High levels of acid in the body can cause heartburn, indigestion, and other health problems. Alkaline foods, including many fruits and vegetables, can counteract excess acid. According to Dr. Jordan Stern, who helped write a book on the subject, high levels of acid are due almost solely to diet: dairy products, meats, sweeteners, alcohol and most artificial foods. The stomach produces extra acids to break down foods that are hard to digest. High stomach acid is usually a problem only if it causes discomfort. However, high acid also can cause conditions, such as stomach ulcers, that have very few symptoms. Symptoms of too much stomach acid are heartburn, nausea, indigestion and burning in the mouth or stomach.
Vegetables are one of the best ways to reduce acidity in the stomach. Most vegetables have a high alkaline level. Soybeans, sprouts, lima beans, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, turnips, garlic, carrots, celery, cucumbers, asparagus, lettuce and alfalfa are all excellent for counteracting acid in the stomach.
Fruits are the second-best way to counteract acidity in the stomach. Some are more effective than others. Figs, lemons, bananas, apples, grapes, apricots, pineapples, dates, grapefruit, cantaloupe, oranges, cherries, pears, watermelon, peaches and coconut are high in alkaline content. Eating them will help reduce the acids in the stomach.
Select dried fruits and nuts can also be helpful, but not all are highly alkaline. In fact, most nuts are high in acid. Raisins, almonds and brazil nuts are the best dried fruits and nuts for counteracting too much acid in the stomach.
Water helps to restore the body's acid-alkaline balance. Water dilutes stomach acids, counteracting the feelings of acid reflux and indigestion. Even though water can work temporarily, a change in diet is needed to effectively alter body chemistry that is overly acidic. Acidity and alkalinity are expressed as pH, which can be measured by physicians.
- "The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide: A Quick Reference to Foods & Their Effect on pHLevels"; Susan E. Brown and Larry Trivieri Jr.; 2006
- "Biobalance: The Acid/Alkaline Solution to the Food-Mood-Health Puzzle"; Rudolf A. Wiley; 1988
- "Textbook of Medical Physiology"; Guyton, Arthur C. and John E. Hall; 2006
- "Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure"; Jamie Koufman, M.D.,Jordan Stern, M.D., and Marc Bauer; 2010
- CTDS: Comparative List of Acid and Alkaline Forming Foods
- Every Diet: Acid Alkaline Diets