The morning show host says she mostly eats plant-based meals

Kelly Ripa visits People Now on February 19, 2020 in New York, United States
Credit: Noam Galai/Getty

Kelly Ripa is still all about her plant-based, alkaline diet — even after five years on the plan.

The Live with Kelly and Ryan host, 49, first tried a high-alkaline diet — which focuses on foods low in acidity, primarily vegetables like beets, broccoli, cucumber and kale — in 2015 as a cleanse, and found that it “changed” her life.

And as she nears her 50th birthday, Ripa tells PEOPLE that she still follows the diet.

“I really believe in an alkaline diet,” she says. “I believe inflammation is one of the great killers of people, in different ways. Whether it’s digestive problems, or heart health, or brain inflammation. Inflammation really affects your body in totality, so I try to maintain a really alkaline diet.”

For Ripa, she immediately feels the benefits of the program.

“It’s so important, and you don’t realize it until you make those changes, and you’re suddenly like, ‘Oh my god, I feel so great,’ ” she says.

The diet’s reliance on plant-based foods, though, left Ripa with a few stomach issues that she needed to fix.

“I really found that, because so much of my diet is so plant-based, I constantly have reflux, indigestion. People with plant-based diets — these are foods that don’t break down easily, your body has to work for it,” she says.

Ripa recently discovered Persona Nutrition, a personalized supplement company, and says that their ginger and peppermint supplements calmed her stomach.

“I feel the difference,” says Ripa, who is now a spokesperson for the brand. “It’s really changed my life.”

Award-Winning Kelly Ripa Announces New Role as Persona Nutrition's Celebrity Brand Ambassador on February 19, 2020 in New York City
Credit: Craig Barritt/Getty

The longtime morning show host also started taking a CBD supplement to improve her sleep.

“I’m not kidding, I thought it was pot and that I was high,” she says with a laugh. “I’ve read about CBD, but I never really dialed into it, I thought it was nonsense, and it really does aide in helping you sleep. I can attest, because sleep was so elusive for me for so many years, partly because I work out a lot, so I have a lot of energy, and partly because I’m a morning show host, and the more you know you need to wake up at a certain time, the more likely you are to stay awake, agonizing over having to fall asleep and thinking: ‘If I fall asleep now, I’ll get two good hours.’ And I don’t have that anymore.”

The mom of three does, though, have to check the clock before she takes the CBD.

“I have to make sure I take it really close to bedtime, because if I take it too soon I’ll be sitting there trying to help my son with homework and fall right asleep,” she jokes. “But it’s great before bed.”