Alkaline Foods: Are You Eating Enough?


There’s no doubt about it: you’ve made the decision to eat healthy. The only question that remains is what exactly eating healthy means. Organic, free-range, natural, local… and alkaline? Believe it or not, that pH scale you learned all about in high school should be finding its way into your diet: it’s time to talk acid or alkaline when it comes to food.

Why You Need More Alkalizing Foods

Several diets highlight the alkaline-acid discrepancy; what it boils down to is this: most people need not worry about not having enough acidity in their diet. The vast majority of foods we eat every day are acidic: meat, cheese, dairy… all of these foods and many more are metabolized by our bodies as acidic. Including important alkaline foods in your diet involves a bit more planning.

All of which begs one all-important question: why?

Before talking about how to introduce alkaline foods into your diet, you may be asking why you should even bother. Good question, with an even better answer. A highly acidic diet lends itself to decay of the body, particularly the bones and muscles. Some studies point to the naturally high-acid diet of the Eskimo as one principal factor why this group suffers from such low bone density. In Japan, bone density is, on average, much higher; the Japanese diet naturally includes a variety of alkaline foods.

It bears mention that many proponents of alkaline-heavy diets cite other benefits to such a diet. These include but are not limited to acid reflux and high blood acidity. While an alkaline diet has been proven to help with the former, certain recent studies have deduced that blood acidity is not affected by diet on a long-term basis. Blood, being a naturally acidic substance, self-regulates, and while a highly alkaline diet can change the pH of blood for a period of time, the effects are far from permanent.

How to Add Alkaline

At this point, you may have already started making a mental list of alkaline foods… or so you think. The acidity and alkalinity of the food in question is not always linked to the makeup of the food itself. Lemon, for example, may taste highly acidic, but the way that it is broken down in the body is actually alkaline.

The following foods are alkaline when metabolized in the body. Including more of them in your diet is a great way to start.

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapes
  • Kale
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Passion Fruit
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Raisins
  • Watermelon

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Emily Monaco is a food and culture writer based in Paris. Her work has been featured in the Wall... More about Emily Monaco