Black tea, like coffee, produces an acidic effect on the body and should generally be avoided on an alkaline diet. Black tea does, however, help the body use vitamin B15, a cancer-fighting acid, and is included on some alkaline diets for this reason. No food or beverage is completely banned on an alkaline diet, and you can keep your body in pH balance by consuming black tea with foods that make it more alkaline.
Alkaline diets, first advocated by the Greek physician Hippocrates, are regaining renewed popularity in the new millennium. The theory behind an alkaline diet is that your body needs to maintain a proper pH balance in order to stay healthy. Some foods produce an alkaline effect and others an acidic effect. Ideally, your body should be slightly alkaline. A pH balance of 7.35 to 7.45 is considered healthy, according to Dominique Finney, author of “Wellness Zone.”
Black Tea with Lemon
Black tea is acidic both before and after consumption. But some naturally acidic foods — lemons, for instance — turn alkaline inside your body. So, if you really like black tea, adding a wedge or two of lemon would offset its acidic effects. Other foods that you might not think of as acidic – meat, potatoes, bread, pasta, cheese – turn into acids when they hit your bloodstream, according to Charlotte Vohtz, author of “Naturally Gorgeous.”
Black Tea and Vitamin B15
Black tea is recommended in an otherwise low-acid or alkaline diet as a possible treatment for cancer. When cancer cells are present in your body, mitochondria — responsible for killing off harmful cells — get shut down. Vitamin B15, pangamic acid, are thought to reawaken mitochondria so they can destroy cancerous cells. Black tea activates the body’s use of vitamin B15. The use of vitamin B15 to treat cancer is controversial, and you cannot legally purchase supplements in the United States. Vitamin B15 occurs naturally in whole grains, beef blood, brewer’s yeast, apricot kernels and pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
You do not have to forgo black tea in an alkaline diet, but if you drink more than a cup per day, consider substituting other beverages for some of your black tea, says Larry Trivieri Jr., coauthor of the “Alkaline-Acid Food Guide.” Ginger tea, for instance, is alkaline and also can boost metabolism and ease morning sickness and the effects of chemotherapy.
Foods that Neutralize Acid
If you want to drink black tea, do so with alkaline foods. Foods that help your blood maintain an alkaline balance include: fruits such as citrus, peaches, avocados, pears and grapes; vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, sweet potato, tofu and carrots; nuts and seeds such as almonds and chestnuts; grains such as millet, wild rice and quinoa; and dairy products made from goat’s milk. Most proteins form acids in your body but should be included in an alkaline diet. A healthy goal is to make 20 percent of your foods and beverages acidic and 80 percent alkaline, according to Klaire Soper, director of the Kindred Health and Support Center in Australia.