Imagine digesting food in the body is like burning it. The leftover "ash" is what is referred to as acidic or alkaline. This is what causes the blood pH balance to change, resulting in a host of possible diseases since the body's ability to absorb and use nutrients from food is reduced in a highly acidic environment. Elson Haas, MD, states in his book Staying Healthy With Nutrition, that the ideal balance between alkaline and acidic foods in the diet should be 80 percent to 20 percent.
The bulk of alkalizing foods are grown from the earth and unprocessed. All vegetables are alkalizing foods, making them the largest category. Asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, cauliflower and celery are all alkaline foods along with cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peas and pumpkins. Some less common vegetables to try that are alkalizing are chard, kale, dandelions and all other edible flowers, rutabagas and barley grass.
All fruits are alkalizing, with the exception of cranberries, which are acidic. When eating fruits for their alkalinity, some examples of what can be enjoyed are apples, avocados, bananas, cherries, grapes, lemons and limes, as well as pineapples, almost every kind of berry, tomatoes and tangerines. Lemon and lime are thought to be acidic when they are eaten because of their citrus nature, however when they are digested they require an alkaline environment to be digested. The digestive system secretes enzymes, which produce this alkaline state for digestion, so they are considered an alkaline fruit.
With the exception of chicken breast, most proteins that come from animal flesh are acidic. Many proteins are from other sources that may be eaten that are alkaline. Almonds, chestnuts, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and any other seeds that have been sprouted are all alkalizing protein sources. While most dairy foods, such as milk, butter and cheese are acidic, those which have been processed, such as yogurt and cottage cheese, are alkaline. Eggs and tofu may also be enjoyed as an alkalizing food.
Many kinds of tea, with the exception of adding sugar and milk, are alkaline. Green tea, dandelion tea, ginseng tea and most other herbal teas are alkalizing. Fresh squeezed fruit juices, aside from cranberry, are also alkaline along with freshly made vegetable juices. Milk fits into this category if it is organic and unpasteurized it is considered alkaline.
- 'Staying Healthy With Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine; Dr. Elson M. Haas
- The Wolfe Clinic: Acid & Alkaline Food Chart
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.