My Alkaline Diet

What Are Alkaline Diet Foods?

Posted on: July 8, 2010

If you are even slightly familiar with the alkaline diet, you may have heard certain foods referred to as alkaline diet foods. But just what are alkaline diet foods? I wrote this article to help you to understand exactly what this term means.

To begin with, there are several related terms that have the same meaning as “alkaline diet foods.” I usually refer to these foods as “alkalizing foods,” but they can also be called “alkaline-forming foods,” “alkaline-producing foods,” or simply “alkaline foods.”

All of these terms refer to foods that make the body more alkaline. The term “alkaline ash” specifically refers to a test that is sometimes used to estimate how a food will affect the body’s pH. In this process, the food in question is actually burned. Then the remaining ash is tested to determine its pH.

Why not simply measure the pH of the food in its raw, natural state? The problem with that idea is that acidic food doesn’t always make the body more acidic, nor does alkaline food always made the body more alkaline. One of the reasons that some foods have an acidifying effect on the body is that they are rich in organic acids. Confusingly, however, other types of organic acids can be metabolized, or broken down, and therefore do not have any affect on the body’s pH.

So why do alkaline diet foods have an alkalizing effect? These alkaline foods have this effect because they are rich in alkaline minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Of these minerals, potassium has the most important effect on the body’s pH. And because the richest sources of potassium are fresh fruits and vegetables, these foods are emphasized on the alkaline diet.

Of course, potassium isn’t the only benefit of fruits and vegetables. These natural foods are also some of the best sources of other minerals, plus vitamins and beneficial phytochemicals. They’re also excellent for weight loss, since they are high in fiber but low in calories.

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