Of all the types of foods you have ever heard of, alkaline foods may not be quite as familiar to you. What makes a food alkaline is that it is less acidic than other foods. The idea behind consuming mostly alkaline foods is to keep your body systems in balance in terms of acidity.
Alkaline foods include many of the foods we are already eating on a regular basis (or should be), such as fruits, nuts, other legumes and vegetables.
Foods that are more acidic include processed and packaged foods, meat and poultry, so one of the benefits of eating a diet mostly made up of alkaline foods is that you are ideally eating fresher, healthier foods as opposed to potato chips and sugary cereals.
Here is a list of four types of alkaline foods, with specific examples, that you should add to your grocery list and add to your cart the next time you head to the store to buy food.
Fruit is a recommended daily food group according to the USDA. Consuming adequate amounts of fruit on a daily basis ensures that you are benefiting from its nutrients. Fruit is naturally low in sodium and calories and is also naturally sweet. Fruit also contains a lot of fiber, potassium and essential vitamins to help keep you healthy.
Anything from bananas to strawberries to grapes to oranges counts as fruit, no matter the form you eat them in.
It doesn’t matter if you eat your fruit fresh, dried, frozen, juiced or canned, as long as you are paying attention to serving sizes and the number of portions you consume throughout each day. Ideally you should aim for consuming 1½ to 2 cups of fruit each day across multiple meals to reap its benefits in full.
To add more fruit to your diet, keep whole fruit within easy reach, such as putting it in a bowl to leave on the counter or on the kitchen table. For easy access, cut up whole fruit and store it in the refrigerator for an easy snack or addition to your next meal. Buying pre-cut fruit is also an option: it is convenient and does not take away any of fruit’s natural nutrients.
Nuts are the ideal “diet food” for many reasons. Looking at cost and convenience, nuts are inexpensive and extremely easy to store. They are a great snack to pack in your lunch or in your bag, but that’s only the beginning.
Eating nuts is good for your health because nuts are extremely rich in protein and carbohydrates, which is the kind of energy you want to be consuming the most. The fat they do contain is good fat. They are also rich in fiber, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good to consume for heart health purposes.
Nuts tend to be a bit higher in fat, though it’s unsaturated fat so it’s not so bad. If nuts are not your preference for this reason, there are plenty of other alkaline legumes to choose from.
3. Other legumes
Legumes are alkaline foods because they are rich in protein but much lower in fat and other nutrients. Eating plenty of legumes, especially those that aren’t nuts if you don’t like them or are allergic, means you will in the long run be much healthier because you will get a lot of energy from them but not too much sugar or too many calories.
Beans, peas and lentils are excellent sources of legumes. This includes anything from black beans to soybeans to snap peas. The great thing about beans, peas and lentils is that they are versatile: you can pretty much use them any way you want. You can add them to soup or stir fry or bake or boil them.
Like fruits, vegetables are also recommended for daily consumption. Eating the right amount of vegetables every day is also good for regulating your caloric intake, as many vegetables are naturally low in calories. You can consume larger servings of them and still consume fewer calories than you can with other foods. Just like fruits, vegetables are also high in fiber.
Spinach, carrots, squash, cucumber and onions all count as vegetables. You can eat them any way you want as long as you make them part of your diet regularly.
You can cook, freeze, slice, dice and mash your vegetables if you want to: whatever you have to do to keep them in your diet and convince yourself to eat them even when you would rather eat something else. In general you should try to consume 2½ to 3 cups of vegetables throughout your day, whether they’re part of a salad, smoothie or you have them with some kind of dip or sauce.
Eat more vegetables on a regular basis by buying fresh vegetables when they are in season to get more for less money. Freeze vegetables so they last longer and are always available if you want to use them in a recipe. Eat a variety of different vegetables and vegetable combinations as part of meals so you don’t get bored.
Alkaline foods are a lot easier to find and purchase than you might think. Simply stay away from foods that come wrapped in too much packaging. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be found in the produce section of your grocery store or at your local farmers market. Beans and other legumes often come in cans, which isn’t necessarily a bad sign.
If you want to incorporate more fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables into your diet, don’t be afraid to get creative and try new recipes. Experiment with different ways of cooking and consuming these foods to see what you like and what you don’t. For example, you might not like raw vegetables very much, but cooked vegetables may very well become your favorite food. You never know until you try.
Consuming alkaline foods can be part of a healthy diet for anyone. There are plenty of benefits to eating this way, and you just might feel better with the change in what you are eating.