Most of the illnesses people face today are due to unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle choices. When it comes to food, most people choose the easy way rather than the healthy one.
So, families and friends order food from a fast-food restaurant or may end up eating out. Pizzas, burgers, sausages, etc. are only a few favorites.
Unfortunately, unhealthy eating habits have an adverse effect on the pH levels of the body. pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity in your body which can be measured through blood and urine tests.
Disturbing the natural pH of the human body can cause short- or long-term health conditions that require medical treatments.
So, let’s take a look at what happens when the body’s pH levels are disturbed and the foods you should include in your diet to maintain the right acid-base levels in the body.
Importance Of pH Balance For Optimal Health
The normal blood pH of the human body is roughly between the range of 7.35 and 7.45.1 This pH value ensures the normal functioning of the metabolic processes and the right distribution of oxygen to all parts of the body.
The lungs and kidneys are the most important organs that are involved in regulating the body’s pH value.
The lungs help release carbon dioxide out of the body by exhaling and this ensures that the pH values are not disturbed. Similarly, the kidneys release unwanted acids from the body through urine.
When processes like respiration or kidney functions are disturbed, it may affect the acid-base balance maintained by the body.
As a result, the body may experience two different health conditions: acidosis and alkalosis. Acidosis occurs when the blood pH value falls below 7.35 while alkalosis occurs when the value exceeds 7.45.
Therefore, diseases affecting the lungs, kidneys, metabolism, and electrolyte balance may cause an imbalance in pH levels as well.
One of the easiest and effective ways to fight this pH imbalance is by eating healthy. Let’s examine some of the alkaline foods that you must include in your diet to avoid the release of too much acid in your body.
Alkaline Foods To Include In Your Diet To Maintain A Healthy pH
When an alkaline environment is maintained within the body, normal functions like metabolism, cell repair, enzymatic functions, and immunologic functions work at their best.
To maintain this alkaline environment, a diet rich in alkaline foods can help. Here is a list of some common alkaline foods that you can include in your diet to maintain healthy pH levels.
Spinach has an approximate pH ranging between 5.50 and 6.80.2Including spinach in your diet can help maintain an alkaline environment in the body.
Spinach is also a rich source of minerals like potassium and calcium, two minerals that are required to maintain healthy pH levels in the body.3
100 grams of the vegetable contains 95 milligrams of calcium and 553 milligrams of potassium.4
Broccoli may not be your favorite vegetables but it definitely can keep your pH levels under control. Broccoli has an approximate pH range of 6.30–6.85.5
Broccoli is a great source of antioxidants and may help prevent the damage of cells. It is also rich in vitamin K which is important for blood clotting functions. It also promotes digestive health because of its rich fiber content.
Lemons may belong to the acidic fruits category and their pH level may range between 2.00 and 2.80; but, lemons have an alkalizing effect on the body after it has been metabolized.6
So, don’t let the pH of foods determine their alkaline effects because numbers can be deceiving, like in the case of lemons. These are antioxidant-rich fruits and contain calcium and potassium, two important nutrients to maintain alkalinity in the body.
Bananas are potassium-rich fruits that contain enough fiber, thereby, allowing you to feel full for a long time.
In addition, bananas also promote alkalizing effects and can help maintain a basic pH within the body. The approximate pH of this fiber-rich fruit is 4.50–5.20.7
Bananas may promote heart, kidney, and digestive health because of the healthy nutrients it offers the body.
5. Honeydew Melons
Honeydew melons have an approximate pH range of 6.00–6.67.8
Honeydew melons are rich in nutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, etc. that benefit the body in many ways.
For instance, because of the high potassium content (about 228 milligrams per 100 grams), melons may help in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, thereby promoting heart health.9
Avocados are considered the best sources of healthy fats. In addition, they may be one of the best food choices for maintaining healthy pH levels, too.
The approximate pH level ranges between 6.27 and 6.58.10 These are nutritious fruits that can keep you full for a long period because of their fiber content, which is approximately 6.7 grams per 100 grams.11
They may promote a healthy heart because of their richness in potassium and may be able to lower cholesterol levels in the body.12
Soybeans have an approximate pH value ranging between 6.00 and 6.60.13 They are one of the best sources of plant-based proteins. These can be included in your diet to help maintain normal pH levels that the body requires to maintain its normal functions.
They are particularly useful for women because of the presence of isoflavones that resemble the female sex hormone, estrogen. They can also help promote bone density in postmenopausal women.14
These are only a few foods that can promote healthy pH levels required for the normal functioning of the body.
For good health, it is important to have a mix of both acidic and alkaline foods; acidic foods like oranges, berries, plums etc. are not a threat to the body as long as they are consumed in the right amounts.
Therefore, to conclude, it is always best to have a healthy mix of both acidic and alkaline foods to maintain a healthy pH balance. If you are not sure of what foods to include in your diet, consult a nutritionist to help you with professional advice.
|↑1||Acidosis and Alkalosis. American Association for Clinical Chemistry.|
|↑2, ↑5, ↑6, ↑7, ↑8, ↑10, ↑13||pH Values of Common Foods and Ingredients. Food Safety & Health, University of Wisconsin.|
|↑3||König, Daniel, Klaus Muser, Hans-Hermann Dickhuth, Aloys Berg, and Peter Deibert. “Effect of a supplement rich in alkaline minerals on acid-base balance in humans.” Nutrition journal 8, no. 1 (2009): 23.|
|↑4||Full Report (All Nutrients): 45053578, SPINACH, UPC: 041497067817. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑9||Basic Report: 09184, Melons, honeydew, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑11||Basic Report: 09037, Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑12||Alvizouri-Muñoz, Mario, J. Carranza-Madrigal, J. E. Herrera-Abarca, F. Chavez-Carbajal, and J. L. Amezcua-Gastelum. “Effects of avocado as a source of monounsaturated fatty acids on plasma lipid levels.” Archives of medical research 23, no. 4 (1992): 163-167.|
|↑14||Potter, Susan M., Jo Ann Baum, Hongyu Teng, Rachel J. Stillman, Neil F. Shay, and J. W. Erdman. “Soy protein and isoflavones: their effects on blood lipids and bone density in postmenopausal women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 68, no. 6 (1998): 1375S-1379S.|