Health is dependent on an alkaline environment created by eating foods such as green vegetables, raisins and apricots to maintain an optimum dietary balance of at least 80 percent alkalinity. A low alkaline diet may promote weight loss, give an energy boost, strengthen the immune system and a feeling of overall well-being.
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Alkaline foods contain minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium that form alkaline compounds. Alkaline foods produce an alkaline ash that helps maintain the desired body pH level of about 7.4. Your pH level is the measure of the acidic or alkaline base of your body. A pH of 7 is neutral. Anything above 7 is alkaline, or base, and anything below 7 is acidic. Most fruits and vegetables are alkaline although individual digestion and metabolism can influence the pH reaction in the body.
Low Alkaline Foods
The fruits that produce the most alkaline in your body include bananas, raisins, dried sweet apricots and dates. Vegetables that are the most alkaline are yellow beans, beets, cabbage, cucumber, garlic, peppers, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes and spinach, according to Christopher Vasey, N.D., of the website Heart Spring. Generally dairy foods are acidic but raw whole milk, butter, unripe cheeses, whey, buttermilk and egg yolk are regarded as alkaline and may help to increase your pH level. Other alkaline foods include a few grains such as corn and buckwheat, sugar, sea salt, cold pressed oils and nuts including Brazil nuts, almonds and olives.
An analysis of blood can determine pH content in cells in the body by measuring sodium, potassium, chloride, carbon dioxide and bicarbonate levels. Urine pH and saliva pH tests are not as reliable in assessing total internal alkaline or acidic levels. Kidneys dispose of excess acid in several ways that can affect urine pH. Saliva pH is affected by bacteria in the mouth, according to Chelation Therapy online.
Among the many benefits of maintaining a low alkaline diet is the prevention of kidney stones. Certain types of kidney stones favor an acidic environment, and adjusting your body’s pH balance to a more alkaline level may help prevent these types of stones. A report in "The New York Times" says that if the body is too acidic, it may produce too much uric acid in the urine, and kidney stones may develop. According to the Mayo Clinic website, making urine more alkaline by maintaining an alkaline diet can minimize the risk of kidney stones.
Eating alkaline food is the fastest and most effective way to balance body pH. Eating a salad every day is one of the best ways to increase your intake of alkalizing vegetables. Vary your salad with kale, spinach and fancy greens; add ground Brazil nuts or pumpkin seeds and dress it with healthy flax-seed or olive oil for maximum health benefits. Since animal protein is acidifying, substitute chicken broth for meat in soups and other dishes. Try to eat less red meat and choose fish and skinless chicken instead. Bake or broil instead of frying food. By adding spices and fresh herbs, which are alkalizing, to your favorite foods instead of acidic table salt you can help control blood pressure, suggests Alkaline Diet Encyclopedia. Limit cheese consumption by making it a condiment by sprinkling grated feta or mozzarella on salads or vegetables.