What Are Alkaline Fruits? Health Benefits, Side Effects, And More

Written by Varsha Patnaik , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Diet & Nutrition Coach

Alkaline fruits are a group of fruits with lower levels of acidity. Bananas, apples, and avocados are a few fruits that happen to fall under this category and help neutralize the acid levels in your body. In this article, read and get a better understanding of the concept of alkaline, a list of alkaline fruits that are good for our health, their potential health benefits, and their possible side effects and allergies we may develop from it.

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 are fruits that have a higher pH level and lower acidic level. Let’s read about the different types of alkaline fruits that can be beneficial for our health.

1. Apples

Apples

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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). Power-packed with nutrients, they 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).

2. Bananas

Bananas

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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). High in fiber, research indicates that bananas 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).

3. Avocados

Avocados

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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

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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 radicals (12).

5. Dates

Dates

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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. Let’s check out the potential health benefits they provide.

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 (15).

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 everyday for 4 weeks, the patients lost 2 pounds and reported an increase in insulin sensitivity (16).

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 degeneration and cataracts (17), (18).

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 (19). 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 (20).

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 (21). Another study indicated that apple juice concentrate played an important role in reducing the degeneration of cognitive function in lagged mice (22). 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 (23). 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 (24).

From playing a role in brain and eye health to reducing cholesterol levels, alkaline fruits 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 (25).
  • 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 (26), (27).
  • 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 (28).

Summary

Alkaline fruits with their low levels of acid, have a variety of benefits. If you are one of those people who are allergic to any of these fruits or suffer from migraines, it is best that you avoid consuming them. While more research is needed, science suggests that the intake of alkaline fruits such as bananas, apples, dates, etc play an essential role in reducing cholesterol levels, maintaining brain and eye health, proving that they are great additions to your diet.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. 24-Hour Measurement of Gastric pH in Rural South Africa
    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/grp/2015/658106/
  2. The Question of Acid and Alkali Forming Foods
    https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.26.11.1113
  3. The Acid-ash Hypothesis Revisited: A Reassessment of the Impact of Dietary Acidity on Bone
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24557632/
  4. Reducing the Dietary Acid Load: How a More Alkaline Diet Benefits Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28117137/
  5. Apples
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171688/nutrients
  6. Apple Phytochemicals and their Health Benefits
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15140261/
  7. Bananas
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173944/nutrients
  8. Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Banana
    https://www.phytojournal.com/vol1Issue3/Issue_sept_2012/9.1.pdf
  9. Avocados
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171705/nutrients
  10. Avocado: ‘Characteristics’ Health Benefits and Uses
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/297736556_Avocado_Characteristics_health_benefits_and_uses
  11. Cantaloupe Melon
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169092/nutrients
  12. Musk Melon is Eat-must Melon
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266892031_Musk_melon_is_eat-must_melon
  13. Dates
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168191/nutrients
  14. Therapeutic Effects of Date Fruits (Phoenix Dactylifera) in the ‘Prevention of Diseases via Modulation of Anti-inflammatory’ Antioxidant and Anti-tumour Activity
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3992385/
  15. A Low-energy-dense Diet Adding Fruit Reduces Weight and Energy Intake in Women
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18439712/
  16. Effects of Native Banana Starch Supplementation on Body Weight and Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Type 2 Diabetics
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC2898027/
  17. Dietary Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin Carotenoids and Their Role in Eye Health
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3705341/
  18. Plasma Lutein and Zeaxanthin and Other Carotenoids as Modifiable Risk Factors for Age-related Maculopathy and Cataract: the POLA Study
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16723441/
  19. ‘Bananas’ a Source of Compounds with Health Properties
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284276760_Bananas_a_source_of_compounds_with_health_properties
  20. Impact of Palm Date Consumption on Microbiota Growth and Large Intestinal Health: a ‘Randomised’ ‘Controlled’ ‘Cross-over’ Human Intervention Study
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26428278/
  21. Diet Rich in ‘Date Palm Fruits Improves Memory’ Learning and Reduces Beta Amyloid in Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer\’s Disease
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4484046/
  22. Apple Juice Concentrate Prevents Oxidative Damage and Impaired Maze Performance in Aged Mice
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16340085/
  23. Banana Blossom (Musa acuminate Colla) Incorporated Experimental Diets Modulate Serum Cholesterol and Serum Glucose Level in Wistar Rats Fed with Cholesterol
    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/cholesterol/2016/9747412/
  24. 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
    https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/150/2/276/5588100
  25. Symptoms Associated with Dietary Fiber Supplementation over Time in Individuals with Fecal Incontinence
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3400503/
  26. Allergy to Date Fruits: Characterization of Antigens and Allergens of Fruits of the Date Palm (Phoenix Dactylifera L.)
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  27. Clinical Characteristics of Melon (Cucumis Melo) Allergy
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  28. Dietary Trigger Factors of Migraine and Tension-type Headache in a South East Asian Country
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