The Dr. Sebi Diet
The Dr. Sebi diet is heavily reliant on whole, natural, unprocessed foods that are vegan. It emphasizes that consuming whole foods and taking the required supplements would help alleviate disease-causing mucous by creating an alkaline environment within your body, thereby allowing you to live a healthier life.
The theory behind Dr. Sebi’s alkaline diet is that the body becomes acidic because of the current times’ unhealthy eating patterns and processed foods’ consumption. This allows for mucous to build up within the body. Dr. Sebi claims that diseases are caused because of a build-up of mucous in the body. Examples are pneumonia caused by a buildup of mucous in the lungs and diabetes caused by excess mucous buildup in the pancreas. He argues that there isn’t a chance for diseases to be generated without this excessive mucous secretion.
Dr. Sebi, who originally goes by, Alfredo Darrington Bowman, a self-educated herbalist, came up with the African Bio-Mineral Balance Theory. This diet works on eliminating “mucous build-up” in your body and then re-nourishes your body with the precise minerals that the body needs to be efficiently functional. It is a diet that needs to be followed in perpetuity. It is to be noted that despite the title in his name, Dr. Sebi was not a medical doctor, neither does he hold a Ph.D. He designed this diet to rid everyone of their physical ailments and live a healthier life by switching to a plant-based diet.
An overview of the diet:
A definitive nutrition guide is given on the website, which shows you the list of foods allowed within the diet. Dr. Sebi highly recommends you not deviate from that list. It restricts all processed and canned foods, microwaved foods, meat, dairy products, a lot of legumes and pulses.
Potential Advantages of Following the Alkaline Diet:
Several cases have been reported where people who have tried the diet experienced a significant amount of weight loss. Also, plant-based eating helps the body reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. A study found that out of the 65,226 people, those who consumed more than seven fruit servings a day had a 25% and 31% lower risk of cancer and heart diseases. Apart from this, eating a plant-based diet ensures you have great plant oils, nuts, seeds, and a fiber-rich meal in each serving, and these have been shown to reduce your risk of heart diseases.
Risks Associated With Following Dr. Sebi’s Diet:
The first point to be noted here is that this diet is not based on any scientific research. This is why there is no surprise that this diet is highly restrictive and that you need to ensure you have the willpower to follow through with this diet throughout your lifetime. That being said, other concerns arise when analyzing the alkaline diet. Dr. Sebi’s diet has been scrutinized by scientists for not being a balanced one. It lacks many essential nutrients for the daily functioning of the human body.
The primary nutrient being protein. Although foods like mushrooms, seaweed, nuts, etc., do provide some protein, you would have to consume significant amounts of these foods to even come near your daily value. Protein is inherently required for your daily repair of muscle wear and tear, along with being essential for skin, hair, and nails. The diet heavily lacks in supplementing everyday nutrients like iron, calcium, and omega-three fatty acids, without which the body would not function properly.
Apart from the physical aspects, this diet promotes an unhealthy relationship with food because of its many restrictions, which further encourages eating disorders. Vilification of any food is the basis for any eating disorder and stress.
This diet promotes eating whole, unprocessed plant foods. While eating plant-based foods is healthy to a certain degree and may aid in weight loss, the extreme restrictions placed on what to consume make this diet unsustainable in the long term because of a lack of essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the body.