Many of the health symptoms we commonly suffer from can be traced back to the type of foods we eat most often.
Feeling exhausted (even with 8 hours of sleep), having chronic low energy, unexplained aches and pains, frequent colds and
You see, our body has what's called a pH balance. Our blood pH is measured on a scale from 0-14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being highly alkaline. The ideal pH our bodies work hard to maintain for optimal health and wellness is between 7.35-7.45, which is considered neutral. While it's less common for our blood to become highly alkaline, it is not unheard of for our blood to become too acidic - and that's due to the nature of having highly acidic foods, and fewer alkaline foods in our diets.
When a food is acidic, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's acidic to taste such as lemon or vinegar. Instead, the terms acidic and alkaline describe the effect a food has on our body once it's been metabolized. All foods can be categorized as alkaline, acidic or neutral. For example, citrus fruits are acidic to
The foods that have the most acidifying effect on the body are meat, dairy,
Now, the reason your acid-alkaline balance is so important is
In addition to leaving you more susceptible to disease, having an acidic blood pH can also cause short-term symptoms such as:
Frequent colds and
Unexplained aches and pains
Acne and skin rashes
Reduced bone density and/or muscle wasting
Many acidic foods are also void of essential alkalizing nutrients, such as calcium. Now, this may sound confusing because dairy, an acidifying food, has always been thought of as a good source of calcium. But since dairy leaves behind an acidic effect on your blood's pH, your body will compensate and try to reduce this effect by releasing alkalizing minerals from your nutrient stores as a buffer- such as calcium. This way, your pH balance won't stray too far from neutral. It's also possible to become too alkaline, though it's much less common since many of the foods we eat regularly are acidic.
On the other hand, when your blood pH is optimal, you'll feel energized without needing your morning coffee, you'll have clear, glowing skin and naturally look younger. You'll also have a happier mood, a stronger immune system and improved digestion. And all of these signs of excellent health can be achieved simply by eating alkalizing foods each day.
9 High Aklakine Foods to Include in Your Diet
By now, you're probably beginning to understand that the acid-alkaline balance of foods you eat isn't meant to be a restrictive diet, or special way of eating. Eating more alkaline foods is simply a natural way of improving your health.
It should also be mentioned that it's not necessary to avoid acidic foods entirely. While I certainly don't
As suggested above, your body is
If you're interested in learning about how a food is classified as acid or alkaline, it's measured on what's called a PRAL
A negative PRAL score means a food is alkaline, while a positive PRAL score classifies a food as acidic. For example, pears have a PRAL score of -2.9, which means they're alkaline. But cheddar cheese has a PRAL score of 26.4, which means it is highly acidic.
The top 9 high alkaline foods to include in your diet are listed below in order of their PRAL scores.
1. Beet Greens
Beet greens have a PRAL score of -16.7, which means they're highly alkaline. So, next time you're tempted to throw away the tops off your beets, you may want to reconsider. Beet greens are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps keep digestion regular and balances blood sugar levels. You can add beet greens to smoothies raw or sauté them in coconut oil and a touch of sea salt and pepper.
Popeye was always onto something, because spinach is one of the world's most alkaline foods. With a PRAL score of -14, spinach is an ideal leafy green to include in your diet. Spinach contains several phytonutrients and antioxidant vitamins such as beta-carotene, which is an important nutrient for cellular health. Spinach also contains calcium and iron, two minerals that support bone health and energy.
You can easily add more spinach to your diet by using spinach leaves as a salad or green smoothie base, or by sautéing spinach in coconut oil with your favorite herbs and spices.
Kale has a PRAL score of -8.3, which means it's also highly alkaline. Kale is one of the richest dietary sources of vitamin A next to
Kale is an extremely fibrous leafy green, so most people digest kale best when it's been lightly steamed, or "massaged” with olive oil. Massaging kale helps to soften it, which makes it easier to eat in its raw form.
4. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is another highly alkaline food, with a PRAL score of -8.1. Like spinach (and most other leafy greens), swiss chard contains plenty of antioxidant vitamins that help support cellular health. And the healthier your cells are, the more energy you'll have and the more vibrant you will feel.
Swiss chard tastes great in smoothies and sauteed, and also makes the perfect lettuce wrap substitute for bread or grain wraps.
Bananas are world famous for being a rich source of potassium. But although there are many foods higher in potassium than bananas, such as avocados, bananas still offer plenty of nutritional value with antioxidant vitamins and minerals, and have a PRAL score of -6.9. Therefore, bananas are the perfect no-fuss, on-the-go highly alkaline snack.
Celery contains potassium and sodium, two essential minerals for heart health. Since both potassium and sodium are electrolytes, celery can serve as a perfect ingredient in post-workout smoothies to replenish nutrients that are lost through sweat. Celery has a PRAL score of -5.2. And being mostly water, celery requires more calories (or energy) to chew than the number of calories it actually contains.
Celery can be added to green smoothies and pairs well with all fruits and vegetables, based on its nearly flavorless taste. You can also add your favorite nut butters to celery for a healthy alkalizing snack.
Kiwi has a PRAL score of -
Pineapple is known for being a rich source of digestive enzymes (which may even be helpful for preventing and eliminating parasites), but it's also a fruit you can include in your diet to improve your acid-alkaline balance. With a PRAL score of -2.6, pineapple isn't as alkaline as kiwi, but still has an alkalizing effect on your blood's pH.
9. Macadamia Nuts
Although many nuts and seeds are acidic, some nuts do have an alkalizing effect. Macadamia nuts have a PRAL score of -1.4. So while they're not nearly as alkaline as most fruit and vegetables, they're still beneficial for improving your acid-alkaline balance. In addition, macadamia nuts contain omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids, which help support cognitive function, memory and concentration.
Macadamia nuts are a great snack on their own, or as macadamia nut butter on celery sticks.
While these 9 alkalizing foods are ideal to include in your diet each day, they aren't the only foods that have an alkalizing effect on the body. As a general guideline, all plant foods are alkalizing due to their high vitamin and mineral content, which also includes the amazing green superfood: chlorella.
Chlorella is an ideal whole food nutritional supplement to add to your daily routine because it helps restore your acid-alkaline balance, and provides you with phytonutrients, antioxidant vitamins and nucleic acids to help promote optimal cellular health. Chlorella can be taken as a nutritional supplement in the form of Sun Chlorella tablets, or added to your favorite juices and smoothies with Sun Chlorella granules or Sun Chlorella Absolute pure chlorella powder.
About Brandi Black, RHN
Brandi Black is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist from Vancouver, B.C. Experiencing her own health challenges at a young age led her to become passionate about educating on the healing properties of food, and how to achieve hormone balance, clear skin and sustainable weight loss naturally. In her spare time you'll find Brandi writing in her blog and hanging out with her teacup chihuahua, Coconut.
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 http://www.direct-ms.org/pdf/NutritionGeneral/Remer and Manz Acid Base.pdf