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What's the Deal With: Alkaline-Producing Foods

What's the Deal With: Alkaline-Producing Foods

You eat to maximize your fiber. You eat for omega-3s. Well, there's another way to figure out what to put on your plate and what to avoid: the pH your food produces.

Foods that fall on the alkaline side of the pH scale offer many health benefits. Along with fighting inflammation, which is thought to lead to heart disease and some cancers, alkaline-producing foods can help maintain bone density and muscle mass. It is not the food's pH measurement that counts, but what happens to its acidity level during digestion. If a food increases the acidity of your urine, it is considered an acid-producing food. For instance, orange juice is an acidic food source but becomes alkaline as it is metabolized, while cheddar cheese is considerably more acidic than Camembert.

I am not advocating giving up all acid-producing foods — I love cheese too much — but you can make some healthy swaps, which will diversify your diet as well.

To see my ideas,


Eat More:

Alkaline-Producing Foods

Eat Less:

Acid-producing foods

Plain yogurt Hard cheeses
Green tea Cola
Hazelnuts Peanuts
Orange juice Cranberry juice
Quinoa Brown rice
Mangoes Prunes
Raw spinach Cooked spinach

I have a few friends with inflammatory issues in their digestive tracts, and increasing their intake of alkaline-producing foods has improved their symptoms. Do you pay attention to the pH level your diet creates?


Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 8 years
To be honest, I don't buy into the whole food pH thing. Your digestive tract is all buffered by your body's natural stomach acid, bile, etc. And unless you're eating your food one item at a time, it all gets mixed together in your stomach anyway. So if you eat an "acidic" food and an "alkaline" food at the same time, do they cancel each other out? I just try to eat lots of fresh veggies, fruit, yogurt, nuts, and whole grains. Incidentally, your body will respond pretty quickly if the pH level of your gut gets messed up. If the contents of the stomach empty too quickly into the intestine, your gall bladder can't buffer it fast enough and the acid level will cause your intestines to empty really quickly and you'll be in the bathroom in about 5 minutes. It happens a lot with elderly people whose pyloric sphincters get weak and "leaky".
Fitness Fitness 8 years
My love of cheese blinded me. Yes you should more yogurt and less cheese. I just fixed the chart and sorry for the confusion.
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