Acidic vs. Alkaline Foods and Why it’s Important

by Nanci

Why Acid/Alkaline Balance Is Important*

* Info taken from a report by Andrea Langer and this awesome website (source of the chart below too):

Our bodies are about 80% alkaline and 20% acidic.  That’s a good reason to consume approximately 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidic foods.  (I’ve also heard the ratio of 60% alkaline to 40% acidic for maintenance whereas 80/20 can be for restoring health).


The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral.  Below 7 is acid and above 7 is alkaline.


It might seem like eating something at a pH of 6 isn’t that much different than eating something at a pH of 7, but pH is an exponential scale: every unit of change in pH equals a 10-fold increase. So the acidity of a food with a pH of 6 is ten times more acidic than that of a food with a pH of 7.  A difference of 2 units (from 7 to 5) would mean that the acidity is 100 times greater.  That means that Coca-Cola with pH 2 is 100,000 times more acidic than water (neutral pH of 7).  Coffee with pH 4 is 1,000 times more acidic than water.


Human blood pH should be slightly alkaline ( 7.35 – 7.45 )

Healthy pH range for saliva (easy to home test with strips) is between 6.4 to 6.8.


Below or above this range means symptoms and disease…

An acidic balance will:  decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease the energy production in the cells, decrease it’s ability to repair damaged cells, decrease it’s ability to detoxify heavy metals, make tumor cells thrive, and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness.

For example, cancerous tissues are acidic, whereas healthy tissues are alkaline.  At a pH slightly above 7.4 cancer cells become dormant and at pH 8.5 cancer cells will die while healthy cells will live.  This has given rise to a variety of treatments based on increasing the alkalinity of the tissues such as a raw vegan diet, juicing and supplementation with alkaline minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, cesium and rubidium.


How did we get so Acidic?

An acidic pH can occur from an acid forming diet, emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients.  The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using up its alkaline minerals.  If the diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, a build up of acids in the cells will occur.

The reason acidosis is more common in our society is mostly due to the typical American diet, which is far too high in acid producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, and far too low in alkaline producing foods like fresh vegetables.  Additionally, we eat acid producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink acid producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks.  We use too many drugs, which are acid forming; and we use artificial chemical sweeteners like NutraSweet, Sweet ‘N Low, Equal, or Aspartame, which are poison and extremely acid forming.  One of the best things we can do to correct an overly acid body is to clean up the diet and lifestyle.


How Do we get more Alkaline?

Eat more alkaline foods like: most fruits, green vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, spices, herbs and seasonings, and seeds and nuts.

Eat fewer acid forming foods like: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, grains, and legumes.

For specific details to fine-tune your acid/alkaline balance … first listen to your body’s wisdom of the appropriate balance for you.  Then, you can use this list of alkaline/acidic foods as a guide:


List of Foods From Most Alkaline ? Down to Most Acidic ?

Extremely Alkaline Forming Foods

pH 9.0

  • Lemons
  • Watermelon

pH 8.5

  • Agar Agar (seaweed substitute for gelatin)
  • Asparagus
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cayenne
  • Dried dates & figs
  • Endive
  • Fruit juices (no sugar added)
  • Grapes (sweet)
  • Grapes seedless (sweet)
  • Karengo
  • Kelp
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Kudzu root
  • Limes
  • Mango
  • Melons
  • Papaya
  • Parsley
  • Passion fruit
  • Pears (sweet)
  • Pineapple
  • Raisins
  • Seaweeds
  • Umeboshi plum
  • Vegetable juices (varies by veggie)
  • Watercress

Moderate Alkaline

pH 8.0

  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Apples (sweet)
  • Apricots
  • Arrowroot Flour
  • Avocados
  • Bananas (ripe)
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Currants
  • Dates & figs (fresh)
  • Garlic (add to acidic food to make it more alkaline)
  • Gooseberry (Inca Berry)
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes (less sweet)
  • Guavas
  • Herbs (leafy green)
  • Herbal Teas
  • Lettuce (leafy green)
  • Nectarine
  • Peaches (sweet)
  • Pears (less sweet)
  • Peas (fresh sweet)
  • Persimmon
  • Pumpkin (sweet)
  • Spinach
  • Squash (sweet like Butternut)

pH 7.5

  • Apples (sour)
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Beans (fresh green)
  • Beets
  • Bell Pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carob
  • Cauli
  • Daikon
  • Ginger (fresh)
  • Grapes (sour)
  • Green Tea
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce (pale green like iceberg)
  • Oranges
  • Parsnip
  • Peaches (less sweet)
  • Peas (less sweet)
  • Potatoes & skin
  • Pumpkin (less sweet)
  • Raspberry
  • Sapote
  • Squash (less sweet like Winter)
  • Strawberry
  • Sweet corn (fresh)
  • Tamari (fermented)
  • Turnip
  • Vinegar (apple cider) (increases HCL acid in stomach – great to take 1 Tbsp before meals)


Neutral to Slightly Alkaline

pH 7.0

  • Almonds
  • Amaranth
  • Artichoke (globe)
  • Artichokes (Jerusalem)
  • Barley-Malt (sweetener-Bronner)
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cherries
  • Chestnuts (dry roasted)
  • Coconut (fresh)
  • Coconut oil
  • Cucumbers
  • Egg yolks (soft cooked)
  • Eggplant
  • Essene bread (Sprouted grains are more alkaline.  Grains chewed well become more alkaline.)
  • Goat’s milk and whey (raw)
  • Honey (raw)
  • Horseradish
  • Leeks
  • Mayonnaise (homemade)
  • Millet
  • Miso
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Olive oil
  • Olives ripe (sundried, tree ripened, otherwise acidic 6.0 pH)
  • Onions
  • Pickles (home made with sea salt and vinegar)
  • Quinoa
  • Radish
  • Rhubarb
  • Sea salt
  • Sesame seeds (whole)
  • Soy beans (dry) (look for non GMO soy and eat in small amounts)
  • Soy cheese  (look for non GMO soy and eat in small amounts)
  • Soy milk  (look for non GMO soy and eat in small amounts)
  • Spices (spices range from pH 7.0-8.0)
  • Sprouted grains
  • Sprouted seeds
  • Stevia sweetener
  • Taro
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu  (look for non GMO soy and eat in small amounts)
  • Tomatoes (less sweet)
  • Tomatoes (sweet)
  • Vinegar (sweet brown rice)
  • Water Chestnut
  • Yeast (nutritional yeast flakes)
  • Yogurt (plain)

Neutral to slightly Acid

pH 7.0

  • Barley
  • Barley malt syrup
  • Blueberries
  • Bran
  • Brazil nuts
  • Butter (fresh unsalted)
  • Butter (salted)
  • Cashews
  • Cereals (unrefined with honey-fruit-maple syrup)
  • Cheeses (mild & crumbly)
  • Cornmeal
  • Crackers (unrefined rye)
  • Cranberries (contain acid-forming benzoic and quinic acids.)
  • Cream (fresh, raw)
  • Dried beans: mung, adzuki, pinto, kidney, garbanzo (when sprouted pH is 7.0)
  • Dry coconut
  • Egg whites
  • Fructose
  • Goat milk (homogenized)
  • Honey (pasteurized)
  • Lentils
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Maple syrup (unprocessed)
  • Margarine
  • Milk (homogenized) and most processed dairy products
  • Milk (raw cow’s milk)
  • Molasses (unsulphered organic)
  • Mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • Oils (except olive oil)
  • Olives (pickled)
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Plums (leaves an alkaline ash, but acidifies the body)
  • Popcorn & butter (no iodized salt)
  • Prunes (leaves an alkaline ash, but acidifies the body)
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Rice or wheat crackers (unrefined)
  • Rye (grain)
  • Rye bread (organic sprouted)
  • Spelt
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Vinegar (Balsamic)
  • Walnuts
  • Whey (cow’s)


Moderate Acid

pH 6.5

  • Bananas (green)
  • Buckwheat
  • Cheeses (sharp)
  • Breads of corn & rice (unrefined)
  • Egg whole (cooked hard)
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise (store bought)
  • Oats
  • Pasta (whole grain)
  • Pastry (wholegrain & honey)
  • Peanuts, Peanut butter
  • Potatoes (with no skins)
  • Rice (basmati)
  • Rice (brown)
  • Soy sauce (commercial)
  • Tapioca
  • Wheat bread (sprouted organic)

pH 6.0

  • Cigarette tobacco (roll your own)
  • Cream of Wheat (unrefined)
  • Fish
  • Fruit juices with sugar added
  • Maple syrup (processed)
  • Molasses (sulphured)
  • Pickles (commercial store bought)
  • Breads of corn, oats, rice & rye (refined)
  • Cereals (refined)
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole Wheat foods (unrefined is more alkaline)
  • Wine (high quality red wine)
  • Yogurt (sweetened)

Extremely Acid Forming Foods

pH 5.5

  • Beef
  • Beer (good quality, slow brewed)
  • Brown sugar
  • Carbonated soft drinks & fizzy drinks (these also leach minerals from your body)
  • Chicken
  • Chocolate (cooked or chocolate bars)
  • Cigarettes
  • Coffee (organic, fresh-ground up to pH of 5.5)
  • Custard with white sugar
  • Deer
  • Drugs (prescription and over the counter like aspirin)
  • Flour (white, wheat)
  • Goat
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Lamb
  • Liquor (poorer quality is pH of 5.0)
  • Meat from animals (beef, pork, poultry, wild game, fish, shellfish)
  • Pasta (white)
  • Pastries & cakes from white flour
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Semolina
  • Sugar (white)
  • Table salt refined and iodized
  • Tea black
  • Turkey
  • Wheat bread
  • White rice
  • White vinegar (processed)

pH 5.0 and Less

  • Artificial sweeteners (like NutraSweet, Sweet ‘N Low, Equal or Aspartame)
  • Beer (can be as low as pH 2.5)
  • Coca-Cola (pH of 2.0)
  • Coffee (can be as low as pH 4.0)

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