When following an alkaline diet, most people want to know the foods that are alkaline and those which are acidic, to help them make the right food choices.
There have been many research studies and books written on alkaline diet and foods that are alkaline but is there any correct guiding list of alkaline foods?
Well, the simple answer is no…
There are many lists of alkaline foods, all varying from each other slightly, or majorly. This is because over the years and as research in the area of alkaline health has developed, the definitions of ‘alkaline foods’ have changed.
For example, one alkaline foods list may simply classify foods by their pH in whole physical form, as they are in the fridge. This is the way most people would view foods – whereby things such as lemons and limes are deemed acidic and milk, cheese and chicken are alkaline.
This seems logical and obvious. However, it is an inaccurate way of looking at things as it takes no account of the impact which that food has on our own bodies.
We are looking to adopt a predominantly alkaline diet lifestyle in order to balance blood pH at its slightly alkaline set point, so we need to look at the effect a food has on the body, when consumed.
Incidentally, limes and lemons are actually highly alkaline foods when processed by the body and thongs like cheese, milk and meat are highly acidic foods.
Research from the early twentieth century until fairly recently classified acid and alkaline foods by being burnt and then measuring the pH of the resultant ash residue when dissolved in water (i.e. what is left after passing through the metabolism).
Later research, however, found that the ash residue in isolation was not the important factor but rather the chemical compounds that the food contributed to the body after it has been metabolised.
Our metabolic system is a marvellously complex and intricate system, so determining how acid or alkaline forming food is in this way is a slow and steady task, one that only now scientists are beginning to complete.
A food that is alkaline in its physical form can often have an acidifying effect on the body when consumed (and vice versa), so be mindful of this.
Here are some foods that universally appear on the ‘alkaline foods list’ – irrespective of how or by whom it was put together…
Broccoli, spinach, rocket, lettuce, cucumber, avocado, kale, cabbage, lemons, limes, tomatoes, green beans, wheatgrass, barley grass, leeks, watercress, omega 3 oils.
Similarly, here are some universally classified acidic foods/drinks – no surprises here really:
Cakes, chocolate, fizzy drinks, burgers and other fast foods, ice cream, biscuits, donuts, deep fried foods, alcohol.