The Alkaline Diet – It All Comes Down to the PH

The acid/alkaline diet may be something you have heard of before, but what does it mean? Foods have different properties when consumed. Acid or alkaline refers to the effect the food has within the body, being acid-forming or alkaline-forming. A common misconception is that foods such as lemon are acid, however, when consumed in the body they are actually highly alkaline-forming.

pH is a scale used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of certain things. The higher the pH, the more alkaline, the lower the pH, the more acid.

  • Acid – 0
  • Alkaline – 14
  • Water – 7
  • Seawater – 8.5
  • Blood – 7.5
  • Urine – 6
  • Wine, beer, and cola drinks – 3

The ideal blood pH is 7.5. Eating too many acid-forming foods can reduce this pH, leading to acidity in the body. The correct pH is needed for ALL bodily functions to work correctly, from the cellular level to our metabolism and organ function.

Foods that are acid-forming should therefore be reduced in the diet, and limited to 20% of your total dietary intake.

Foods that are the most acid-forming in the body include:

  • Sugar
  • Refined and Processed foods
  • Soft drink
  • Wine, beer, and other alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Black Tea
  • Dairy products, especially milk and milk powder
  • Wheat
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Rancid Oils
  • Most grains (except buckwheat, millet, amaranth, and quinoa)
  • Most legumes (except lentils)
  • Most nuts and seeds (except almonds, pepitas, and sesame seeds)

Alkaline-forming foods should form the basis of your diet, making up 80% of the food you eat.

As a general rule, most fruits and vegetables are alkaline-forming, with the most alkaline foods being:

  • Lemons
  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, silverbeet, kale, etc)
  • Broccoli
  • Raw salads
  • Tomato
  • Almonds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pepitas
  • Raw honey
  • Buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa
  • Spirulina, barley or wheatgrass

Changing your diet

Most people have a very acid-forming diet, being high in wheat, refined foods, and sugar. Substantial improvements in most health conditions can be obtained by reducing acid-forming foods in the diet to only 20% of your intake. This is not an easy task initially, as significant changes will need to be made to achieve this.

A good start is to look at substituting some of the acid foods for alkaline foods:

  • Wheat – use buckwheat, millet, amaranth, or quinoa.
  • Sugar – use raw unfiltered honey instead (honey is acid-forming once cooked).
  • Dairy milk – try rice milk or oat milk on cereal, BONSOY milk in tea and coffee – these are still acid but less so than dairy.
  • Coffee – try herbal tea or roasted dandelion coffee.

Try looking at your meal and imagining how you could make it more alkaline. Adding green leafy vegetables is a good way to do this, or having a salad on the side can also help. Lemon juice in water can be had on rising and before meals (30 minutes) to stimulate digestion and alkalise the body (always rinse your mouth out with fresh water after having lemon juice).