I had to stop throwing intimate dinners for four unless there were three other people." - Orson Wells
The jury is in—having an alkaline diet is good for lots of things, mood included. When clients come in with depression or anxiety I always ask about diet. It might go something like this:
“What do you need help with?”
“Well I’m depressed and anxious.”
“What’s your diet like?”
“Just normal, coffee, fruit juice, pop tarts, cereal, eggs, toast, bacon, hamburgers, fries, chips, beer, margaritas, soda, tacos, macaroni and cheese, steak, ice cream, carrots, sometimes salad."
“Do you drink water?”
“Umm a couple glasses a day, but I drink a lot of juice and things that have water in them, like coffee. Does that count?”
“Err, not really.”
There might not be much I can do as a therapist to help change this person’s mood until they are willing to first change their diet. The typical western diet is so acidic that brain chemistry is negatively impacted. This impact can be so acute that is limits psychological interventions.
You’ve probably heard that our blood has a “Ph balance”. What this means is that it has a balance of acid and alkalinity. For most westerners our blood tends to be highly acidic. We want the blood to be slightly (not entirely) alkaline. The acidity detected in most westerner’s blood is due to an overload of processed, sugary, salty, and acidic foods. Without making a conscious intention to alkalinize our diet we can be “chasing the dragon” with our diet; continually spiking our mood with sugar and caffeine—experiencing a resulting crash and fatigue that needs another spike to get us over the next energy hump. This has been shown to be not only detrimental to energy levels and mood, it can also be a breeding ground for disease.
Let’s consider our good friend water. Water is alkaline (it can be made even more alkaline with a home water ionizer) and is an important aspect of healthy neuro-chemistry. It has been scientifically proven that when the brain is dehydrated it affects the ability of neurotransmitters to their job—resulting in depression and anxiety. Alcohol, coffee, and other beverages are actually dehydrating even though their main ingredient is water. As a rule of thumb drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. That is, if you weigh 160lbs., drink 80 ounces of water per day.
So what does an alkaline food diet look like? In short, eat your veggies and go green. Eat more green lettuces and herbs, sprouts, tofu, coconut, almonds, olive oil, milk, yogurt, many fruits, sprouted breads, and vegetables. Cut down on highly acidic foods like meat, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, yeast breads, pasta, cheese, tobacco, drugs, crackers, etc. For a full list of both alkaline and acidic foods check see: https://www.drdavidwilliams.com/acid-forming-and-alkalinizing-foods.
Remember, we need both acidic and alkaline foods for a good Ph blood balance. We aren’t “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” and cutting out all acidic foods. You can still have your fun food, just don't make a whole diet out it.
Tony Robbins goes over the alkaline basics in this video: