10 Best Alkaline Foods and Why Should You Be Eating Them

From an alkalizing point of view, here are some great foods to add to your diet.

From an alkalizing point of view, here are some great foods to add to your diet.

Have you been hearing about alkaline foods and wondering what the fuss is about? What are they, why do they matter? Here we give you 10 of the best alkaline foods and why you should be eating them. We guarantee you'll find at least a few you like!

Why This Matters

Struggling with fatigue and drowsiness? Are you always bloated, or having headaches for no reason? These symptoms might indicate increased body acidity. High-protein diets, smoking, alcohol consumption, and certain medications affect your pH balance, causing acidosis. In the long run, this may increase your risk of cancer, gastric ulcers, jaundice, bone loss, and weight gain. 

Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to keep your body in an alkaline state. The first and most important step is to tweak your diet. Certain foods can reduce acidity levels and restore your health. However, this doesn’t mean you should avoid acidic foods altogether. Your stomach needs acid to digest food and function properly. The key is to maintain a normal pH balance of about 7 to 7.4. 

Curious about what your body pH is? Most drug stores sell pH kits.

Curious about what your body pH is? Most drug stores sell pH kits.

What Causes pH Imbalances? 

When your body is too acidic or too alkaline, it becomes more vulnerable to disease and can not function at its peak. This allows pathogens to attack your tissues and natural defense mechanisms. A healthy pH is one that's slightly alkaline. Ideally, it should be around 7.365. Excess acidity, the most common form of pH imbalance, affects every system in your body. This condition occurs when your pH is 7.35 or lower, and can be life-threatening. 

Acidosis can have a variety of causes, from stress and excess exercise to bad eating. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes, promote an acidic environment. Other common risk factors include:

  • Overuse of alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Chronic lung diseases
  • Liver failure
  • Poor nutrition
  • Dehydration
  • High-fat diets
  • High-protein diets
  • Bacterial infections
  • Skipping meals
  • Over-consumption of meat and dairy
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Overtraining
  • Antibiotic overuse
  • Exposure to chemicals and pollutants 

Depending on your constitution and genetic make up, eating too much of certain foods, such as beef, poultry, and eggs, may lead to high acidity. Soda, sugary treats, processed snacks, spicy foods, refined grains, and caffeinated beverages are among the worst offenders. Caffeine and alcoholic beverages are acidic too, so it's best to limit or avoid these. Stress can increase acid production in the stomach and put you at risk for ulcers. 

Signs of High Acidity

High acidity is a major contributing factor to chronic diseases and impaired immune function. This condition can lead to gastritis, acid reflux, brittle nails, hair loss, hives, loose teeth, mouth ulcers, and recurring infections. You may also feel cold all the time, get sick often, and experience muscle cramps. Fatigue, low energy, and nervousness are common side effects of excess acid in the body.

Over time, acidosis can damage your tissues and organs. Possible complications include diabetes, arthritis, stroke, osteoporosis, heart disease, and fibromyalgia. There may be a link between high acidity and cancer, as cancerous cells thrive in an acidic environment. Excess acidity also affects digestive function, causing GERD, severe bloating, and stomach pain. If left untreated, it may cause tears in the stomach wall and damage the lining of the esophagus. 

A lesser known side effect of high acidity is weight gain. This condition affects your body's ability to use energy, which in turn, slows down your metabolism. Excess acidity can lead to fluid retention, obesity, and difficulty losing weight. Your blood pressure may increase too. An acidic body also tends to age faster and takes longer to recover from injuries, exercise, or disease. 

How to Balance Your Body's pH Levels?

Studies indicate that an alkaline diet can balance the body's pH levels and improve health. Staying in an alkaline state may lower your risk of osteoporosis, muscle loss, diabetes, and death from all causes. 

In clinical trials, alkaline minerals have been shown to relieve back pain and enhance vitamin D absorption into the body. Other studies have found that chemotherapy works better when combined with an alkaline diet. This eating plan may benefit bone health, boost cardiovascular function, and improve memory. 

Health experts recommend a diet consisting of 80 percent alkaline foods and 20 percent acidic foods. Kale, spinach, arugula, zucchini, and artichokes should come first on your list. Other alkaline-forming foods include tofu, soybeans, hemp seeds, and most fruits and vegetables. You can also drink alkaline water and take alkalizing supplements to rid your body of excess acid. 

Meat and dairy increase the body's acidity levels and should only be consumed occasionally. The same goes for coffee, chocolate, grains, and processed foods. Bread, rice, walnuts, peanuts, and lentils are no better either. 

Don’t worry - you don't s no need to completely give up meat, dairy, and coffee. Just make sure these foods account for about 20 percent of your diet. Consume them in moderation to prevent high acidity and balance your pH levels. 

Ready to give it a try? Add these 10 alkaline foods to your diet: 

Almonds are great alkalinizers and a good crunchy treat! For your own easy almond milk, soak overnight in filtered water, blend with some fresh water in a good blender, then strain and optionally, add honey or your favorite natural sweetener.

Almonds are great alkalinizers and a good crunchy treat! For your own easy almond milk, soak overnight in filtered water, blend with some fresh water in a good blender, then strain and optionally, add honey or your favorite natural sweetener.

# 1: Almonds

Almonds and almond milk increase alkalinity in your body. They also help lower cholesterol levels, promote weight loss, and support cardiovascular health. Rich in protein, calcium, and iron, these nuts preserve lean mass and keep your bones strong. 

Not your soggy nemesis, spinach is great alone, raw or cooked quickly in a hot pan for maximum flavor. Or add to a salad or green shake to get some great benefits.

Not your soggy nemesis, spinach is great alone, raw or cooked quickly in a hot pan for maximum flavor. Or add to a salad or green shake to get some great benefits.

#2: Spinach

The chlorophyll in spinach purifies your blood and has a strong alkalizing effect. It also protects against carcinogens, reduces DNA damage, and boosts immunity. Its anti-inflammatory properties are backed up by science

Kale Crazed? It's beautiful, comes in many varieties  and easy to prepare.  Not a lot of time? Just massage some lemon juice into the leaves, and let it sit for 15 minutes  to "cook" it for a quick side dish.

Kale Crazed? It's beautiful, comes in many varieties  and easy to prepare.  Not a lot of time? Just massage some lemon juice into the leaves, and let it sit for 15 minutes  to "cook" it for a quick side dish.

#3: Kale

Just like spinach, kale is an excellent source of chlorophyll, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It also boasts high antioxidant levels, protecting your cells from oxidative stress. One cup provides over 1327 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K. 

Mighty broccoli! To convert the most difficult eater, roast in the oven or on the grill for 10-15 minutes with some olive oil and salt pepper and watch it disappear!

Mighty broccoli! To convert the most difficult eater, roast in the oven or on the grill for 10-15 minutes with some olive oil and salt pepper and watch it disappear!

#4: Broccoli

Broccoli not only keeps your body in an alkaline state but also reduces cancer risk and cleanses your system. When consumed regularly, it lowers inflammation and slows down aging. One cup delivers about 135 percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin C, offering protection against colds and flu. 

Arugula has a great zingy, peppery taste and can be eaten in so many ways! Add to a salad for a pop of flavor, braise or put on top of a pizza to take the guilt factor down.

Arugula has a great zingy, peppery taste and can be eaten in so many ways! Add to a salad for a pop of flavor, braise or put on top of a pizza to take the guilt factor down.

#5: Arugula

This leafy green is best known for its detoxifying properties. However, it also has a strong alkalizing effect. Packed with calcium, it strengthens your bones and prevents osteoporosis. Arugula is also high in vitamin A, which supports healthy vision and immune function. 

Good water is life!

Good water is life!

#6: Alkaline Water

Okay, so this isn't really a food per se, but good water is an essential way to alkanize your body.

If your body is too acidic, sip on alkaline water. This has a pH of nine to 11 and contains large doses of minerals. It's a fantastic source of calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. When used as part of a balanced diet, it helps build stronger bones, relieves muscle spasms, and regulates blood pressure. 

There are many ways and systems for obtaining alkalinized water. Here is one easy way to make your own.

Food of the gods? What's your favorite way to eat them?

Food of the gods? What's your favorite way to eat them?

#7: Avocado

This low-sugar fruit fights inflammation and promotes cardiovascular health. Loaded with healthy fats, it raises good cholesterol, reduces bad cholesterol, and alkalizes your body. 

Thin slices of red and yellow pepper are especially yummy on a summer day. Dip into your favorite hummus for a light snack or meal. 

Thin slices of red and yellow pepper are especially yummy on a summer day. Dip into your favorite hummus for a light snack or meal. 

#8: Bell Peppers

Crunchy and full of flavor, peppers help reduce excess acidity and prevent oxidative damage to your cells. Rich in flavonoids, carotenoids, and other antioxidants, these veggies protect against chronic diseases and age-related conditions, such as dementia

Roasted or poached, these spears are worth fighting for!

Roasted or poached, these spears are worth fighting for!

#9: Asparagus

High acidity is often the culprit behind fluid retention and weight gain. Asparagus helps eliminate excess water from your system and lowers inflammation. This alkaline-forming veggie also detoxifies your body and promotes digestive health. 

Just pour 2 parts of boiling water over 1 part of this nutty grain,cover and  let it sit  for 5-10 minutes and you'll have a tasty protein hit in no time!

Just pour 2 parts of boiling water over 1 part of this nutty grain,cover and  let it sit  for 5-10 minutes and you'll have a tasty protein hit in no time!

#10: Amaranth

Amaranth is one of the few grains with alkalizing properties. It contains all nine essential amino acids and boasts large amounts of protein. This makes it ideal for vegans and vegetarians. To fight high acidity, swap breakfast cereals, wheat, and oats for this ancient grain. It's packed with fiber and tastes delicious!

 

As you see, an alkaline diet is anything but boring. This eating plan can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease, relieve chronic pain, and increase bone density. Your energy levels will go through the roof!

What foods help you feel and perform better? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Here's a handy chart of more alkaline alternatives from these folks.

Here's a handy chart of more alkaline alternatives from these folks.

Author: Andra Picincu