Alkaline Foods

Alkaline Foods: The Top 16 Fruits And Veggies And Their Benefits

Eating alkaline foods repairs and rejuvenates the body and decreases morbidity and mortality associated with chronic diseases, according to an article published in the 2012 Journal of Environmental and Public Health.

An alkaline diet rich in fruits and vegetables has also been shown to preserve muscle mass in older men and women.

What Ayurveda says…

Ayurveda lays stress on three important factors while dealing with health and disease – herbal formulations, body therapies (oushadh), diet (Ahara) and daily routine practices (Vihara). Ayurveda also includes diet as one of the tripods of good health, giving the first and foremost place to it.

Proper compatible wholesome diet (Pathya Ahara) is defined as the food which is congenial to the channels of the body, relished by the person and does not adversely affect the body and mind. Diet should be wholesome and should be taken with proper eating manner. Most health problems develop due to wrong eating habits and cooking methods.1

Health Benefits Of Adopting An Alkaline Diet

The stressors in today’s society (cigarette smoke, alcohol, stress itself, bad diet, coffee, soda, pharmaceutical drugs) all produce an acid state in the body. All cancerous states are acid states of long duration.

Research says that diets high in alkaline foods have a number of health benefits.2

  1. Increased fruits and vegetables in an alkaline diet would improve the K/Na ratio and benefit bone health, reduce muscle wasting, as well as mitigate other chronic diseases such as hypertension and stroke.

  2. The resultant increase in growth hormone with an alkaline diet may improve many outcomes from cardiovascular health to memory and cognition.

  3. An increase in intracellular magnesium, which is required for the function of many enzyme systems, is another added benefit of the alkaline diet. Available magnesium, which is required to activate vitamin D, results in numerous added benefits in the vitamin D apocrine/exocrine systems.

  4. Alkalinity may result in added benefit for some chemotherapeutic agents that require a higher Ph.

Top Alakaline Foods

Here is the list of the such top most alkaline foods, to repair and rejuvenate the body. Try to have 70-80% of your diet filled with these foods

1. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe boasts not only great taste, but they’re great natural supplements for a healthy diet. They are loaded with beta-carotene and phytochemicals that help your body fight toxins. They help in the production of white blood cells and boost the immunity of the body.

Cantaloupe is a nutritive alkaline fruit that is high in folate, fiber and minerals. Folate has positive effects on brain function and metabolic growth. They are rich in magnesium, potassium, vitamin B, vitamin K, and have a good amount of vitamin C which is beneficial for treating skin wounds and for tissue growth. The edible seeds of cantaloupes are rich in omega-3s. Carotenoids contain lutein and zeaxanthin which is considered a powerful agent for protecting the eye from macular degeneration symptoms, which often lead to permanent blindness.3 They are also good for treating age-related disorders and many types of cancer. The water soluble vitamins present in them helps to repair tissue wounds and are powerful in fighting free radical damage in the body.

Water soluble vitamins repair the tissue, accelerate their growth, and block any age-related damage in the skin tissues and blood vessels. Potassium is one of most essential nutrients for your body’s maintenance. It lowers blood pressure, increases nerve stimulation, and is good for water retention in the body.

Cantaloupes may prevent your chances of developing many cardiovascular diseases. It can regulate better blood pressure levels, which can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Cantaloupes play an important role in preventing and treating bone disorders including arthritis. It also strengthens your bones by reducing inflammation in the body.

2. Soursop

Soursop is an alkaline fruit that is native to the tropical parts of Africa but can also be found today in the Caribbean, South America and southeast Asia. The soursop fruit positively impacts your overall health.

Soursop consists of a phytochemical called anonaceous acetogenins which has the ability to treat cancer. Soursop anti-inflammatory properties can help to clear airways and relieve congestion thereby helping in respiratory distress.

It provides relief from joint pain or inflammation, particularly in conditions like gout or arthritis. Soursop tea has been used as a stress relieving strategy for centuries. It reduces lines, wrinkles, and improve the appearance of age spots and blemishes. It relieves pain and speeds healing. It boosts the immune system. It is a very effective diuretic, to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract and remove excess toxins and salts from the body. It ensures that the gastrointestinal system is running smoothly.

3. Spinach4,5,6,7

Spinach is a nutritional powerhouses and highly alkaline. It is the best source of dietary potassium and magnesium, which are the two very important electrolytes necessary for maintaining human health. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, vitamin C, zinc, dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and choline. It contains a unique and beneficial mixture of phytonutrients, as well as anti-oxidants, flavonoids and carotenoids.

Spinach is also one of the best non-heme (plant-based) sources of iron. It is a powerful antioxidant and aids in ovarian and breast cancer reduction.

4. Teff

Teff contains a wide range of nutrients and minerals, including calcium that are important for cell growth and development. Eating teff can help protect the bones as a person ages. Teff aids in the fight against celiac disease. It plays an important key role in the creation of new cells, blood vessel health, maintaining healthy organs, building muscle tissue, and encouraging the growth of healthy cells in the body.

This amazing grain happens to be a strong source of protein, and is also rich in fiber, manganese, calcium, and iron. It promotes the regularity and quality of your bowel movements. It helps to ease the intensity of blood flow and cramping in menstruation and controls diabetes. According some studies, teff has shown to be very good for heart health.

5. Achiote

Achiote is an alkaline seed and a rich source of norbixin, which is a powerful antioxidant. In recent research, it was shown that norbixin has a anti-mutagenic effect on healthy cells, meaning that achiote can help to keep cells healthy and disease-free. This seed is known to strengthen your bones, promotes healing, cures fevers, boosts eye sight, and reduces nausea. It is commonly used in Mexian and Caribbean cuisine.

6. Kale

Kale is a dark leafy green and is highly nutritious, containing high levels of iron, vitamins (A, K, C, and probably folate), minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium), brain-boosting phytonutrients and dietary fiber.8,9,10

In a recent study, researchers reported that this alkaline vegetable has very high antioxidant activity. Kale protects against prostate and colon cancers, protects the eyes from macular degeneration and has properties that are beneficial for the stomach, liver and immune system. Its anti-inflammatory capabilities help to fight against arthritis, heart disease and several autoimmune diseases.

Kale also has a very impressive number of flavonoids, which can help keep cholesterol levels normal and rid harmful free radicals from the body.

7. Burro Bananas Or Chunky Bananas

Burro bananas are packed with antioxidant compounds and a mix of essential minerals. In studies, cataracts, macular degeneration, night blindness and glaucoma have all been shown to decrease with normal intake of burro bananas. Burro bananas are a rich source of potassium, so they reduce blood pressure and help to eliminate stress on the cardiovascular system. Rich in iron and copper, burro bananas help in increasing the blood count in the body.

Burro bananas have a low fat and calorie content while being high in nutrients like vitamins B and C, fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and selenium. Burro bananas promote bone health, prevent constipation and stimulate the activity of the cells in the stomach lining in order to build up a protective barrier against acids. It also flushes out toxins from accumulating in the kidneys.

8. Cucumber12,13,14,15

Cucumber are low-calorie veggies containing many nutritional benefits, including hydrating properties and valuable nutrients. Cucumbers are 95 percent water and are the good sources of phytonutrients (plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties) such flavonoids, lignans and triterpenes, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Cucumbers also contain alkaline minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, selenium, copper, manganese, iron and
zinc.

Cucumbers are naturally low in calories, carbohydrates, sodium, fat and cholesterol. They provide small amounts of vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin A. This makes cucumbers a great way to stay hydrated, promote anti-wrinkling and anti-aging activity. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1999 found that low intakes of vitamin K were associated with an increased risk of hip fractures in middle-age women.11 Cucumbers contain two phytonutrient compounds associated with anti-cancer benefits: lignans and cucurbitacins. An additional study published in Current Pharmaceutical Design found a positive association between the triterpene cucurbitacin and reduced
inflammation, particularly in cancer cells.16

A 2017 study published in Public Health of Indonesia found that elderly participants with hypertension saw a significant decrease in blood pressure after consuming cucumber juice for 12 days.17 The peel and seeds are also the most nutrient-dense parts of the cucumber. They contain fiber and beta carotene. Cucumber seeds are a good source of minerals, and contain calcium.

9. Wild Rice

Wild rice provides a great combination of fiber, antioxidants and minerals, that are essential for protecting against many diseases and health conditions. The grain is even great for diabetes. Wild rice is known to encourage the production of white blood cells which are the first-line of defense for our body. Wild rice also contains important components that
help in producing collagen, which is needed to repair the cells of organs, tissues and blood vessels. The high fiber content in wild rice ensures smooth digestion and keeps  cholesterol levels in check. It is also rich in nutrients like vitamin A, C, and E, zinc, folate, magnesium and phosphorus.

10. Sea Salt

Sea salts keeps the body in an alkaline state by balancing the pH levels of the blood by helping in the excretion of excess acids through urination. It is also capable of balancing electrolytes in the body.

11. Broccoli18,19,20,21,22

This verdant vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s reputed to benefit digestion, the cardiovascular system and immune system, improve body detox and reduce cholesterol levels. It lowers the risk of certain birth defects, provides ample antioxidants, supports the skin and has anti-inflammatory and even cancer-preventing properties. Broccoli is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It has vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C, E, K, and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, carotenoids such as zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and kaempferol, a flavonoid.

Broccoli is a good source of lutein, a compound antioxidant, and sulforaphane, a very potent antioxidant and phytochemicals such as isothiocyanates. It is a rich fiber source (both soluble and insoluble). It has zero or no fat.

12. Plums

Plums are high in antioxidant levels. Plums are rich in B vitamins and vitamin E along with other essential nutrients like potassium, iron, magnesium, fluoride, zinc, and calcium. They boost the immune system. Dried plums have a unique capacity to reverse bone loss in postmenopausal osteoporosis.23 They are also known to slow down the chance of formation of tumor cells in the body.

13. Avocado24,25,26,27

Avocado is known to be rich in vitamins B , K, C, E and potassium. Avocados contain phytosterols and carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin and antioxidants such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and selenium. In 100 grams of avocado there are an abundance of nutrients such as: vitamin K: 26% of the RDA; folate: 20% of the RDA; vitamin C: 17% of the RDA; potassium: 14% of the RDA; vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA; vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA; vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.

It also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous, vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin) and omega oils which speeds up the metabolism and helps in weight loss. Avocados have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, cardiovascular and blood sugar benefits. They are a powerful, alkaline, nutrient-dense superfood.

14. Oregano

Oregano contains important organic compounds that protect the body from various diseases of the gut. Oregano also contains high amounts of iron, folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese and copper. Oregano has a high level of antioxidant activity. It is packed with more than 42 times the antioxidant punch of apples. Essential oils found in oregano, carvacrol and thymol have antibacterial and fungus-fighting activities, which are known to destroy all types of illnesses throughout the body.

The naturally occurring polyphenol carnosol has anti-cancer properties in prostate, breast, skin, leukemia and colon cancer. Scientists have found that it is useful in reducing fevers, relieving diarrhea, treating colds and flu, helping indigestion and regulating the menstrual cycle. The glutathione content found in oregano stops the growth and kills the colon cancer cells.

15. Celery28,29

Celery contains useful phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Celery leaves have a high content of vitamin A (a powerful anti-acid), whilst the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C with rich supplies of potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and plenty of essential amino acids. Alkalizing nutrients in the fiber are released during juicing, aiding bowel movements. The natural organic sodium (salt) in celery is very safe for consumption. In fact it is essential for the body for building the alkalizing compound sodium bicarbonate. It effectively balances the body’s blood pH, neutralizes acidity and significantly lowers total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

The potassium and sodium in celery juice helps to regulate body fluid and stimulate urine production. While eliminating acidic toxins, it also prevents the formation of kidney stones. Celery juice lowers blood pressure and has a calming effect on the nervous system, making it a wonderful drink for insomniacs. It acts as the perfect post-workout tonic as it replaces lost electrolytes and rehydrates the body with its rich alkalizing minerals. Celery contains at least eight families of anti-cancer or anti-acid compounds. The polyacetylene in celery is an amazing relief for all the acids that cause inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, asthma and bronchitis.

16. Bell Pepper

Green and red bell peppers have essential antioxidants that support healthy eyesight, tissue health and immune system. The essential antioxidants in red bell peppers fight free radicals (toxins), and help to prevent certain types of cancer, especially prostate cancer in men. Yellow and orange bell peppers have special antioxidants, which can help to protect the heart from cardiovascular disease. Bell peppers also provide nutrients for the functioning of red blood cells, which is especially important for pregnant women because it helps to prevent certain types of birth defects in unborn children.

Bell peppers are high sources of potassium which help to keep the fluids and minerals balanced in the body, enhance muscle function and regulate blood pressure. Bell peppers are rich in various vitamins and minerals, and have various antioxidants, especially carotenoids. They have antioxidants such as capsanthin, violaxanthin, lutein, quercetin and luteolin. They are exceptionally rich in vitamins A, C, E, B6, K1, potassium and folate. Bell peppers have shown up in research relating to decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, macular degeneration, cancer, inflammation and more.

References
1 Acharya Charaka. Charaka Samhita. Shastri K,Chaturvedi G Comm. Chaukhamba Bharti Academy, Reprinted 2008. Sutrastana 25/45.
2 Gerry K. Schwalfenberg, The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health? J Environ Public Health. 2012; 2012: 727630. Published online 2011 Oct 12. doi: 10.1155/2012/727630.PMCID: PMC3195546.
3 Elizabeth J. Johnson PhD, The Role of Carotenoids in Human Health Nutrition in Clinical Care Volume 5, Issue 2 Apr 2002  Pages 56–65.
4 Manach C, Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 May;79(5):727-47. 2004. PMID:15113710.
5 James Am Reversals of Age-Related Declines in Neuronal Signal Transduction, Cognitive, and Motor Behavioral Deficits with Blueberry, Spinach, or Strawberry Dietary Supplementation. 1999. The Journal of Neuroscience.
6 Gates MA, A prospective study of dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of epithelial ovarian cancer.  Int J Cancer. 2007 Apr 30; [Epub ahead of print] 2007. PMID:17471564.
7 M P Longnecker, Intake of carrots, spinach, and supplements containing vitamin A in relation to risk of breast cancer, 1997. American Association for Cancer Research.
8 Ambrosone CB, Tang L. Cruciferous vegetable intake and cancer prevention: role of nutrigenetics. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa). 2009 Apr;2(4):298-300. 2009.
9 Angeloni C, Leoncini E, Malaguti M, et al. Modulation of phase II enzymes by sulforaphane: implications for its cardioprotective potential. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jun 24;57(12):5615-22. 2009.
10 Higdon JV, Delage B, Williams DE, et al. Cruciferous Vegetables and Human Cancer Risk: Epidemiologic Evidence and Mechanistic Basis. Pharmacol Res. 2007 March; 55(3): 224-236. 2007.
11 Feskanich D, Vitamin K intake and hip fractures in women: a prospective study. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Jan;69(1):74-9.
12 Kumar D, Kumar S, Singh J, et al. Free Radical Scavenging and Analgesic Activities of Cucumis sativus L. Fruit Extract. J Young Pharm. 2010 Oct;2(4):365-8. 2010.
13 Milder IEJ, Arts ICW, van de Putte B et al. Lignan contents of Dutch plant foods: a database including lariciresinol, pinoresinol, secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol. Br J Nutr
2005, 93:393-402. 2005.
14 Rios JL, Recio MC, Escandell JM, et al. Inhibition of transcription factors by plant-derived compounds and their implications in inflammation and cancer. Curr Pharm Des.
2009;15(11):1212-37. Review. 2009.
15 Tang J, Meng X, Liu H et al. Antimicrobial activity of sphingolipids isolated from the stems of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Molecules. 2010 Dec 15;15(12):9288-97. 2010.
16 Ríos JL, Inhibition of transcription factors by plant-derived compounds and their implications in inflammation and cancer. Curr Pharm Des. 2009;15(11):1212-37
17 Sumirah Budi Pertami, EFFECT OF CUCUMBER (CUCUMIS SATIVUS) JUICE ON LOWERING BLOOD PRESSURE IN ELDERLY Vol 3, No 1 (2017),Public health of Indonesia,ISSN- 2528-1542
18 John W. Finley, Clement Ip, Donald J. Lisk, Cindy D. Davis, Korry J. Hintze, and Phil D. Whanger. Cancer-Protective Properties of High-Selenium Broccoli. 2001. American Chemical Society.
19 Lingyun Wu, M. Hossein Noyan Ashraf, Marina Facci, Rui Wang, Phyllis G. Paterson, Alison Ferrie, and Bernhard H. J. Juurlink. 2004. Dietary approach to attenuate oxidative stress, hypertension, and inflammation in the cardiovascular system. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
20 Ambrosone CB, Tang L. Cruciferous vegetable intake and cancer prevention: role of nutrigenetics. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa). 2009 Apr;2(4):298-300. 2009.
21 Clarke JD, Dashwood RH, Ho E. Multi-targeted prevention of cancer by sulforaphane. Cancer Lett. 2008 Oct
22 Konsue N, Ioannides C. Modulation of carcinogen-metabolising cytochromes P450 in human liver by the chemopreventive phytochemical phenethyl isothiocyanate, a constituent of cruciferous vegetables. Toxicology. 2010 Feb 9;268(3):184-90. 2010.
23 Elizabeth Rendina Dried Plum’s Unique Capacity to Reverse Bone Loss and Alter Bone Metabolism in Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Model March 29,
2013https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0060569 Hooshmand S,Viewpoint: dried plum, an emerging functional food that may effectively improve bone health. Ageing Res Rev. 2009 Apr;8(2):122-7.
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25 Ding H, Han C, Guo D et al. Selective induction of apoptosis of human oral cancer cell lines by avocado extracts via a ROS-mediated mechanism. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(3):348-56. 2009.
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27 Rosenblat G, Meretski S, Segal J et al. Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols derived from avocado suppress inflammatory response and provide non-sunscreen protection against UV-induced damage in skin cells. Arch Dermatol Res. 2010 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print]. 2010.
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29 Tsi D, Tan BK. The mechanism underlying the hypocholesterolaemic activity of aqueous celery extract, its butanol and aqueous fractions in genetically hypercholesterolaemic RICO rats. Life Sci 2000 Jan 14;66(8):755-67 2000.

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Mallika Varma, holds a bachelor’s degree, B.A.M.S. from State  Ayurvedic college and Hospital, Lucknow and a postgraduate degree M.S. in Kshara Sutra Avum Anushastra Karma from Sri Venkateswara Ayurvedic College, Tirupathi. She brings more than 7 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda.  She is specialized in Ayurvedic general surgery, parasurgical procedures (Kshara Jalauka, Siravedhyan, Agni Karma) and in the treatment of anorectal disorders. She is also experienced in the treatment of gastro, respiratory, genitourinary, skin and lifestyle disorders through natural herbal medicine, Yoga and Panchkarma. She has participated in many national and international seminars in the field of Ayurveda and has also presented best awarded papers on Ayurveda.

2 comments

  1. Carolina Serafim

    The Almonds are the most alkaline food/seed. You didn’t mention!!!

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