Print Friendly and PDF

Top 5 Alkaline Foods and Why You Should Care

Elizabeth Renter
June 2nd, 2013
Updated 05/07/2014 at 10:28 pm
Pin It

lemons 263x164 Top 5 Alkaline Foods and Why You Should CareWe’ve all heard the term pH balance before, but do you know what it actually means? The pH scale is one that measures the acidity or alkalinity of something. In the case of alkaline foods, we are concerned with the pH of your body. Eating certain foods may affect this measurement, which can lead to several potentially negative health effects.

Ph levels are measured on a scale of 0 to 14. 7.0 is considered neutral;  0 is completely acidic, and 14 is completely alkaline. Your blood needs to be slightly alkaline, with a pH somewhere between 7.35 and 7.45. Generally, your body adjusts its pH levels automatically, keeping your blood right within that target area. However, some argue that many of today’s processed and unhealthy foods are acid-forming and throw off that natural balance.

Too much acid, and your body begins to experience some negative health effects including: fatigue, dental issues, compromised immune function, pain and inflammatory conditions, and even premature aging. By eating foods that are alkaline-producing, you are not depending on your body to balance the acidity, and therefore can avoid some of these health problems.

5 Alkaline Foods for Better Health

Fortunately, eating a diet rich in alkaline-forming foods is quite simple. Sticking with fresh produce is a good place to start. Here are 5 alkaline foods to get you started.

  • 1. Lemons are possibly the most alkaline foods around, plus, they offer many health benefits. Starting your day with a glass of lemon water is a good way to work towards balancing your pH levels first thing. While lemons are initially acidic, the end result is alkaline.
  • 3. Cayenne peppers have numerous benefits even beyond being alkaline-forming. From their antioxidant concentration to their potential added benefits in weight loss ventures, these peppers should be a part of every diet.
  • 4. Leafy Greens, like many other alkalizing foods, have a wealth of health benefits. Things like spinach, kale, chard, and collards are rich in folate and vitamin K. They are also great helpers for the digestive system.
  • 5. Apples have a pH level of about 8.0. They are also rich in fiber, which makes them great for digestion.

Not all vegetables and fruit are alkaline-producing. Some are actually acidifying. Things like corn, lentils, olives, winter squash, blueberries, and cranberries are considered acid-forming. However, these foods also have amazing benefits. Generally, if you eliminate the acid-forming processed foods, you can still enjoy these acid-forming fruit and vegetables on a regular basis.

Additional Sources:


From around the web:

  • Meti

    My acidity is high, how can I bring it down. Also if I cant find organic lemons, what should I do with pesticide lemons?
    Thank you

  • Sheila Parker

    Winter beverage in Reno after skiing is the following: 1 cup hot water, i lemon squeezed, dash cinnamon, sliced fresh ginger, dash cayenne pepper and tsp honey. Great way to end the day or start the morning!

    • Ben Johnson

      You forgot to mention the scotch

  • Linda

    I love warm lemon water. Lemon water, literally water with freshly squeezed lemon, is the new super beverage. Lemon helps the liver to dump toxins by stimulating its natural enzymes. This promotes good health and helps keep the skin clear. Lemon provides a huge dose of the free radical fighting antioxidant vitamin C, which helps keep skin even-toned and wrinkle-free. Vitamin C also helps boost the immune system, keeping the flu and colds at bay. Lemons are a good source of electrolytes, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, which help hydrate the body and regulate its functioning. Each morning, wash a lemon and squeeze its juice and pulp into a pitcher of room temperature-to-warm water. Let rind float in water.
    Linda — VLCNW Student

  • james2

    these are delish alkaline rich foods…definitely not hard to shove in the mouth.

  • kileysmith2

    If you think Emily`s story is impossible…, last pay check my friend basically also got paid $7174 putting in a twenty hour week an their house and the're co-worker's mother-in-law`s neighbour has done this for eight months and got paid over $7174 part time on there mac. use the steps here.

  • Patrick Moore, N.D.

    Lemons are acidic but they trigger a bicarbonate reaction on a biochemical level in the body which results in an alkaline state. Similar to Baking Soda. The true power is in the peel so juice the peel, make lemonade in a blender with the peel, eat the peel. Great for cleansing, detox, weight loss, powerful anti-cancer properties in the peel, and potent antioxidants. Your facial skin will glow with health in just a few days if you start drinking 1 quart day. Blend 3 lemons per gallon of water. Sweeten with Stevia.

  • jimmyjam

    I have read in Civil War history that Stonewall Jackson use to suck on lemons. He died of a bullet wound.

    • @JaackSchitt

      i'll wager that stonewall jackson did not have his lemons shipped in from california with all kinds of preservatives either. we all have to die.

    • Agamemnon

      That’s a myth. Jackson ate a lot of fruit because–for some whacky reason–he believed it to be healthy. He favored peaches.

  • Rebel

    Definitely poorly written and no references. However, the alkilizing effect may be due to the buffering systems of the body. The pH of the blood cannot vary much at all. The interstitial fluid pH can experiece big swings as a result. Just to be acid or alkaline is too simplistic. Balance and the ability to achieve balance is the key to reducing chronic illness.

  • Difster

    Robert, the article did not recommend sucking on lemons.

    The acid in your stomach inverts the citric acid of the lemon and the net effect is alkaline. In other words, the process happens in digestion.

  • Robert Helpmann

    Try sucking on lemons and then tell me the end result is alkaline. Your teeth will be dissolved in almost no time at all by the acid.

    Why didn’t you explain how “While lemons are initially acidic, the end result is alkaline.”? Probably because you can’t.

  • Guest 1

    LEMON JUICE Composition
    As with almost any types of juices derived from plants, lemon juice is actually mostly water. The next most important ingredient is citric acid, which comprises about 5 percent of the volume and gives lemon juice its characteristic tartness. Next is malic acid (approximately 7 percent of the total acid composition), ascorbic acid (vitamin C, used to prevent scurvy), and finally trace amounts of tartaric acid, fumaric acid, and several others. Lemon juice also contains minor amounts of glucose and other sugars.

    Bottled lemon juice, often reconstituted from concentrate, contains all of the above ingredients but also has a few chemical preservatives added to help it maintain color and freshness because it is usually stored for long periods of time and may be shipped for long distances. These include sodium bisulfate, sodium benzoate, sodium sulfite, and lemon oil (usually extracted from the peel prior to juicing).

    What is lemon juice made of in terms of nutrition?

    In terms of nutritional value, lemon juice is best known for containing significant amounts of vitamin C (13% of the recommended daily allowance per fluid ounce) but also contains minor amounts of thiamin, magnesium, folate, and vitamin B6. Its calorie count is almost negligible at only 6.4 per ounce. Fat content is practically nil (less than 0.1 gram). Finally, lemon juice contains about two grams of total carbohydrates per ounce, along with 6 milligrams of sodium, 31 mg of potassium, and only 0.12 grams of protein.

    I cant understand how a lemon being so acidic can be claimed to be "Lemons are possibly the most alkaline foods around"

    In chemistry, pH is a measure of the activity of the (solvated) hydrogen ion. p[H], which measures the hydrogen ion concentration, is closely related to, and is often written as, pH.[1] Pure water has a pH very close to 7 at 25 °C. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline….from this perspective lemons are acidic…

    • Aquifer

      check out the citric acid cycle ….