Acidic and alkaline diet (foods) influence our acid-base balance. But, how do we identify them? What makes a food basifying (alkalizing) or acidifying? Their colors, their tastes, their textures, their shapes?
Well… how to tell you? Very clearly… none of that!
For example, a lemon is acidic to taste but yet it is basic when ingested, therefore, alkalizing.
You will find in the list below the list of different foods contributing to the acidification or alkalinization of body fluids, such as urine, saliva, and venous blood.
What importance should be attached to alkaline and acidic foods? High PH – more alkaline. Low PH – more acidic. What should all of these mean to you?
Our kidneys help maintain the neutrality of body fluids by sending acid or alkaline surpluses out in the urine. Generally, however, it is important to have a diet with products found on each side of the table. We do indeed need acidifying foods as well as alkalizing foods, but with a clear tendency towards an alkalizing diet.
Allergic reactions and other forms of stress tend to produce acids in the body. Excessive acidity of our blood is the cause of many ailments (fatigue, osteoporosis, high blood pressure …). You should, therefore, aim to limit acidifying foods and more regularly consume alkalizing foods.
In any case, it may be useful to check the pH of your urine using litmus paper to determine if your food choices are providing you with the desired balance.
While we don’t all have the same needs, for most of us, an ideal diet includes 65% to 70% of alkalizing foods and 30% to 35% acidifying foods by volume.
PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load)
The PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load) is an index of acidity and alkalinity of food, that is to say, their acid or base effect on the body.
It is important to note though that the degree of alkalinity or acidity of a food can vary depending on the soil in which the plant is grown (or the food with which an animal is fed), the variety, and the timing of picking. For example, a grain-fed beef will have, all other factors being equal, more acidic meat than grass-fed beef.
So consider this list for informational purposes only and not as an absolute. More details about acidic and alkaline foods can be found here.
List of acidic or alkaline diet (Foods) This list is indicative and includes the main acidifying and alkaline foods.
All dairy products:
UHT milk, crème fraîche, hard cheeses, fermented cheese, yogurt, butter, raw milk dairy products, fresh cheese.
All animal proteins in general:
Red meats (beef, mutton, horse, pork), cold meats, organ meats (liver, kidney, brain), white meats: chicken, turkey, rabbit, veal, lamb.
Oily fish (salmon, herring, tuna, carp), seafood. Prefer lean fish (cod, sea bass, whiting, sole, trout), oysters.
Eggs: prefer organic quality and undercooked (soft- boiled eggs or half-boiled eggs).
Among the sugars (carbohydrates):
All refined sugars (pastries, cakes, sweets, candies), white and brown sugar, sweeteners (aspartame type), chocolate, jams rich in sugar. Prefer (in organic shops) raw whole/whole sugar (Rapadura or coconut sugar), honey, raw cocoa, 100% fruit jams.
Refined cereals (semolina, white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc.), breakfast cereals (such as cereal flakes), whole and semi-whole cereals (rice, pasta, and wholemeal bread, etc.). Prefer buckwheat or starchy vegetables like sweet potato.
White bread with baker’s yeast (baguette type). Prefer ½ wholemeal sourdough bread in organic shops.
Among the legumes:
Chickpeas, red beans. Prefer lentils, flageolet beans, white beans, tofu, green peas, green beans. To lower the acidity of legumes, soak them.
Among the fats and oilseeds:
All animal fats (animal skins, lard, tallow …).
Hydrogenated, refined, processed, hardened vegetable oils (margarine). Choose quality vegetable oils – extra virgin or virgin, from 1st cold pressing and organic.
All sauces and industrial products (mayonnaise, cookies, and pastries).
Some oilseeds are more acidifying than others: dry nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and green olives … Prefer pine nuts, sesame seeds, coconut, cashew, skinless almonds, Brazil nuts, and black olives in oil or plain.
Among the fruits:
Unripe fruits (the less ripe the more acidic they are). Even more when eaten in the morning and out of season.
Citrus fruits in general (grapefruit, orange, lemon…).
All fruits with an acid taste (and their juice): pineapple, passion fruit, kiwi, berries (raspberries, blackcurrants, etc.), certain varieties of apples (granny smith, etc.), cherries (morello cherries), apricots ( even dried), plums…
Commercial fruit juices, even lemon juice. Prefer 100% fruit juices.
Certain dried fruits like apricots, prunes, and figs. To lower their acidity, soak them for 4 hours or overnight and discard the soaking water.
Among the vegetables:
Tomato (especially cooked and out of season), sorrel, cooked spinach, rhubarb, sauerkraut …
Among the condiments:
Vinegar, vegetables preserved in vinegar, ketchup, mustard, pickles, capers … For the dressing, prefer lemon juice. It is less acidifying than vinegar.
Among the drinks:
All sodas, coffee, tap water, black tea, alcohols ( strong alcohols, white wine, champagne …).
All canned drinks.
Other acidifying factors:
The bad associations – tobacco, drugs (aspirin, anti-inflammatory, synthetic vitamin pills), dehydration, physical and mental overwork, night work, lack of sleep, chronic contractures of stress, sedentary lifestyle (respiratory failure, lack of sweating, etc.), cold, liver failure (drugs, alcohol, tobacco, medication, hepatitis, etc.), renal failure (lack of pure water, medication, stress, etc.).
List of alkaline, alkalizing or basifying foods
All raw vegetable juices (especially when extracted with a juice extractor).
Freshwater and marine algae, in caviar, powder, or tablet form.
Among starchy foods or sugars:
Sweet potatoes, potatoes (apart from fries), chestnuts, squash (pumpkin, patty pan), Jerusalem artichoke, cassava, yam, buckwheat.
Among the vegetables:
Colorful vegetables and/or roots: celery, fennel, beets, carrots, parsnips, squash, sweet potatoes, red cabbage, etc. Exception: tomatoes (especially cooked, out of season, and mixed with cereals such as rice, wheat, etc.).
Raw or cooked green vegetables (but not too much): cucumbers, zucchini, all kinds of salads (lamb’s lettuce …), beans and cabbage, broccoli …, etc. Exception: cooked spinach, sorrel, rhubarb.
Among the fruits:
Sweet fruits picked at maturity: bananas (the most alkalizing), sweet apples, sweet grapes, mangoes, papayas, watermelon, melon. Avoid sour fruits such as citrus, pineapple, etc.
Dried fruits: bananas, grapes, dates, figs, and sweet apricots. Most dried fruits are alkalizing if they are rehydrated for at least 4 hours. The ideal being to soak them the day before in a glass of water.
Among the spices:
All fresh green herbs such as coriander, basil, chives, parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc.
Among the drinks:
Plant infusions, vegetable drinks (almond, hazelnut, rice, soy…), vegetable and sweet fruit juices (especially from the juice extractor).
Among the fats and oilseeds:
Skinless almonds and Brazil nuts (even better: soaked 12 hours). For other dried fruits (hazelnuts, etc.), rehydrate them before consuming them.
Plain black olives or olive oil. Extra virgin, first cold-pressed, and organic.
Anti-acidity health solutions and keys
A good way to deacidify your body is to do a detox cure in order to neutralize the excess acidity of your body and to regulate “acidosis”. Among other things, it involves stopping all acidic and acidifying foods and providing yourself with a large amount of alkaline foods. It will then be much easier to change your diet over the long term.
Some general advice:
- Drink a minimum of 1.5 L per day of low mineral water.
- Practice moderate physical exercise such as walking a minimum of 30 minutes a day, getting oxygen (in nature), and/or practicing breathing techniques using essential oils.
- Favor alkalizing foods and mono diets. It is a simple question of eating only one type of food with the meal e.g sweet potato, banana, chestnut, squash, or green vegetables.
- Avoid acidic or acid-producing foods as much as possible in the morning and winter.
- Eat alone without meals: fruit, melon, watermelon, honey.
To summarize, here are 2 essential rules to remember:
- give pride of place to vegetables (which must represent at least 50% of your plate or even better 70%),
- with seasonal fruits that you will take, try to consume without meals (30 minutes before or 2 hours after).
Indeed, their digestion time being different from other foods, they can ferment and create a lot of acidity in some people with more “difficult” digestion.