Our pH level measures the amount of acidity in our bodies. When we have too much acid, the minerals in our body are depleted, increasing the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, kidney problems, diabetes and weakened muscles. Nutritionists categorize foods as acid forming or alkaline forming. Alkaline-forming foods help restore the body's pH balance.
Fruits and Vegetables
Most vegetables and fruits are alkaline, and contain high amounts of potassium salts that act to stop the negative effects of acid. Their ranks include green vegetables like kale, broccoli, cabbage and fresh spinach, as well as mushrooms, sweet potatoes, bell peppers and cauliflower. Acid-producing vegetables include cooked spinach, artichokes and asparagus tips.
Fruits that may seem acidic--such as lemons, limes and grapefruits--actually contain high amounts of alkaline. Other alkaline-producing fruits include apples, pears, bananas, oranges, peaches and grapes. Acidic fruits include blackberries and cranberries and any fruit that is canned or glazed.
Many proteins release a sulfuric acid in the body, thus making them acidic. They include animal proteins like beef, chicken, turkey, pork, fish and seafood. Other acidic protein sources include most beans, chicken eggs and nuts such as pine nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts and brazil nuts. Alkanizing proteins appear in quail and duck eggs, tofu and nuts such as cashews and almonds. Most seeds like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are also alkanizing.
Dairy-based foods produce acid. They include foods like hard and soft cheeses, cow's milk, yogurt and ice cream.
Grains can be acidic or alkaline. Alkanizing grains include oats, wild rice and quinoa, while acidic grains include heat, kamut, millet, brown and white rice, rye, barley and any food containing processed flour.
Based in Omaha, Neb., Amy Adkins has been a professional writer and editor since 2001. She writes primarily on the topic of health and health care and has experience in marketing communications, public relations, corporate communication and technical writing. She received her Master of Arts degree in communication from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.