Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising on a regular basis is essential to good health. Some people also encourage adding more alkaline foods to the diet with the goal of decreasing acid content in the body. However, despite its proponents, the alkaline diet does not have sufficient research or evidence to back up its claims of altering the body's pH. Barring a serious medical condition, most systems are capable of maintaining the pH level the body needs to maintain health. That being said, the foods encouraged on an alkaline diet do offer many other benefits.
Cucumbers are a high-alkaline vegetable that helps regulate blood pressure and play a role in the structure of connective tissue within the body, including the muscles. Cucumbers are also a mild diuretic and can ease bloating or swelling. They have antioxidant qualities and are also high in B vitamins.
Seeded watermelon is high in fiber and water, making it a good diuretic. Incorporating seeded watermelon into the diet not only increases fiber intake but also, promotes vitamin C and beta-carotene and contains plenty of arginine, magnesium, and potassium, which helps reduce blood pressure.
This creamy fruit contains antioxidants that do wonders for the skin. Essential antioxidants make avocados a powerful, nutrient-dense food. They are also high in monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce cardiovascular disease and balance blood sugar, and they offer plenty of potassium, which reduces blood pressure.
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Proponents note that cayenne pepper is one of the most alkalizing foods, filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. The hot seasoning can aid in digestion and metabolic function and has mood-boosting properties thanks to its ability to increase endorphins in the body.
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Bell peppers can enhance almost any meal raw, grilled, or roasted. The veggie is packed with antioxidants that decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and inflammation, and is rich in vitamins C, A, and E and fiber. Some people have adverse reactions to peppers due to the lectins in the skin and seeds, but peeling and removing the seeds help to remove some of the inflammatory proteins.
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Spinach is easy to find and easier to use. This alkaline leafy green is high in vitamins K, A, C, as well as iron, potassium, and magnesium. Spinach is also rich in chlorophyll, which can decrease inflammation and increase the quality of red blood cells. Adding spinach to meals can ensure the delivery of many essential minerals.
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Kale has a wealth of benefits including those now-familiar essential antioxidants, which can improve the digestive system and many others. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods and is high in vitamins A and C. It's also one of the best sources of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting. As such, however, it is not recommended for people taking blood thinners.
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Bananas act as a natural antacid, producing mucus that coats the lining of the stomach. This versatile fruit is rich in calcium and can help balance blood sugar. Eating a banana before bed may improve sleep because they contain the amino acid tryptophan. They also aid in relaxation thanks to the muscle-relaxing qualities of potassium and magnesium.
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Broccoli is an all-around healthy vegetable that helps inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, supports the digestive system, and improves detoxification processes in the body. Like many healthy vegetables, it contains antioxidants that can help decrease inflammation.
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Celery has extremely high water content and lots of vitamin C, which supports the immune system, reduces inflammation, and improves cardiovascular health. Potassium and sodium also help rid the body of excess fluids. Celery is also very high in fiber, which can reduce constipation and aid weight loss.
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Sea vegetables are a bounty of alkalizing foods full of micronutrients known for remarkable health benefits. Their multiple varieties carry different nutritional profiles, but each type contains high levels of the trace element iodine. Sea vegetables also yield a generous harvest of essential amino acids and antioxidants such as phenols and tannins. Despite their salty flavor, kelp, dulse, kombu, and other edible sea plants are rather low in sodium and calories.
Almonds are more alkaline than other nuts such as walnuts, pecans, and cashews, according to the proponents of the alkaline diet. Almonds also contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids that can help protect the heart. They are rich in protein, antioxidant vitamin E, and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese. Clinical studies show that almond phytonutrients can reduce insulin resistance and systemic inflammation. The nut's biocompounds also help improve the blood lipid profile. The nut's high fiber content contributes to feelings of satiety, making them a tasty, nutrient-dense snack option for controlling the appetite and managing weight when consumed in small quantities.
Aromatic basil can enhance the flavor and alkalinity of many dishes. Ayurvedic and other traditional medicine practices include this long-revered herb to relieve a host of gastrointestinal and kidney ailments. Eugenol and other biocompounds are thought to help reduce blood glucose levels, fight inflammation, boost immunity, and treat mood and cognitive conditions, as well.
Root vegetables can make hearty, alkalizing additions to the diet. Radishes and beets carry an abundance of nitrates that increase nitric oxide, a molecule integral to many cardiovascular functions. Carrots provide more than 300% of the recommended daily requirement of beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that helps protect vision, enhance skin, and fight cancer-causing compounds. Root vegetables supply plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber, which can boost the health of gut microbiota.
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Citrus fruits are high in citric and ascorbic acids. Although they are acidic, these fruits generate alkaline by-products and the proponents of the alkaline diet suggest that citric fruits are alkaline. Lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruits, and tangerines are rich sources of vitamin C and supply generous amounts of vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and folate. These foods also contain flavonoids that may help fight neurodegenerative conditions, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and cancer. Studies show that people who regularly drink 100% citrus juice (unsweetened and all-natural) have more favorable body measurement parameters than those who do not. However, citric acid can erode the teeth. Dentists recommend consuming citrus fruits and beverages along with other low-acid foods and using a straw for beverages.
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