If you’ve ever looked into dieting, you’ll know just how spoilt for choice we are when it comes to the different ways of withholding ourselves of the nutrients we need: Atkins, 5:2, fasting, paleo… all of them are popular, but none of them are particularly thrilling to embark on. What most people don’t understand is that you don’t have to cut out every single food you love to lose weight.
In fact, it’s healthiest to ditch dieting altogether in favour of eating a varied and satisfying diet, while staying healthier and focusing on including the good stuff. The alkaline diet is a great example of this.
You probably haven’t heard much about alkaline foods, as they often go ignored in the fitness world and they’re not plugged like some of the “on-trend” diets of today. But focusing on adding alkaline foods to your diet is incredibly healthy, and you have a much more realistic chance of losing weight or just staying healthy in the long run.
The alkaline diet isn’t technically a diet. You don’t have to cut out anything if you don’t want to – instead, you just need to add foods with a higher alkaline content to your meals. This is thought to increase your body’s pH, reducing acidity, fighting disease and promoting weight loss.
Because this diet enables you to add more healthy foods to your daily dishes, you’ll get a higher nutritional value from your meals, which should help to boost health and wellbeing.
If your interest is piqued, read on to learn of the top 16 alkaline foods for a healthy body.
Tomatoes are high in alkaline, especially when they’re eaten raw. They’re bursting with nutrients, including vitamin C, which we need for overall cell and bone health in the body.
Tomatoes also have a high vitamin B6 content, which isn’t found in many natural foods, and they’re a source of digestive enzymes. Add tomatoes to your salads, omelettes, or curries, and use them to make a homemade passata or paste.
2. Red onion
Onions are another high-alkaline food packed full of nutritional benefits. They contain plenty of vitamin C and are one of the best natural anti-inflammatory food sources.
Cooking onions in healthy oil, like coconut oil, can increase their already-high alkaline content. They’re also nutritional when eaten raw – and it’s better to do this than to fry them in an unhealthy oil.
We all know that avocados are one of the most popular foods available today, and for good reason. They’re highly nutritional and contain essential vitamins and minerals for health – not to mention they’re delicious.
Avocados are a good source of healthy fats, which have a number of important uses, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. They’re also anti-inflammatory, and one of the best alkaline vegetable sources.
If you’ve ever dined at an Italian restaurant, you’re probably familiar with the fragrant smell of basil. This underrated herb is found in pasta and pizza dishes, and it’s not only delicious – it’s also a winner when it comes to its nutrient content.
It’s a great source of alkaline, and packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, A, and calcium. It’s also packed full of flavonoids, antioxidants that are thought to be linked to a reduction in heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
We all know the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, and there’s definitely truth to the statement. Aside from being a high alkaline food, apples are also bursting with fibre, which is needed for regulated digestion performance.
They’re also a good source of flavonoids, which can protect against illness, and antioxidants, such as vitamin C.
If your mum used to tell you that carrots would help you to see better, she was actually right. While carrots won’t make you see in the dark – that one really is an old wives’ tale – their vitamin A makes them an essential food for eye health.
They’re a fantastic plant-based alkaline food, and offer your daily recommendation of beta-carotene, vitamin A in antioxidant form, which can boost skin health and help prevent cancer.
If you’re not afraid to admit that you’re obsessed with garlic, you’ll be smug to learn that it’s one of the healthiest alkaline foods on this list. The anti-inflammatory superfood has proven in research and studies to ward off bacteria, increase immunity, protect heart health, and much more. One thing, though: we’re talking about actual garlic here, not garlic bread – sorry.
Cauliflower is a hit-and-miss vegetable, but it’s worth reintroducing to your diet if you’ve been avoiding it since your childhood. It’s a good source of alkaline, for a start, but it can also regulate oestrogen levels, thanks to one of its most potent nutrients, called Indole-3-Carbinol.
Since excessive oestrogen can cause everything from digestive issues to weight gain and cancer, keeping your oestrogen levels in check is important.
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Jalapenos are another high-alkaline food that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. They’re a fantastic heart-healthy food, being low in calories and proving in studies to fight off illness and boost overall health.
Jalapenos are full of flavour, and a little goes a long way, especially if you’re not the biggest fan of spice! They can support the endocrine system, which is linked to managing stress, ensuring proper bodily development, and warding off free radicals.
Another source of alkaline is zucchini. This dark green veggie contains phytonutrients, which play important roles in repairing damage to DNA and regulating the immune system.
Zucchini, like carrots, is also good for eyesight, because it contains a phytonutrient called lutein, which is similar to beta-carotene in its eye-protecting properties. A great way to add zucchini to your diet is to spiralize it and use it as a low-carb pasta replacement.
At no surprise to anyone, lemons are considered some of the most alkalizing foods we can eat. They’ve long been known to be a healthy detox food thanks to their ability to assist with digestion and support the liver in removing toxins from the blood.
If you’re not a fan of cooking with lemons, keep it simple and add lemon juice to a glass of water in the morning, or even to a cup of tea. If you would like to experiment with cooking with this citrus fruit, try adding it to stir fries, curries and other Asian dishes for a tangy hit.
Not all alkaline foods are fruits and vegetables. Almonds are one of the best high-alkaline nut options, and are also thought to be one of the healthiest nuts in general, thanks to their heart-healthy fat content.
Almonds are petty high in calories and fairly filling, and you don’t need to eat many to benefit from their nutritional content. Just a handful of almonds a day is plenty to keep you healthy and satisfied.
Yet another green vegetable on this list, spinach is another fantastic alkaline food. This superfood has a high calcium content, so it’s a great option if you’re looking to maintain bone health and even prevent degenerative diseases like osteoporosis.
Spinach is a popular ingredient in juicing diets, but if you like its texture, try adding it to your salads or curry dishes instead.
14. Sweet potato
Though they’ve been used for thousands of years, it’s only recently that sweet potatoes have surged in popularity and achieved superfood status. They’re packed full of all the vitamins, fibre and minerals we need for a balanced and healthy diet.
Fibre is needed for several reasons: to promote healthy digestion, but also to control the release of sugar into the blood, which can prevent high blood sugar.
Parsley is an even more underrated herb than basil, and you probably only eat it with your casserole, stee and roast dinner dishes. It’s definitely worth considering how you can add more parsley to your diet for its alkaline content alone.
Parsley is also effective in supporting healthy digestion and cleansing the kidneys. You can easily add a little parsley to your salads and other dishes with very little preparation.
While bananas might be higher in calories and sugars than some foods on this list, they’re still a fantastic, healthy alkaline food to include in your diet. We all know that potassium is a key nutrient found in bananas, and it’s incredible important in preventing stroke and heart disease, as well as reducing stress and anxiety.
Bananas are also a great source of fibre, can support the elimination of toxins and improve digestive function.
You’ll understand by now that enjoying the alkaline diet is about adding more healthy foods to your diet, rather than avoiding certain food groups entirely. Taking this approach will give you a better chance of actually succeeding in losing weight, and it won’t give you a poor relationship with food.
No need to feel sad about eliminating your favourite treats – it’s fine to eat anything in moderation. Just make sure you’re including plenty of alkaline foods in your diet – the more, the better, but you’re free to work at your own pace.
If you fancy trying the alkaline diet, it couldn’t be easier. Many of the foods on this list can be added to your dinner plate in place of unhealthier options like chips and white rice. Because the majority of these foods are packed full of nutrients but low in calories, you’ll achieve your weight loss goals simply by making healthier decisions that you feel comfortable with.
At the moment, we know enough about the alkaline diet to understand its effects on blood pH, but more research is needed for us know for certain how a high alkaline foods can benefit our bodies. The evidence we have so far is certainly promising.