Alkaline-promoting foods include fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts/seeds and plant-based protein sources such as beans and tofu. Dairy, eggs, meat, most grains, processed foods, alcohol and caffeine are considered acidic and are not considered part of an alkaline diet.
Human blood has a normal pH level of between 7.35 and 7.45, making it slightly alkaline. Proponents of alkaline diets believe that a diet high in acid-producing foods disrupts this balance and promotes the loss of essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium. This imbalance is believed to bring on illness. They believe eating acid-free foods helps the body maintain its optimal blood pH level, resulting in improved digestion, less bloating and flatulence, improved energy and reduced cravings, as well as decreased disease.
To balance alkaline-forming and acid-forming foods, follow the 80/20 rule at each meal: 40 percent vegetables, 40 percent grains and 20 percent protein.
While the alkaline diet can promote weight loss and cardiovascular health due to its focus on fruits and vegetables, foods do not substantially change the pH of blood, according to WebMD. The alkaline diet should not be used by individuals who are pregnant, have cancer, kidney failure or heart disease. Individuals taking medication that affects potassium levels in the body should seek medical guidance.