Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

What You Should Eat to Balance Your pH and Alkalize Your Body

Popular

The main concept behind an alkalizing diet is that certain foods can create acidic byproducts in your body after digestion. You can reduce the negative health effects of these acids by limiting acid-forming foods in your diet and eating foods that alkalize your body instead.

The benefits of an alkalizing diet are starting to add up. Research has shown that eating more alkalizing foods can:

  • benefit bone health

  • reduce muscle wasting

  • mitigate chronic diseases like hypertension and stroke

  • improve cardiovascular health

  • enhance memory and cognition

And perhaps best of all, alkalizing foods are often cheap and easy to find.

Why Eat an Alkalizing Diet?

It’s vital to human survival that our bodies maintain a blood pH of about 7.4. On the pH scale, this is slightly alkaline. One of the main ways our bodies maintain our internal pH is through the kidneys. They filter out any excessive acids in our system and excrete them in urine.

A problem starts when we consume too many acid-forming foods. The kidneys can’t always keep up with the acid wastes from these foods, causing the acids to accumulate in our tissues.

Studies have found that if this acidic overload becomes chronic, it can lead to various health conditions. Some of these include kidney stones, reduced bone density, muscle degradation and a possible link to the development of arthritis, diabetes and cancer.

Dr. Thomas Remer developed a way to calculate the potential acidifying or alkalizing effect a food may have on your body. This is called the potential renal acid load (PRAL) of a food. It measures how much acid your kidneys need to process after a food has been eaten.

It’s been shown that when you eat foods with a high PRAL, the pH of your urine and saliva often become lower or more acidic. Whereas foods with a low PRAL raise your urine and saliva pH, making it more alkaline. This isn’t a perfect measurement, but it can give a useful general guideline as to how a food is affecting your body.

Alkalizing Food Groups

It’s recommended that 80 percent of your diet is made up of alkalizing foods from the groups listed below. The other 20 percent can be neutral to acid-forming foods, but these should be kept to a minimum.

Always choose fresh, organic foods whenever possible. An important part of an alkalizing diet is getting enough minerals to help your body neutralize acid wastes. Organic foods have often been shown to contain a higher nutritional content than non-organic foods. This will make sure you get as many minerals as possible.

Vegetables

All vegetables are alkalizing. If you simply eat more vegetables, you’re well on your way to a more alkaline diet.

It’s best to eat them in the least processed form you can. Raw or steamed is excellent. Deep fried or made into a carrot cake is not.

All types of seaweed are particularly alkalizing. Greens, such as spinach, parsley, kale and watercress are also highly rated.

This includes herbal teas and fresh vegetable juices.

Fruits

The majority of fruits are also alkalizing. The few exceptions are blueberries, cranberries and plums. These are shown to be acidifying.

It’s recommended to eat fruits raw rather than cooked, pasteurized or processed. This is because cooking can break down some of the vitamins, such as vitamin C.

Some of the best fruits are melons, lemons, limes, dates, figs and raisins. Fresh fruit juice and smoothies are also good.

Even apple cider vinegar rates as alkalizing, which can be confusing because vinegar is clearly very acidic. Whether a food is alkalizing or acidifying is based on the amount of acid wastes that are produced when it’s digested. Your body is affected by these waste chemicals, not the actual acidity of a food.

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, chestnuts, chia and sesame seeds are all alkalizing. Whereas, most other nuts and seeds are slightly acid-forming.

Although, any nuts or seeds will become more alkalizing if you soak and sprout them before you eat them.

Processed nut and seed oils are considered neutral, so eat these sparingly. This includes oils such as almond, sunflower, canola or sesame. Any oil can go rancid fairly quickly, so it’s recommended to always buy fresh, cold-pressed and untreated oils when possible.

Grains and Beans

Amaranth, millet and quinoa are the only grains that are naturally alkalizing. Fresh beans are also alkalizing, such as green peas, lima beans or fresh soy products like tofu or tempeh.

In general, the rest of the grains and beans are acidifying. This is particularly true for any breads, cereals, pastas or other processed forms of grains or beans.

But similar to nuts and seeds, whole grains and beans become alkalizing if you soak and sprout them before preparation.

What foods should you avoid?

The food groups that have been shown to have the most acidifying effect on your body are primarily animal-based. The most acid-forming food group is meat. Fish are slightly better than other animal meats, but they are still significantly acidifying.

Dairy products and eggs are also acid-forming. Goat milk is the least acidifying, whereas hard cheeses are the highest.

The last and perhaps most acidifying food group is artificial sweeteners. White processed sugar is by far the worst, but honey, molasses and maple syrup are also somewhat acid-forming.

An alkalizing diet is about finding a healthy balance in what you eat. It’s not about becoming extreme and cutting out all acid-forming foods. It simply provides a guideline to help make better daily food choices.

Source

Alkalize or Die, by Dr. Theodore Baroody

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE 

15 Best Foods for Detoxing Your Body

A Beginner’s Guide to Mindful Eating

How Protein at Breakfast Can Help You Lose Weight

High Sugar Consumption Linked to Breast Cancer

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

During a protest action on May 30 in North Rhine-Westphalia, Datteln in front of the site of the Datteln 4 coal-fired power plant, Greenpeace activists projected the lettering: "Climate crisis - Made in Germany" onto the cooling tower. Guido Kirchner / picture alliance / Getty Images

Around 500 climate activists on Saturday gathered outside the new Datteln 4 coal power plant in Germany's Ruhr region, to protest against its opening.

Read More Show Less
Dr. Mark Brunswick (2R), Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality, walks through the lab at Sorrento Therapeutics in San Diego, California on May 22. ARIANA DREHSLER / AFP / Getty Images

By Julia Ries

Around the world, there have been several cases of people recovering from COVID-19 only to later test positive again and appear to have another infection.

Read More Show Less

By Samantha Hepburn

In the expansion of its iron ore mine in Western Pilbara, Rio Tinto blasted the Juukan Gorge 1 and 2 — Aboriginal rock shelters dating back 46,000 years. These sites had deep historical and cultural significance.

Read More Show Less
Meadow Lake wind farm in Indiana. Anthony / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Tara Lohan

The first official tallies are in: Coronavirus-related shutdowns helped slash daily global emissions of carbon dioxide by 14 percent in April. But the drop won't last, and experts estimate that annual emissions of the greenhouse gas are likely to fall only about 7 percent this year.

Read More Show Less
Andrey Nikitin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Adrienne Santos-Longhurst

Plants are awesome. They brighten up your space and give you a living thing you can talk to when there are no humans in sight.

Turns out, having enough of the right plants can also add moisture (aka humidify) indoor air, which can have a ton of health benefits.

Read More Show Less
A bald eagle chick inside a nest in Rutland, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
A bald eagle nest with eggs has been discovered in Cape Cod for the first time in 115 years, according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (Mass Wildlife), as Newsweek reported.
Read More Show Less

Trending

The office of Rover.com sits empty with employees working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12 in Seattle, Washington. John Moore / Getty Images

The office may never look the same again. And the investment it will take to protect employees may force many companies to go completely remote. That's after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations for how workers can return to the office safely.

Read More Show Less