Maintain a balance of acid & alkaline
By Naini Setalvad | THE HANS INDIA |
Sep 09,2017 , 11:04 PM IST
Gone are the days when automatically we ate food that maintained the acid-alkaline balance in our systems. We need to know that our body functions at optimum levels depending on the balance of alkaline and acid levels in our system.
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. Seven is neutral. Below seven becomes increasingly acidic, above seven it is increasingly alkaline.
Unfortunately, today’s food takes a toll on the skin, lungs, liver kidney digestive system causing constipation, allergies, inflammation, arthritis, multiplying cancer cells causing an acidic state where the carbon dioxide in our body increases and oxygen depletes.
Good food is the key to balance your pH levels leading to better health, energy, stronger immune system, bringing about optimum weight and an absence of diseases.
Embrace with open arms yummy fresh seasonal foods cooked in good quality fat. Let’s feed your body seasonal alkalizing fruits and vegetables. One needs 75 per cent alkaline foods and 25 per cent acidic foods. It is really easy to do the shift and the benefits reaped are multiple.
Simply see that 50 per cent of your diet is vegetables and fruits as most of them are alkaline. Breakfast lunch and dinner must have vegetables in form of juices, salads, soups or cooked vegetables.
One can easily add in grains and proteins. Upma, poha, uttapam, paratha, rice, pasta, bread, etc can include vegetables, for example, a sandwich. Lentils (dals and pulses), curds, chicken and fish can have vegetables in them too.
Most fruits are alkaline though some like lemons are acidic on the tongue, alkaline in the body so it’s a point to note that lemon helps your body remain alkaline and it is easy to squeeze on most foods.
Alkaline juices like wheat grass juice, lemon water and coconut water help maintain pH balances so do include them.
Avoid processed foods packed with chemicals, preservatives, colours, fried sugar, alcohol and smoking which ultimately disturbs the pH levels, turning the body acidic. Snack on fruits and nuts.
The list below will give you a fair idea of acid alkaline foods.
- Sweet and sweeteners – Artificial sweetener, chocolate, pastries, mithais, desserts, puddings, ice cream, frozen sweetened milk, doughnuts, cakes are highly acidic. White and brown sugar and jelly are acidic. Processed honey and jaggery are mildly acidic. Raw honey and raw sugar are mildly alkaline. Maple syrup and rice syrup are alkaline. Stevia is highly alkaline.
- Fruits – Blackberries and cranberries are highly acidic. Cherries and prunes are acidic. Plums and processed juices are mildly acidic. Oranges, cherries, pineapple, peaches, avocados and banana are mildly alkaline. Melon, grapes, papaya, kiwi, blueberries, pear, raisins, dates, figs are alkaline. Lemon, watermelon, lime, grapefruit, mangoes and papaya are highly alkaline.
- Beans, vegetables and legumes – Coco beans and coffee beans are highly acidic. Potatoes (without skin) are acidic. Cooked spinach, kidney beans, string beans, chick peas and pulses are mildly acidic. Carrots, tomatoes, fresh corn, mushrooms, cabbage peas, olives, soya beans and tofu are mildly alkaline. Okra, white beets, zucchini, sweet potato with skin, potato with skin, tomato, pumpkin, radish, peas, brinjal are alkaline. Onion, cucumber, gourd family and French beans are highly alkaline.
- Nuts and seeds – Peanuts and walnuts are highly acidic. Cashews, sesames and pecan are acidic. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are mildly acidic. Chestnuts are mildly alkaline. Almonds are alkaline.
- Oils – Corn oil is mildly acidic. Canola oil is mildly alkaline. Flax seeds oil is alkaline. Olive oil is highly alkaline.
- Grain cereals - Wheat, white flour and pasta noodles are highly acidic. White rice, corn, oats and rye are acidic. Wheat bread and brown rice are mildly acidic. Amaranth, all millets, wild rice and quinoa are mildly alkaline.
- Spices – All herbs, ginger, garlic, cumin and fennel are alkaline.
- Dairy – Cheese, homogenised milk and ice cream are highly acidic. Raw milk and buttermilk are acidic. Egg, butter, curd, soy milk, paneer and tofu are mildly acidic. Goat milk, cheese made from goat’s milk is mildly alkaline.
- Beverages - Beer, soft drinks, wine, hard liquor and cocoa are highly acidic. Coffee is acidic. Tea is mildly acidic. Ginger tea is mildly alkaline. Green tea is alkaline. Lemon juice and caffeine free herbal infusions are highly alkaline.
- Non-vegetarian foods – Red meat, chicken, fish, lamb, turkey, shellfish, lobster and crab are highly acidic.