Alkaline fruits have lower acidity levels. Fruits like avocados, bananas, and apples fall in this category. Alkaline fruit benefits are recently gaining a lot of attention for many reasons. They can effectively neutralize the acid levels in the stomach. Read this article to know more about alkaline fruits, their benefits, which fruits fall in this category, and the possible side effects of consuming alkaline fruits. Scroll down.
What Is It?
Any fruit with low acidic levels to help improve one’s overall health.
What Are Its Benefits?
Aids weight loss, improves digestion and brain health, and lowers cholesterol levels in the body.
Who Can Consume It?
All except those who experience migraines.
You can consume it daily.
Excessive consumption can cause digestive problems, such as bloating and flatulence.
In This Article
What Is “Alkaline” And Why Is It Needed?
Alkaline being a vaguely familiar concept, let’s refresh your memory and understand what it is. Alkaline is denoted as anything that has a pH value of above 7 and is the exact opposite of anything acidic, which has a pH value of less than 7. Even the human body follows this concept. Our stomach, loaded with hydrochloric acid, is said to be of pH level between 2.8 to 3.7 making it acidic (1). Our blood pH level, on the other hand, is said to be 7.3, making it alkaline (2).
Known popularly as the “alkaline diet” today, this diet has found supporters in celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Aniston, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Originating from the acid-ash theory, it states that the food we eat affects the acidic or alkaline levels in our body (3). While more studies need to be conducted, limited studies suggest that eating a diet rich in alkaline fruits and vegetables may benefit people suffering from chronic kidney diseases (4).
Now that we know what is alkaline and why we need it, let us look at a list of alkaline fruits that are good for our health.
5 Alkaline Fruits For Good Health
Alkaline fruits have a higher pH level and lower acidic level. Due to this, they can be used to maintain the pH balance to relieve acidity. Let’s read about the different types of alkaline fruits that can be beneficial for our health.
Apples are one of the most popular fruits globally for good reason. A medium-sized apple with a diameter of 3 inches provides 94.6 calories. Along with this, apples provide a host of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin K (5). The peel and core of an apple provide fiber, which can help with weight and cholesterol levels. Apples are power-packed with nutrients and provide a range of health benefits. Research suggests that apples may help in losing those extra pounds, improve bone health, and may help reduce the symptoms of asthma among other things (6).
Matt Harmon, a blogger, took up a challenge to eat three apples a day along with regular meals. He documented his journey on his blog over the course of 30 days and in conclusion, writes, “It changed so many things about my daily life. 1. Decreased the amount of food I eat. 2. Encouraged me to be healthy on a daily basis. 3. Encouraged me to be healthy on a long term basis. Over the course of this diet, I lost 8.5 lbs. I also lost 2 inches off of my waist. None of my pants fit me any longer and I had to buy a new belt. This was a long 30 days and a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. It was one of the best things I have ever done in my life. (i).”
If you are looking for something to boost your energy, then bananas are the perfect choice for you. With a calorie count of 505, 1 large banana also provides potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus (7). Bananas are high in fiber, and research indicates that they are good for your digestive activity. Along with this, bananas may also help lower the risk of ulcers, strokes, and even help you get over that nasty hangover (8).
A 2021 study published in the PLOS One on bananas from a single lot found that dietary fiber was more in unripe bananas using the modified enzymatic-gravimetric (mEG) method (incubation at 37 degrees Celsius using amylase), while the level of fiber was almost the same at all stages of ripeness in bananas using enzymatic-gravimetric (EG) method (dried bananas). Starch was high in unripe bananas, while sugars such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose were significantly high in ripe varieties of bananas in comparison to unripe bananas.
Carbohydrate Content And Composition Of Bananas At Different RipenessSource: Dietary fiber, starch, and sugars in bananas at different stages of ripeness in the retail market
One fruit you certainly can’t do without is avocado. USDA suggests that 1 cup of sliced avocado can give you an amazing boost of 234 calories. With a high content of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin A, it’s no wonder that avocados make for a healthy option for you (9). Used often by the pharmaceutical industry for its medicinal properties, a literature review found that avocados may not only help in the reduction of cholesterol, but might also play a role in our cardiovascular health (10).
4. Cantaloupe Melons
Cantaloupe melons are low in fat and sugar, making them an excellent addition to your diet. In addition to this, melons are also a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, making them a very nutritious source of food (11). Due to the presence of antioxidants such as flavonoids, melons may be useful in fighting inflammation, and in the reduction of free radicalsi XHighly reactive, unstable molecules that can damage body cells and lead to several cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. (12). They also provide hydration to the skin and body.
You read that right! Dates, often eaten in Middle Eastern countries are said to be good for your health. If you need a nice boost of energy in the morning or a filling snack, dates are the right choice. With a whopping 1160 calories, these dates are also a great source of calcium, phosphorus, and potassium (13). With research suggesting that dates have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties, you will not feel guilty about adding these natural toffees to your diet (14).
This diverse list of alkaline fruits shows that they can be great additions to your diet and may even provide a healthier alternative to snacks. Nonetheless, this list does not encompass one of the most prominent fruit categories, i.e., citrus fruits.
Are Citrus Fruits Alkaline?
Citrus fruits may seem acidic on the surface, but they have an alkalizing effect on the body once metabolized.
When consumed, citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits break down in the body, releasing alkaline elements, particularly in the form of citric acid. This alkalizing effect can help balance the body’s pH levels, which is a critical aspect of your overall health. While the initial taste of citrus fruits may suggest acidity, it is their impact on the body’s internal environment that matters (15).
Thus, incorporating citrus fruits into your diet can contribute to maintaining a healthy pH balance. Although individual responses may vary, it is believed to be beneficial for various bodily functions.
5 Potential Health Benefits Of Alkaline Fruits
We knew growing up that fruits are healthy and are great for us. Let us understand in detail how these fruits are good for us.
1. May Help You Shed Those Extra Pounds
If you are looking for fruits that can help you shed those extra pounds, look no further. A study was conducted to see the effect of apples on the reduction of weight. Forty-nine overweight women aged between 30 to 50 years were asked to eat apples for 10 weeks. These women were seen to have lost 2 pounds when compared to other women who had eaten oat cookies or pears instead, suggesting that apples might be instrumental in reducing weight (16).
If you don’t like apples, you can always opt for bananas as the perfect choice for weight loss. Researchers studied the effect of banana starch and soy milk on obese individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Administered 24g of banana starch every day for 4 weeks, the patients lost 2 pounds and reported an increase in insulin sensitivityi XA condition where the body cells do not respond to the hormone insulin resulting in increased blood sugar levels. (17).
Even though these results seem promising, more studies need to be done to substantiate this association.
2. May Give You Healthy Eyes
Research suggests that fruits such as melons and avocados are good for your eyes. How? Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that impart color to many fruits such as cantaloupe melons and avocados have been associated with reducing the progression and development of macular degenerationi XA common eye disorder in individuals over 50 that deteriorates the center of the retina resulting in blurry or reduced vision. and cataractsi XA common eye condition that occurs slowly over the years and results in a cloudy lens that hinders vision and everyday activities. (18), (19).
3. May Help With Digestion
Did you know that bananas and dates get your digestive system going healthily? Research suggests that bananas have been used for many years to treat stomach disorders such as ulcers and improve the functioning of the digestive tract (20). Don’t underestimate dates because they are excellent for your gut as well. Twenty-two healthy people were asked to consume dates for 21 days. The researchers saw a significant increase in bowel movement along with a decrease in ammonia levels in stool, indicating that dates may play a role in maintaining a healthy digestive system (21). This may help in detoxification and keep your immune system healthy. Apple is high in pectin, a soluble fiber, which can help people with diarrhea and loose stools.
4. May Help Your Brain Health
A study was conducted where mice with Alzheimer’s disease were given dates and their memory was assessed at 4 months and 14 months respectively. In comparison to a standard mice diet, mice who were given dates showed a significant improvement in spatial memory and learning ability. This study suggests the potential role dates may have on your memory (22). Another study indicated that apple juice concentrate played an important role in reducing the degeneration of cognitive function in lagged mice (23). While animal studies show a lot of proms, human studies will need to be conducted to understand this further.
5. May Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Science suggests that both bananas and avocados play an important role in reducing cholesterol levels. A study was conducted to see the effect of banana blossom powder on Wistar rats for 4 weeks. Researchers saw a decrease in total cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol levels, proposing that bananas are instrumental in the reduction of cholesterol levels (24). Even avocados have been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol levels) in rats, though more research needs to be conducted in humans to substantiate this association (25).
From playing a role in brain and eye health to reducing cholesterol levels, alkaline foods are a healthy addition to your diet and lifestyle. But, before you go ahead and buy these fruits, let’s look at some of the precautions you should take.
Precautions To Be Considered While Consuming Alkaline Fruits
Alkaline fruits have demonstrated so far that they are beneficial for us.Here are a few tips to keep in mind before consuming alkaline fruits.
- It is recommended that you wash your fruits thoroughly before consumption due to possible exposure to insecticides and pesticides.
- Refrigerate fruits after cutting them in airtight containers and keep them separate from any meat to avoid cross-contamination.
- Cut away rotten parts of the fruits before you eat them.
It is very essential to keep these tips in mind before you purchase and consume the fruits. Let’s see what research has to say about some of the possible side effects of these fruits.
Possible Side Effects And Allergies Of Alkaline Fruits
Everything has its pros and cons. Let us glance at some of the possible side effects and allergies that may arise due to these fruits.
- Fruits such as bananas, avocados, and dates are high in fiber. While fiber is great for improving bowel movements, research suggests that consuming high amounts of fiber may lead to bloating, belching, and flatulence (26).
- Research indicates that fruits such as dates and melons are potential allergens and may cause allergic reactions. In such a case it is best to avoid consuming them and choose other fruits such as bananas and apples (27), (28).
- If you are someone who has migraines often, it is best to avoid bananas because research has indicated that they may play a role in triggering migraines (29).
Infographic: 5 Reasons To Consume Alkaline Fruits
Alkaline fruits, like apples, bananas, and avocados, have lower acidity levels and can help neutralize the acid levels in the stomach. Apart from that, these fruits may also promote a healthy body weight and keep diseases at bay. Check out the infographic below to learn why you should make alkaline fruits a part of your diet.
They are gaining popularity slowly. Apples, avocados, cantaloupes, bananas, and dates are a few examples of alkaline fruits. These fruits are rich in alkaline water content. When eaten regularly, they aid in weight loss, promote eye health, promote digestion, boost brain health, and reduce cholesterol levels. However, you should wash them thoroughly before eating and keep them away from meat to reduce cross-contamination. Although alkaline fruit consumption is generally safe, excess consumption may result in bloating, flatulence, and belching. So eating them in moderation helps reap their benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is mango an alkaline fruit?
Yes, mango is an alkaline fruit.
Are oranges alkaline?
No, oranges are not alkaline. They are termed acidic because of their vitamin C (ascorbic acid) content.
Is honey alkaline?
No, honey is not alkaline. It is an acidic food, as its pH ranges between 3.4 to 6.1.
Learn about the best alkaline foods and their incredible health advantages! Check this video to understand how to incorporate them into your diet for better health.
- Fruits like avocados, apples, and bananas have high alkaline pH values.
- The intake of alkaline fruits may help you lose extra pounds, improve eye health, and maintain a healthy digestive system.
- Keep them away from any meat to avoid cross-contamination while refrigerating them. Cut away rotten parts while eating.
- Avoid consuming fruits with high fiber content as they cause some side effects like bloating and flatulence.
Personal Reviews: Source
i. Day 30 Apple 2, and 3
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- Plasma Lutein and Zeaxanthin and Other Carotenoids as Modifiable Risk Factors for Age-related Maculopathy and Cataract: the POLA Study
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- A Moderate-Fat Diet with One Avocado per Day Increases Plasma Antioxidants and ‘Decreases the Oxidation of Small’ Dense LDL in Adults with Overweight and Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- Symptoms Associated with Dietary Fiber Supplementation over Time in Individuals with Fecal Incontinence
- Allergy to Date Fruits: Characterization of Antigens and Allergens of Fruits of the Date Palm (Phoenix Dactylifera L.)
- Clinical Characteristics of Melon (Cucumis Melo) Allergy
- Dietary Trigger Factors of Migraine and Tension-type Headache in a South East Asian Country