Alkaline foods are naturally conducive to good health but figuring out which are best for your specific needs can be challenging. Different sources offer conflicting information about foods suitable for an alkaline diet.
Alkaline and Acidic Categories
Whether you consider adopting an alkaline diet for Crohns disease or for optimal health benefits, it helps to explore your dietary options. This begins with a visit to your doctor to discuss your options including food categories that create a well-balanced eating plan.
Alkaline categories include fruits and vegetables and some are quite surprising. For example, lemons and grapefruits are among the alkaline fruits in spite of their sour reputations. This is because the acidic fruits produce bicarbonates (alkaline base) in the bloodstream after they are processed.
The list also includes some seeds, nuts and grains including almonds, lentils and buckwheat. Sticking to raw foods and salads is ideal.
The site features acidic food categories as well including meats, dairy, fats, and any fruit not listed on the site's alkaline list. A convenience food category includes chocolate, canned goods and fast food among the acidic foods.
Conflicting information is apparent when browsing through various websites. A detailed listing of acid and alkaline forming foods is available that includes a helpful list of foods that have uncertain levels due to conflicting information:
Fruits and vegetables
- Brussel sprouts
- Lima beans
- White potatoes
Nuts and seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Flax seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sprouted seeds
Dairy and Meat
- Cottage cheese
- Milk (including organic)
- Green tea, kombucha, and herbal tea
- Maple syrup
- Soy products
Lists of Alkaline Foods
Conflicting information aside, you can still create a balanced diet that improves your overall health. Lists of foods that are categorized according to their pH properties.
- Essence of Life features food charts, lists of unknowns and foods that are high in potassium
- The PDF Acid-Alkaline Foods List includes information about pH levels in the blood.
The charts are merely guides for you to consider as you develop a viable eating plan. It helps to have insight into pH levels as well as how they may affect the body.
The pH scale runs from zero to 14, and ideally, you should have a blood pH level that is slightly alkaline, rating between 7.35 and 7.45 according to Merck. A pH level lower than 7.0 is acidic, which may cause a build up of acid in the cells.
Some claim that the excess acid can arise out of stress, poor diet, autoimmune reactions, toxins, and lack of oxygen to the cells. Foods naturally release acids or bicarbonates into the blood stream as they are processed. Proponents suggest that the higher levels of acid can lead to:
- Poor nutritional absorption
- Poor ability to process heavy metals
- Poor cell repair
- Coma or death (with a 6.9% pH level in the blood)
The Acid-Alkaline Foods List states that a diet that seeks to repair imbalance should consist of 80% bicarbonate-producing and 20% acid-producing foods. The information on the foods list are remarkably similar to the information on the Detailed List of Alkaline Foods. Please note that the latter has a disclaimer stating that the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated its claims.
FDA and Alkaline Health Claims
The FDA issued a health claims letter of denial in 2007 to Dr. Wulf Dröge of Immunotec Incorporated. The organization claimed that alkaline and earth alkaline citrates minimize the risk of osteoporosis. The Center for Better Bones features a list of alkaline foods that seems to suggest that including them in your diet can improve your bone health. A balanced diet and proper exercise is naturally conducive to good bone health.
A balanced diet and exercise regimen are ideal for most individuals who want to have optimal health. Many alkaline foods are natural choices for a healthy eating plan but they are not meant to treat or prevent any medical condition without guidance from a physican. .