You have probably heard the term “alkaline food” or “alkaline diet” before, but what is it exactly? Is it good? Does it work? We answer all of your questions in this article.
First things first: let’s define what “alkaline diet” is. An alkaline diet is based on the idea that certain types of food can improve your overall health, and some people also believe that shifting from acid-forming food to alkaline food can actually help you deal with some serious diseases.
What does science say?
The diet is based on the premise that certain food types can alter the pH value of your body, and it all has to do with your metabolic system, which is usually compared to fire —in the way that they are both chemical reactions that transform and break down a solid mass. So, when things burn, they leave an ash residue. The same happens with food. Whatever you eat, leaves an “ash” on your body, which is known as metabolic waste.
This metabolic waste can either be acidic, neutral, or alkaline. And the food is grouped following the same principles:
- Acidic: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, alcohol.
- Neutral: Natural fats, starches, and sugars.
- Alkaline: Fruits, nuts, legumes, and vegetables.
But what is pH and how does it work?
A pH is a system that measures the acidic level of something. When it comes to your body, it measures the acidic level of your blood. The scale goes from 0 to 14, where 7 is the neutral pH and then, as you get closer to 0 you have acidic values and alkaline values towards 14.
Human blood is always slightly alkaline, with a pH that ranges between 7.36 and 7.44. However, certain diseases can alter these values, making it more acidic. This, if not treated, can be potentially dangerous.
What are the most common alkaline foods?
As we mentioned before, an alkaline diet is, in essence, a plant-based diet. The most common ingredients include: Leafy greens (kale, spinach, arugula, celery, and parsley), Citrus fruits (lemons, limes, and oranges), Root vegetables (sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots), Nuts (almonds, cashews, and chestnuts), avocado, bananas, and some spices (chili pepper, cinnamon, and ginger.)
By including more of these foods in your meals, you will be improving your overall body pH and enjoying the benefits it brings along. However, it is always recommended to check with your nutritionist beforehand.