Balanced body chemistry is extremely important in order to maintain health, which is one reason consuming a diet high in alkaline foods is important. Acidosis, or over-acidity in the body tissues is one of the primary factors underlying many diseases. Staying alkaline depends on the efficient functioning of our body’s three natural buffering systems, and so we want to do all that we can to support the proper functioning of those systems.
When we look at which foods can help us stay alkaline, we are looking at the overall effect the food has on our system after metabolism, and not before. All foods are digested by the body and they leave an “ash” as the result of digestion. The ash can be either neutral, acid or alkaline based mainly on the mineral composition of the foods. The quintessential example of an acidic food that leaves an alkaline ash in the body is the lemon.
The natural ratio for a healthy body is about 4 to 1, or 80% alkaline to 20% acidic. If we can maintain this ratio more or less over time, we have a much stronger resistance to disease. A healthy body usually keeps large alkaline reserves that are used to meet the demands of the body if too many acidic foods are consumed. But, over time these reserves can be depleted.
Generally speaking, most grains are acid forming, except for millet and buckwheat, which are alkaline. All vegetable and fruit juices are highly alkaline, especially green juices, carrot, beet, celery and cucumber. Below are 8 “ABC” foods and their benefits to help inspire you to stay healthy! I will feature more alkaline foods next week!
Asparagus is one of the most powerful foods you can eat for alkalinity. High in vitamin K and folate, asparagus is extremely well balanced, even among nutrient-rich vegetables. Asparagus is high in anti-inflammatory nutrients, and contains a wide variety of nutrients including vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and the minerals zinc, manganese and selenium.
Avocados are high in potassium as well as healthy fat in addition to helping you stay alkaline. Avocados are loaded with healthy omega 3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid.
Beets have a powerful alkalizing effect on the body, and are also one of the only sources of the phytonutrient betalain which can have an anti-cancer effect. Be sure to eat fresh raw beets, either grated in a salad or juiced for maximum benefits!
Buckwheat is popular in raw vegan cuisine as it can be used to make great raw breads and crackers and it doesn’t contain wheat. It is one of the only grains that is alkaline, and also a great source of protein and iron. I have a great recipe for buckwheat bread if you’re interested!
Carrots are not only alkalizing, but are one of the most powerful cleansing foods available.They are an exceptionally rich source of carotenes and vitamin A. Flavonoid compounds in carrots can help protect against skin, lung and mouth cancers.
Not only is celery an alkaline food, but it is also known as an aphrodisiac. Celery contains androstenone and androstenol, two male pheromones. When you chew a stalk of celery, the androstenone and androstenol odor molecules are released into the mouth and up the throat to the nose. Once there, the pheromones boost arousal and cause the body to send out signals that make a man more desirable to a woman. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. Check out Dr. Alan Hirsch’s book Scentsational Sex if you don’t believe me!
Cilantro is cleansing, alkaline-forming, and can help with cholesterol, anemia, and digestion. Two of the best ways to use cilantro are in juices, and in tea. To make a cilantro tea, just brew 2 teaspoons of fresh leaves per cup of water.
Coconut can really be considered a miracle food. It is one of the few foods that can provide for most of our human needs! The Sanskrit term for coconut is kalpa vriksha, which means “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live”. Coconuts are not only alkalizing, but they are antifungal, antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial. All coconut parts including coconut flesh, coconut water, coconut oil, and coconut cream, each contain incredible health benefits.
Support your body by having 80% of your food choices come from alkaline categories!