Is our diet “acidic” or “alkaline”? And why should we even care? As you know, foods we eat have a powerful impact on our health. But is eating more alkaline foods considered health-promoting? Let's find out.
When discussing the alkaline diet, it is important to understand the pH level of your body. Now, if you had paid close attention to your science class when you were in school, you would know the concept of acid and alkaline quite well. If not, then here's a quick brush up:
Acidic and basic are two extremes that describe the chemical property of a substance. The pH value indicates how acidic or basic something is, on a scale of 0-14. The pH of 0 is considered most acidic, and 14 are highly alkaline while ph of 7 is considered neutral.
Stomach pH is between 2-3.5, which is highly acidic, necessary to break down food. Whereas, human blood is slightly towards alkaline with a pH of 7.36–7.44. The blood ph level can determine our overall state of health.
Likewise, all foods can also be categorized as acidic, alkaline, or neutral depending upon the residue that’s left in the body once the food has been metabolized.
Some common acidic, alkaline and neutral foods are:
- Acidic: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, alcohol
- Neutral: Water, natural fats, starches, and sugars
- Alkaline: Fruits, nuts, legumes, and vegetables
Proponents of this diet claim that metabolic waste (residue) can directly affect our body’s function. Acidic ash is thought to make you susceptible to illness and disease, whereas alkaline ash is
considered protective. Hence, by choosing more alkaline foods, we should be able to "alkalize" our body and improve our health.
In other words, if we eat foods that leave acidic ash, it makes our blood more acidic. If we eat foods that leave alkaline ash, it makes your blood more alkaline.
So, does eating more alkaline food change the Body ph?
The truth is… No its NOT!
A style of eating cannot change your body’s pH. The blood pH is tightly regulated by the body. It simply does not change, unless in the case of a serious disease condition, which requires medical intervention to restore proper balance.
Eating more alkaline food may cause a slight difference in the urine pH, but your blood pH will remain constant.
However, most alkaline-forming foods can be considered superfoods, as mostly they are plant-based fruits and green vegetables, nuts and oilseeds that are nutrient- dense. It emphasizes the importance of unprocessed, old-fashioned, clean and healthy eating and cutting back on acidic foods like processed foods, sugar, alcohol, meat and poultry, among other foods.
Therefore, eating alkaline foods simply mean healthy eating which will promote our health in endless ways.
A review published in the Journal
of Environmental and Public Health, in Oct 2011 also found that eating more alkaline foods such as fruits and vegetables has health benefits. It may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and improve memory and cognition function.
Where to find Alkalising Foods?
Here is a list of some of our favourite alkalizing foods, all of which are rich in multivitamins and minerals and high in fibre Spinach
- Aloe Vera
Try our Daily Greens™ 30+ farm-fresh greens, vegetables, fruits and anti-oxidant rich plant- based superfood containing 15+ alkalizing greens.
FAQs on Alkaline DietIf you want to know more about alkaline diet, here are some frequently asked questions about the same.
- Which is better - acidic diet or alkaline diet?
However, there is another school of thought, which believes that while an alkaline diet includes lot of fruits and vegetables, it restricts some nutritious foods such as milk and dairy products, which are beneficial for health. Then there are claims, which suggest that alkaline diet may help change blood pH levels with diet, which isn't true, not to forget that major changes in blood pH levels can also turn out to be fatal. That is why, more scientific research is required to ascertain if alkaline diet is entirely better.
- What foods should be avoided in an alkaline diet?
- Can an alkaline diet help prevent diseases?
- Is an alkaline diet helpful for anyone with Type I or Type II Diabetes?
- Is the alkaline diet scientifically proven?
Final Take Away
In general, the alkaline diet is healthy and improves overall health because it’s based on whole and unprocessed foods, fruits vegetables while restricting the processed junk foods. However, the diet does not change blood pH thus the diet theory that the diet boosts health because of its alkalizing effects is uncertain.
The alkaline diet is also known as the acid-alkaline diet claims that replacing acid-forming food with alkaline food can change your body’s pH, which can provide certain health benefits.
- Reducing the Dietary Acid Load: How a More Alkaline Diet Benefits Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease, Caroline Passey, BSc, RD, PhD, Published:January 20, 2017, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1053/j.jrn.2016.11.006. (https://www.jrnjournal.org/article/S1051-2276%2816%2930188-1/fulltext)
- Fenton TR, Huang TSystematic review of the association between dietary acid load, alkaline water and cancerBMJ Open 2016;6:e010438. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010438. (https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010438)
- Schwalfenberg GK. The alkaline diet: is there evidence that an alkaline pH diet benefits health?. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:727630. doi:10.1155/2012/727630. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195546/)
- The Alkaline Diet: Another Cancer and Diet Claim, American Institute of Cancer Research, (https://www.aicr.org/resources/blog/another-cancer-and-diet-claim-the-alkaline-diet/)