These foods are alkalizing because they are rich in alkaline elements and contain little if any acid substances, and because they do not produce acids when they are utilized by the body. Even when significant amounts of this type of food are consumed, no acid is produced, regardless of the metabolic capacities of the person who eats them. Just as acidifying foods are acidifying for everyone, alkalizing foods are alkalizing for everyone. These are the foods that people suffering from an pH imbalance need to eat above all.
- Green vegetables, raw or cooked: salad greens, green beans, cabbage, and so on
- Colored vegetables: carrots, beets (except for tomatoes)
- Corn (kernels or cooked as polenta)
- Milk (liquid and powdered form), large-curd cottage cheese, cream, butter
- Almonds, Brazil nuts
- Dried fruits: dates, raisins (except for those that are acidic to the taste-apricots, apples, pineapple)
- Alkaline mineral waters
- Almond milk
- Black olives preserved in oil
- Cold-pressed oils
- Natural sugar
Potatoes are well known for their anti-acidifying qualities; their juice is often recommended as a remedy for stomach acidity and ulcers. The potato's wealth of alkaline elements makes it the best choice of foods to counter the acidification of the body. A starchy food, it is nourishing and a beneficial alternative to cereal grains, which are acidifying. An alkaline diet must include potatoes more often than foods from cereal grains.
Another nourishing and valuable food for fighting excess acidity is the chestnut. Like the potato, it is starchy, a food that supplies fuel for energy, and it is not acidifying like cereal grains. Chestnuts can be roasted in the oven or boiled in water and eaten as a vegetable. The best-known recipe containing them is probably red cabbage with chestnuts. Like potatoes, chestnuts go well with cheese. But watch out for chestnut purees, which are often sweetened with sugar.
Of all the fruits, the banana is the only one that is truly alkalizing, because its own acid content is so weak that it never causes acidification, even when consumed in large quantities or as a regular part of the diet. Other fruits, in contrast, even those that are only faintly acid, such as melons, do contain acids, which means that the more one eats of them, the greater the acidifying effect they have.
Generally speaking, dried fruits (dates, raisins) are alkalizing because a portion of their acid content is oxidized in the drying process. They are less alkalizing if they are set out to dry before reaching full maturity, as is often the case with apples and apricots. The alkaline nature of dried fruits is also slightly reduced when they are treated with sulfur as a preservative.
Almonds and Brazil nuts are the only alkalizing oleaginous fruits. They can be eaten just as they are, or chopped or sliced and mixed with salads, vegetables, and desserts. Some dietetic and health food stores sell a sugarless almond paste, which can be mixed with water to make almond milk, a very pleasant and alkalizing beverage.
Black olives preserved in olive oil are alkalizing, unlike those, either black or green, that are preserved in a vinegar-based brine.
Raw or whole sugar is not alkalizing, properly speaking, meaning that it does not alkalize the internal environment if eaten in large quantities, but when eaten in moderation it does not acidify either, as is the case with other sugars. The same is true of corn, milk, large-curd cottage cheese, cream, butter, and so on, which, eaten in moderation, do not acidify the body.
Water usually has a pH of 7. When it is highly chlorinated, it becomes acid. Carbonated mineral water is also acid, because the gas that gives it its carbonation is carbonic acid. The principal alkaline mineral waters-those with a pH above 7-are Limpia Water (Italy), Contrexeville and Evian (France), and Henniez bleue (Switzerland). To determine whether a mineral water is alkaline, read the label on the bottle, as the pH is indicated there. You can also make your own alkaline water by adding pH drops to it