Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

A Brief Post on Alkaline Foods

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, October 1, 2012

Today we have another guest blog post. This article was submitted to us from an author named Christina Sanders. I’ve not been able to find much info about her, but the article was pretty well written. In my search, it looks like Ms. Sanders is most likely a student at BYU who likes food, boutique fashion, and obviously writing. Anyway, hope you enjoy!

Some of you who follow health trends or diets may have heard of balancing the pH levels in your body by eating certain foods to improve health or energy. So what does this mean exactly? And is there any evidence that these foods improve health? This post explores both of these topics.

What is pH and how does it affect your health?

pH refers to the alkaline-acid balance in our bodies. When the pH levels in the body become unbalanced, either by becoming too acidic or too alkaline, the body removes the acidic tissue through its regulatory systems: respiration, excretion, digestion and cellular metabolism. If the alkaline-acid balance deviates too much, cells in the body can be poisoned by their own toxic waste and die. The body does not tolerate extended pH imbalances, so those with a pH imbalance tend to have less energy and may even get sick.

Though the topic is still debated, many believe that the foods we eat affect the pH balance in our bodies. Some diets, like the alkaline diet (www.proalkaline.com), encourage eating high alkaline foods 80 percent of the time and acidic foods no more than 20 percent of the time. Whether you’re interested in following a strict dieting plan or not, certain high-alkaline foods have been shown to have health benefits.

Foods to Try

The following foods are considered alkaline, meaning they increase the alkaline to acid ratio in your body. They also have proven health benefits.


According to an article for the scientific journal, Metabolism, almonds can reduce cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The study also found eating almonds may help type 2 diabetics by reducing the glycemic impact of carbohydrates to the body. On top of those benefits, almonds contain high amounts of protein without being acidic like many meats and dairy products.

Flax Seed Oil

While flax seed oil sounds like a strange health food, especially since many of us try to reduce our oil intake, flaxseed oil actually provides similar benefits to fish oil. Produced from the seeds of the flax plant, it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent chronic illnesses, such as arthritis. According to an article from the University of Maryland Medical Center, flaxseed may be helpful in treating or preventing high cholesterol, heart disease and cancer.

Alfalfa Grass

Grass?….Gross! Don’t let the name be a turnoff for you. Alfalfa is a plant that originated in Asia, and you may have actually seen it before in the form of sprouts in your salad or sandwich. High in vitamins, as well as calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc, Alfalfa has anti-inflammatory properties, may help treat auto-immune disorders and protect against radiation damage.

A little about me:

Christina Sanders writes for several blogs and loves sharing information she has researched to help others live happy, healthy lives. As someone with two chronic illnesses, she strives to learn all she can to understand the body and stay healthy.

From Dr. Gray: As many of you have read from me before, I’m not totally sold on the idea of an “alkaline diet.” If all it took to make everything healthy were to increase the alkalinity of the food we were taking in, then all we would have to do is add a teaspoon of baking soda to our plates. Obviously, that is ridiculous. As usual, I will retain an open mind and will continue to read and research these interesting topics that our readers bring up. For now, know that it is balance and nutritional content that matters most in our diet.

Think of the Three Little Pigs… each spoonful of food you place in your mouth is either straw, wood, or bricks. With what do you want to build your home (your body)? Also, if you choose “bricks,” then keep in mind that bricks must include mortar, a good foundation, and careful application. We must choose those foods that supply our bodies’ the nutritional building blocks it needs to build a strong, long-lasting structure. The building blocks we choose also determine the supporting items that are necessary.

Anyway, thanks to Ms. Sanders for her post. We look forward to reading more from her in the future.

-Dr. Gray


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