alkaline acid food chart uncover different foods pH

Alkaline Acid Food Chart: See the pH of Foods

A look into how alkaline and acid foods impact our general and dental health, some meal ideas on how to enjoy the foods and an alkaline acid food chart.

Trying to figure out what a balanced diet looks like for you can be tough, especially with so much contradictory nutrition available. As a registered dietitian people often come to me trying to figure out what kind of diet would be the best for their health and lifestyle. A common topic that comes up is alkaline and acid foods and if they should eat more alkaline foods than acid foods or the other way around.

alkaline acid food chart. uncover different foods ph

So, this article is provided to help you understand what exactly makes a food alkaline or acidic and why both are so important for our oral and overall well-being. Plus, you’ll get lists and a chart of a ton of alkaline and acid foods along with some fun healthy meal and snack ideas! Enjoy!

PS. If you are looking to see what the alkaline diet is all about, head down to the additional resources section where you will find links to articles specifically on that.

The pH Scale

The pH scale, perhaps you learned about it back in middle or high school. This may be a refresher, the scale is used to measure how acidic or how alkaline a substance is. It ranges from zero to 14 with zero being the most acidic, 7 being neutral and 14 being alkaline.

How acidic or how alkaline something depends on where it falls within the scale. If a substance’s pH classifies it as acidic, you can consider it more or extremely acidic if the pH number falls closer to the zero sides of the scale than the 7 sides. The same goes for an alkaline substance. If the alkaline item falls closer to the 14 sides of the scale than the neutral 7 it can be considered extremely alkaline! To get a more visual understanding of this check out the image below.

the pH scale showing which ranges are acid, which are neutral and which are alkaline

How Alkaline and Acid Foods Impact Dental and Oral Health

Alkaline and acid foods are both packed with nutrients that help fuel your gums, teeth, tongue, saliva and oral microbiome. So, both are part of a dental health-promoting diet!

Acid Foods and Dental Health Impact

However, long-term exposure to certain types of pH foods can negatively impact your oral health. Acidic foods like sodas, sparkling water, vinegar-based dressings, sports drinks, alcohol, fruit, candy, foods with a lot of added sugar in them, coffee and some teas can adhere to your teeth, wear down the enamel and contribute to the development of cavities. Chowing and chugging down on these highly acidic foods on the regular can also be a factor in causing bad breath as well as gum inflammation which could lead to periodontal disease.

Alkaline Foods and Dental Health Impact

On the flip side, alkaline foods can contribute to neutralizing acid in your mouth which may help reduce the development of tooth decay. Additionally, since alkaline foods can support the creation of a neutral pH environment, they may also be helpful in stunting the growth of bad bacteria in your mouth that could lead to gum disease and bad breath.

What Foods To Include? Which To Minimize?

It seems like acidic foods should be avoided for a happy mouth, but it’s vital to note that just because a food is acidic, doesn’t mean it’s bad for dental health. In fact, there are plenty of acidic, mainly whole foods, that work wonders for dental wellness.

Types of Acid Foods To Include

For example, apples can help clean your teeth and increase saliva production. Having adequate salvia helps get rid of bad bacteria and keeps a neutral world in the mouth. On top of that, berries, especially blueberries contain vitamin C which supports maintaining healthy gums as well as antioxidants that fight off free radicals in our cells.

Furthermore, the coffee nutrition profile includes the micronutrients potassium and magnesium which helps absorb calcium into your teeth as well as a specific antioxidant that may help reduce gum inflammation. To learn more about acidic blueberries and coffee’s dental health benefits as well as how to enjoy them while keeping your mouth well, check out my other blog posts “Are Blueberries Acidic?” and “Is Coffee Bad For Your Teeth?“.

Types of Alkaline Foods To Minimize

Not all alkaline foods are good for dental health either. Dried fruits tend to be alkaline and tend to have a ton of added sugar in them which can lead to tooth decay. The same can be said for honey. But, dried fruits are also packed with nutrients the mouth loves, such as vitamin C and some B vitamins.

It’s All About Balance

digital image of person balancing on seesaw with foods on either end of seesaw

Overall, when it comes to nourishing your oral health a varied try to go for a balanced diet with foods low in added sugars and highly refined, processed foods. And if you are worried that acidic foods will harm your mouth, but also are aware of their benefits, try drinking water or milk or having a few bites of hard cheese right after.

*Hard cheese suggestion may seem random, but some studies have shown it may help reduce cavity development. For more info, refer to this study from The Journal of European Pediatric Dentistry.

How Alkaline and Acid Foods Impact General Health and Wellbeing

How alkaline and acid foods impact general health is a hot topic of debate among health professionals. To get a better feel for what foods pH does for general wellness, both the benefits and drawbacks are explained.

Alkaline Foods Impact on General Health

Advocates for the alkaline diet insist that consuming alkaline foods 80% of the time or more creates a more balanced body that has less inflammation and better digestion. Proponents of a mainly alkaline food and drink lifestyle even promote that it may help prevent chronic diseases such as osteoporosis and heart disease.

Now, there have been some studies showing that alkaline foods can be a factor in losing weight, lowering blood pressure or even improving bone density. Additional sources sections provide links to those studies. However, the alkaline foods in the studies are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that have a number of health benefits.

It can be hard to infer if it was the alkaline diet in the studies that contributed to the positive health outcomes, or it was other factors such as having a set plan, changing eating habits, or learning about wellness and nutrition in general that led to improved well-being.

Either way there are plenty of alkaline foods that are packed with nourishing nutrients. For example, vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, kale and mushrooms are all packed with a variety of nourishing vitamins and minerals. Additionally, extra virgin olive oil and sweet potato fall on the alkaline pH side too.

Whether you feel the alkaline diet is right for you or not, these foods surely can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

Acid Foods Impact on General Health

Foods low on pH sometimes get a bad reputation for contributing to diseases and illnesses. However, just like with most things, when consumed in a moderate way as part of a balanced diet, acid foods can be a wonderful part of healthy living. There are plenty of low-pH foods that are filled with all sorts of nutrients the body needs to maintain wellness. Again, it all just depends on the type and amount of acid foods consumed.

Foods like citrus fruits, some yogurts, tomatoes, blueberries and pineapples are all low-pH foods. Yet, pineapples contain an enzyme bromelian that helps with reducing or managing inflammation (to learn how this check out my other blog post “Does Pineapple Juice Help With Wisdom Teeth?“). Blueberries and citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, a vitamin that can help support a healthy immune system. And, tomatoes are filled with the antioxidant lycopene, which may help support cardiovascular and heart health!

However, acidic foods can contribute to inflammation and the development of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But, this is mostly associated with either consuming too many healthier acidic foods (yes, there can be too much of a good thing) or intaking highly refined, processed, high-added sugar food and beverages. With the latter it’s not just the acid that can contribute to adverse health effects, it is also all the other ingredients in these high processed foods that can negatively impact well-being when consumed regularly for long periods.

Which To Include? Which To Minimize?

Overall, when it comes to eating for general health, it’s important to include a variety of alkaline and acid foods. Foods on both sides of the pH scale offer nutritional benefits the body needs. Creating a balanced, nutritious lifestyle predominantly full of low processed, low added sugar, and made up of a variety of mostly whole foods is a great way to nourish well-being.

person sitting in yoga crossed leg with lemons acid and lobster alkaline on either side symbolizing balance harmony well-being

Alkaline Acid Food Chart

There is a difference between foods that are alkaline and acid-forming when your body digest and absorbs them versus foods that are alkaline and acid in the uneaten food form. Some of the rationales for eating foods that become alkaline upon digestion is that it balances blood pH. Now, according to credible information and science our bodies do a great job of maintaining pH regardless of the pH of uneaten or digested food we have. A few articles that go into detail on this can be found in the additional resources section.

The focus of this post is on foods that are alkaline or acidic or fall somewhere in between in the uneaten form. Keep in mind, when mostly acidic foods enter your mouth they can adversely impact your mouth’s bacteria and tooth enamel when consumed regularly over time!

One more thing, this chart is broken down into food groups and then by very acidic, slightly acidic, somewhat alkaline and alkaline. Because there aren’t many foods that are truly alkaline in pH, I labeled the foods that are a pH of 5.5 or higher as less acidic more towards neutral and alkaline.

Fresh Fruits

Extremely Acidic
pH 0 – 2.5
pH 2.6 – 4.0
Mildly Acidic
pH 4.1 – 5.5
Least Acidic
pH 5.6 – 6.0
Nearing Neutral or Neutral
pH 6.1 and up
GrapesCA CherryMelonOlives

Fresh Vegetables

Extremely Acidic
pH 0 -2.5
pH 2.6 – 4.0
Mildy Acidic
pH 4.1 – 5.5
Least Acidic
pH 5.6 – 6.0
Nearing Neutral or Neutral
6.1 and up
BeetsBlack BeansLima Beans
CucumbersKidney BeansSoy Beans
PeppersString BeansBrussel Sprouts

Meat and Fish

Extremely Acidic
pH 0 – 2.5
pH 2.6 – 4.0
Mildy Acidic
4.1 – 5.5
Least Acidic
5.6 – 6.0
Nearing Neutral or Neutral
pH 6.1 and up
ChickenCrab Meat
Light Meat
Dark Meat

Nuts and Grains

Extremely Acidic
pH 0 -2.5
pH 2.6 – 4.0
Mildly Acidic
pH 4.1 – 5.5
Least Acidic
pH 5.6 – 6.0
Nearing Neutral or Neutral
pH 6.1 and up
Chia SeedsWhite Bread CashewsCream of Wheat
Corn FlakesWheat BreadGraham Crackers
WalnutsPuffed Rice
Rye BreadShredded Wheat

Dairy and Eggs

Extremely Acidic
pH 0 – 2.5
pH 2.6 – 4.0
Mildly Acidic
pH 4.1 – 5.5
Least Acidic
pH 5.6 – 6.0
Nearing Neutral or Neutral
pH 6.1 and up
ButtermilkGruyereBlue Cheese
Swiss CheeseBrie
Cottage CheeseMozarellaQueso
Feta CheeseCheese DipEgg Whites
Parmesan Cheddar
YogurtCow’s Milk

As you can see from the chart, fruits are the only group that has foods in the extremely acidic and acidic categories. The other food groups are mostly mildly acidic to neutral or nearing neutral.

Alkaline Acid Balanced Meal and Snack Ideas

Eating a balanced diet, full of whole foods with a variety of acid and alkaline pH choices is a great way to get a variety of nutrients that truly do provide fuel your body and dental wellness needs. So, below are some fun and tasty meal and snack ideas.

Meal Ideas

  • Caesar Style Salad with Protein – lettuce and spinach with anchovies, parmesan and tomatoes
  • Fruit, Seeds and Yogurt Bowl – yogurt with chia and flaxseeds, sliced almonds and berries
  • Veggie Packed Eggs and Fruit – scrambled eggs with Swiss cheese, sautéed spinach and tomatoes with a side of sliced pineapples and melons

Snack Ideas

  • Blueberries with almonds
  • Whole wheat toast with half a sliced avocado and lemon juice
  • Canned tuna with feta, celery and a serving of grapes

Final Thoughts

Having an understanding of what foods are more acidic and which ones are mostly neutral and alkaline hopefully helps provide some clarity around what foods to pair with one another. Not all acidic foods are bad for you and not all alkaline foods are great for you. When it comes to making healthy choices try to pick foods that are minimally processed with low added sugars.

To help nourish your dental health and overall health, try having water before, during and after eating. This will help remove food debris as well as wash away some acidic particles that could be in your mouth or on your teeth. P airing low-pH foods with higher-pH foods will also help to reduce the harsh impact extremely acidic foods can have on your mouth.

And as always, as a registered dietitian with a specialty in dental health I am here to help, provide guidance and support. Any questions, for more information or to work with me please reach out via my contact page.

Cheers to Acid Alkaline Nourishing Foods!

alkaline acid food chart image with pH scale and a picture with a variety of healthy food

Additional Sources

2 thoughts on “Alkaline Acid Food Chart: See the pH of Foods”

  1. So interesting, thank you for sharing! I had no idea that chia seeds are acidic and beef is mildly acidic! I also haven’t thought about the impact of acidic and alkaline foods on my health, so this is really helpful to consider.

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