Understanding Alkaline Food Choices

Proponents claim that an alkaline diet may provide a number of health benefits, including decreasing the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and low bone density. Because this type of diet is typically pretty healthy, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try if you’re curious as to whether it will help you feel better. To do this, you simply need to understand what constitutes an alkaline food and what constitutes a more acid-forming food. Throughout the day, aim to eat about 60 to 80 percent foods that are alkaline.

Vegetables and Fruits

The main basis of an alkaline diet is vegetables, followed by fruits. These should make up the largest portion of the foods eaten. At least half of each meal should consist of fruits and vegetables, with some of these being raw for even more benefits. Good choices include beets, bananas, broccoli, green beans, kale, sprouts, avocado, tomato, spinach, grapefruit, citrus fruits, mushrooms. garlic, cabbage, figs, dates and watermelon.

Grains and Legumes

Some grains and legumes are considered a little bit acidic, so people should eat less of these than fruits and vegetables, but more of these foods than dairy and meats. Whole grains should be chosen, not refined grains, and quinoa, spelt, millet and buckwheat are better choices than rice or wheat. White beans, soy beans, lima beans and lentils are among the better legume options for those attempting to follow this diet.

Protein Foods

Dairy, meat, poultry, fish and eggs are all somewhat acidifying, but goat milk is less acidifying than cow’s milk and fish and poultry are better than red meat. These should be the main protein foods in the diet after legumes.

Other Foods

Nuts and seeds may be slightly acidifying, but they’re so nutritious it is important to include them in the diet. Opt for raw nuts over roasted and almonds or sesame seeds over other nuts. When it comes to oils, flax and olive oils are the best alternatives. The most acidifying foods among those not already mentioned, which should only be used as occasional treats, include sweets, artificial sweeteners and many condiments.

Beverages

You may want to stick to water and green or herbal tea, as most other beverages are acidifying, including coffee, alcohol, soda and sports drinks.

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