Alkaline foods, or better yet, alkaline forming foods, are those foods that have an alkalizing effect in our body. You see, everything we eat has either an alkalizing or an acidifying effect on us, and it is our body’s work to respond to that effect in order to maintain balance. The pH in our cells and blood is slightly alkaline, and as long as our body is able to keep it stable, it will be able prevent disease and decay. This is why we place so much emphasis in eating alkaline foods and living an alkaline lifestyle, to help our body maintain that balance hence stay healthy. While it would be very hard and unrealistic to completely eliminate acidifying foods from our diet, it is of vital importance to eat more of the alkalizing, and less of the acidic. The ideal proportion would be 70% alkaline foods and 30% acidic foods.
What determines the pH effect of a certain food? Basically 2 things, it’s nutritional value, and the processes it has gone through before getting to our plate. Let’s look at these two in more detail:
Nutritional value: our body has the need for certain vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients to function properly. and some foods are active sources of these nutrients, while others are inactive, or depleting. What I mean by this is, some foods have the nutrients alive in them, making it easy for our body to absorb them, while others have them fragmented or broken, making it hard for our body to assimilate them. Common sense would tell that live raw foods would be more likely to have those live nutrients, while dead or processed foods wouldn’t. So here is the first filter to determine whether a food is alkalizing or acidifying. This would live us with processed foods, dairy products and animal foods on the acidic side; and fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts on the alkaline side.
The second filter would be, which of those nutrients are alkaline. And the answer would be minerals. Minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium have an alkalizing effect in our body. In fact, when trying to combat acidification, it is these nutrients that our body uses to alkalize. Now things get tricky when other things come into the equation, because even if a certain food is rich in these minerals if it is very high in sugar, (like most fruits), yeast (like breads and beers to name a few), or fungi (like mushrooms) it becomes acidifying. So these foods need to be kept in that 30% of our diet.
Processing: The processes our food goes through before we eat it have a big effect on its pH. Let me say first that not all processing and cooking is the same. Traditional home cooking is one thing, and it does not completely kill nutrients in our food, but industrial processing and microwaving are another story. If we look at pasteurization, or homogenization, these are extremely aggressive processes that deplete food from any nutritional value it has, and makes it very acidic. (yes, I’m talking about milk and juices). Fermentation is another process that acidifies foods as it produces yeast in them. Microwave cooking, and you may not like me for this one, is another big no, as it kills all nutrients, and may pose several dangers to your health (did you know microwave ovens are illegal in Rusia for this reason specifically?).
Our body is designed to stay alkaline, in fact it needs to maintain its pH between a very narrow range. In order to do so, it sometimes needs to go to pretty extreme measures, and this measures can have some serious effects on our health, and make us vulnerable to disease and decay. So it is of vital importance that we help our body in its effort to stay alkaline, and we can do so through our diet, eating at least 70% of all our foods alkaline, our hydration, drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of clean water, and our lifestyle.
You can use our alkaline food chart as a graphic reference of which foods fall into which category, but I hope with the general guidelines I presented here you will be able to decide by yourself without the need of it.