Eating too much acidic food can harm our health. To balance their action, it is important to give pride of place to the so-called “alkaline” products, whose role is to support the acid-alkaline balance of our body. How do they work? What are they? And for what benefits? Explanations.
Alkaline products, which are sometimes also called “alkalizing foods”, are those with a high pH. They oppose so-called “sour” foods. Acidic foods have a low pH.
“It should not be understood that they “have a sour taste”, but whose pH is low, and which during digestion create acidity in the body.“, explains Marie-Laure Andre, nutritionist-nutritionist.
In excess, these products are responsible for the inflammatory state of the body, the so-called metabolic acidosis. This can be the cause of many health problems such as fatigue, headaches, insomnia, constipation and bloating, dermatological problems (acne, brittle nails, scaly nails, etc.) and hair problems (hair loss), hypersensitivity to stress and a tendency to gain weight.
In the long term, acidic food also creates a bed of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, inflammation of tendons. It can also cause liver problems, according to a study published in November 2017.1. To counterbalance these effects, the solution is to include more alkaline foods in your menu: their combination contributes to the acid-alkaline balance of our body and allows us to function much more harmoniously and improve our health! Ideally, our plate should consist of 70% alkaline foods and 30% acidic. How do we know our body is out of balance? That our diet is too acidic? Simply dip the strip and measure the pH of his urine. You will see the degree of acidity in your body.
List of alkaline products
Foods are classified according to their degree of alkalinity: this is the PRAL index, Potential Renal Acid Load, which is valid. The PRAL indicator, developed by scientists, takes into account three parameters: the amount of minerals contained in food, the content of bicarbonates and proteins. If the result is above zero, the product is considered “acidifying”, if it is at zero level, it is called “neutral”, below this value – “alkaline”. You can find the PRAL index online.
Here is a list of alkalizing foods:
- Fruit: cherry, banana, apple, lemon, date, watermelon, strawberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, mango, apricot, raspberry, grapefruit, kiwi, fig, pear, nectarine, pineapple, orange, peach and grape;
- vegetables: spinach, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, carrots, garlic, beets, celery, bell pepper, seaweed, fennel, zucchini, pumpkin, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green beans, lettuce, endive, leek, onion, dandelion , cucumber and parsley, as well as potatoes;
- legumes: lentils, chickpeas, beans, white beans, mung beans, etc. ;
- Oil seeds and fruits: pumpkin, sunflower, squash and flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts and cashews;
- Spices and herbs: ginger, curry, mustard, black pepper, cardamom, rosemary, thyme, dill, coriander, nutmeg, red pepper, tamari and cinnamon;
- Dairy products: rosanka;
- Drinks: water with lemon, mineral water, vegetable juices, rajanka, tea;
- Sweet products: honey, brown sugar;
- Fatty substances: rapeseed, linseed, olive and sunflower oil.
With this list of alkaline foods, you’ll have enough to imagine your next recipes!
Limit acidic foods
On the contrary, it is recommended to slow down the consumption of acidic foods. These are products such as:
- Proteins: white meat, red meat, meat products, eggs, fatty fish (salmon, herring, sardines…), lean fish (whitefish, sole, trout, perch, cod…), seafood (periwinkle, oysters, clams, etc.), shellfish (lobsters, crabs, mussels, shrimps, etc.);
- Cereals: whole wheat, brown rice, rye, barley, spelt, buckwheat, quinoa, wholemeal bread, crackers and wholemeal pasta;
- Dairy products: pasteurized milk, fresh cream, butter, cheese, yogurts, cheese;
- Sweet products: maple syrup, white sugar;
- Drinks: alcohol, soft drinks such as soda, industrial fruit juices;
- Refined products like pasta and white rice, white bread and white flour.
Benefits of acid-base balance
Alkalizing foods prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease
Rich in antioxidants and minerals like vitamins A, C and E, selenium and zinc, as well as polyphenols, active ingredients that protect the heart system from the harmful effects of free radicals, alkalizing or alkaline foods are an asset in preventing the risk of heart attack.
Alkaline foods are also a source potassium, a mineral that contributes to the contraction of muscles, including the heart, and is involved in nerve impulses. Thanks to this, it ensures the good functioning of the cardiovascular system, fights against high blood pressure and prevents the occurrence of cerebrovascular accident (CVA). In a word, everything is useful for the body!
Alkalizers promote good bowel function
Advantage of alkaline products? Their wealth in fibers. If fruits and vegetables are alkaline foods, whole grains are acidic foods. Their combination promotes good intestinal transit, provides a quick and long feeling of satiety, perfectly nourishes our intestinal microbiota, participates in the fight against cancer, including colon, breast and stomach, and plays an important role in the good health of our heart. by reducing the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Alkalizing foods help prevent diabetes
The glycemic index is a value that measures a food’s ability to raise blood sugar: the higher it is, the more the food raises blood sugar and, in the long run, makes the bed type 2 diabetes; on the contrary, the lower it is, the less the food affects the blood sugar level and protects against this metabolic disease.
However, the advantage of most alkaline foods, especially fruits, vegetables, and legumes, is that they are low on the glycemic index, as are whole grains, the foods found in acidic foods, if not whole foods.
It is desirable to increase the proportion of fruits, vegetables, legumes and seeds in the daily diet, knowing that raw vegetables have a greater alkalizing capacity than cooked ones. ideally, the ratio of acidic and alkaline products should be from 40/60 to 20/80.
Disadvantages of alkaline diet
In itself, the acid-alkaline diet is not harmful to health and the body, as it does not exclude any food categories: it recommends maintaining a good ratio between acidic foods and alkaline foods to achieve balance. Therefore, it does not lead to nutritional deficiency.
On the other hand, it can seem tiresome to constantly refer to your grocery list and check that your plate’s composition meets the recommended 70-30. Finally, the people who suffer delicate intestine will have to gradually increase the amount of fruits, vegetables and legumes in their diet, so as not to risk abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea due to the influx of fiber.
But food isn’t enough to balance your body: When your body becomes acidic from eating too much acidic food, other factors come into play: poor sleep, lack of physical activity, stress and lack of hydration. At the same time, it is necessary to monitor your lifestyle, doing 30 minutes of moderate activity every day, such as brisk walking, taking care of your sleep to rest after 7 and 8 hours a night. , treating stress with either sports or relaxation techniques and drinking 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day.
NOT a diet, YES WW!
An example of a typical day of an acid-alkaline diet
- green tea;
- A bowl of red fruit;
- Lentil flour waffle;
- Almond oil.
- Raw vegetables seasoned with lemon juice and rapeseed oil. ;
- salmon steak;
- Full rice;
- A handful of almonds.
- A mixture of chickpeas and semolina;
- boiled vegetables;
- White cheese.