This is something that may be a bit of a new concept to people. Your goal should be to bring your body’s pH –acid versus alkaline– into balance by consuming a higher volume of alkaline foods and fluids (I’ll explain what and why). When we eat foods that create acids (typically those that are high in protein and low in minerals) the body must work harder to restore a state of balance.
If you consider the average American diet, protein and starches are at every meal. It is an “acid forming diet.” Over time, as the body tries to neutralize these acid forming foods taxes your system. When the body is too acidic, it requires our bones to give up calcium and makes our kidneys work harder. Research has also shown that other health conditions such as hyper tension and cancer development are fostered by even slightly acidic conditions.
An alkaline diet (high in potassium and not overloaded with protein) which results from eating ample amounts of fruits and vegetables is the most important dietary factor protective for overall health and balance. Ideally 80% of each daily meal should be alkaline foods combined with lots of alkalizing water throughout the day. Hydrating daily with water and adding greens is very energizing and flushes out unwanted toxins, leaving you feeling refreshed and energized. The 80% portion for alkaline foods is basically vegetables, mostly raw or slightly cooked (steamed or at low temperatures), and whole or juiced fruits. The 20% acid balance can be made up of cooked foods such as whole grains and animal proteins (if you eat meat), preferably organic turkey or chicken, seeds, nuts, and legumes.
Alkaline Forming Foods
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Root Vegetables
- Winter Squash
Neutral (Slightly Acid Forming) Foods
- Lentils & Bean
- Most Nuts & Seeds
- Nut Butters
- Egg Whites
- True Grains & Grain Products (note: most gluten free “grains” aren’t true grains)
- Egg Yolks
- Meat (most acid forming)
- Saturated Fats
Note: this list is different than you may have expected. Things like Lemons and Tomatoes or Tomato sauce are not acid forming, they are actually quite alkaline forming and good choices. Also beware of charts that exist on the web that claim to have the “holy grail” of alkaline vs acid charts … most tend to be bogus and highly exaggerated.
Moment of truth – where do you get most of your foods from this list. Is it time to reassess? Let us know what you think, how are you going to jump start your alkaline journey?
In the end it’s really quite simple, the Standard American Diet is wrong, focus on lots of vegetables, fruits, water and gluten free whole (even better if sprouted) grains, and daily exercise for a well rounded healthy lifestyle. A plant based diet, including plant based proteins, are optimal and support overall health.