Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about alkaline foods. But what does it even mean? As you learn about this buzzword, you will realize that your diet’s pH actually matters. In fact, your risk of chronic disease and inflammation depends on it.
What Are Alkaline Foods?
Every food releases an acid or base when it is digested, absorbed, and metabolized. If a food releases a base, it is alkaline. This is measured by a pH scale of 0 to 14. Acids are below 7, bases are higher than 7, and the body is typically at 7.4.
Now, food isn’t acidic just because it has something like lemon juice or vinegar. The pH refers to the way it acts in the body, not the food itself.
Why Is Alkalinity Important?
Alkaline diets keep some of the most life-threatening diseases at bay:
Controls High Blood Pressure
Alkalinity manages hypertension, or high blood pressure. It is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease, the leading cause of death for American men and women.1
Type 2 diabetes, the seventh leading cause of death in the US, can also be prevented with alkaline foods. It works by improving insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. However, acidic foods induce metabolic acidosis, a setup for type 2 diabetes.2
Slows The Progression Of Kidney Disease
Age also takes a toll on muscle mass and kidney health, but alkaline foods will help. A 2008 study found that alkalinity preserves muscle mass in older men and women, while a 2015 study discovered that it slows down the progression of chronic kidney disease.3 Meanwhile, metabolic acidosis from acidic foods had the opposite effect.4
Reduces Chronic Inflammation
Alkaline diets also provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods, giving cancer and inflammation the boot. Asthma, calcium kidney stones, and osteoporosis are also less likely.5
Is The Western Diet Balanced?
11 Alkaline Foods To Prevent Chronic Disease
Ready to alkalize your diet? Eat more of these 11 foods.
Fresh fruits like berries are alkaline, delicious, and easy to prep. They are also jam-packed with antioxidants, making them a smart choice for disease prevention.
Berries are actually some of the best sources of
Lemon might be acidic, but as a fresh fruit, it has an alkaline effect. Use it to flavor water or meals for a nutritious boost. It is the perfect way to “sneak” in some extra alkalinizing action.
Bananas are travel-friendly, cheap, and alkaline. A banana a
Like bananas, oranges are easy to travel with. Plus, between the alkalinity and vitamin C, they are a smart choice for disease prevention. Eat alone or with a fresh fruit salad.
5. Stone Fruits
Do not forget about stone fruits like peaches, plums, and apricots. These high-antioxidant fruits are best in the summer and fall. In a salad, stonefruits will also sweeten things up.
6. Leafy Greens