All chemicals, natural and otherwise, have a pH level, which is a measurement of hydrogen. The pH scale ranges from zero to 14, with zero being purely acidic, 14 being purely alkaline and seven being neutral. Human blood should ideally be a slightly alkaline ph of 7.3 to 7.4. Therefore, the bulk of our diet, around 70%, should be alkaline-producing foods. It should be noted here that alkaline foods refers to the effect they have on our pH, not the actual pH level of the food itself. Most fruits, for example, contain a fair amount of acid, but they have an alkalizing effect on the blood and urine. Food is not the only factor that makes us acidic or alkaline. Stress leaves an acidic residue in the body, just as relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation makes the body more alkaline.
What are acidic food?
The modern day diet is made up of mainly acidic foods such as processed meat, processed wheat, dairy and sugar. You may notice signs of over acidity in your body when you have a runny nose on waking, fatigue, a skin breakout, or a slight case of irritable bowel syndrome.
If the body creates an acidic environment it promotes the growth of bad bacteria, yeast and fungi. The imbalance of your body’s good bacteria makes you more prone to getting infections. You will be less likely to suffer from the common cold when your body is alkaline.
A major benefit of having an alkaline body state is that you might reduce your risk for developing cancer. When your body is too acidic, oxygen levels are lowered and cellular metabolism stops. This can lead to the growth of cancer cells. Maintaining an alkaline state helps encourage healthy cell turnover, which is key in the prevention of cancer.
Fruits and vegetables make your body more alkaline, while processed foods, sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol make you more acidic. By eating alkalizing foods, you are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. The frequent consumption of acid-producing foods is more likely to contribute to a weight problem.
Vegetables that have the highest amount of alkaline-forming minerals include asparagus; celery; alfalfa sprouts; leafy, green lettuce; all dark leafy greens (gottukola etc) spinach; broccoli; carrots; bell peppers; cabbage; squash; and potatoes. Slightly alkaline to neutral vegetables include onions, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, mushrooms, okra, and sweet tomatoes.
Fruits that are highly alkaline include lemons and watermelon, limes, mango, kiwi, melons, papayas, cantaloupe, passion fruits, pineapples, raisins and grapes. Moderately alkaline fruit include apples, avocados, nectarines, peaches, grapefruits, guava, and berries such as strawberries and raspberries. Slightly less alkaline fruits include coconut and cherries.
Alkaline Proteins and Nuts
Some proteins such as poached eggs, whey protein powder, cottage cheese, and fermented tofu are alkaline forming foods. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, nuts, almonds and flaxseed are also alkaline forming.
Alkaline Beverages and Spices
Alkaline beverages include vegetable juices, fresh fruit juices, unpasteurized organic milk, mineral water, green tea, herbal tea, ginseng tea and apple cider vinegar. Alkaline spices include cinnamon, ginger, chili pepper, curry, mustard, sea salt and all herbs.