An alkaline diet is one that helps balance the pH level of the fluids in your body, including your blood and urine – pH is simply a measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. Our blood pH should be maintained at a slightly alkaline level in order to keep us healthy. We help our bodies to maintain this pH balance by eating more alkaline-forming foods and fewer acid-forming foods.
Unfortunately, due to decades of societal changes, millions of dollars of marketing, and even technological advances, humans are facing more dietary based health challenges than ever before. It’s really no coincidence that the rapidly growing numbers of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease happen to correlate almost exactly with the rise in consumption of acid-forming foods like sugars, trans fats, fast food, refined food and white breads. At the same time, we’ve dramatically decreased the consumption of fresh, whole foods like vegetables.
All of that, combined with a long list of other environmental factors like stress, lack of sleep and pharmaceutical drugs, make it not all that surprising that more and more people are being diagnosed with chronic, degenerative illness or other potentially fatal conditions for which modern medicine claims to have no known cure.
When we consume acid-forming foods, the body brings our blood pH back into balance by releasing alkaline-rich minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium into the bloodstream. If we are getting enough alkaline-forming foods in our daily diet, then the body has easy access to these minerals, but if we aren’t consuming enough alkaline-forming foods, then the body is forced to pull these essential minerals from our bones, teeth and organs. That can weaken the immune system, resulting in fatigue and a greater vulnerability to viruses and disease.
As our pH level is partially determined by the mineral density of the foods one eats, it’s important to consume plenty of alkaline foods. Ideally, a balanced diet should include about 60 to 80 percent alkaline-forming foods, and 20 to 40 percent acid-forming foods. Maintaining an acid alkaline balance is essential for our good health, not only for optimal pH levels, but for many other reasons as well.
Just a few of the benefits of eating more alkaline foods and following an alkaline diet in general by eliminating refined carbs, processed foods, sugar and alcohol, include:
- Weight loss or weight maintenance
- Lowering inflammation
- Reducing the risk of cancer
- Fewer colds and illnesses
- Healthier bones
- Greater endurance
- More energy
- A more beautiful complexion
- Better digestion
- Improved cognitive function
Of course, in order to follow a diet that includes 60 to 80 percent alkaline foods, you need to know exactly what those foods are.
Beets and other vegetables tend to be richer in minerals, and they’re also one of the best foods for helping to raise pH levels. Plus, it offers a wealth of other health benefits too, as one of the few sources of a phytonutrient known as betalain, which is believed to offer cancer prevention properties.
If you don’t like that earthy taste, peel off the skins and add them in a smoothie. Otherwise, they’re great fresh steamed or as a salad topper too.
2. Sea vegetables
Sea vegetables like kelp, dulse, nori, and wakame are excellent alkaline foods as some of the most mineral-rich foods on Earth, packed with potassium and magnesium as well as vitamin A, C and K. You can use sea veggies by adding them to a soup or salad, and, if you’re avoiding gluten or grains, you can use Nori wraps as a substitute for a grain-based wrap.
3. Hemp seeds
Hemp has often been classified as one of nature’s most perfect foods, and it’s probably no surprise that it’s considered to be an alkaline food as well. That’s because it’s loaded with chlorophyll, which is known to be alkalizing, helping to combat acidity while normalizing the body’s pH, as well as aiding in cleansing, healing, and detoxification. These tiny seeds are also powerhouses of dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and phosphorus.
Add hemp seeds to a smoothie, yogurt, oatmeal, salad, or simply snack on them alone. To enjoy the benefits, just be sure that they are 100% raw and organic like these ones you can buy from Amazon.
Spirulina is a form of sea algae, but it’s not a sea vegetable. This superfood is hard to beat when it comes to alkalizing the blood, and on top of that, it contains 80 percent of the daily recommended value for iron, most of your requirements for B vitamins, and, it’s loaded with vitamin A – containing more than 800 percent of your daily needs. Spirulina is also one of the few foods with a natural GLA content. Gamma Linolenic Acid. GLA is difficult to find in a food source, and typically has to be created by the body. It offers anti-inflammatory properties and has been found to help combat chronic inflammation, eczema, dermatitis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity and even cancer.
Spirulina, which you can buy from this page on Amazon, can easily be mixed with protein drinks or smoothies too.
One of the most powerful superfoods of all, garlic is often at the top of foods lists for improving overall health, and it’s also a top alkaline-forming food. Being highly alkaline, it helps regulate pH, but it also offers a host of other benefits, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, helping to prevent the flu or a cold, reducing the risk of heart disease, preventing cancer and fighting off fungal and bacterial infections.
Garlic can add flavor and medicinal benefits to all sorts of dishes, like pasta sauce, salsas, homemade salad dressings and more. To maximize its benefits, before consuming or adding to a dish, chop it up and let it to rest for about 10 minutes. This allows its beneficial, health-promoting allicin content to form. Have you ever tried black garlic?
6. Cayenne pepper
As part of a family of potent peppers that contain enzymes essential to endocrine function, cayenne is considered to be one of the most alkalizing foods. It’s known for its antibacterial properties as well as being an excellent source of vitamin A, helping to fight off harmful free radicals that lead to stress and disease. An added bonus? Eating cayenne peppers is also believed to help speed up the metabolism, promoting weight loss.
Add cayenne pepper to soups and stews, salads, and even in egg dishes like an omelet or souffle, and souffles. It also makes a great addition to a marinade for poultry and fish dishes. Get your cayenne pepper from Amazon here.
While you might think that lemons are acidic, they’re actually one of the most alkaline forming foods there is. This sour fruit provides powerful and immediate relief for hyperacidity and virus-related conditions, as well as coughs, colds, flu and heartburn too. Adding a squeeze of lemon to your water is a great way to add flavor to help ensure you’re getting at least eight glasses of day, and drinking a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning is a great way to begin your day by getting those pH levels balanced out.
Celery is an outstanding alkalizing food. It’s filled with vitamin C, vitamin K, natural electrolytes and lots of water, all important for helping to restore the body’s balance, and preventing the loss of electrolytes which can lead to excess inflammation. It also contains a lesser-known nutrient, phthalides, which have been shown to lower cholesterol, as well as coumarin, known to inhibit a number of different cancers. Munching on celery is also known to help reduce high blood pressure, further reducing the risk of heart disease.
Eat celery on its own, or chop it up and add it to a stew. It also makes a great base for juices and soups.
9. Sprouted almonds
Almonds, in general, are an alkalizing food, but sprouted almonds are even better. That’s because the soaking and sprouting process helps to reduce some of the nut’s acidic properties. When nuts are soaked and germinated, their pH increases, which makes them more alkaline as well as making them easier to digest and helping the body to assimilate the vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium.
Sprouted almonds can be used just like you’d use ordinary almonds. They make a great protein-packed snack on their own, or you can even use them to replace meat by grinding them into a healthy burger. Find sprouted almonds in your local food store or on Amazon.
Broccoli is one of those vegetables that offers so much nutritional value and so many benefits that it is a must to include in your diet for better health. It’s been proven time and again to be amazingly powerful for supporting the digestive and cardiovascular systems, inhibiting cancers, supporting the skin, immune system and metabolism. Eating it steamed or raw makes it an even more alkaline, nutritious food.
In addition to using broccoli in a stir-fry, you can steam it with other vegetables, use it in juices or smoothies, add it to a salad or eat it raw on its own.
Avocado is a powerful, alkaline, nutrient-dense superfood. It contains healthy fats that can help prevent hunger pangs in between meals by keeping you feeling fuller and satisfied longer, and, thanks to its high content of oleic acid, it can help to lower total cholesterol, while raising levels of “good” or HDL cholesterol, and reducing “bad,” or LDL cholesterol. Oleic acid also works to slow the development of heart disease and even speed up the metabolism to support weight loss. It also offers a host of other nutrients that offer anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and blood sugar benefits.
There are tonnes of recipes you can make with avocados, here’s 45. For example you can use avocado by making guacamole, adding it to an omelet, blending it or adding it to a smoothie for an extra- creamy texture. Did you know you can even eat the seed?
12. Bell peppers
Bell peppers offer antioxidant superpower, are sweet, crunchy and can be used in almost any meal raw, roasted or grilled. This highly alkaline food contains flavonoids, carotenoids and hydroxycinnamic acids. In fact, bell peppers contain more than 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family – the only other food that comes close is the tomato. Bell peppers have been linked to a lower risk of cancer, inflammation, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more.
There are lots of ways to sneak more bell peppers into your diet. They are ideal to toss into a stir-fry, for topping a pizza, transforming into stuffed bell peppers and chopping up into scrambled eggs.
This alkalizing food is 95% water. That makes it an astonishingly hydrating food, and cucumbers are also loaded with an incredible amount of antioxidants, including lignans, which have a significantly strong, scientifically proven reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, including ovarian, uterine, breast and prostate cancers.
Cucumbers make the perfect base for an alkaline soup, juice or smoothie too, delivering, in addition to the above, a host of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and K, as well as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, copper, selenium and zinc.
14. Bok choy
Bok choy is a good source of vitamin A, C, and K as well as fiber and folate. It also contains phenolic compounds known to help battle against free radical damage and fight cancer cells, along with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
You can add bok choy to stews, stir-frys and soups, or shred it and use it raw in wraps or salads.
This highly alkaline-forming, low-oxalate, nutrient-dense fruit contains 90 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and 129 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6. It’s also an outstanding source of carotenes and potassium.
Kale may be a trendy superfood these days, but with good reason. It’s considered to be one of the most alkaline foods and is also widely known for its ability to aid the body in detoxification, lower total cholesterol and fight cancer. Similar to spinach, it has an astoundingly high amount of vitamin K, as well as vitamins C and A, in addition to its chlorophyll content, which as mentioned, is well-known to be alkalizing, helping to combat acidity while normalizing the body’s pH, as well as aiding in cleansing, healing and detoxification.
You can use raw kale in a salad, add it to a soup (It doesn’t fall apart into moist strings like spinach), toss it into a smoothie, boil it, and turn it into kale chips for a super healthy snack.
All leafy greens are important to include on an alkaline diet, and spinach is a favorite as it’s so simple to use, extremely versatile and a nutritional powerhouse that’s one of the top alkaline foods. As with all green veggies, it’s rich in chlorophyll too. Spinach is also packed with vitamins K and A, folate, iron, manganese, magnesium, fiber and more.
It’s incredibly easy to add more spinach to your diet – use it in smoothies and juices, add it to scrambled eggs, make a spinach salad, use it as a pizza topping, in sandwiches, tacos, and so on and so on.
18. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is the only alkaline forming oil. It contains healthy fats known to benefit the body, rather than harm it. Experts recommend using raw, virgin coconut oil as a replacement for vegetable oils that are chemically processed. We recommend Nutiva Organic as a trusted brand, you can buy it from Amazon here.
19. Matcha green tea
Matcha green tea contains 40 times the antioxidants that regular green tea has, and it’s loaded with chlorophyll. Not only is it super alkalizing, but it can help to reduce inflammation, balance blood sugar cravings and improve your mood.
Watermelon has a pH level of 9.0, which means it’s very alkaline. It’s also 92% water, so it’s super hydrating and thirst quenching, and it is an excellent source of vitamin C, lycopene, and beta-carotene.
Enjoy a slice on a hot summer’s day, add frozen watermelon cubes to a smoothie, toss it into a salad, or even grill it on skewers.
Raisins and other dried fruit, like apricots, a high on the alkaline scale. They’re also an excellent source of fiber, vitamins B1 and B6 and antioxidants. Plus, they make a convenient, nutritious snack.
Radishes come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. But no matter what type of radish you choose, all are highly alkaline-forming. Radishes are a rich source of vitamin C and a good source of calcium too. As they’re very low in calories, munching on them can be a great way to keep your mouth busy when you’re trying to lose weight.
23. Fresh herbs
All fresh herbs are considered alkalizing. Parsley, in particular, is very rich in alkaline compounds, as is basil and dried dill weed. No matter what you choose, simply using more fresh, dried herbs in your meals is a great way to follow a more alkaline diet. Did you know you can grow most of the popular herbs in water?
24. Herbal tea
Just about every herb, as well as water, is alkalizing, which means herbal teas are alkalizing too. Note that herbal teas DON’T contain caffeine, which is an acid-forming substance. Some of the best alkalizing herbal teas are dandelion root tea, chamomile, ginger, and peppermint. Here are 17 herbal tea recipes which all offer extraordinary health benefits.
25. Alkaline water
Drinking enough water is essential for good health, as dehydration leads to fatigue and a host of other problems. Alkaline water can help even more than drinking regular water, as it helps deliver nutrients more efficiently, which means you’ll enjoy more energy all day long. Why not try some more drinks that will help alkalize your body, here are 4 power drink recipes that will kickstart your day.