When it comes to good health, it's all about equilibrium. Too much acid in the body throws the pH balance out of whack and boosts vulnerability to viruses and disease. When people eat acid-forming foods, the body releases alkaline minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorous into the bloodstream to restore pH balance. If not available through food sources, these minerals are pulled from organs, teeth and bones, a process which compromises the health. An alkaline diet can help.
The pH balance in our blood should be slightly alkaline for good health, which can be achieved by eating more high-alkaline foods and fewer foods that produce acid. Good alkaline diet foods include vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli and celery. For high-alkaline fruits, people often turn to red or yellow apples, avocados, grapefruit, lemons, limes, pomegranate and rhubarb. Additional alkaline-forming foods include almonds and almond milk, buckwheat, quinoa, chia seeds, herbs and herbal tea. Acid-producing foods include meats, fish, dairy products, beans, processed foods and many types of grains.
Alkaline Diet Benefits for the Health
A diet full of alkaline-rich foods offers a number of benefits to the health.
Maintaining a healthy pH balance can benefit bone health. A study from the University of California showed that chronic acidosis contributes to bone loss. Research also shows that hip fractures among middle-aged females are often linked to diets low in vegetables and high in animal products.
Related: The Bone-Blood Connection
As people age, they lose muscle, which raises risks for falls and fractures. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that diets with more potassium-rich foods (like fruits and vegetables) and less acid might help prevent the loss of muscle mass in aging individuals.
Adding high-alkaline foods to the diet can help people with cancer. Research published in the journal Cancer shows that an alkaline diet makes some chemotherapy medicines more effective.
Adopting an alkaline diet doesn't mean eating only alkaline-rich foods. Foods high in alkaline should make up about 60 to 80 percent of the diet, with acid-forming foods making up the remaining 20 to 40 percent. Because pesticides are acid-forming, shoppers should purchase organic produce when possible.