Alkaline foods increase the oxygen level in the blood. We usually experience aches, pains, digestion problems and fatigue when the pH of the blood is below 7. A diet rich in acidic food lowers the pH of the blood, increasing the risk of obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis and cancer.
Ideally, the normal pH of the blood could be maintained if 80 per cent of the diet comprises of alkaline food.
You would be surprised to know that lemon despite containing large amounts of citric acid is actually an alkaline food. Alkalinity or acidity of a particular food is not judged according to the taste of the food. The residue or ash left behind, after all the nutrients in lemon are absorbed, is alkaline in nature. The lemon residue has a pH of nine.
Watermelon, cucumber and avocado are alkaline fruits that should be included in an alkaline diet. Fresh fruits that contain small amounts of fructose are alkaline in nature. Canned fruits will make your diet acidic.
Leafy green vegetables are popular alkaline foods in our diets. However, cooking might alter the pH of green vegetables. Although raw spinach is an alkaline vegetable, its pH falls after cooking.
To retain the alkalinity of vegetables such as potato, eggplant and tomato, it is advisable to cook these vegetables with their skin. Peppers and asparagus could make our diets alkaline. Bell pepper and asparagus have pH of 8.5.
Culinary herbs and spices such as basil, parsley, ginger and cilantro enhance the alkalinity of the diet. You can make your meals alkaline by adding broccoli, mung bean and alfalfa sprouts. Juices of green vegetables such as wheatgrass juice are highly alkaline.
Stevia, a natural sweetener could be added to an alkaline diet. Legumes, nuts and roots are popular alkaline foods.
However, an excessive alkaline diet could raise the pH of the blood above 7.3, increasing the risk of illnesses.
The adverse effect of an excessive alkaline diet could be offset by adding small amounts of acidic foods in the meals. Animal proteins, dairy products, sugar, refined grains and saturated fats are sources of acidic foods.