Harness the power of alkaline foods to nourish your body & soul!
Maintaining your body’s pH balance probably isn’t on your mind as often as eating your 5-a-day of veggies or drinking plenty of water. Luckily, both of those practices contribute to a balanced body, so you’re already halfway there!
Our bodies are highly sophisticated, totally integrated organisms, in which each part supports the whole. Those “parts” work together every moment of the day to make sure we’re functioning at our best and brightest. One way to ensure your body is running like a well oiled machine (pardon the cliché) is to monitor and regulate your pH balance.
As you may or may not recall from Chemistry class, the pH scale runs from 0 to 14. If something has a pH of 0, it is highly acidic; if its’ pH is 14, it is highly alkaline or basic. A pH of 7 is neutral, and our bodies should be at a steady 7.4 – slightly basic, but nothing crazy. However, while we all try to eat healthfully and wholesomely, the “American diet” of refined sugars, processed wheats, and animal proteins is decidedly acidic. The result is an overabundance of acid-forming foods in our systems, which has been linked to cancers, heart diseases, diabetes, and osteoporosis. For a full and transparent list of alkaline- and acid-causing foods, this is a great resource.
Making a conscious effort to intake more alkaline-causing foods has the potential to reap myriad health benefits. For starters, most fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and fermented foods are alkaline-causing, so a high alkaline diet will naturally include a bountiful array of colors and nutrients. Win-win!
Here’s a little cheat sheet to help you zero-in on the foods you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle to help balance out your body’s pH:
Top alkaline foods:
- broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower
- kale, spinach, chard
- nightshades (peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, paprika, eggplant)
- fermented veggies (kimchi, sauerkraut)
- dark berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
- citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, limes)
- almonds and chestnuts
- tofu and tempeh
- herbs (chili peppers, curry, ginger, sea salt, mustard, tamari)
Boosting your alkaline intake and subsequently balancing your pH has been shown to help keep your skin more elastic, improve sleep quality and overall energy levels, aid digestion, decrease susceptibility to colds, headaches, and flu viruses, and increase mental alertness. Plus, you get to eat super-tasty foods loaded with brightness and nutrition!
Here’s what we munch on when we’re keeping an eye on our pH:
Each of these meals is satisfying and delicious, with the added bonus that they incorporate at least two alkaline-forming foods! Happy cooking!
Please note that the author of this blog is not a medical professional, and all information is a result of research and opinion. Any health questions should be directed towards your primary care physician.