In a nutshell, the alkaline diet (also known as the pH balance diet, alkaline foods diet, alkaline ash diet, alkaline acid diet, alkalising and the acid alkaline diet) is a healthy eating lifestyle based on eating foods that metabolise (burn) to leave an alkaline residue (ash) of minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper. Foods are therefore classified as alkaline, acidic or neutral according to the pH of the solution created with their ash in water.
Acidity and alkalinity are measured using the pH (potential of Hydrogen) scale. The pH scale spans from 0 to 14 with 0 being the most acidic, 14 the most alkaline and 7 as neutral.
Each of our bodies’ tissues have an optimal pH range that they need to maintain for good functioning: Muscle tissue needs a pH of 6.1, the liver 6.9, the stomach 1.2-3.0, the urine 4.5-8.0, the saliva 6.35-6.85, and the blood 7.35-7.45 etc. When we deviate from these optimal range, problems arise and our bodies take emergency measures to restore it (called homeostasis).
Your body has a ‘buffer’ system that it uses to keep your blood within a tight range of this pH, a deviation from which can be fatal. Lesser important functions in the body will be compromised in order to restore correct blood pH, since it is critically important to keeping us alive. For example, alkaline minerals such as calcium will be leeched from the bones to alkalise the blood. Over the long term, this can cause osteoporosis.
Blood is the largest tissue in the body and it is also the most important in sustaining life. It transports oxygen (via red blood corpuscles), nutrients and water to our cells to our cells. It also eliminates acidic waste that builds up during cellular processes. The blood is often called our ‘river of life’. Since the blood needs to slightly alkaline (7.35-7.45), it is imperative that you make food choices to ensure this need is met.
What Can I eat on the pH Balance Diet?
In general this means eating lots of alkaline foods (i.e. alkaline forming foods), such as green vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds, healthy oils, taking dietary supplements, such as wheatgrass juice and drinking plenty of alkaline water. It also means avoiding acidic foods, such as meat and dairy products, refined sugars and carbohydrates, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, caffeine and alcohol.
Tip: The key in following the pH balance diet is to eat lots of whole, ripe, raw, organic fruits and vegetables.
There is no single definitive alkaline foods list and you’ll find that as you research this subject more, there are many lists of alkaline foods and they all have some discrepancies between them. Please see my alkaline foods list for an explanation and a guiding list…