The Ultimate Guide to Alkaline Foods

An easy guide to all things alkaline! This alkaline foods reference chart will help you decode your diet and stay on the right track.

This post is part of an ongoing collaboration with The Chalkboard Mag.

We know, we know. Warm water with lemon juice upon waking, lots of green juice and big salads all promote alkalinity and optimal health. We’ve heard these things a million times – but have we done them all today? Let’s dive deep on the topic of alkaline foods and basics and get this knowledge deeply embedded into our daily routines…

Understanding Alkalinity:

pH is the measure of a solution’s acidity or alkalinity on a scale of 0-14. Zero is the most acidic, 14 is the most alkaline, and 7 is neutral.

The body requires a certain pH to function optimally and each system must maintain a specific pH in order to create homeostasis. For instance, the blood needs to be in the range of 7.36 to 7.44 for the body to function correctly. The urine is usually between 4.5-8.0 and is a reflection of the toxins and other byproducts our body has to flush from its systems. When these systems are functioning less than optimally, this puts stress on the body and creates imbalance.

Symptoms of being too acidic are wide-ranging, including slow digestion, yeast imbalances and fungal infections, as well as viruses, low energy, hormone imbalances, osteoporosis, free radical damage, accelerated aging, weight gain and cardiovascular damage. In addition, stress, as well as natural cellular processes, also create acidity in the body, making it all the more important to fuel and balance the body with more alkaline foods.

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How to put the alkalinity guide into practice:

Again, we know we should eat more fruits and veggies. However, even some plant foods are not alkaline-forming, nor is it necessary to consume only alkaline foods in order to stay healthy. It is also important to note: Even if a food is categorized as acidic, it is not necessarily unhealthy. 

The goal should be to consume approximately 80% alkaline foods daily, while 20% of the diet should come from slightly acidic to moderately acidic foods. Highly acidic foods should be avoided or consumed minimally.

Use our alkalinity guide as a reference to understand where ingredients fall on the pH scale. Keep in mind: Results of pH testing will vary depending on many conditions including brand of the test, growing region of the food, how is was cooked, whether it was sprouted, as well as many other factors.

Alkaline Foods Reference Guide
In their natural state, these listed foods may be either alkaline or acidic. This chart reflects an approximate rating after being metabolized by the body.

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Most Alkaline

– Lemon and lime
– Himalayan and sea salt
– 9 + alkaline ionized water
– Watery green vegetables, like cucumbers and celery
Dark leafy green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables like kale, collard greens, spinach and cabbage
– Sea vegetables and algae like spirulina and chlorella
– Wheatgrass and most sprouts and sprouted grasses

Moderately Alkaline

– Bitter fresh herbs such as parsely and cilantro
Avocados
– Most other vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, carrots, radishes, onions, ginger and garlic
– Lettuces such as endive, arugula
– Almonds and pumpkin seeds
– Green tea

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Low Alkaline

– Raw, unprocessed coconut water and coconut meat
– Most cooked vegetables
– Cauliflower
– Pseudo grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, wild rice as well as millet
– Raw, unrefined plant oils such as flax, avocado, coconut, primrose and  borage oil

Neutral

For reference ~ 7.0 pH is right in the middle of the spectrum. Human blood is 7.365

– Most tap waters, spring water and sea water
– Raw goat dairy
– Most olive oils

Slightly Acidic

– Fresh tart berries such as raspberries and blackberries, dates, figs
– Most sprouted grains and legumes such as soy and lentils
– Most nuts such as brazil nuts, pecans and hazelnuts
– Watery fruits like watermelon and melon, grapes and apples
– Sweet fruits such as mangos oranges, strawberries and cherries
– Amaranth, white and brown rice, oats, barley, wheat and other grains
– Most cooking oils such as sunflower oil, grapes oil, canola, and corn oil
– Sweeteners such as honey, maple sugar and molasses 
– Freshwater fish and organ meats

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Moderately Acidic

– Dried fruit
– Most coffee
– Most chocolate
– Most mushrooms
– Most cheeses
– Most condiments
– Poultry, eggs, ocean fish and shellfish

Most Acidic

– Black tea
– Sugar-sweetened fruit juices
– Sodas
– Alcohol
– Artificial sweeteners
– White sugars
– Refined flours
– Pasteurized dairy
– Other animal protein sources such as pork, veal and beef
– Most canned foods

Images by FP Emily.

Comments

  1. Such a good article! Do you guys have an in-house nutritionist or do you work with someone? Would love to know where this info comes from. xx

  2. As a medical student, I’m very open to learning about homeopathic remedies and health regimens. However, this one doesn’t make sense. The pH of the stomach, “stomach acid”, is around 1 or 2 and there is a lot of it. So no matter what food is consumed, it all gets acidified in the stomach to the same pH before getting absorbed in the body. Think about it.

    If you really want to alkalinize your blood and urine, take deep breaths during yoga or meditation. That causes an immediate increase in blood pH; the alkalization you’re looking for. That’s why when people hyperventilate, they may feel dizzy.

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