Everyday Foods With High Alkaline

High alkaline foods are all the rage these days. It’s understandable. Everyone is looking for a new approach to shed pounds, protect against dangerous diseases, and kick-start their energy levels. But what is the alkaline diet, what grocery items pack the most alkaline punch, and which ones should you steer your shopping cart clear of?

Today, we’re going to look at the alkaline-rich food items that unlock the supposed benefits of the alkaline diet! But before that, let’s uncover the fundamentals of the alkaline diet and some reasons why you may want to make the change yourself.

The Alkaline Diet

Some call it the alkaline diet, some call it the alkaline ash diet, while others still call it the acid-alkaline diet. The name may change but the fundamental principle remains the same, eat high alkaline foods to balance your body’s pH and enjoy the countless health benefits that follow.

Knowing how to live that alkaline-rich life is simply a matter of knowing which foods to eat and which ones to avoid. Before we get to that though, let’s look at how it works and the supposed benefits of this popular nutrition plan.

How Does It Work?

This diet isn’t about calorie counting or avoiding carbs. The Alkaline diet’s focus is offsetting the natural acidity of the body with alkaline-rich foods.

The stomach gastric juice maintains a pH balance somewhere between 2.0-3.5, which is already incredibly acidic. Add to that the highly acidic food staples of the modern American diet and you’ve got a recipe for illness and low energy. At least that’s what proponents of the Alkaline diet claim.

Benefit: May Ward off Diseases

You might be wondering, what’s so special about the alkaline diet anyway? Advocates of the high alkaline diet will tell you all about the dangers of high acidity. Most of those claims center around this diet’s positive impact on protecting the body against the disease.

They may tell you that the diet can treat diseases and chronic conditions like cancer and kidney disease. Another benefit commonly associated with a high alkaline diet is a reduced risk of hypertension and stroke.

Other Potential Benefits

It’s not all about risk prevention though, as studies have shown that following a more alkaline diet is associated with higher muscle mass, and improved memory and cognition. A strict adherence may even help you lose weight.

We’ll get into the veracity of these claims at the end but knowing the supposed benefits of this highly restrictive diet is critical in deciding whether these dietary adjustments are right for you.

Now that we have a basic understanding of the alkaline diet, next we’ll take a look at some everyday foods with high alkaline.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Score another one for green leafy vegetables. Loaded with vitamins, fiber, folic acid, and minerals, nutritionists and grandparents agree that increasing your daily intake of kale, celery, cabbage, lettuce, and spinach is always a good thing.

High alkaline seekers are on team green leafy vegetables too! Fresh, frozen, whatever! If you’re looking to up your alkaline intake, don’t skip this grocery aisle.

Cruciferous Vegetables

The cruciferous vegetable grocery list includes cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and radishes. Though all these veggies are resoundingly good for most people, not all cruciferous vegetables offer the same alkalinity level.

Though they do still contain some slight alkalinity, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage tend to sit lower on the list. Whereas broccoli and radishes sit much higher, boasting higher alkalinity than their grocery store neighbors.

Citrus Fruits

It may seem counterintuitive at first glance but increasing your intake of citrus fruits can up the alkalinity in your body too!

Don’t let the acidic flavorings fool you! Lemons, limes, and oranges all offer a surprising alkaline boost. As if we needed another reason to eat more oranges. After all, they’re also loaded with extremely high levels of the immune system-boosting vitamin C.

Root Vegetables

Root vegetables have long been a way to incorporate healthy carbohydrates and balance out your dinner plate. Beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, parsnips, and sweet potatoes aren’t just versatile, they’re also incredibly friendly to the alkaline diet!

While we have you here, we might as well talk about all the other benefits of root vegetables too! They’re high in soluble and insoluble fiber, carotenoids, fat-soluble antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. So how much should you eat? Considering most of us rarely consume 2/3’s of our daily fiber intake, the answer is more. You should eat more of them!


Nuts are a rich source of protein, and healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They’re loaded with fiber too! This is why nuts are a dietary workhorse, and a pantry staple, of the average health-conscious family.

But we’re here to talk about alkalinity, and thankfully nuts are indeed alkaline diet-friendly. More specifically chestnuts and almonds.

Be warned though, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, and Brazil nuts are considered “acid nuts” and should be avoided in a strict alkaline diet.

Foods to Avoid

Coloring your life inside the lines of a high alkaline diet is about eating more high-alkaline foods, but advocates of this nutrition plan also urge their friends to avoid a lengthy list of high-acid foods too.

Sadly, loading up on nuts, green leafy vegetables, and legumes is not enough. You’ll also be asked to avoid dietary staples like dairy, eggs, meat, most grains, as well as canned and pre-packaged snacks. Wait, you didn’t think that adhering to the alkaline diet was going to be easy, did you?

Does It Work?

This is indeed the question that always comes up any time anyone explores the pros and cons of a new diet. The answer to this question is a resounding no. But, also yes?

The science behind body alkalinity leaves most nutritionists/dieticians unsatisfied. Unfortunately, the scientific proof that states increasing your intake of high-alkaline can alter the pH balance of your blood just isn’t there.

Having said that, the food choices required of the alkaline diet are indeed healthy. Throwing out the junk food in favor of green leafy vegetables will always be a good decision.

Should You Try It?

So the question is, should you try it? If your goal is to alter the pH balance in your blood, then this diet isn’t the answer. At least, science hasn’t been able to prove that yet.

However, as we said earlier, tossing your hidden candy stash in the garbage in favor of healthier whole foods is always a good idea. But before you make any major dietary changes, it’s always recommended that you check with your doctor first.

Julie Ching, MS, RDN, CDE

Julie Ching, MS, RDN, CDE

Julie Ching is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Los Angeles. She decided to become a Dietitian after traveling through Europe, South America, and Asia and discovered a passion for food. She now works with people of all ages and varying disease states to improve their health. She is passionate about teaching people about nutrition so they can live their best life while still considering their cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.