The foods you eat are metabolized into compounds that either promote acidity, or form alkaline substances, which counter acidity. Animal proteins are particularly acid-forming, while vegetables and fruits are generally alkalizing. The merits of eating more-planted meals vary from weight loss and beauty benefits to a better healthy life! You can replace animal-based foods with more alkalizing plants.

1. Swap minced mushrooms for ground meat. This combo works perfectly in numerous dishes, including stuffed peppers, chili, and tacos. You can also replace a burger patty with a grilled juicy Portobello mushroom.

Bonus: you'll up your intake of metabolism-boosting vitamin D.

2. Use pureed cauliflower in recipes that call for milk or cream. This trick is terrific for mashed potatoes, creamy soups, dips, and casseroles. Simply steam the cauliflower to retain moisture, mash, blend, and fold into the mix.

Bonus: you'll boost your consumption of filling fiber and load up on potent natural cancer fighters.

3. Trade dairy-based dressings for creamy avocado. Tired of oil and vinegar? For a thick and creamy dressing, puree ripe avocado with minced garlic, a little apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, fresh basil leaves, and black pepper. This combo is perfect for leafy greens, or as a coating for other chilled veggie side dishes, like a cucumber salad or slaw.

Bonus: you'll take in more anti-aging vitamin E, as well as healthy fats tied to a slimmer waistline.

4. Saute with lemony veggie broth instead of butter. Lemons may be acidic tasting, but after they're metabolized, they're actually one of the most alkalizing foods on the planet. Squeeze a wedge or two over veggies before lightly sauteing or steaming with organic low sodium vegetable broth.

Bonus: you'll boost your intake of disease-fighting antioxidants and immune-supporting vitamin C.

5. Use plant-based milk rather than cow's milk. In smoothies, oatmeal, soups, and sauces, try unsweetened "milk" made from almonds, flax, or sunflower seeds. These replacements work well in both sweet and savory dishes, and may provide less than half the calories of even skim milk per cup.

Bonus: the good fats in these plant milks support healthy circulation and protect your heart.