15 Alkaline Foods You Should Eat to Improve Your Health

The human body is an extremely intricate piece of machinery. In order for it to function properly, it needs to keep chemical levels at a near-perfect… Elizabeth Lilian - February 13, 2017

The human body is an extremely intricate piece of machinery. In order for it to function properly, it needs to keep chemical levels at a near-perfect balance. This is called homeostasis and is a critical aspect of all living organisms. If pH levels get too low, acidosis can occur. Mild acidosis can result in fatigue, nausea, and vomiting, while more severe cases can cause headaches, drowsiness and if left untreated, it can cause stupor, coma, and can be fatal.

The alkaline diet is also known as acid-alkaline diet or ash diet. The body’s metabolism burns foods that leaves ash that can be acid or alkaline – which is the pH state. The acidic ash is harmful to the body and can make you vulnerable to infections. The alkaline is beneficial as it protects the body.

When an environment is acidic for a long time, the normal cell structures and functions are damaged. This can allow the harmful microorganism to attack the weakened cells. The only exception to this is the stomach. It is in that state of acidic in order to properly break down and digest the foods that we eat. The body can become acidic through lifestyle choices like an unbalanced diet. The good news is that, if this is happening to you, there are steps you can take to fix it. There are natural alkaline foods that will reverse the acidic levels in the body and leave the body healthy.

Here are 10 alkalizing foods that can improve your health.

1. Lemons

Lemons are a citrus fruit, and even though you may think this would make them purely acidic, they are actually both acidic and alkalizing. Outside of the body, lemon juice has a pH level below 7. This makes it acidic. However, when lemon juice has been fully metabolized inside the body, it raises the pH levels above 7, which has an alkalizing effect.

Fresh lemon juice has antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It’s high in vitamin C and contains vitamins E and B6, as well as lots of folate, potassium, thiamin and pantothenic acid. And as it contains zero sodium and fats, it’s a perfect addition to your diet. Lemon juice not only raises the alkaline levels in your body, it also helps decrease cholesterol, reduce congestion, boosts immunity, increases metabolism, fights aging signs, supports a healthy colon and digestive system, and helps flush out all the toxins that can build up in our body.

Every morning, squeeze half a lemon into a tall glass of warm water and drink on an empty stomach. Not only is it a great way to break the overnight fast and kick-start your metabolism, it also replenishes water and naturally flushes out the toxins that can build up while we sleep. Making this a daily ritual will result in clearer, healthier skin, more energy and an overall feeling of wellness.

If you suffer from strong acid reflux or mouth ulcers, lemon juice may cause irritation or burning sensations and as such, it’s recommended, to begin with a smaller amount of lemon juice, slowly increasing how much you drink.

2. Spinach

Spinach is one of the most nutritious vegetables you can find. It’s full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which act as powerful antioxidants. Spinach is extremely high in vitamin K, with one cup containing 987 percent of the recommended daily intake, and it contains vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, E, and C, potassium, calcium, fiber, phosphorus, zinc, protein, omega-3 fats and so much more.

Spinach contains high concentrations of phytochemicals like carotenoids, saponins, and flavonoids, which are found almost entirely in plant-based sources and, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, also have properties that enable them to help fight cancer. Spinach is rich in chlorophyll, which is highly alkaline and holds hugely beneficial properties like aiding in blood clotting, wound healing, balancing hormones and promoting digestive health, as well as deodorizing and detoxifying the body.

Spinach might be one of the only vegetables where it becomes more nutritious once it’s cooked. Boiling or steaming spinach helps break down the large levels of oxalic acid (a compound that can promote kidney stone formation) which makes it easier to absorb. One cup of cooked spinach contains 36 percent of your daily recommended intake of iron, which can help maintain brain, metabolic and immune function.

Spinach is a delicious addition to salads, sandwiches, as a side dish with dinner, or even blended up into your smoothies. Choose fresh spinach that is vibrant and dark green with no signs of yellowing. If the leaves look wilted or soggy, or if they have a slimy coating, don’t eat it, as this can be a sign of beginning decay.

3. Avocados

There are over 500 different varieties of avocado grown all over the world. Native to Central and South America, the avocado is the fruit of a tree called Persea Americana, and it has become one of the most popular fruits around. Common varieties of avocado are Hass, Fuerte, Maluma, Reed and more. Avocados are a member of the berry family, and like berries, they hold a wealth of benefits.

Avocados are loved for their delicious flavor and high nutrient levels. They’re often referred to as a superfood, with one avocado containing 20 different vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamins K, C, B5, B6 and E, as well as folate, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. Avocados are one of the only fruits that contain monounsaturated fat, and research has shown there’s evidence that including this type of fat in your diet can lessen the risk of coronary heart disease.

Avocados have no sodium or cholesterol, and they contain more potassium than bananas, which supports healthy blood pressure levels. Research on high potassium intake has linked it to a reduction in blood pressure for those suffering from hypertension, and also a 24 percent lower risk of stroke. Combine this with antioxidants like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and selenium, and you’ve got a powerful, alkalizing superfood.

They are an easy addition to any diet, as they go with just about anything. A perfect ingredient for salads, on pizza, in pasta dishes and smoothies, or even as a dairy substitute for vegan alternatives like mayonnaise, ice cream, and chocolate.

4. Kale

Kale was one of the lesser known greens up until a few years ago when its countless health benefits propelled it well and truly into the limelight. Since then, it’s become a hugely popular source of nutrients. Kale is a member of the cabbage family and is related to cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. There are different types of kale, like curly kale, lacianto kale, Red Russian kale and Redbor kale, but they’re all packed with at least 45 antioxidant flavonoids and very little calories.

Kale is a great source of fiber to aid digestion functions and intestinal cleansing, and it contains more iron than beef, which promotes proper liver function. High in vitamin A and vitamin C, kale helps protect your vision and skin and supports the immune system, metabolism, and hydration. One cup of kale contains 684 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, which is an extremely important vitamin that plays a critical role in protecting the heart and building strong bones.

Kale contains at least four glucosinolates, which, when ingested, are turned into compounds called isothiocyanates that have been linked to reducing the risk of colon, bladder, breast, lung, ovarian and prostate cancers. Kale is also very high in alkaline-forming minerals such as calcium and magnesium, and it’s a rich source of chlorophyll.

You can enjoy kale in many different ways. It can be eaten raw, steamed, roasted, boiled, put on burgers, mixed in with salads or thrown into the soup. You can even make kale chips. Including kale in your regular diet will benefit your whole body, inside and out.

5. Celery

Celery is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean, and wild celery can also be found across Europe and Asia. The word celery is thought to have come from the French word ‘celeri’ which in turn was derived from an ancient Greek word, and it was first used purely for medicinal purposes.

Celery is one of the underappreciated vegetables, thought of as only a low-calorie vegetable with no other benefits, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Sure, celery contains only 16 calories to every 100 grams, but it’s loaded with lots of healthy phytonutrients like vitamin K, folate, potassium, calcium, fiber and more.

Celery has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to protect the digestive tract from inflammation. Celery contains a lot of phenolic nutrients that act as antioxidants and protect us against unwanted free radical damage to our cells, blood vessels, and organs. Celery regulates alkaline balance, and can also calm you down as it is a great source of magnesium, which soothes the nervous system. Eating it before bed may even help you sleep better.

Celery goes with many other dishes. Chop it up and add it to your favorite tuna or chicken recipe, use it in stews, salads, and stir-fry, or simply eat it raw, and dip it in some organic hummus for flavor.

6. Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians, who used it as a source of health and vitality more than 5,000 years ago. Wheatgrass was first introduced commercially in 1937 in a blend called Cerophyl.

Wheatgrass is a liquid nutrient and a huge source of protein, containing all the essential amino acids as well as vitamin C, vitamin A, and the full range of B vitamins. Wheatgrass contains many therapeutic minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and phytonutrients, and it also acts as a detoxifier, especially in the liver and blood.

Wheatgrass is an effective alkalizer because it helps neutralize toxins and other environmental pollutants that can harm the body, and it’s one of the best sources of fresh chlorophyll available, containing up to 70 percent.

You can buy powdered wheatgrass, but it’s best to consume as fresh and undiluted as possible. Take on an empty stomach in order for the nutrients to be properly absorbed. Wheatgrass can cause a number of uncomfortable side effects like headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and allergic reactions. These can occur if you consume too much in a brief period of time because the body can’t digest it quick enough. The best way to add wheatgrass to your diet is by starting small and increasing the dose of wheatgrass little by little as your body gets used to it.

7. Cucumbers

Cucumber is a member of the gourd family Cucurbitaceae that first appeared in ancient India over 4000 years ago and quickly spread through ancient Greece, Rome, Europe, China and the rest of the world. They were used both as a food source and for medicinal remedies, treating everything from bad eyesight to scorpion bites. Scientifically known as Cucumis sativus, cucumbers belong to the same family as melons and squashes.

There are three main types of cucumber: slicing, pickling, and burpless. All types are full of antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory compounds called cucurbitacins, lignans, and flavonoids, which have been the subject of many active studies aiming to determine the extent of their cancer-fighting properties.

Fresh cucumber has been known to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes. Cucumbers are highly alkaline, made up of almost 95 percent water and are full of vitamins and minerals, found mostly in the skin. They’re naturally low in calories, carbohydrates, sodium, fats and cholesterol, and the seeds contain a healthy amount of calcium and other minerals.

Cucumbers are a wonderfully healthy addition to smoothies and juices and are a good base to use as a soup, or in a salad. You can enjoy them cooked or raw, but the peel and the seeds are the most nutrient-rich, so ensure you eat the whole thing.

8. Broccoli

Broccoli is a form of cabbage from the Brassicaceae, or mustard, family. Native to Italy, it has been a popular vegetable since the Roman Empire and is available all year round. It’s likely that broccoli began as a wild cabbage, and through careful selective planting and agricultural practices, it became broccoli as we know it today.

Because it’s a cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is full of phytonutrients that help support immune function and provide antioxidant support. It’s rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, folate, fiber, potassium, manganese, and much more. Broccoli is also one of the world’s highest food sources of a mineral called chromium, which helps balance blood sugar levels.

Broccoli is one of the best alkaline vegetables. Packed full of soluble fiber that helps draw cholesterol out of the body, it contains significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which help fight inflammation and reduce allergic reactions. Broccoli holds lots of calcium, which makes it ideal for strong bones and osteoporosis prevention.

Broccoli also contains those all-important cancer-fighting compounds, glucosinolates. In order to keep these and all the other vital nutrients when cooking broccoli, it’s best to quick steam them for five minutes. This keeps the enzymes whole and enables you to get the most out of them.

9. Garlic

It’s believed that garlic was one of the earliest plants used for disease prevention and health maintenance, and has been found in both Egyptian pyramids and ancient Greek temples. Many different cultures have used garlic for its medicinal and health benefits for centuries, and it’s been known by various names including Russian penicillin, vegetable Viagra, and natural antibiotic.

Garlic is native to Middle Asia but is cultivated all over the world. It’s been used as a curative remedy for typhus, dysentery, cholera, and influenza, and modern studies have begun to prove the varying ways in which garlic can be beneficial to our health. Garlic contains sulfur compounds like allicin, which is what gives it that distinctive smell, and it’s this compound that makes garlic an effective antibiotic, antibacterial, antifungal, and alkalizer.

Garlic is an effective remedy for nausea and colds, and it can reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and help detoxify the body. It’s packed full of manganese, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C, selenium, and fiber, as well as calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.

While the taste can be quite strong, garlic is a great garnish for many dishes. The best way to receive all the nutritional benefits of garlic is to eat it raw, and even though this may sound unappealing, you can simply crush it and spread it on toast with a drizzling of olive oil to make your own garlic bread as a quick and delicious way to start introducing alkaline foods into your diet.

10. Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are fruits from flowering plants of the nightshade family. Technically called Capsicum annuum. they’re related to chili peppers and tomatoes and are native to Central and South America. There are various colors of green, red, yellow and orange, and they can range from spicy to mild and sweet.

Fresh bell peppers consist of up to 92 percent water, as well as protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Their benefits come from the huge amounts of vitamins and minerals contained within. They’re exceptionally rich in vitamin C, with one medium-sized pepper containing 169 percent of your daily recommended intake. Bell peppers also contain vitamin B6, vitamin E, folate, potassium, and vitamin A.

They’re also full of various antioxidants like capsanthin, which is found in abundance in red bell peppers and is responsible for their bright red color. Studies have indicated that capsanthin has anti-tumor properties, and increasing your intake of capsanthin-rich foods like red bell peppers can improve your health. Bell peppers also contain the antioxidants violaxanthin, lutein, quercetin, and luteolin, which are all hugely beneficial polyphenols that act as effective antioxidants.

If you’re focusing on alkaline-forming foods, bell peppers are a great place to start. They can be roasted, grilled, steamed, pan-friend, stuffed with mushrooms, eaten in salads, on sandwiches, dipped in condiments, or simply eaten raw.

What we eat has the potential to alter our pH levels. Signs of an overly-acidic diet include weight gain, aching bones, painful joints, acid reflux, heartburn, poor digestion, fatigue, receding gums and skin problems. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and you’re unsure why visit your doctor or physician to discuss the options of an alkaline diet plan in order to begin rebalancing your pH levels.

11. Bananas

Bananas are another alkaline food that you don’t want to miss in your diet. It’s understandable that most people avoid bananas because of their sugar content. However, eating a banana is healthier for you than taking in some of the processed food that is full of sugar.

Bananas are packed with potassium which is a mineral electrolyte that helps keep electricity in your body. This is very important to keep your heart beating. The cardiovascular system is protected from high blood pressure by the presence of high potassium and low sodium content in the bananas.

If you suffer from depression, you may consider taking in bananas. They have high levels of the tryptophan which is converted to serotonin, the mood-boosting brain neurotransmitter. The tryptophan has sleep-inducing effects that will help you get a nice sleep. In addition, vitamin B6 will assist you to have a good sleep and magnesium relaxes the muscles.  It helps those who are suffering from depression or stress problems.

The bananas have a high fiber content that helps in the digestion. The vitamin B6 is known to protect the body from type 2 diabetes and weight loss. The benefits of eating bananas are several including helping in vision. They have vitamin A which is important for maintaining normal vision and improving vision at night. Although the amount of vitamin A is small, its effects are significant.

They have been proven to contain the fructooligosaccharides which are non-digestive carbohydrates. These help the probiotics and promote the ability of the body to absorb calcium. In that regard, bananas help in keeping the bones strong. There is evidence that suggests eating bananas may protect you against kidney cancer. Bananas have high levels of anti-oxidant called phenolic compounds that have been linked to preventing kidney cancer.

12. Apples

Apples have been known to be one of the healthiest foods containing alkaline. This reputation could be linked to their high amount of the detoxifying fiber and antioxidants such as the polyphenols. The polyphenols can be found in the apple’s skin. They contain vitamin C, the flavonoids, have a trace of sodium and are low in calories.  Eating a lot of an apple’s skin is advantageous.

Almost half of the vitamin C content is found in the skin and it’s also where the fiber is found. Since the fiber is insoluble, it provides bulk in the digestive system. It holds water that cleanses and moves food quickly. This helps to prevent the risks of getting constipation. There is another fiber called the pectin that prevents cholesterol from building up in the blood vessels. It, therefore, prevents heart problems from developing. The apples can be taken by mixing with other fruits and vegetables to make delicious salads. It can also be eaten raw and others prefer crushing them to make apple fruit juice.

Looking at the polyphenols and antioxidants properties, these reduce oxidation that helps decrease the incident of suffering from the cardiovascular diseases such as stroke. They work in the lining of the cells. Apples are known to help with the respiratory problems. Eating a few apples can lower the risk of asthma as they have antioxidant properties lower the risks.

The apples are ranked highly among all the fruits because of their antioxidant properties. It has been proven that the antioxidants significantly help to prevent cancer. It’s known that the lung cancer can be reduced by eating the apples. Studies have indicated that eating the apples as well as onions and white grapefruit can reduce the risk of getting lung cancer by half.

13. Cherries

The cherries are the world’s best sources of antioxidants like the anthocyanins. The West Indian cheery called acerola has its origins from West Indian Islands. It is grown in Mexico and North America in Texas. They are characterized by a central hard seed and surrounded by a fleshy edible pulp. They have high levels of vitamin A and C.

It is known that cherries have low levels of calorie but they have a rich source of the phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They are sweet to eat and their pigments known as the anthocyanins are red, purple or blue in color. There are many varieties of cherries and all of them are edible. They can be eaten as a fruit or mix them with other fruits and vegetables to make some food like like salad. They can also be crushed to make cherry juice.

The anthocyanins are highly concentrated in their skin and have been found that they act as anti-inflammatory natural medicines. They work by preventing the enzymes such as the cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 from acting on the body’s cells. Those suffering from pain related problems such as gout and arthritis can get pain relief from eating the cherries.

There is also evidence that indicates that the tart cherries have the antioxidant compounds that are of health benefits. These compounds are believed to fight against cancer, aging, and neurological diseases. The melatonin in cherries is able to cross the barrier between the blood and brain that results in calming the brain neurons. This helps relieve neurosis, insomnia, and headaches.

In addition, they are packed with small amounts of zinc, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese. Potassium works as an electrolyte and helps the heart and blood pressure. Even better, the anti-inflammatory characters are effective in reducing heart problems.

14. Cauliflower

Cauliflower originated from Asia and is now commonly grown in the United States, France, Italy, India, and China. It comes from the cruciferous family and is an alkaline food. It has vitamin C and K,  folate and is a good source of fiber. It is rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants that play the main role in preventing chronic diseases.

Cauliflower contains a nutrient called Indole-3-Carbinol that assists the body to regulate the levels of a compound known as estrogen. A large amount of estrogen can cause weight gain, digestive problems such as bloating cancer and infertility. These compounds are found in foods like soy, and environmental chemicals such as plastics.  It is mostly used by those with weight problems.

It can be cooked, eaten raw and/or added to soup stock. Its florets, leaves, and stalks can all be eaten.  The vitamin C and K, as well as the manganese, are all antioxidants that assist the body remain healthy. The oxidative stress can significantly be reduced by eating this food.  It has also been studied that vitamins C and K may play a role in preventing the occurrence of diseases such as cancer, heart problems, and arthritis.

The fiber content promotes good digestion, bulk, and regularity. A higher fiber content goes a long way in reducing the risk of getting small painful pouches on the colon conditions. There are also findings in cauliflower that link the sulforaphane that is found in glucosinolates with regulating the stomach bacteria from overgrowing or getting too much attached to the stomach. In that way, it assists keeping the stomach lining healthy.

Vitamin C helps in wound healing. This is largely due to its contribution toward the synthesis of collagen and development. apparently, collagen is important for the skin and hair. Vitamin K is important in the reduction of the risks related to the heart diseases.  It is also an essential component that helps in blood clotting.

15. Potatoes

Potatoes are the most popular vegetable food in the United States and when cooked in the right way, they have a high nutrition value. They are low in calories and are a good source of vitamins B6 and C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin and pantothenic acid.

The phytonutrients in potatoes include carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeine. The vitamin C works as an antioxidant that prevents or delay the cells from getting damaged. They help with digestion, heart health, blood pressure and cancer prevention. Particularly, there are purple potatoes which are a good source of the phytonutrients and antioxidants. These potatoes lower the blood pressure, the risk of heart diseases and stroke.

The potatoes are able to bind with the cholesterol in the blood and in that way lower blood pressure. They are a good source of the potassium, especially in their skins. The potassium helps lower the blood pressure. They are a good source of nutrients to those with diabetes.

The vitamin B6 is significant in maintaining the health of the neurological system. It helps create the brain chemicals such as the serotonin and dopamine. Therefore, potatoes help with depression and stress.  The high levels of carbohydrates also help in maintaining good levels of the blood glucose that helps in good functioning of the brain.

The potatoes’ greatest benefit is their help with the digestion. They have high fiber content and the presence of carbohydrates enables them to be easily digested. The fiber is also linked with clearing the cholesterol from the blood vessels. The carotenoids assist in maintaining the proper functioning of the heart.

The vitamins C and B6, potassium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus help to keep the skin healthy. It results in the skin getting the smooth and creamy appearance.  The mashed potatoes can also be used to get the benefits.

What we eat has the potential to alter our pH levels. Signs of an overly-acidic diet include weight gain, aching bones, painful joints, acid reflux, heartburn, poor digestion, fatigue, receding gums and skin problems. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and you’re unsure why visit your doctor or physician to discuss the options of an alkaline diet plan in order to begin rebalancing your pH levels.