Raising pH increases the immune system's ability to kill bacteria, concludes a study conducted at The Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine in London. Viruses and bacteria that cause bronchitis and colds thrive in an acidic environment. To fight a respiratory infection and dampen symptoms such as a runny nose and sore throat, Lark suggests taking an alkalizing mixture of sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate. (See "Quick-Fix Home Remedy," above.)
Alkalines protect you against osteoporosis. When the body becomes overly acid, it releases buffering minerals into the bloodstream, such as calcium taken from bones. In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers gave post-menopausal women alkalizing potassium bicarbonate and found that the subjects' mineral loss from bone declined and that the rate of bone formation increased.
Adopting a more alkaline vegetarian diet can improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, according to studies cited in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, and it may help treat gout and Crohn's disease. Also, alkalizing lowers the risk of kidney stones by making uric acid more soluble.
pH Power Foods Guide
Once you know which foods tend to be acidic or alkaline, you can make smarter choices whether you're dining in or out.
|More Acidic||More Alkaline|
|Vegetables||cucumber, eggplant, string beans, sauerkraut||mushrooms, cauliflower, corn, broccoli, peas, onions, sweet potatoes, squash, asparagus, carrots, spinach, sweet peppers|
|Fruits||pineapple, quince, kiwi, kumquat, citrus, berries, apples, apricots||melon, papaya, avocado, dates, figs, persimmons|
|Grains||white flour||whole grains, buckwheat, hominy, millet|
|Legumes||baked beans in a sweet sauce or tomato sauce||soybeans, lima beans|
|Dairy Foods||yogurt||most cheeses, milk, butter|
|Animal Products||dry sausage, beef, pork||seafood, eggs, duck|
|Sweeteners||white sugar||maple syrup, brown rice syrup, honey|
|Condiments||vinegar, mayonnaise, pickles||Dutch processed chocolate, garlic, hot peppers|
|Beverages||colas, wines, juices such as citrus, apple, and tomato||mineral water, tea, beer|
|Chinese||sweet and sour soup, deep-fried pork in sweet sauce||egg drop soup, stir-fried vegetables with tofu|
|Italian||green salad with vinaigrette dressing, pasta bolognese||prosciutto and melon, linguine with clam sauce|
|Mexican||ceviche, carne asada with refried beans||guacamole, chicken mole with stewed beans|