Understanding Alkaline Diet Foods
Posted by Jordan in Alkaline Diet
For thousands of years, people have known that some substances tasted acidic, while others were alkaline. But until the invention of the pH scale in 1909, there wasn't a good way of measuring acidity. Today, scientists are developing a more sophisticated understanding of alkaline diet foods and how they affect the body.

What Are Alkaline Diet Foods?

An alkaline diet food is a food that makes the body more alkaline. There are many related terms floating around, like "alkalizing food," "alkaline-forming food," and "alkaline-producing food." All of this sounds pretty simple. However, it is important to realize that a food that is acidic or alkaline outside the body doesn't necessarily have the same effect after it has been eaten and digested.

To consider one example, vinegar is known to be highly acidic, and most kinds of vinegar make the body more acidic as well. However, apple cider vinegar actually has an alkalizing effect. Why is apple cider vinegar different? It contains more alkaline minerals than other vinegars. The lesson is that you can't tell how a food will affect your internal pH by how it tastes. Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice are highly acidic, yet they make the body more alkaline. On the other hand, sugar and milk have an acidifying effect on the body, even thought they taste sweet.

Why Do Alkaline Diet Foods Affect the Body the Way They Do?

As I mentioned above, alkaline diet foods have an alkalizing effect on the body because they are rich in alkaline minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, and potassium. All of these minerals are very important, but potassium has the biggest effect on your internal pH.

In contrast, acidifying foods affect the body's pH the way they do because they are high in acid-forming minerals, such as iodine, phosphorus, and sulfur. To consider one example, meat is acidifying because it is high in protein. When the meat is digested, certain amino acids in the protein break down into the constituent ingredients, releasing the acidic minerals phosphorus and sulfur. These minerals then combine with water to form phosphoric and sulfuric acid. Some acidifying foods contain other substances, called organic acids, which cannot be broken down by the body. These organic acids also contribute to excess acidity.

You Don't Need to Be a Scientist to Benefit from Alkaline Diets

As you can see, alkaline diets are based on some pretty serious chemistry. However, you don't need to be a chemist to benefit from an alkaline diet. In fact, the most important tools are an alkaline diet food list and a willingness to experiment with new ways of eating.