99 ways to eat more fruits and vegetables

99 ways to get 9 daily servings of alkalizing vegetables, fruits and spices

There is an ever-growing body of scientific studies showing that the more colorful vegetable, fruits, nuts and seeds you eat, the healthier you are!  Your risks for needless fracture, heart disease, cancer, stroke, autoimmune disease, depression, inflammation, and many other disorders are dramatically reduced for those consuming abundant vegetable foods.

Given this evidence, we recommend aiming for 9 to 13 servings a day of life-supporting vegetables, fruits nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. While tweaking our diet a bit may sound daunting, it is really within our reach. Here are our favorite 99 ways to consume more alkalizing, wholesome vegetable foods — feel free to add your own to the list!

1. Fermented veggies (think sauerkraut or kimchi) are the BEST — not only do you get the veggies but you get additional probiotics, and they last for a LONG time!

2. Prunes are where its at! Two prunes after dinner can curb your sweet tooth or make them into a jam with warming spices.  (And prunes help build bone!)

3. Try baking apples with a dusting of cinnamon as a tasty dessert.

4. Make a trail mix for a snack using dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.

5. Leave the skin on your fruits & vegetables, as they often are the most nutrient-dense portion of the food.

6. Bake your fruits and vegetables into healthy bread alternatives — recipes for zucchini bread and banana bread abound online.

7. Add lemon, lime, cucumbers, or other tasty fruits to seltzer or plain water for additional flavor —and then eat them once they’ve infused into the liquid.

8. Bake kale or other greens into tasty chips for snacking.

9. Try freezing bananas and using a blender/emulsifier to make homemade frozen “milkshake” treats.

10. Start your meal with fruits and vegetables first before you eat things like bread and other carbs—you’ll eat more of the veggies and less of the carbs.

11. Dice a mixture of assorted vegetables into your breakfast omelet.

12. Eat fresh fruit as your dessert instead of unhealthy dessert options.

13. Power up your lunch wrap or sandwich by doubling the amount of veggies to proteins/meats.

14. Steam up enough of your favorite veggies for 2-3 days and keep them in a container in the fridge so that you can grab and go.

15. Set out a bowl of fruit so that during the day as you walk by you might be more likely to grab a piece of fruit.

16. Load up one meal with 5–6 serving of veggies using this veggie Buddha Bowl recipe

17. Try making homemade veggie packed soups and stews. These are great warming foods for the winter and your digestion. Plus they can last all week and are easy to grab when time is limited!

18. Make one night a week a meatless meal. This will encourage you to see what new recipes you can try that are more plant-based!

19. Follow a few plant-based cooking pages on social media like Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. These pages are constantly sharing new recipe ideas that can help you get out of the same old cooking slump!

20. Farmers’ markets are your friend! See if your area has a farmers’ market and make it a point to go there before the grocery store. You will leave with more fruits and vegetables that are a better quality and more nutrient dense!

21. Add a salad to any meal for an instant 2–3 servings of veggies

22. Always add some sort of vegetable to your sandwich, such as dark leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, or slivers of jalapeño pepper for a little kick.

23. Bring pre-cut vegetables to work to snack on throughout the day.

24. Try baking pears with peaches with a pinch of cinnamon for a healthy dessert!

25. Make a cauliflower crust pizza with fresh tomato sauce, basil leaves, and a healthy cheese!

26. Try juicing! Carrot juice is delicious and easy to incorporate into daily life.

27. Spiralizers for thin-slicing veggies are widely available at grocery stores now. These veggies act as a great substitute for pastas and are very filling. So instead of pasta, make “zoodles” out of zucchini and serve with tomato sauce or pesto (and drop in a few mixed veggies for still more servings!)

28. Olive oil counts! 1 Tablespoon of olive oil counts as a serving and also packs additional bone building benefits! Put some in a jar with herbs like garlic, oregano, rosemary, and thyme to add flavor to spiralized veggie pasta.

29. Add blueberries or fruit to your morning yogurt.

30. Blend vegetables and fruit into a smoothie.

31. Using lettuce or greens instead of bread can help alkalize your meal as well get you additional servings of veggies!

32. Warming peppermint, ginger, or spiced teas are great for your bones, and the aromatic qualities aid in the digestion of your food which help with absorption of your vitamins and minerals.

33. Bok choy is a great filler and leafy green it has little flavor so you can add it to almost anything as a way to pump up your serving count

34. Add true pickles as a flavorful snack or addition to any sandwich or wrap.

35. Buy local veggies in season and freeze. Locally sourced organics veggies are the best; however, they have a short window. Buy in bulk and freeze your veggies for use all year long if canning is not an option. Most veggeis freeze well; if you’re not sure whether you should freeze a certain type of veggies, here is a quick guide.

36. Purge your fridge of store-bought salad dressings. Making your own homemade dressing is simple and effective for getting more fresh herbs and spices in your diet. Plus you’re going to need something to put that new lovely dressing on!

37. Skip the dips and be the person who brings the veggie dish to the next party. You will be looked on as an innovator as many people look for the healthful options at the party yet always get the same old appetizers!

38. Plant-based chili is a filling, warming dish and a great opportunity to add more veggies and fresh spices in! If you have a slow-cooker, it’s super easy and you can freeze half of it for later.

39. Don’t forget the sweet potatoes on your grocery list! An alkalizing root crop sweet potatoes are not just for Thanksgiving. Kids love them too!

40. Ever see a veggie you don’t recognize at the store? Buy one and challenge yourself to find a recipe for it for the weekend.

41. Don’t ever see anything you’re unfamiliar with at your store? Consumer Supported Agriculture (CSA) Boxes are great ways to try new veggies! Ask around at the farmers’ market for local CSA opportunities.

42. Add avocado to toast with a slice of tomato.

43. Make apple chips in the oven for a great snack

44. Swap your white rice for cauliflower rice. The recipe is easy and it actually tastes better and is better for you too!

45. Cauliflower can also act as a bread substitute! Swap bread for cauliflower in your grilled cheese or pizza crusts

46. Don’t forget veggies from the sea! Spread chopped avocado and grated carrot on a sheet of nori seaweed. Roll up and slice for an easy veggie “sushi” roll.

47. Make veggie shots—a quick and dirty way to get the veggies in!

48. Swap the fries for the veggie of the day when out at restaurants.

49. Start a veggie garden—even a planter with a small collection of vegetables or herbs will inspire you to eat more veggies. And if you worry about vegetable plants taking over your tiny window ledge, keep in mind the dwarf varieties have been developed specifically for people like you who have limited space.

50. Keep bone broth handy in the pantry, it is a great bone builder and you can add any type of veggie for an instant warming soup.

51. Don’t skip the pizza — just add lots of veggies! Also, lots of new gluten-free crusts are available and are very tasty!

52. Eating out? Explore your taste buds and order a veggie entree.

53. Prep is key if you want to ensure success! Plan your meals for the week, buy what is needed, and pre-prep anything that might take time.

54. Avocado deviled eggs are a great mix of proteins and good fats!

55. If you crave fries, try making you own with sweet potatoes or zucchini. Air fryers are a more heathful alternative to regular deep frying.

56. Have the right tools for the job! Sharp knives, dicers, and graters can take the “labor” out of chopping & prepping veggies!

57. Invest in your kitchen! It will save you money in the long run and boost your health. Crockpots, food processors, steamers, pressure cookers, and spiralizers are all kitchen must haves that will make your meals easier to manifest.

58. It is easier to stay motivated when you have support! Find like-minded family & friends to go on this plant-based journey with.

59. Snack on veggies as you cook.

60. Find a great motivational food blog and subscribe. This will give you a weekly or daily dash of inspiration.

61. Measure your pH first thing in the morning. Based on the results, reflect on what you ate the previous day — and plan the alkalizing veggies you can eat today. Stay motivated by using the Alkaline for Life Diet Starter Kit.

62. Try this easy recipe for veggie breakfast hash.

63. Make a frittata for breakfast!  A frittata mixes eggs with lots of veggies!

64. Mix minced broccoli or cauliflower into scrambled eggs; they don’t change the texture.

65. Make avocado-based pudding.

66. Use veggie-based salad dressings.

67. Add carrot or sweet potato puree to cookie dough — it doesn’t really change the taste.

68. Add olives to all salads and as a side dish.

69. Add raw sunchoke to salads for great alkalizing prebiotic. Grate or thinly slice for an easy topping.

70. Add 1 Tbsp chia seeds and 1 Tbsp pine nuts to cooking oatmeal for texture.

71. For a healthy snack, cover canned chickpeas in a little olive oil and sprinkle with Adobo seasoning, then roast them.

72. Make spicy hot lemon water with a bit of cayenne and maple syrup.

73. Put fresh lemon juice in your hot cider (great for sweet cravings).

74. Slow-cook odds and ends of veggies with veggie broth for a great soup.

75. Explore different flavors and spices with this easy recipe for Thai veggie curry.

76. Add pumpkin or butternut squash to smoothies, pancakes, or soup

77. Dehydrate veggies and make a great snack or trail mix.

78. Plant an indoor herb garden on your kitchen counter.

79. Add cucumbers and mint to water.

80. Instead of mayo, add avocado to your tuna fish.

81. Try making sweet potato brownies

82. Baking a cake? Substitute a cup of cooked, mashed butternut squash for the oil. The cake will be amazingly moist and no one will know the difference (and if the squash is particularly sweet, you can cut back on the refined sugar by 1/3 while you’re at it!)

83. Eat more turmeric root to harness its anti-inflammatory superpowers — like this easy recipe for soothing golden milk.

84. Try butternut squash ravioli!

85. Instead of potato chips, try sliced bell peppers with hummus to achieve the same crunch!

86. Used chopped parsley as a final touch in many dishes.

87. Remember that a serving is only 1/2 a cup — so you can get 2 or 3 or more servings by loading up your plate with one vegetable

88. Change it up this holiday season and make pumpkin pie — without the crust! Or take it one step further by subbing in sweet potato.

89. Slice a cucumber lengthwise and hollow out. Load with sandwich fixings and enjoy this bread-free treat.

90. Try this recipe for a easy alkalizing & filling lunch or dinner

91. Instead of nut butter and crackers, revisit that childhood favorite of “bumps on a log”: half a stalk of celery slathered with peanut butter, with a few raisins sprinkled on top. Crunchy and filling!

92. Save time by chopping and peeling all your veggies for the week on Sunday evenings (or a day of the week when you have time). Wrap and store in the fridge crisper until ready to use.

93. Easy roasted garlic! Cut the very top off a head of garlic and bake in a small separate baking dish the next time you make a casserole. Roasted garlic is soft, creamy and flavorful.

94. Add pureed carrots or finely chopped broccoli to mac and cheese for a healthier spin on this hearty favorite.

95. Instead of fries, chop fresh veggies and serve with a creamy dressing for easy dipping.

96. Remember stuffed peppers? For a change from taco night, mix browned and drained ground beef with onion, garlic and stewed diced tomatoes and rice, stuff peppers and top with cheese.

97. Herbs! Sprinkle fresh cut herbs over omelets and casseroles for an instant flavor pop.

98. Challenge yourself to double the vegetables in any recipe. Making quiche? In addition to broccoli and onions, add some chopped peppers or carrots!

99. Substitute pureed broccoli or cauliflower for cream in soup recipes. Steam veggies, then blend with an infusion blender until smooth. Thin with broth as needed. Easy!

What’s your favorite way to work in more servings of fruits and veggies? 

Check out these great reader submitted tips! Add yours above.

100.  Don’t just spiralize zucchini! Daikon, fat carrots, turnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and the neck part of butternut squash work great, too! Toss with a little olive oil and spread out on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 or higher. Toss once or twice while baking. Bake until al dente. Wonderful pasta substitute! Check out inspiralized.com for some great recipe ideas! – Deborah

101. Add extra onions and grate a carrot into your pasta sauce. an extra grated garlic clove is always good. – Diane Reich

102.  I add fruit and nuts to my hot cereal: Blueberries and walnuts to oatmeal; apples, raisins, and walnuts, plus cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric to steel cut oats; cut up pears and blueberries with walnuts and nutmeg and ginger to brown rice farina/amaranth cereal; and perhaps my favorite, unsweetened shredded coconut, cut up date, walnuts, and half a banana, plus some coconut oil with brown rice farina/amaranth cereal. – Janet

 

blackstrap molasses recipes

Recipes to help you get the benefits of blackstrap molasses

Dr. Bown with molasses cookiesI fondly recall my grandmother’s homemade blackstrap molasses cookies and her molasses sweetened, old fashioned, baked beans. If you feel like indulging your sweet tooth, you can skip the refined sugar, sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup and fructose.

A better way to add a little sweetness — along with the big nutrient benefits — is to use blackstrap molasses. See some of my favorite ideas below.

What is blackstrap molasses?

Blackstrap molasses is the thick dark syrup — full of alkalizing, bone-building trace minerals — left after the third boiling in the sugar refining process.

Nutrients in blackstrap molasses

Blackstrap molasses is rich in many key bone nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and even the hard to get trace mineral manganese. Some reports suggest you only need two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses to get 18% of the recommended daily value for manganese.

Manganese plays a special role in bone cartilage and bone collagen formation and is required for bone mineralization. In one study, women with osteoporosis were found to have ¼ the manganese levels of the women who didn’t have osteoporosis.

Compare the nutrients in blackstrap molasses to table sugar

Nutrient Content per 1 Tablespoon
NutrientBlackstrap Molasses (organic unsulfured)Table Sugar
Calcium200 mg0
Magnesium100 mg0
Potassium450 mg0
Iron2.70-0.73 mg0
Sodium30 mg0
Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, ChromiumTrace amountsnone

Table Reference: U.S. Dept of Agriculture, USDA Branded Food Products Database, Jan. 2017

Molasses spice cookie recipe

From The Amazing Acid Alkaline Cookbook by Bonnie Ross

(Makes 24 cookies)

Ingredients

3 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed

2 C light spelt flour (or gluten-free baking mix)

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp sea salt

2/3 C Sucanat sugar

½ C clarified butter

¼ C blackstrap molasses (originally regular molasses in the recipe)

Sucanat sugar for coating

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat two 9-x-13-inch baking sheets with clarified butter, or line them with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the water and flaxseed. Stir well and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flaxseed mixture, sugar, butter, and the blackstrap molasses. Mix well with a spoon until blended.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well with a spoon until blended.
  6. Lightly coat a plate or pan with sugar. Using your hands, shape the dough into 1½-inch balls and roll each ball over the sugared surface. Arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the balls to allow for spreading.
  7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are set but the middle of the cookie is still soft. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

More ways to use blackstrap molasses

Molasses apple cider tea

This warming drink involves two of my alkalizing favorites.  I simply put 1 Tbsp of blackstrap molasses and 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar in a cup of hot water and enjoy.

Wholesome alternative sweetener

As a simple sweetener, I like the flavor of blackstrap in yogurt, oatmeal, homemade granola, and even tea.  It also works to replace some of the honey or maple syrup in your recipes with blackstrap.

Barbecue sauce or veggie glaze

If you prepare homemade barbecue sauce try mixing a bit of blackstrap to secret BBQ sauce. Or, if you like to spice up things by glazing your root crops, try mixing a bit of blackstrap with butter for a flavorful glaze.

Source for nutrition information: Whole Foods

Summer is a great time to alkalize and build bone

Whether you realize it or not, you excrete calcium in your urine each day — and some amount of calcium loss is perfectly normal. It’s part of the process by which the kidneys neutralize and excrete metabolic acids.

What’s not normal is what happens when you lose excessive calcium. It weakens bone — and almost 20% of women with osteoporosis have this problem. The good news is that comprehensive research has documented that regaining a healthy, slightly alkaline pH balance reduces both urinary calcium losses and unwanted bone breakdown.

Excessive calcium loss has been shown by a meta-analysis of 14 scientific studies to be related to a high acid load. Noted researcher Dr. Lynda Frassetto and colleagues recently reported that metabolic acids can be neutralized with either potassium citrate or potassium bicarbonate to conserve calcium and reduced unwanted bone breakdown.

Alkalize with delicious summer fruits and vegetables

While the researchers used high-dose potassium, I encourage everyone to develop a life-supporting Alkaline for Life® eating program based on potassium-rich vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and fruits. Summer is a great time to take advantage of in-season veggies and fruit, and here is my list of the top alkalizing choices:

 

Fruits

Blackberries
Nectarines
Strawberries
Persimmon
Raspberries
Tangerines
Limes and lemons
Papaya
Pineapple
Watermelon
Cantaloupe/Honeydew

Veggies

Broccoli
Asparagus
Onions
Greens: kale, collards, mustard, endive, arugula, lettuce
Summer squash
Cauliflower
Eggplant

It’s my experience, however, that most of us can’t achieve the ideal pH with diet alone. So many acid-producing activities in our modern lifestyles mean that most of us need to complement our diets with high-quality alkalizing mineral compounds. Luckily, alkalizing is not as difficult as you might think. You can start rebalancing your pH with my Alkaline for Life pH Test Kit.

 

References:

Lambert, H, Frassetto, L et al.  the effect of supplementation with alkaline potassium salts on bone metabolism—a meta-analysis. Osteoporosis International, published online 9 January 2015. DOI 10.1007/s00198-014-3006-9

Giannini, S, et al. Hypercalciuria is a common an important finding in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.  European Journal of Endocrinology, September 2003;149:209-213.

1 minute with Dr. Brown: Does the alkaline diet really work?

Got a minute? Every week I receive dozens of questions from women like you with concerns about their bone health. In my new series, “1 Minute with Dr. Brown,” I will try to answer your most pressing questions. If you have a question, send it in to us at center@betterbones.com

Question: Does the alkaline diet really work? I have heard a lot of naysayers lately.

New research on alkalizing foods

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Bess Dawson-Hughes of Tufts University, one of the world’s most respected bone health researchers who has now turned her attention to the importance of pH balance for bone.

In this video interview, Dr. Dawson-Hughes discusses her new research on acid-base balance and bone, including:

  • The concept of “acid load”
  • The frequency of low-grade metabolic acidosis
  • How we aggravate changes in our pH balance due to aging
  • Tips on how you can change your diet to protect yourself from a heavy acid load

Why not take just seven minutes to watch my conversation with Dr. Dawson-Hughes? What you learn could help protect your bones for a lifetime.

Watch now:

Natural bone health with the Alkaline for Life® diet

When it comes to improving bone health, very little you do matters more than improving your acid-alkaline balance with an alkaline eating plan. Even if you exercise and limit toxins, if your acid-alkaline balance is off-kilter, you’ll still have unnecessary bone loss in the long run. An alkaline diet is an essential part of natural bone health.

Is your diet acid-forming or alkaline-forming?

foodclockEating “alkaline” means that you’re trying to keep your body’s acid base (pH) between 6.5 (slightly acidic) and 7.5 (slightly alkaline). Most of the food we eat has the potential to alter our pH. When digested, some foods leave acidic by-products in the body (acid-forming foods); others leave alkaline by-products (alkaline-forming foods).

  • Acid-forming foods include most high-protein foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, and most legumes (beans and peas, except lentils, which are alkaline-forming). Sugar, coffee, alcohol, and most grains are also acid-forming. See a chart of acid-forming foods.
  • Alkaline-forming foods include nearly all vegetables and fruits, many nuts and seeds, and spices. See our chart of alkaline-forming foods.

Our Stone Age ancestors ate hundreds of different types of natural whole foods. Seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and roots were supplemented with game animals and fish, providing on average a pH-balanced diet. Our organs and body systems evolved in adaptation to this diet. It’s as if Nature said, “You can eat acid-forming meat, beans, and other high-protein foods, but you must balance these with an abundance of the alkaline-forming vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices.” And for thousands of years, that’s exactly what we did.

What are problems with an acid-forming diet?

Unfortunately, we’ve strayed from the acid-alkaline balanced diet that our ancestors achieved. We favor meat, sugars, grains, low-mineral processed foods, and other acid-forming foods and get far too few alkaline-forming vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

The net result is that our eating patterns create a condition known as “chronic low-grade metabolic acidosis.” While our bodies can easily handle an occasional acid load, long-term acid build-up can exhaust our available alkalizing reserves. Unless we take steps to neutralize these acids, they can damage our health in many ways — and this is the underlying cause of many of our modern health problems, including osteoporosis.

Do you have signs of an “acidic” diet?

  • Weight gain
  • Nonspecific aches and pains, especially in the bones and joints
  • Acid reflux or heartburn
  • Poor digestion, irritable bowel, intestinal cramping
  • Fatigue, feeling of being “run down”
  • Muscle weakness/loss of muscle
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Receding gums
  • Kidney stones
  • Bone loss
  • Skin problems

How tpeppero start an alkaline diet plan

If you have three or more symptoms of acid imbalance (see box above), eat 80% of your foods from the alkaline-forming group. The other 20% can be high protein items and other acid-forming foods.

Later, when your pH balance has improved (which you can tell by urine testing or by the fact that your symptoms have resolved), you can lower the alkaline-forming part of your diet to around 65%.

Here are some general guidelines for eating alkaline:

  • Focus on eating whole foods, like vegetables, root crops, fruits, nuts, seeds, spices, whole grains and beans (especially lentils).
  • Drink alkalizing beverages such as spring water and ginger root or green tea, water with the juice of a whole lemon or lime.
  • Eat smaller amounts of essential fats, meat, fish, pasta and other grains.
  • Eliminate processed and artificial foods, caffeine, white sugar, and white flour.
  • Don’t be afraid to use real butter and full-fat milk (if you use dairy).
  • Dress salads or cook with high-quality fats such as cold-pressed virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil.

Sample day: Alkaline diet plan

We’ve put together a sample menu from our Alkaline for Life® meal plan to give you a sense of what you might eat if you’re trying to achieve an 80% alkaline diet. This “diet” doesn’t restrict calories or eliminate certain foods altogether (although you’ll have greater success if you avoid sugary foods and limit how much processed foods you eat). Calorie-counting isn’t part of this — you can eat as many alkalizing fruits and vegetables as you want, but you should limit things like meat, grains and highly processed foods to avoid boosting your acidity.

Breakfast:

Veggie scramble: 1–2 eggs per person, scrambled with green onions, tomatoes, chopped bok choy or other leafy green, and bell peppers.
Cup of ginger tea.

Snack:

1 pear
Handful (1 oz.) toasted pumpkin seeds.

Lunch:

Lentil soup served with 2 cups of steamed vegetables (broccoli, kale, carrots, onions). Drizzle olive oil salad dressing on lightly steamed vegetables.

or

4 oz. cold or hot salmon (or chicken, tuna, or tofu), served over 2–3 cups mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, broccoli, or other fresh vegetables.
Lemon-dill vinaigrette.

Snack:

Hard-boiled egg, sliced and sprinkled with sea salt and chopped flat-leaf parsley.
Red bell pepper strips, celery or carrot sticks. A handful of almonds is also a snack option.

Dinner:

4 oz. serving of fish, chicken, turkey or other meat served with a baked yam or sweet potato and a mixed garden salad.

or

Pasta (made from buckwheat, rice, amaranth, or quinoa rather than wheat) topped with bitter greens — such as broccoli rabe or arugula—plus chopped zucchini, pine nuts or slivered almonds, garlic, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper. Side dish of steamed zucchini with dash of garlic and olive oil.
Add a grating of pecorino Romano or fresh Parmesan, if desired.

Seasonal fruits: In summer, try nectarines and cherries, or grapes and melon; in winter, try roasted pears or baked apples.

Read more about alkalizing with Dr. Brown’s blog:

10 Tips to an Alkaline Diet

10 tips for an alkaline diet

Eating an alkaline diet can produce tremendous results —and I would like to add that it’s not just the latest Hollywood fad like many ways of eating!

Eating alkaline as a long-term approach is simple and something everyone can do.  Here are 10 simple tips to get started:

10 simple tips for eating alkaline

1. Eat more veggies and fruits. Even if you don’t go any further down this list, taking this one step can instantly make a huge difference.

2. Reduce soda intake, or eliminate it altogether.

3. Replace refined carbs with roots and gourds.

4. Add fresh lemon and lime to your water. Though we typically think of citrus fruits as acidic, they’re highly alkalizing in the body (limes especially).

5. Consider cooking with sea vegetables. For some of you, I know this is “out of the question!” But if you’re willing to try new ingredients, why not experiment with packaged sea veggies available in the health-food or Asian section of your supermarket?

6. Drink 64 ounces of high-mineral spring water daily.

7. Limit animal protein. Try to limit your animal protein sources (beef, chicken, pork, eggs, and dairy products) to 1 serving or less per day and increase plant-based protein sources.

8. Add cinnamon, ginger, and other herbs and spices.

9. Monitor your urinary pH. Track your first morning urine pH (after at least 6 hours of sleep) to know how your nutritional changes are affecting your body. When this number is between 6.5 (slightly acidic) and 7.5 (slightly alkaline), it suggests that your overall cellular pH is where it should be — slightly alkaline.

10. Supplement your diet with a high-quality multivitamin–mineral complex.No matter how attentive we are to what we eat, where it’s from, and how we dish it up, we can’t always have a perfectly balanced diet. Gain peace of mind with a top-notch bone-healthy supplement.

Learn more about our Alkalizing products, including my food guide and pH paper.

3 easy steps to testing your pH

How to test your body pH: a pathway to alkaline balance

It’s not easy to tell what condition your bones are in at any given time. The only real outward signals that your bones may be weakening are receding gums, weak or broken teeth, and muscle loss—and even those signs don’t necessarily indicate how much bone you’ve lost, if any.

That’s why a pH test is so important for bone health. Testing your body pH will give you a sense of whether your body is tending toward metabolic acidity, or is in the balanced, slightly alkaline state that’s necessary for healthy bones. This test is relatively simple and can be done in your own home.

Want to read more about alkaline balance and your bones?

What is your pH?

The first step in establishing an alkaline diet is to assess your current pH. A good approximation of tissue pH is easily obtained by testing the pH of your saliva or first-morning urine.

These tests are available here or through other online resources. Complete instructions on how to use them come with the test, but these are the simple steps to follow to test your pH at home.

Steps to test your pH

1. Obtain pH test paper. This paper measures the acid-alkaline state of any liquid. Readings at the low end of the scale indicate an acidic state, and those on the higher end a more alkaline state.

2. Test in the morning — two options. First thing in the morning, if possible after 6 hours of sleep without getting up to urinate, get a test strip or tear off a three-inch piece of paper from the roll.

  • Testing with urine: Either urinate directly on the paper or collect urine in a cup and dip the paper into the urine in the cup. Please note that first morning urine is the most valuable pH reading according to our research. If you can’t go 6 hours without getting up to urinate, then just test the first urine in the morning when you get up for the day.
  • Testing with saliva (this is a second, less-ideal measurement): Rinse your mouth with water, spit it out into the sink, and spit again. Now, collect some saliva in a spoon and moisten the paper in the saliva. Do not eat, drink or brush your teeth before the test.

3. Read the result color. As the test paper is moistened, it will take on a color. The color relates to the acid or alkaline state of your urine or saliva and ranges from yellow to dark blue. Match the color of your test strip with the chart provided on the back of your test kit.

  • A number below 7 means that your urine is on the acid side. The lower the number, the more acidic the condition.
  • The ideal urine reading should be between 6.5- 7.5, and saliva readings should be between 7.0- 7.5.

Tips if your reading is not in the ideal zone

Readings below 6.5:

At first, most people will have low pH readings due to the acid-forming tendency of the standard American diet. In this case, increase your intake of vegetables, fruits, root crops, nuts, seeds and spices, striving to get 80% of your nutrition from these alkalizing foods. You can find more details on the acid or alkaline forming nature of the various foods in The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide.

Readings above 7.5:

A highly alkaline reading is likely due to catabolism, the process of breakdown of body tissue which triggers excess nitrogen in the urine. If you are consistently getting readings at 8.0, contact your health professional about how to stimulate the repair state to reverse this catabolic cycle.

Be patient and persistent. Remember, your pH indicates your reserve of alkaline minerals. It can take time to build up these reserves. Do not be discouraged with a slow movement towards the ideal alkaline measurement. It may have taken decades to get where you are; a few months to sustained repair and renewal are well worth the effort and attention.

Monitor your pH over time

You do not have to measure your pH every day, but it is an excellent idea to keep some record of your pH test results over time. At the Center for Better Bones we use a Monthly pH Testing Record. You might want to use this chart yourself. As you incorporate our Alkaline for Life® Eating Program, and as you use supplements like ours which alkalize, you will see your pH reading move into the desired range.

The importance of pH balance in healthy bones

Alkaline balance is very important for bone health. We evolved in an alkaline ocean environment, and even today our body’s internal environment remains alkaline, with a pH just above 7.0. Our enzymatic, immunologic, and repair mechanisms all function their best in an alkaline environment. Despite this, our biochemical functioning, the metabolism of food, and many other fundamental life processes, all produce a great deal of acid.

When we exercise or move, for example, we produce lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Lactic acid is by its nature acidic, and the exhalation of carbon dioxide represents an excretion of acids. Further, our immune responses (manifested as allergies and hypersensitivity) and stress responses generate substantial amounts of acidic by-products. Finally, we generate acids when we eat and digest food. For example, sulfuric acid can be produced from the metabolism of sulfur-containing amino acids, and we consume phosphoric acid as a food additive. Long-chain fatty acids also produce acids when metabolized.

There are countless chemical reactions necessary for life that can only occur within a very specific pH range, so the body has many checks and balances to maintain pH within a narrow range. To regain the alkaline state necessary for our health and survival, metabolic acids from all sources must be buffered or neutralized.

Through various mechanisms, alkaline mineral salts of organic anions are drawn upon to buffer acids. Many of these can be obtained by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Potassium citrate and potassium malate, for example, are commonly found in vegetables and fruits. The organic anions of these compounds, when metabolized, have the ability to accept hydrogen ions and thus reduce the acid load and restore alkaline balance. When dietary consumption patterns provide insufficient buffering capacity, body buffering mineral pools can be depleted and the intracellular environment becomes acidotic.

An underlying metabolic acidity is a common denominator among — and a likely contributing factor to — all degenerative and autoimmune diseases. An acid condition has several adverse effects on cell metabolism, including impaired energy production, fluid accumulation and edema, and a likely increase in free radical production. Interesting enough, kidney specialists working with acid-base balance now recognize that most Americans, as they age, live in chronic, low–grade metabolic acidosis. This condition contributes to a series of health problems, including loss of bone mineral, loss of muscle mass, a reduction in growth hormone, and the development of kidney stones.

The restoration of the health-promoting alkaline state is essential to the regeneration of bone health, immune competence, and overall well-being.

Our most popular resources on alkaline balance

 

  • anyageTesting your pH: a pathway to alkaline balance
    One tool used at the Center for Better Bones is pH testing, which helps us learn when our acid-alkaline balance is out of the range required for bone health.Learn about pH testing and how it can help you monitor your bone health in this article. One tool used at the Center for Better Bones is pH testing, which helps us learn when our acid-alkaline balance is out of the range required for bone health.Learn about pH testing and how it can help you monitor your bone health in this article.
  • brokenfootAcid-forming foods
    A table of foods that help make the body more acidic.
  • calciumAlkaline-forming foods
    A table of foods that help make the body more alkaline.A table of foods that help make the body more alkaline.
Alkaline Food List

Alkaline-forming foods

Alkaline for Life® – Alkaline Food List

LOWMEDIUMHIGH 

Fruits

Coconuts
Raisins
Grapes
Blueberries
Oranges
Apples
Cherries
Apricots
Grapefruit
Avocado
Olives, green
Banana
Pears/Peaches
Lemons
Blackberries
Nectarines
Strawberries
Persimmon
Raspberries
Tangerines
Limes
Papaya
Pineapple
Watermelon
Cantaloupe/Honeydew

Vegetables

Snow peas
Carrots, organic
Cucumbers
Brussels sprouts
Cauliflower
Mushrooms
Artichokes
Eggplant
Beets
Summer squash
Baked potato
Zucchini
Bell peppers
Okra
Broccoli
Cabbage
Stringbeans without formed beans
Asparagus
Onions
Celery
Kohlrabi
Collard greens
Parsnips
Endive
Mustard greens
Kale
Winter squash
Sweet potatoes/Yams

Meats/Fish

Dairy/Eggs

Clarified butter (Ghee)

Oils

Olive oil
Flax oil
Coconut oil
Avocado oil
Cod Liver oil

Nuts/Seeds/Legumes/Herbs/Spices

Almonds
Bay leaf
Cayenne pepper
Sesame/Sunflower seeds
Black pepper
Lentils
Cashews
Basil
Garlic
Cilantro
Cinnamon
Soy sauce
Chestnuts
Sea salt
Ginger root
Pumpkin seeds
Parsley

Breads/Grains/Desserts

Granola (unsweetened) Oatmeal
Quinoa
Wild rice
Baked apples (unsweetened)

Sweeteners/Vinegars

Rice syrup
Sucanat
Apple cider vinegar
Molasses
Umeboshi vinegar

Beverages

Apple juice
Grape juice
Orange juice
Green/Herbal tea
Grapefruit juice
Pineapple juice
Mineral water
Ginger tea

 

To learn more about Dr. Brown’s Acid Alkaline Food Guide & Alkaline Diet Starter Kit and all about the Alkaline Diet