The alkaline diet, sometimes referred to as the alkaline ash diet or acid alkaline diet, is a diet that has recently exploded into popularity. This is due to the alkaline ash diet’s numerous health benefits, including maintaining a better ph balance in the human body, losing excess fat, and improving overall health.
Incorporating alkaline foods into your diet, whether or not you choose to do the alkaline diet, has plenty of health benefits. In this guide, we’re going to help you better understand what an alkaline diet is, then walk you through the alkaline vegetables you should add to your diet.
What Is an Alkaline Diet?
An alkaline based diet is a diet that works to replace foods that produce acid with foods that don’t.
This is based on a theory that certain foods we eat can raise your body ph. When food enters our digestive system, our body converts it into energy through chemical reactions. The theory around the alkaline diet proposes that when our body goes through this process, it leaves an acidic ash residue behind.
This ash residue is known as metabolic waste, which can make your blood more acidic. When there is too much acidity in the body, it makes a person more vulnerable to chronic disease and other negative health conditions.
To combat this, the alkaline diet proposes eating high alkaline vegetables and fruits to introduce alkaline ash into the body. When you alkalize the body with alkaline food, you are actively protecting and improving your health.
Benefits of Eating Alkaline Foods
The biggest benefit of introducing alkaline foods to your diet is the overall improvement of your health.
When we eat alkaline foods, we are bringing our bodies to a natural ph value, eliminating high acid levels in the body. This can better protect our immune systems, make us more resistant to disease, and improve our overall health.
Alkaline foods in general also tend to be healthier for us. Many of the acidic foods that we eat are processed foods and junk foods. Alkaline foods are all healthier fruits and vegetables that can introduce beneficial vitamins and minerals to the body.
By eating a more balanced diet and lowering our ph level, we can see benefits such as:
- Shed excess fat
- Eliminate body toxins
- Increase energy levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Balance the body’s acid level
- Promote healthy muscles
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve bone health, kidney health, and heart health
Can I Still Eat Acidic Foods?
The alkaline diet encourages users to eat as many alkaline foods as they can, cutting out highly acidic foods. Those following the diet should do their best to limit acidic foods, but small amounts of acidic foods are okay in moderation.
Examples of acidic foods one would avoid include:
- All animal protein, especially processed meats
- Dairy (Cheeses, yogurts, milk, etc.)
- Eggs (especially egg yolks)
- Sugars (Including candy, junk food, carbonated beverages, etc.)
- Grains (Rice, oats, bread, cereals, pasta, etc.)
How Do I Know if a Food Is Alkaline?
To understand how to determine if a food is slightly alkaline or acid forming, you need to form an understanding of pH levels.
A pH measurement is a range from 0 to 14 that can determine how acidic or alkaline foods are. The levels are as follows:
- Acidic Foods: 0.0-6.9
- Neutral Foods: 7.0
- Alkaline Foods: 7.1-14.0
The easiest way to determine if you are eating alkaline food or acidic food is some basic research. Some foods are now being labeled with the info you need to make an informed decision about their level. Otherwise, guides like this one can help you see which foods are highly acidic, and which ones are alkaline.
The 15 Best Alkaline Vegetables
Now that we know about what an alkaline diet is, let’s explore some alkaline vegetables to include as a part of your diet.
Green leafy vegetables like kale make a great addition to this diet. Not only is klale an alkaline forming food with alkalinity of 8.3, but it’s also rich in beneficial vitamin k, iron, and calcium.
Spinach is one of the more popular vegetables to make a part of a balanced diet in general but it is especially good for an alkaline diet.
Spinach has an alkalinity score of 11.8, and also contains beneficial nutrients like calcium. It’s a super easy vegetable to add to your diet, thrown into salads and smoothies, or eat on its own.
Root vegetables, in general, are good choices for the alkaline diet, but sweet potatoes are an especially good choice. Root vegetables are an important part of eating alkaline, allowing you to get more filling starch and carbs without eating acid ash foods like grains and bread.
The sweet potato is a great choice among root vegetables because of its health benefits. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, vitamin a, vitamin c, b vitamins, and many other great vitamins and minerals.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are a great inclusion on your next dinner plate! Alkaline veggies like this are ideal for reducing alkaline levels, and also contain high levels of beneficial vitamins and folate, which are great for reducing inflammation. Broccoli in particular has been linked to reducing issues like kidney stones as well.
Onion can be included in an alkaline diet, but it needs to be cooked with caution! While raw onion is a beneficial alkaline forming food, frying them up in healthy fat can lead to an increase in their dietary acid load.
Still, we recommend eating onion for its high levels of vitamins, antibacterial, and anti inflammatory effects.
Garlic is one of few foods on our list that we’d classify as a genuine superfood! Not only is this a great food for its alkaline components, but garlic has also been known to prevent disease, improve the immune system, improve gut health, and much more.
This is because garlic is super rich in beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, giving a lot of good in a small package. This makes garlic a great addition to many diets, including alkaline diets.
Green beans are a great diet inclusion and make for an easy side dish for most dinners. These alkaline veggies are rich in fiber, vitamin c, and potassium, giving you plenty of benefits alongside their alkalinity.
As we touched on above, dark leafy greens are a category of vegetables that are good for your health in general and are especially great in an alkaline diet.
If you’re trying to incorporate swiss chard into your diet, consider adding it as a part of your salad bases, or adding it into smoothies. It’s also delicious sauteed on its own or included in soups and stews.
Cucumber is the kind of vegetable that anyone looking to eat healthily should always keep in the fridge. Cucumbers are a neutral food, with a high water content that makes it both hydrating and alkaline.
Though cucumber isn’t super high in vitamins and minerals, it makes for a great low calorie snack. The perfect addition to bulk up a salad, or a healthy way to enjoy different dips and spreads at snack time instead of eating junk food.
Those looking to avoid acid forming foods will appreciate asparagus as a delicious, versatile vegetable in the kitchen. This is the perfect vegetable to eat on its own, use as a side, throw into pasta, and more.
Asparagus has a beneficial alkaline level both raw and cooked, making it a favorite among those looking to eat foods with a beneficial ph value. Along with being an alkaline food it is also rich in folate, antioxidants, and beneficial vitamins.
Parsley is an alkalizing food that is becoming a popular health food due to its many benefits. While most people think of parsley as just an herb for garnish, parsley actually has a lot of vitamins and minerals that make eating it in higher quantities worthwhile.
Parsley is rich in vitamin c, vitamin k, and iron, and has other benefits that lower the risk of conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Consider adding more parsley into salads, soups, and smoothies to reap its many benefits.
Carrots are a delicious, filling veg that won’t introduce too much acid into your system. In fact, carrots are alkaline both raw and cooked, and also often tons of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Along with having alkaline minerals, carrots are also beneficial to eye health, preventing the development of harmful eye conditions.
If you’re interested in another root vegetable making the list, consider eating more beetroot! Beetroots are incredibly versatile, making a delicious snack cooked, raw, and pickled.
You can have them on your own, as a side, in salads, and more. Both the beetroot itself and beet greens can be eaten on an alkaline diet, so consider trying it all!
Eggplant is much beloved diet food, incredibly filling at mealtime despite its low calorie count. It’s also incredibly alkaline and contains beneficial vitamin c, calcium, and iron.
The best thing about eggplant is that it also extremely versatile, appearing in recipes from around the globe. There are endless snacks, mains, and sides you can try where eggplant will truly shine.
Bell peppers are a great alkaline food, and can also be used in a variety of ways. You can make bell peppers the star of your dish, include them in stir fries, use them as a conduit for dips, and much more.
Some people might assume peppers are acid food, but they actually do wonders to lower the body’s acidity. In fact, many people recommend bell peppers as a snack for people with stomach issues like GERD, as they are so ideal for helping to maintain an alkaline state.