The great Hippocrates once said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” and it’s a statement we should live by.
The typical American diet is ridden with acid-forming foods such as refined grains, processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, processed meats and dairy. These foods are deadly, with research linking them to long-term health risks like liver and kidney damage, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
Food is an incredibly vital part of our lives, but in our modern day society, we no longer have the luxury of eating without thinking. We must know what’s in our foods, and how they affect us, to ensure we are not damaging our health. However, this is often much easier said than done. So where does one start?
Eating from the ground up is one of the best ways to begin. That is, steering clear of the man-made world as much as possible by choosing whole foods, which are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, over anything else.
Another important thing to acknowledge is keeping the body in balance by maintaining a healthy pH value. The pH value refers to the measure of how acidic or alkaline something is, and ranges from 0 to 14, with 0-7 being acidic, 7 being neutral and 7 to 14 being alkaline. Different foods fall in different places on this scale, however, with meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains and alcohol all considered to be acidic, while natural fats, starches and sugars are neutral, and fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables are alkaline.
We must eat both acidic and alkaline-forming foods to achieve balance since the stomach is naturally highly acidic to break down food and the human blood is naturally slightly alkaline. Acid-forming foods and alkaline-forming foods refer to how the body breaks down the foods we eat, regardless of their organic acidic or alkaline state. Foods inorganic matter, like calcium, magnesium and potassium, decides how the body responds.
When too many acid-forming foods are consumed, the nutrients the body needs to achieve its slightly alkaline state are canceled out, resulting in the body reaching out to the bones and tissues for help. This ultimately throws off the detoxification process, resulting in a backup of harmful toxins that make our bodies susceptible to disease.
The following five foods are alkaline-forming and rich in powerful antioxidants — substances that are an important part of the diet as they can reduce the chances of cancer, lower high blood pressure, improve wrinkles, help your heart stay healthy and so much more.
1. Coconut Oil
With a variety of health benefits, this alkaline-forming food is rich in iron, vitamin C and calcium. It’s also been linked to weight loss, better brain function and skin health. It’s recommended to use raw, virgin coconut oil as a supplement, as research has found that the highest amounts of antioxidants in coconut oil are found in virgin coconut oils.
Avocado is a powerful alkaline and nutrient-dense superfood that’s loaded with a variety of nutrients that have incredible anti-inflammatory, heart health, cardiovascular health, anti-cancer, and blood sugar benefits. Avocado works to increase antioxidant absorption from other foods, and are also high in antioxidants themselves, including Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are incredibly important for eye health.
3. Sun-dried Olives
Along with being alkaline-forming, sun-dried olives are known for their ability to increase heart health while also reducing the risk of osteoporosis, chronic inflammation and other related conditions. They’re also rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, which has anti-inflammatory polyphenols and flavonoids that aid in the restoration of body tissues, prevent infection, and decrease the risk of numerous diseases and disorders.
Asparagus is among the strongest alkaline-forming foods and is often recommended as a food to eat if you are acidic. It’s also chock-full of antioxidants and nutrients, and is particularly rich in fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, and even chromium, which is a trace mineral that boosts the ability of insulin to drive glucose from the bloodstream into the cells.
Berries are highly alkaline, and also chemically react to acidic foods of pH 5.0 and boost them near the alkaline levels. They’re also high in antioxidants, benefit brain health, regulate blood pressure and brighten skin tone. Try adding goji berries, acai berries, strawberries, blackberries and cherries into your diet. Acai berries, for instance, are linked to slowing the process of aging and preventing diseases related to cellular oxidative damage.