A recent joint injury made me suddenly aware of the vagaries of bones and bodies, especially as we age. After the initial shock of “how could this happen to me?” I decided to research joint health, bone health and diet. What I read reminded me that over the past years my information has consistently pointed to a healthy balance of acid and alkaline foods in the diet for optimum bone health and immune system function. (I have to admit to succumbing to all my favorite foods at times, you know: cheese, cookies, chocolate, coffee, popcorn with lots of butter, pizza, ice cream…you get the idea. And I can pretty much connect my long lapses with some kind of health issue.)
For starters, I’ve read that a healthy body and immune system should have an 80/20 balance of alkaline to acid foods in the diet. If one were to go deeper, Indian Ayurveda philosophy, based on body type, winnows those foods down to the ones most beneficial for each body type. Putting the two together may be good if you want to take the time to experiment with finding out who you are physically, what you actually require for good health, and can take the time to work on changing your diet in this way. If you want to ‘go there’, a good book is A Life in Balance, by Maya Tiwari, which explains the Indian philosophy of body types and the foods that support them, along with recipes for each type. This may or may not appeal to many caucasians, but it was interesting to see, in my case, the correlation between the foods for my type, and the subsequent balance of acid and alkaline. You’ll find of course, that fruits and vegetables are heavily in the 80% category. However some are not entirely alkaline, and this is where balance comes in.
To just start simply, you can read the discussion below, from www.TheAlkalineCafe.com and arm yourself with the foods that are beneficial for you:
“The following lists go over the acid or alkaline values of the foods we eat. The accurate way to measure the alkalinity of food is how the food changes the pH value of the tissues of the body. Once food is digested, an “ash” is formed. The pH of this ash is different from the pH value of the actual food itself. Lemons for example are very acidic by themselves however when digested they have an alkaline effect in the body! (I drink a glass of lemon water every morning before I eat. ed)
A simple way to begin this alkaline lifestyle program is to begin by looking over the lists below and start by increasing the amount of alkaline foods that get onto your plate and reducing the amount of acidic foods that you consume. And most important, have fun! There are so many creative ways to prepare great tasting alkaline meals. for recipes and ideas visit this link: www.TheAlkalineCafe.com
Highly Alkalizing Foods
Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Avocado, baking soda, beet greens, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cabbage lettuce, carrots, cauliflower, celery, celery root, chard, chicory, chives, cilantro,collards, comfrey, cucumbers, dandelion greens, eggplant, endive, fennel, garlic, ginger, wheat grass and its juice, barley grass, kamut grass, green beans, jicama, kohlrabi, leeks, lemon, lettuce, lima beans, lime, lotus root, mustard greens, onions, parsley, peas, peppers, pumpkin, radishes, rhubarb, rutabaga, sea salt, sea vegetables, seaweed, sorrel, soy lecithin, soy beans, soy nuts, spinach, sprouted beans-grains-seeds in all varieties, squash, sweet potatoes, taro root, tomatoes, tomatillos, turnips, wasabi, watercress, zucchini.
Moderately Alkalizing Foods
Raw Almonds, borage oil, brazil nuts, buckwheat groats, burdock root, caraway seeds, chia seeds, cumin seeds, dasheen, fennel seeds flax seed oil, flax seeds, hazelnuts, herbs, millet, nigella seeds, parsnip, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, radishes, sesame seeds, soy flour, stevia, sunflower seeds, tofu.
Low Alkalizing Foods
Amaranth, black-eyed peas, Bragg liquid aminos™, apples, apricots, bananas, black currants, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cold pressed oils, currants, dates, evening primrose oil, figs, flax seed oil, gooseberries, grapes, grapefruit, kiwi, mandarin oranges, mangos, marine lipids, nectarines, olive oil, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, pomegranates, raspberries, red currants, rose hips, strawberries, tangerines, ugli fruit, watermelon. (Note: High sugar fruits (as in watermelon…my note)are acidic in an imbalanced body and are best in season and for cleansing purposes in moderation. Fruit juice is not recommended) fava beans, head lettuce, kamut, miso, pecans, quinoa, rice (brown and basmati), spelt, spices, string beans, sunflower oil, teff, vegetable broth, vegetables cooked, walnuts, wax beans, wild rice.
Fresh coconut meat and water, ghee, xylitol
Low Acidic Foods
Agave nectar, brown rice syrup, fresh water fish, dried fruit, honey raw, lentils, olives, rye bread, sprouted-grain bread and meal, whole grain bread and meal.
Moderately Acid Foods
Barley, beans, carob, cashews, cranberries, fructose, granola, legumes, pistachios, turbinado sugar, vanilla, wheat, stored potatoes, soy sauce, tamari, tapioca,
Highly Acidic Foods
Bacon, barley malt sweetener, biscuits, butter, bread-white bread, chicken, cheese, eggs, cakes, corn, corn meal, crab, lobster, mushrooms, organic cheese, oatmeal, oats, ocean fish, pasta, pastries, pork, rice, sausages, shrimp, turkey, veal, Alcohol of all kinds, artificial sweeteners, candy, cheese, cocoa, coffee and black tea, cottonseed oil, refined oils, both raw milk and cow’s milk that has been homogenized and pasteurized, fried foods of all kinds, game birds, hydrogenated oil, ice cream, jam, jelly, hops, malt, margarine, milk chocolate, MSG, processed foods, pudding, refined sugar, white sugar, table salt (NaCl), vinegar of all kinds, yeast, soft drinks, candy, processed foods of all kinds.
Note: Many sites include or exclude certain foods from these categories. If you have a concern about something less common on food charts, like cocoa nibs or goji berries, etc., these answers are pretty much ubiquitous online.
There is a book called The Ultimate Ph Solution, by Michelle Schoffre Coo, DNM, DAc. co/2008. You can probably still get it new or used online.
Women who are just concerned about mineral (calcium etc.) balances in the body, and eat a more mainstream diet can get The Bone Density Program by George Kessler, D.O., P.C.
The following site is a prescription for cleansing. I notice that some things are not included in the list…like apples..? http://www.alkalizingdiva.com/acid-alkaline-food-chart/
Alas, some sites say that chocolate is verboten. But raw cacao nibs (available at the Co-op) are extremely beneficial for your health. Here’s a site to look at…kinda fun: https://www.rawguru.com/view-by-tag/raw+cacao/
Here is the David Wolfe Youtube presentation of super foods on GaiamTv.com if you want a different take on what you put in your body: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jw1-c6EMytk