Alkaline foods and Mediterranean diet
Upon entering the body and then being homogenized thanks to the digestive fluids, the nutrients we consume create an environment that is either acidic (pH < 7) or alkaline (pH > 7). It is known that the pH of the human body and blood is 7.4, that is, slightly alkaline.
In order to keep the pH alkaline – or at slightly alkaline values – our foods must contain ingredients that ultimately (themselves or their breakdown products, cumulatively) create a slightly alkaline environment. This is the basis of the so-called alkaline diet or alkaline diet, which is considered the most friendly to the body.
What is the pH of foods?
It is important to know that the active acidity, i.e. the pH that the food has by its nature, is one thing, and the one that it creates in the body after its metabolism is another. Many of our foods, especially processed foods, are either acidic in themselves, or (when digested) create an acidic environment.
However, the final reaction of initially acidic foods may be modified. For example, milk exhibits alkaline behavior outside the body, but after digestion and breakdown of its components it creates an acidic environment.
A similar behavior is observed with lemon juice: Lemons are naturally acidic, like most fruits. After their digestion, however, they show an alkaline reaction. These are called alkalotropics corresponding to the acidotropics, which after their metabolism lower the pH values.
However, it is not always simple to categorize a food as alkaline or acidic, because such a categorization may show considerable variations depending on the place, the soil and the type of each crop. They also play an important role.
Which foods are alkaline and which are acidic?
Food chemistry can predict the alkaline or acidic behavior of foods once they are inside the human body.
Salads, green leafy vegetables, plenty of fruit, especially citrus fruits, vegetables and herbs. Prices for milk and low-fat dairy products and olive oil hover around 7.
– Acidogenic foods
Alcohol, sweets, fatty foods (saturated, unsaturated and trans), meat. Chicken and fish create a less acidic environment (pH 6-7). Fat cheeses, yeast, coffee, tea, chocolate, caffeinated and carbonated drinks, fried foods, chips, legumes (except lentils), pickles, nuts such as walnuts and hazelnuts, pomegranate, jams, dried fruits and vegetables , spinach and tomato.
Should we do a strictly alkaline diet?
The alkaline (alkalotropic) diet is not a panacea for all nutritional problems and body imbalances. Its strongest weapon is that it is in absolute agreement with the Mediterranean Diet, which is considered the best diet worldwide, and the corresponding recommendations of the modern nutritional pyramid.
Based on these, vegetables, fruits, legumes, minimally processed cereals, olive oil, legumes, fish and less dairy, poultry, pasta with processed flour, minimal consumption of red meat, animal fats and sweets are recommended.
The human diet should contain 70% alkaline and 30% acidic foods. So we should not exclude acidic products, just limit them. Especially pomegranates, walnuts, spinach and tomatoes have many benefits even though they are acidic. And of course, we don’t have to deny ourselves a snack or a sweet every now and then.
How the body balances the acidic environment
The modern way of life – and especially stress – leads the body to an external acidic environment. When the diet includes a lot of naturally acidic foods, then in order to metabolize them, the body looks up and exhausts its reserves of alkaline salts (potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, etc.).
These minerals are taken from various vital organs and bones, while they are removed from the body at the end. Thus, the balance of electrolytes and pH are disturbed and the body is led to diseases.
The high degree of processing in food (snacks, chips, fried foods, preservatives, white flour, white rice, refined/refined or hydrogenated oils), as well as the increased consumption of acid-forming drinks (coffee, sugary fruit juices, carbonated, alcoholic) lead to increase in final acidity (decrease in body pH). On the contrary, mineral water creates a highly alkaline environment and offers positive effects on the body’s acid-base balance.
The 10 Alkaline Foods You Should Eat Every Day
The food we eat can lead to an alkaline or acidic blood pH, which in turn has a significant effect on our health. Studies have shown that the more alkaline we become the better we function and the more active we feel.
The alkaline state increases vitality, keeps the body healthy, and significantly increases life expectancy. It helps us lose weight, lower blood pressure, destroy cancer cells, avoid cardiovascular disease, soothe arthritis, and feel younger and stronger.
Foods that make our body acidic include white flour, meats, eggs, fish, dairy, coffee, alcohol, sugar, fried foods. Sweeteners, drugs, and environmental toxins also cause acidity, as do stress, anger, and toxic emotions.
MyGreekitchen has collected the 10 most alkaline foods for our new lifestyle:
Creamy and delicious avocados have a pH of 8.0 which not only alkalizes our entire body but also helps neutralize other acidic foods in our stomach. You can add them to your salads, or eat them cut in half with salt and pepper.
Most of us make the mistake of eating bananas almost unripe, which can lead to constipation and incomplete absorption of substances. Ripe bananas have spots on the skin and peel easily which means they are ready to eat and provide us with lots of vitamins, minerals and lots of alkalinity.
Most nuts are acidic but almonds and their milk are amazing sources of health, vitality and alkalinity. They help reduce cholesterol, improve brain function, digestion and create a perfectly balanced alkalinity in the body.
Known as the most powerful alkaline food in nature, asparagus also provides us with plenty of fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, and anti-aging antioxidants. Their pH is 8.5, making them an amazing addition to any meal.
Watermelon has a pH of 9.0 and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and water for electrolyte balance. Lots of toxin-reducing fiber makes it a great food for a strong dose of alkalinity.
Cayenne is an antibacterial spice that has a pH of 8.5, helps blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, neutralizes toxins and enhances brain function.
It is known for the aid it gives to digestion, for soothing digestive diseases. This is due to their highly nutritious alkaline flesh, which is rich in fiber, water, vitamins, and minerals.
Lemons may taste strongly acidic, but through the digestive tract they are metabolized into highly alkaline substances, which benefit the entire body. In fact lemons are an excellent source of alkalinity which makes it a good idea to add a few slices or some lemon juice to our water glass.
This anti-cancer cruciferous vegetable is apparently a very good alkaline food. It provides plenty of fiber and nutrients that boost our health.
Garlic, in addition to flavoring our dishes, helps neutralize acidic foods such as meat, fish, cheese and egg. Combined with green vegetables it offers a powerful combination of fiber, nutrients and alkalinity.
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