Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet, rich in alkaline minerals and devoid of acid-forming foods, is implemented on a short-term basis, typically lasting 10 to 14 days, and is both light and nutrient-rich, supporting detoxification and relieving the organs. Conversely, the alkaline surplus diet constitutes a permanent nutritional approach, and the precise distinction will be elucidated in this article.

The alkaline diet involves consuming 100 percent alkaline foods, and avoiding acid-forming foods altogether. This dietary choice helps prevent hyperacidity, a culprit in numerous chronic ailments and signs of aging, while also aiding in reducing existing hyperacidity. This equilibrium in the acid-alkaline balance enhances overall well-being and contributes to maintaining a healthy body weight ( 2 ).

Alkaline diet and alkaline excess diet: the difference

The alkaline diet, comprising solely alkaline foods, is ideal for accompanying purification, detoxification, colon cleanses, heavy metal elimination, weight loss programs, or deacidification initiatives. Typically practiced temporarily, such as for 10 to 14 days, it aims to cleanse and purify the organism.

Transitioning to the alkaline excess diet becomes crucial after the initial alkaline diet phase. In the alkaline excess diet, approximately 70 to 80 percent of the diet comprises alkaline foods, with the remaining 20 to 30 percent being healthy acid-forming foods. This ratio is based on the volume of food on the plate rather than caloric content.

Alkaline diet: the advantage

The plant-based alkaline excess diet stands out as a sustainable dietary choice. It incorporates foods with high nutrient and micronutrient density, such as nuts, pseudo-cereals, legumes, and whole grains. This inclusion enhances the diet’s healthfulness and long-term viability.

Healthy acid-forming foods

In the alkaline diet, you also eat acid-forming foods, but only healthy acid-forming foods. Just as there are unhealthy alkaline foods, there are not only unhealthy foods but also healthy or good acid-forming foods.

Good acidifiers

Good acidifiers include, for example:

  • Nuts
  • Pulses
  • High-quality cocoa powder, preferably raw food quality
  • Millet
  • Pseudocereals (quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat)
  • Organic cereals e.g. spelt, kamut or barley in small quantities – ideally as sprouted bread or in sprout form (if there are no intolerances or health complaints)
  • In manageable quantities, high-quality animal products from organic farming, e.g. organic eggs or fish from organic aquaculture
  • High-quality organic tofu

Poor acidifiers

Poor, i.e. unhealthy, acid-forming foods include all highly processed products of the food industry, such as:

  • Ready-to-eat products of all kinds (including many ready-to-drink drinks)
  • Dairy products (except butter, ghee and cream ( organic quality ), which are classified neutrally)
  • Highly processed soy products (especially textured soy protein, abbreviated as TVP, which is offered in dried form as a basis for minced meat substitutes, goulash substitutes, etc.)
  • Cereal products made from extract flours (baked goods and pasta such as cakes, pastries, sweet pastries, pasta, etc., some breakfast cereals such as cornflakes, ready-to-eat muesli, crispies, crunchies, etc.)
  • Products made from gluten ( seitan ), e.g. vegetarian sausages, cold cuts, Bolognese or similar.
  • All products containing sugar
  • Products containing alcohol and caffeine
  • Products from conventional animal husbandry

The good acid-forming foods can be used very well in the alkaline excess diet, and they should even be consumed. The bad acid-forming foods should be avoided.

The alkaline diet and the pH value

Acidic and acid-forming foods do not necessarily have a low pH value – and alkaline foods are by no means automatically blessed with a high pH value. It is much more likely that the metabolism of acid-forming foods produces acids that burden the organism and can lead to an imbalance in the acid-alkaline balance.

However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, namely their richness in vital substances and fibre and their naturalness. The body can compensate well for the acids that are produced during their metabolism ( 1 ).

How the alkaline diet regulates the acid-alkaline balance

The alkaline diet contributes very well to the regulation of the acid-alkaline balance. A healthy acid-alkaline balance is characterized by the fact that the correct and healthy pH value is available in every area of the body.

The pH value indicates how alkaline or how acidic something is. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with all values below 7 being acidic and all values above 7 being basic, 7 being neutral.

Where in the body is it alkaline, where is it acidic?

However, a healthy acid-alkaline balance does not mean that the body would have pH values above 7 everywhere. On the contrary. There are areas of the body that absolutely must be acidic (e.g. stomach, vagina, parts of the intestine) and areas of the body that must be alkaline (e.g. blood, lymph, saliva, bile, large part of the small intestine). Especially in the blood, the pH value is one of the most strictly regulated parameters.

If the acid-alkaline balance is disturbed, then it may be that areas of the body that should be alkaline are acidic or not quite as alkaline as they should be. Other parts of the body that should be acidic may not be acidic enough or even alkaline.

With an alkaline diet, the entire body is not put into an alkaline state, which would be just as unhealthy as an over-acidified body. Instead, the alkaline diet deacidifies the connective tissue, lymph, small intestine and all other organs and areas of the body that need an alkaline pH.

At the same time, the alkaline diet ensures that stomach acid production in the stomach levels off (not too weak and not too strong) and that the beneficial bacteria that provide the necessary acidic environment can settle again in the large intestine and vagina.

Why there are so many different acid-alkaline tables

There are many acid-alkaline tables on the Internet or in the literature – and they all differ more or less from each other.

We recommend an alkaline diet that is not only alkaline, but also healthy. This sounds confusing, as it is commonly believed that alkaline is synonymous with healthy. But that’s not always the case.

Acid-alkaline tables based on the PRAL value

If you take a look at some of the acid-alkaline tables (which are based on the PRAL value, for example), you will see that the alkaline foods include wine, nut nougat spread, jam, beer and ice cream.

Excellent, you might think, these are all things I like. But unfortunately, if you now put together your diet from these “alkaline” foods, you will wait in vain for well-being and recovery.

Why is that? When the alkaline potential of a food is examined, it is burned and then it is examined how alkaline or acidic the remaining ash is. The combustion process here is supposed to imitate digestion in the body.

In addition, you look at how high the content of acid-forming amino acids is in the respective food. However, in our view, these two aspects are not sufficient to determine the actual alkaline and health potential of a food.

The Criteria for Healthy Alkaline Foods

In order to be able to recognize foods that are actually alkaline and healthy, we have put together 8 criteria. If foods meet all these 8 criteria, they are – in our view – healthy alkaline foods ( 3 ).

In other words, they have an alkaline effect on eight levels – and not just on two levels, like the foods from the conventional PRAL tables.

Alkaline foods have an alkaline effect on 8 levels

Alkaline foods have an alkaline effect on at least 8 levels:

1. Alkaline foods are highly alkaline: Alkaline foods have a high content of alkaline minerals and trace elements (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron).

2. Alkaline foods are low in acid-forming amino acids (methionine and cysteine). If there is an excess of these acidic amino acids – e.g. if you eat too much meat, fish, eggs, but also too many Brazil nuts, too much sesame or too much soy – they are broken down and sulfuric acid is formed.

3. Alkaline foods stimulate the body’s own alkaline formation: Alkaline foods provide substances (e.g. bitter substances) that stimulate the body’s own formation of bases in the organism.

4. Alkaline foods do not turn into waste products: Alkaline foods do not leave behind acidic metabolic residues (waste products) during their metabolism.

5. Alkaline foods also contain certain substances (e.g. antioxidants, vitamins, phytochemicals, chlorophyll, etc.) that vitalize the body, strengthen its detoxification organs, relieve its elimination organs and support the immune system. In this way, alkaline foods enable the body to better neutralize and eliminate excess acids, toxins and waste products on its own, which prevents hyperacidity or reduces existing hyperacidity.

6. Alkaline foods have a high water content so that the body always has enough fluids (even if you drink too little) to be able to quickly excrete acids or other waste products via the kidneys.

7. Alkaline foods have an anti-inflammatory effect – due to their high content of vital substances and antioxidants as well as the right fatty acids. Chronic latent inflammatory processes are often at the beginning of many chronic diseases of civilization (from rheumatism and arteriosclerosis to diabetes and autoimmune diseases) and initially go completely unnoticed. Inflammatory processes, however, lead to endogenous acid formation (which takes place in the body) and thus intensify hyperacidity. Alkaline foods alleviate or prevent hyperacidity, i.e. also by inhibiting risky inflammatory processes.

8. Foods that are alkaline stabilize the good bacteria in the stomach and improve intestinal health. Better and faster acid excretion, more thorough and healthy digestion, and a reduction in the initial production of waste products are all associated with a healthier gut.

Acid-forming foods

Just as healthy alkaline foods have to meet 8 criteria in order to actually be considered healthy and alkaline, bad acid-forming foods can be recognized by the fact that the opposite of these criteria applies to them:

Acid-forming foods have an acidic effect on 8 levels

Bad acid-forming foods have an acidic effect on at least 8 levels:

1. Acid-forming foods are rich in acidic minerals: Acid-forming foods contain plenty of acidic minerals and trace elements (e.g. phosphorus, sulfur, iodine, chlorine, fluoride).

2. Acid-forming foods are rich in acid-forming amino acids (methionine and cysteine), so that their excessive consumption leads to the formation of sulphuric acid (see also under 2. for alkaline foods).

3. Acid-forming foods cannot stimulate the body’s own alkaline formation: Acid-forming foods are extremely poor in those substances (e.g. bitter substances) that would stimulate the body’s own formation of bases in the organism and that could contribute to deacidification.

4. Acid-forming foods lead to the formation of waste products: Acid-forming foods contain so many harmful and acid-forming ingredients that enormous amounts of acidic metabolic residues (waste products) are produced during their metabolism. Acid-forming ingredients include alcohol, caffeine, sugar and synthetic food additives (preservatives, dyes, etc.).

5. Acid-forming foods prevent the body’s own deacidification processes: Acid-forming foods contain no or significantly fewer substances (e.g. antioxidants, vitamins, secondary plant substances, chlorophyll, etc.) that would motivate the body to deacidify on its own.

6. Acid-forming foods often have a very low water content, so that the body – especially if too little water is drunk at the same time – hardly has enough capacity to quickly excrete acids or other waste products via the kidneys. Some of the waste products therefore remain in the body and contribute to the growing hyperacidity.

7. Acid-forming foods promote the development of smoldering (unnoticed) inflammation in the body, e.g. due to their high content of pro-inflammatory fatty acids, but also because they are low in anti-inflammatory substances. However, where there is inflammation, acids are produced more frequently.

8. Acid-forming foods worsen gut health and damage the intestinal flora. However, the sicker the intestine is, the worse and slower it is for acids to be excreted, the more incomplete digestion is and the more waste products are produced. In addition, those bacteria that predominate in a damaged intestinal flora produce toxins that also contribute to acidification and waste production.

The good acid-forming foods meet only a few of the above criteria (low water content, rich in acid-forming amino acids) and are therefore not among the foods that should be avoided.

The alkaline diet – How do I get started?

You will also find many recipes for the alkaline excess diet in our library.

  • Staple foods will be vegetables of all kinds in all forms of preparation, as well as colorful salads.
  • Potatoes and chestnuts are great alkaline side dishes.
  • Try green smoothies!
  • Sprouts complement salads, vegetable and potato dishes.
  • For side dishes, choose quinoa, buckwheat or millet.
  • If you want pasta or rice, choose the wholemeal variants or gluten-free pasta made from corn, millet or buckwheat or pasta made from legumes from time to time.
  • Nuts and seeds (flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.) can be used to make delicious patties that ensure that you eat less meat, fish and sausages.
  • If you still eat animal products, buy meat, fish and eggs exclusively from organic farming!
  • Eat fruit instead of sugary snacks – often a date is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  • If you’re craving sweets, make your own sweets and chocolate: Make your own healthy chocolate
  • Nuts and seeds can even be used to make milk-like drinks, nut cheeses, sour creams and yoghurt. In this way, you can slowly reduce the acid- and mucus-forming dairy products.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice or naturally cloudy apple cider vinegar replace the usual wine vinegars.
  • If you like to eat yoghurt dressing, then use soy or coconut yoghurt or white almond butter instead of cow’s milk yoghurt in the future, or prepare a guacamole made from avocados as a dressing.
  • Choose only healthy oils and fats: olive oil for salads and for light steaming, coconut oil and organic frying oil for frying and deep-frying, linseed oil and hemp oil for raw vegetables and high-quality organic butter, raw milk butter, almond butter on bread or try olive butter, it’s very simple: salt the olive oil to taste, pour it into a small bowl and put it in the freezer for an hour, then take it out and use immediately.
  • It is best to drink mineral water or filtered tap water. It is better to drink juices only in small quantities and if so, then squeeze them yourself. Alcoholic beverages are taboo.
  • Herbal teas or occasionally green tea replace coffee and black tea.
Alkaline Diet

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