Indian Alkaline Foods

The Alkaline Diet, also known as the ‘Alkaline Ash Diet’, is endorsed by health practitioners and celebrities across the globe. Going back to our old chemistry lessons, one would know the difference between an acid and an alkali. Acids have a pH of less than 7.0 whereas alkalis have a pH greater than 7.0. Acids are tart in taste, corrosive and damaging in nature whereas alkalis are mainly beneficial to the bodies because of their acid-neutralizing effects.

Normal digestion calls for a secretion of stomach acids, but an acidic dump resultant from an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, may disarray the pH balance of the stomach. Foods that leave behind acidic residues after digestion (also known as acid ash), is the main reason for many digestive and lifestyle ailments. One must understand that the acidic or alkaline nature of the diet has nothing to do with the original pH of the food.



Ingredients like meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, certain whole grains and cereals, refined sugar and processed food items made from any of these ingredients, possess acidic properties. A balance of alkalizing ingredients is therefore essential. Fresh fruits, vegetables, roots, legumes, nuts are all considered alkaline and must be included in the alkaline diet.

Here is a list of some potent alkaline ingredients: 

Fresh Fruits
It is assumed that citrus fruits are acidic in nature and therefore may contribute to the acidic waste in the body. However, the antioxidants in the citrus fruits help in relieving acidity and inflammation. Lemons, sweet limes, oranges and grapefruit are some of the best sources of alkaline foods. 



Seasonal fruits like melons, papayas, mangoes, figs, raisins, dates, grapes, banana, pineapples, peaches are a few of the most alkaline fruits that one can choose from. 

Green vegetables and Root vegetables
All green leafy vegetables have an alkalizing effect on the body. Spinach, fenugreek green, mustard greens, lettuce, are high alkaline leafy vegetables that must be included in the diet. Herbs like coriander, parsley, celery are included in the list of alkaline foods too. 



Fresh vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, okra, green beans, contain several phytochemicals that are beneficial for the body. Onions and garlic are high alkaline vegetables. Roots vegetables like carrots, beets, lotus stem and sweet potato are good sources of alkali. 

The trick to preserve the freshness of the greens and their nutrient content is to avoid overcooking vegetables. Overcooking will destroy the natural goodness, flavor and nutrients. Use fresh herbs for seasoning to preserve the natural flavors. It would be best to consume a glass of raw, fresh, green vegetable juice daily.

Nuts
Nuts, besides being a good source of heart friendly fat, have an alkalizing effect on the diet. Good source of energy whilst snacking.


Almonds and chestnuts (singhada) must be included as a part of the alkaline diet. However, peanuts can be avoided due to their acidic residue post digestion. 

Sprouts
Generally, all cereals, grains, legumes are acidic, unless they are sprouted. The process of sprouting renders the food alkaline. Sprouts are rich in enzymes and vitamins, which make digestion easier.  


This is probably a reason why wheat produces acid in the body but wheat-grass has a brilliant alkalizing effect. Sprouts, combined with fresh greens or citrus fruits make an alkaline-delight for the body. 

Cereals
Most cereals like wheat, refined wheat flour, corn, rice, etc. are classified under the acid-producing ingredients. However, a handful of cereals like millets, amaranth and quinoa fall under the category of alkaline foods. Processed cereals and grains are highly acidic in nature. 



Now that you are aware of the alkaline foods in the Indian diet, why not try to add a few of them in your daily eating regime and harness the benefits of the Alkaline diet.

Words by:
Rashida Vapiwala
Nutritionist and Food consultant
rashidavapiwala@yahoo.com
LinkedIn – Rashida Vapiwala

Comments

  1. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.

    Your website provided us with valuable info to
    work on. You've done a formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts