Cutting to the chase: An alkaline diet benefits the body through disrupting what is often an acidic environment or balance, working to change the pH to a more neutral, or alkaline level. In doing this, it is believed that diseases are not able to continue to exist in the body. Although the science is still being studied, there are further benefits to making changes to your diet in line with an alkaline model.
There are some who believe that by following an alkaline diet you can reverse the effects of disease and see the return to a normal, healthy, physical state. At Detox and Cure we believe that the body is capable of healing itself effectively, and that it can do some amazing things. That’s if it has what it needs to operate effectively. Educators in the food healing space teach that an alkaline diet benefits the body through neutralizing an acidic state.
Before we dive deep into how it is believed that an alkaline diet benefits your health, we will have a look at what are alkalizing foods, and how do these foods fit in to being alkalizing. Some of these can seem a little counter-intuitive. I recall when I first started learning about alkalizing foods I thought it was a little confusing, so I hope to make this as easy to understand as possible for you.
How does the pH in food work?
It is important to note that the pH (power of hydrogen, or potential hydrogen) of the food itself is not necessarily directly related to the pH balance of the body. The pH scale, as shown below, has acids at one end, alkali at the other end, and the middle is neutral. The further away from the middle of the scale you get in either direction, the stronger the acid or alkali substance is.So, back to the pH of the foods. A series of events in the reaction between the food and the body during consumption and digestion stages can result in the pH effect being the opposite of the foods pH value or state. For example, lemons contain citric acid and have a pH of between 2.0 and 3.0. These are extremely acidic in nature. However, they are one of the most alkalizing foods around.
While seaweeds like Irish Sea Moss, which is believed to also be good for weight loss, retains a lot of its initial pH when it is digested and doesn’t change the resultant forming pH in the body adversely. This is what confused me for a long time until I learned that the state of the food changes when it is introduced to the body, and what really matter is the final, or forming pH of the food when looking at how it plays a part in the alkaline diet benefits.
What Are Alkalizing Foods?
The following foods are those which have an alkalizing effect in the body along with their typical pH level. These are all raw and fresh unless stated otherwise.
|Food Type||Food’s Original pH Value (approx.)||Food’s pH Forming Effect in the Body (approx.)|
|Fresh Lemon||2.0 to 3.0||10.0|
|Kimchi (and other fermented vegetables)||4.2||10.0|
|Watermelon||5.2 to 5.8||9.5|
|Alkalized Water||8.0 to 9.0||9.5|
|Kale||6.4 to 6.8||9.5|
|Celery||5.7 to 6.0||9.0|
|Cucumber||5.1 to 5.7||9.0|
|Eggplant||5.5. to 6.5||9.0|
|Red Cabbage||5.6 to 6.0||9.0|
|Sweet Potatoes||5.3 to 5.6||9.0|
|Dried Pumpkin Seeds||7.0||9.0|
|Watercress||5.8 to 6.1||9.0|
|Parsley||5.7 to 6.0||9.0|
|Kelp||9.5 to 9.8||9.0|
|Irish Sea Moss||9.5 to 9.8||9.0|
|Blackberries||3.8 to 4.5||8.5|
|Cantaloupe||6.1 to 6.6||8.5|
|Apricots||3.3 to 4.8||8.5|
|Dates||4.1 to 4.8||8.5|
|Figs||5.0 to 5.9||8.5|
|Grapefruit||3.0 to 3.7||8.5|
|Grapes||2.9 to 3.8||8.5|
|Kiwi Fruit||3.1 to 3.9||8.5|
|Nectarines||3.9 to 4.1||8.5|
|Pears||3.5 to 4.6||8.5|
|Papaya||5.2 to 6.0||8.5|
|Passion Fruit||3.0 to 3.2||8.5|
|Carrots||5.8 to 6.4||8.5|
|Ginger||5.6 to 5.9||8.5|
|Ginseng||6.0 to 6.5||8.5|
|Onions||5.3 to 5.8||8.5|
|Sweet Peas||5.8 to 7.0||8.5|
|Apples||3.3 to 4.0||8.0|
|Oranges||3.6 to 4.3||8.0|
|Peaches||3.3 to 4.0||8.0|
|Peppers||4.5 to 5.4||8.0|
|Green Cabbage||5.5. to 6.7||8.0|
|Mushrooms||6.0 to 6.7||8.0|
|Pumpkin||4.9 to 5.5||8.0|
|Olives||6.0 to 7.0||8.0|
|Tomato||4.2 to 4.9||8.0|
|Turnips||5.2 to 5.5||8.0|
|Wild Rice||6.0 to 6.4||8.0|
|Blueberries||3.1 to 3.3||7.5|
|Coconut||5.0 t 7.8||7.5|
|Strawberries||3.0 to 3.9||7.5|
|Bamboo Shoots||5.1 to 6.2||7.5|
|Chives||5.2 to 6.3||7.5|
|Corn||5.9 to 7.3||7.5|
|Brown Rice||6.2 to 6.7||7.0|
|Basmati Rice||6.0 to 6.7||7.0|
|Raw Honey||3.7 to 4.2||7.0|
|Plums||2.9 to 3.4||6.5|
|Prunes||3.1 to 5.4||6.0|
As you can tell from the table above, foods can change in their pH from the original form to either a more acidic, or more alkali form. When considering how this plays a part in supporting alkaline diet benefits you may be looking at some foods a little differently now.
I recall that I was shocked to learn that grains typically are not great as far at their pH forming properties. When I think back to the indoctrination around grains being good, and needing to have grains as a part of every meal, I have to question things a little.
What are some of the alkaline diet benefits I could expect to see?
Considering first of all that this is not specific medical advice, and that I am not a Doctor, you may see improvements in your health if some of the following areas:
- Maintaining healthy body weight, or weight loss
- Improve the absorption of vitamins and minerals
- Reduction of magnesium deficiencies
- Improved immune system functions
- Reduce the potential for cancer
- Decrease the risk of stroke and other heart problems
- Improve bone density and increase muscle mass
- Improve organ functions, and
- Support healthier blood
There is more than enough evidence to support that a well balanced diet is required for maintaining optimal health at any stage in life. Specific nutritional advice may be required from your Doctor or Dietitian at various stages such as during pregnancy, older age, and illness.
Generally speaking, it is safe to consume seaweed in moderation at any stage in life, however, we strongly advise that you seem specific medical advice before making any diet changes. You circumstances are unique, and this information in general in nature and not intended to be medical advice catering to your specific needs.
What is the background story?
It is becoming a more popularly held view that disease cannot exist in a body which is in an alkaline state, and that it thrives in a body which is in an acidic state. I say this purely from the perspective that there hasn’t been enough research that supports much more than anecdotal evidence about the benefits of an alkaline diet to date.
Many believe that an alkaline diet benefits a healthy body and can even be the basis of fighting diseases as threatening as cancer. I subscribe to that belief, but can not speak to any personal experiences in the area, thankfully. Doctor Sebi, among others, is a proponent of this belief, and advocates an alkaline lifestyle.
To really get the full value from making the switch to a way of life that is on the alkaline side of the scale there is a lot more than the food you consume that is to be considered. Alkalizing your body also includes your thoughts and feelings.
Anger, hostility, frustration, and aggression all give rise to an acidic state. Alkalize your thoughts, alkalize your emotions, slow down and breathe deeply. Let go of negativity and you will begin to see the alkaline diet benefits with greater clarity, much sooner.