November 07, 2023 4 min read
While many diets focus on the sole purpose of losing weight, the alkaline diet gained popularity in recent years based on its focus on maintaining the body’s equilibrium for optimal health benefits (1). The diet follows the assumption that eating mostly alkaline foods will keep the body running its healthiest. While many find the diet in its original form restrictive, there is no doubt that simply adding more alkaline foods to your diet comes with many health benefits.
When a substance is alkaline, it means it has a pH higher than 7, which can in turn raise the body’s equilibrium. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with numbers under 7 being more acidic, and numbers above 7 being more alkaline. Typically people eat so many acidic food and beverages, which can cause or exacerbate a number of health problems, from metabolic issues to acid reflux.
While pH directly measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is, this number does not always directly correlate to its alkalinity or acidity. “Alkaline-forming” is a term used to say that a food or drink alkalizes the body, no matter what its pH is. Many foods, like those listed below, are acidic by nature, but once consumed they can help maintain the body’s equilibrium (2).
Many people assume fruit is acidic because of its nature, and by pH alone, they would be right. Citrus fruits in particular are acidic in taste and pH. However, fruits are alkaline forming, and therefore help maintain the body’s equilibrium despite the notion that they are “acidic.” Additionally, a research study conducted by Harvard University notes that eating more fruit can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and fruits have also been found to help lower blood pressure (3).
2. Non-Starchy Vegetables
Vegetables another group alkaline-forming food that has many benefits outside of raising your body’s pH levels. Vegetables contain fiber that can help with digestion, and implementing vegetables into your diet can also reduce the risk of heart disease (4).
Alkaline-forming nuts, including almonds, cashews, and chestnuts, are all a great source of protein to add to any balanced diet. Nuts are high in “good fats,” rich in antioxidants, and full of vitamins and minerals (5).
4. Soy Foods
Soys foods, like soybeans, edamame, and tofu, also come with their own benefits outside of being alkaline-forming. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Eating whole soy foods may reduce the risk of breast cancer and several other types of cancer, fibroids, and even inflammation” (6). They go on to note that soy can also help with bone and heart health, as well as menopausal symptoms.
5. Fermented Tofu
While tofu is a soy product, fermented tofu in particular has its own nutritional value due to the presence of probiotics. Probiotics promote gut health, which can help with digestion and the immune system overall (7). However, it is recommended to consume fermented products in moderation to promote a healthy diet.
6. Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein powder is an easy way to increase your protein intake, since it dissolves in liquid and comes in a variety of flavors. Dr. Grant Tinsley finds that “it is a complete, high quality protein that contains all of the essential amino acids” (8). On top of being alkaline-forming, whey protein also promotes muscle growth.
Millets are cereal grains that are commonly mistaken for seeds. They are a staple in many African and Asian cuisines, and they are rich in antioxidants (9). Some studies connect eating millet to lowering cholesterol, and they are a gluten-free option for grains.
You do not need to be on a strict alkaline diet to reap the benefits of alkaline-forming foods. Alkaline-forming foods, like those listed above, come with their own health benefits on top of maintaining homeostasis in the body’s pH levels. To ensure your body is working to the best of its ability, consider drinking alkaline water in addition to eating alkaline-forming foods. Alkaline water is easily accessible with the use of an alkaline water pitcher, like those offered at Seychelle. By adding more alkalinity in your daily life, you can maintain a balanced diet and reap many added health benefits.
What is alkaline-forming?
Alkaline-forming refers to foods or beverages that alkalize the body once digested. These foods and beverages do not need to have an alkaline pH to alkalize the body.
What foods will alkalize my body?
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, soy products, and whey protein powder are a few examples of alkaline-forming foods.
Are eggs alkaline?
No, eggs are acidic and do not alkalize the body.