With more than half the world’s population, food with alkaline ph is a growing trend. Acidic foods are highly processed foods and meats that contain high levels of lactic acid. Each acidic food may have a different ph level due to how much lactic acids and other acids were added during processing.
Some people claim that acidic foods make them feel lethargic, which can affect their ability to work out properly to get the most from their exercise routine.
Food With Alkaline Ph
Most fruits and vegetables, soybeans and tofu, and some nuts, seeds, and legumes are alkaline-promoting foods, so they’re fair game.
Dairy, eggs, meat, most grains, and processed foods, like canned and packaged snacks and convenience foods, fall on the acid side and are not allowed.
Most books that tout the alkaline diet say you shouldn’t have alcohol or caffeine, either.
Level of Effort: High
You’ll be cutting out a lot of foods you may be used to eating.
Limitations: Many foods are off-limits, and so are alcohol and caffeine.
Cooking and shopping: You can get fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. It may take a while to learn how to prep and cook your meals when you use fresh foods.
In-person meetings: No.
Exercise: Not required.
Does It Allow for Restrictions or Preferences?
Vegetarians and vegans: This diet is mostly to become completely vegetarian. It also works for vegans, in that dairy is off-limits.
Gluten-free: The diet excludes wheat, but to avoid gluten completely, you’ll need to check food labels carefully, as gluten is not just in wheat.
Besides wheat, the diet nixes most of the other major triggers for food allergies, including milk, eggs, peanuts, walnuts, fish, and shellfish. It’s also good for people who are trying to avoid fat and sugar.
What Else You Should Know
Cost: Many websites with information about the alkaline diet also sell courses, books, supplements, and alkaline-infused water, food, and drinks. You do not need to buy these things to follow the alkaline diet. There are many free alkaline food charts online that list foods you can buy at the grocery store.
Support: This is a diet you do on your own
Does It Work?
Maybe, but not for the reasons it claims.
First, a little chemistry: A pH level measures how acid or alkaline something is. A pH of 0 is totally acidic, while a pH of 14 is completely alkaline. A pH of 7 is neutral. Those levels vary throughout your body. Your blood is slightly alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Your stomach is very acidic, with a pH of 3.5 or below, so it can break down food. And your urine changes, depending on what you eat — that’s how your body keeps the level in your blood steady.
The alkaline diet claims to help your body maintain its blood pH level. In fact, nothing you eat is going to substantially change the pH of your blood. Your body works to keep that level constant.
But the foods you’re supposed to eat on the alkaline diet are good for you and will support a healthy weight loss: lots of fruits and vegetables, and lots of water. Avoiding sugar, alcohol, and processed foods is healthy weight-loss advice, too.
As to the other health claims, there’s some early evidence that a diet low in acid-producing foods like animal protein (such as meat and cheese) and bread and high in fruits and veggies could help prevent kidney stones, keep bones and muscles strong, improve heart health and brain function, reduce low back pain, and lower risk for type 2 diabetes. But researchers aren’t sure of some of these claims yet.
People who believe in the alkaline diet say that though acid-producing foods shift our pH balance for only a little while, if you keep shifting your blood pH over and over, you can cause long-lasting acidity.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?’
Following an alkaline diet means choosing fruits and vegetables over higher-calorie, higher-fat choices. You will also shun prepared foods, which often have a lot of sodium.
That’s great news for heart health because these steps help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which are big risk factors for heart disease.
Getting to a healthy weight is also important in preventing and treating diabetes and osteoarthritis.
Some studies have found that an alkaline environment may make certain chemotherapy drugs more effective or less toxic. But it has not been shown that an alkaline diet can do this or help prevent cancer. If you have cancer, talk to your doctor or dietitian about your nutritional needs before starting any type of diet.
The Final Word
The emphasis on fruits and vegetables that is at the core of alkaline diets offers the promise of healthy weight loss. No special gear or supplements are required.
You’ll have the best success with it if you like to choose and experiment with new foods and love to cook.
But following an alkaline diet will be tough for many people.
A lot of favorite foods that are allowed in moderation in other plans (including lean meat, low-fat dairy, bread, and sweets) are forbidden here. Protein is limited to plant-based sources such as beans and tofu. This means you will have to make sure you get enough protein and .
Eating out also can be a challenge. If you travel a lot for work or have a busy schedule, you might feel bogged down by all the food selection and prep.
Finally, many alkaline diets fail to address a major factor in weight loss and wellness success: exercise. You should include fitness in any healthy eating plan that you choose. The American Heart Association and the CDC recommend getting at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. If you have any medical problems or are out of shape, talk to your doctor first.
The diet is organized around the pH of individual foods. Some versions are less strict, meaning they may allow grains for their health benefits despite their slightly acidic pH. But generally, if you’re following the alkaline diet, you’ll want to follow the food list below, steering clear of the acidic foods, limiting or avoiding the neutral foods, and focusing on the alkaline foods.
Acidic Foods to Avoid
- Meat (especially corned beef, canned lunch meat, turkey, veal, and lean beef)
- Cottage cheese
- Cheese (especially Parmesan cheese, reduced-fat cheddar, and hard cheeses)
- Ice cream
- Eggs (the egg yolk in particular)
- Grains (brown rice, rolled oats, spaghetti, cornflakes, white rice, rye bread, whole-wheat bread)
- Peanuts and walnuts
- Other packaged, processed food
Neutral Foods to Limit
- Natural fats such as olive oil, cream, butter, and milk
Alkaline Foods to Eat
- Unsweetened fruit juices
- Black currants
- Vegetables (especially spinach)
- Mineral soda water
- Soy food
There isn’t a specific meal plan guide, either. You can follow recipes online or from alkaline diet cookbooks, or simply use the list of alkaline foods to create your own dishes.
19 Highly Alkaline Foods That Will Benefit Your Body
19 Highly Alkaline Foods That Will Benefit Your Body
1. Beet Greens – PRAL score: -16.7
Let’s give a round of applause to the world’s most alkaline food: beet greens.
Although beet greens aren’t the most popular green in our diets, their high alkalinity score makes them one of the best additions to smoothies or stir-fries. In addition to being high alkaline, beet greens also have a bitter quality that may help stimulate bile production to help better digest fats.
If that’s not a good enough reason to hang on to your beet tops, I don’t know what is.
Beet greens can replace any green in salads, soups or smoothies.
You may want to try my Apple Cider Vinegar and Green Detox Salad recipe, where you can easily substitute the spinach, kale or watercress for beet greens.
2. Spinach – PRAL Score: -11.8
Spinach is another high alkaline food that is known to benefit bone health because of the calcium it contains.
Because spinach is highly alkalizing, it’s often included in anti-cancer and cleansing juicing protocols. There are endless creative and delicious ways to eat spinach.
I recommend giving any of these Easy Green Smoothie Recipes a try. Each smoothie only has 3 ingredients, with endless flavour combinations.
3. Kale – PRAL Score: -8.3
There’s a reason kale has been labelled as the new beef.
It’s high in plant iron, calcium and vitamin K, which is said to help protect against many types of cancers. In addition to these health benefits, kale is another one of the world’s most alkaline foods.
Kale has a mild taste that can jazz up any recipe. You can easily add kale to any smoothie recipe that calls for greens, stir fries, salads and soups for a (delicious) alkaline boost.
Why not get your kale on with this delicious Kale Curried Chickpea Salad Bowl recipe? It’s packed full of flavor and takes less than 20 minutes to prepare.
4. Swiss Chard – PRAL Score: -8.1
Have you noticed a pattern yet? The world’s most alkaline foods are leafy greens. Swiss chard is another green that provides mega nutrition benefits with vitamins that support cellular health, such as vitamin K.
Swiss chard also contains phosphorus and plant protein, but based on its PRAL score, it leaves behind more alkalizing minerals than acidity when metabolized.
I recommend using Swiss chard as hearty lettuce wraps, in any recipe that calls for a grain bun or tortilla.
The Kitchen has a great recipe for Swiss Chard Taco Wraps with Cumin Lime Sauce. Although I recommend avoiding the optional cheese to keep this dish highly alkaline.
5. Bananas – PRAL Score: -6.9
Bananas, aka “Potassium Sticks,” are another highly alkaline food that you won’t want to leave out of your diet. Bananas are also a great source of fiber, which help promote digestive regularity and sweep toxins out of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
While most people tend to avoid bananas to prevent weight gain due to their high sugar content, eating a banana is far better for you than eating a granola bar or some other processed food that’s packed full of sugar and acidifying ingredients.
One of the most delicious ways to include bananas in your diet is by making banana “nice cream,” which is simply just frozen bananas blended into a creamy consistency. The best part about banana nice cream is that you can jazz it up with other alkaline ingredients, such as fresh mint leaves and berries.
6. Sweet Potato – PRAL Score: -5.6
Now you can feel better about eating sweet potato fries (in moderation).
Although they’re higher in starch, sweet potatoes are an alkalizing food that provides your body with plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Because sweet potatoes are so high in fiber, they have less of a negative impact on blood sugar levels, since fiber helps slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream.
Therefore, sweet potatoes are an excellent food when it comes to eating for energy and providing your body with a boost of alkaline nutrients.
What better way to eat sweet potatoes, than in these 3-Ingredient Paleo Sweet Potato Waffles?
You may think of waffles as a breakfast item, but I recommend saving complex carbs for your evening meals instead. Why? Because contrary to popular belief, eating carbs at night can actually help promote weight loss and help you sleep better.
7. Celery – PRAL Score: -5.2
Aside from being alkalizing, celery has additional cleansing properties. Since it’s mostly water, celery can easily help the body flush toxins. Celery is also a “negative calorie” food, which means it takes more calories to chew and digest than the total amount of calories it contains.
I include celery in a variety of my green detox juice and smoothie recipes.
8. Carrots – PRAL Score: -4.9
Carrots are a high-alkaline food that is famous for improving eyesight based on their vitamin A content.
In fact, 1 cup of carrots contains more than 300 percent of the daily recommended intake of beta-carotene, an antioxidant form of vitamin A. Beta-carotene can also help protect against cancer and help promote brighter, younger looking skin.
My 1-Day Detox Plan will feed your body mouthwatering “cleansing” meals while helping to eliminate bloat and sugar cravings while restoring natural energy.
Just click the image below to get started.
9. Kiwi – PRAL Score: -4.1
Kiwi is a high-alkaline food your cells won’t want to miss out on, because it also contains a plethora of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
And although oranges are famous for their vitamin C content, kiwi contains nearly five times the amount of vitamin C than an orange. Kiwi is also a great source of fiber for improved digestion, as well as potassium for muscle function.
10. Cauliflower – PRAL Score: -4.0
Cauliflower is an alkaline food that can also aid in hormone rebalancing when the body’s estrogen levels are too high.
This is because cauliflower contains a nutrient called Indole-3-Carbinol (or I3C) that helps the body regulate estrogen levels. We come into contact with estrogen on a daily basis through estrogenic foods (such as soy), chemicals in our environment (such as plastics) and pharmaceuticals drugs (such as oral contraceptives) .
High levels of estrogen are harmful to the body and can lead to weight gain, digestive symptoms such as bloating, as well as reproductive cancers and infertility.
11. Cherries – PRAL Score: -3.6
Cherries are known as one of the world’s best sources of antioxidants such as anthocyanins, which may help prevent cancer. Studies also support that cherries can help relieve inflammation linked to joint pain and arthritis, and may even prevent cardiovascular disease.
Cherries blend well in smoothies, such as this blood-sugar-balancing Peanut Butter and Cherry Protein Shake. I recommend this recipe as a great post-workout shake because it contains both plant-based protein and alkalizing nutrients.
Ideally, a post-workout shake should always include alkaline foods. This is because lactic acid, a substance that naturally helps increase the body’s energy, is naturally released during intense exercise. As suggested by its name, lactic acid can make the body acidic, which is why it’s important to neutralize the acidity with alkaline foods after a workout.
12. Eggplant – PRAL Score: -3.4
In addition to being alkaline, eggplant is a food that offers phytonutrients such as chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid isn’t acidifying to the body, rather it’s a plant compound that can help promote digestion and metabolism.
13. Pears – PRAL Score: -2.9
Pears are extremely high fiber and lower in sugar, which makes it a great fruit even for those who have blood sugar imbalances. Pears are also high in the antioxidant vitamin C, which helps protect cells from carcinogens.
14. Hazelnuts – PRAL Score: -2.8
Most nuts have an acidifying effect, according to their PRAL scores. But hazelnuts are an exception.
So if you love nuts, they’re an ideal variety include in your diet in comparison to peanuts, which have a score of +8 and are highly acidic.
Hazelnuts are best known for their contribution to the infamous nut butter, Nutella. However, I recommend avoiding store-bought Nutella and making your own refined-sugar and additive-free version with Chocolate Covered Katie’s Healthy Nutella recipe.
15. Pineapple – PRAL Score: -2.7
Pineapple is an alkalizing food that’s so good for digestion that several supplements add it to their digestive-boosting formulas. This is because pineapple contains a digestive enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain is also said to be helpful for killing off intestinal parasites.
You can add more pineapple to your diet in many different ways. It would pair especially well with the rest of the alkalizing ingredients in my recipe for this Super Green Cleansing Smoothie.
16. Zucchini – PRAL Score: -2.6
Zucchini is a great source of phytonutrients such as lutein. Lutein belongs to the same category of antioxidants as beta-carotene, which means it also has superior benefits when it comes to protecting eyesight.
Zucchini has become extremely popular as a low-carb, gluten-free and vegan pasta alternative. You can make zucchini pasta noodles using a Vegetti spiralizer that can be purchased online or found at your local home accessories store, for under $20.
My recipe for this One Pot Wonder Tomato Basil Pasta combines zucchini pasta noodles with vegetables, fresh basil and other aromatic, zesty spices. Not only is it an alkaline food recipe, but it’s also extremely easy to make (and tastes delicious, of course).
17. Strawberries – PRAL Score: -2.2
Strawberries are another extremely rich source of the antioxidant vitamin vitamin C. They also contain manganese, which is a trace mineral that’s needed to facilitate metabolic function in the body.
The ways to enjoy strawberries are endless, as they can add just the right amount of sweet to any dish. I personally love using strawberries in this Strawberry Banana Smoothie recipe.
18. Apples – PRAL Score: -2.2
Apples have a reputation as one of the healthiest foods in the world, mostly because they’re so rich in detoxifying fiber and antioxidants such as vitamin C and flavonoids that protect against cancer. All of these nutrients are also essential for promoting healthy blood pressure and cholesterol.
To get even greater health benefits from apples, I recommend adding apple cider vinegar to your diet each day. When fermented to make vinegar, apples contain a nutrient called acetic acid, which offers antibacterial and antiviral benefits .
If you don’t like the taste of apple cider vinegar on its own or diluted with water, that’s okay. There are several ways to make apple cider vinegar taste so amazing, you won’t even notice the slightly sour taste.
This Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Soda Drink recipe is naturally sweetened with lemon and stevia, and makes the perfect healthy substitute for fizzy beverages that contain several teaspoons of refined sugar and other acidifying ingredients.
19. Watermelon – PRAL Score: 1.9
Lastly, watermelon is another alkalizing food that provides the body with essential electrolytes for cardiac function, such as potassium. Since watermelon is mostly water (hence the name), it also hydrates us more than most fruits and vegetables.
Watermelon makes a delicious snack on its own, but sometimes it’s fun to get creative.
Alkaline & Acidic Foods Chart: Understanding The pH Spectrum Of Food
Acidic Foods And Drinks
Some foods that are especially acidic, or with a pH of 4 or less, include:
- Carbonated water, soda, and energy drinks
- Certain dairy products
- Some meats
Alkaline Foods And Drinks
As for foods that are considered alkaline or low-acid foods, here are a few you could consider in your diet:
- Most vegetables
- Most fruits
- Most beans and lentils
- Fats like olive oil and avocados
For some more examples of which foods are more acidic or alkaline, check out this infographic of the pH spectrum. Note: The graphic details which foods have an acidic or alkalizing effect on the body, rather than the pH level of the foods themselves. For example, some foods (like lemons and limes) have a rather acidic pH, yet they actually have an alkalizing effect on the body.
What is balanced pH?
Proper pH levels vary throughout your body. Saliva ranges between 6.2 to 7.6, while urine is normally more acid, especially in the morning due to the metabolic process of preparing for elimination. Health hint: when using pH strips to test your urine ignore the first morning pee reading—start with your next bathroom visit.
For good health, ideal blood pH levels need to be slightly alkaline (between 7.365 and 7.45). Sounds simple right? But not quite. That’s because the pH scale is logarithmic, meaning the difference between each whole number is equal to ten not so. Therefore a pH of six is ten times more acidic than a pH of seven. So it takes ten times the amount of alkalinity to neutralize an acid. For example, a jump from 7 to 6, for example, would take ten times the amount of alkalinity to neutralize. 7 to 5 = 100 times. 7 to 4 = 1000 times. 7 to 3 = 10,000 times.
Our bodies actually do a great job of keeping our blood pH exactly where it needs to be. Foods likely don’t have a significant influence on pH levels. But more alkaline foods like leafy greens, sprouts, avocados, and other powerhouse plant foods provide our bodies with essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. The acidic side of the pH scale also includes healthful foods like tomatoes, whole grains, and beans. Foods that are often considered less health promoting like animal products and refined carbs also fall on the acidic side of the scale, and should be eaten in moderation.
Your body does go through a complicated process to make sure your blood pH stays balanced. All you have to do is eat a balanced diet to support your body’s natural processes!