Acidic foods are foods that are lower on the pH scale. The pH scale is used to grade acidity and alkaline levels. It goes from 0 – 14. Foods that are acidic are usually 6.9 and lower, while foods that are alkaline are usually 8 and higher. 7 is neutral, meaning neither acidic nor alkaline, such as water, for example.
Foods that are acidic or have low pH values are not necessarily bad, but eating such foods can increase acid levels in the body, although studies have shown that such foods may not have any significant impact on the body’s pH levels.
In today’s post, we will be looking at some of the acidic foods we have in Nigeria.
1. Tomato products
While tomato itself is quite tolerable, products made from/with tomato usually have a higher acidic value. This includes tomato paste, ketchup, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and any other form of tomato that has gone through some form of processing.
As we noted above, consuming acidic foods might not have any significant impact on the body’s pH levels, but you should still try to limit your consumption of processed tomatoes. Instead, use more raw tomatoes in your cooking.
2. Carbonated drinks
Carbonated drinks, like soft drinks, contain a lot of acids, including phosphoric acid and carbonic acid. When you take a bottle of soft drink, you end up transferring these acids into your body, where they could affect the pH levels of your urine.
Cutting down on your consumption of soft drinks is recommended, not just because of their acid content but also because it is unhealthy as it does not add any nutrients to the body.
3. Certain fruits
Some fruits in Nigeria like bananas, oranges, plums, pineapples, and lime are very acidic. Although these fruits are very rich in nutrients, people with upper gastrointestinal issues like an ulcer or reflux are advised to stay off those fruits as eating them could worsen the symptoms they already experience.
Cooked potatoes have a pH level of around 1.7, making them a very acidic food. But potatoes are quite safe for consumption, although not for people with gastrointestinal problems.
5. Certain vegetables
Some vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and cucumber have low pH values. But this value is only low when the vegetables are eaten raw. Vegetables like spinach become less acidic when they are cooked for a bit.
Cooking your vegetables before you eat is very important as it also helps kill any microorganisms that may be on the vegetable.
Seafood, including fish, catfish, stockfish, periwinkles, prawns, and lobsters, have low pH values and are, therefore, acidic foods. This even includes canned fish like sardines and tuna.
Meat like turkey, chicken, and even red meat are all acidic foods. This also includes processed meats like corned beef and hot dogs.
Dairy, including cheese, milk, and yoghurt, have low pH values, which makes them acidic foods.
9. Fried foods
Fried foods are usually acidic because they have acid-forming properties. Hence, eating too many fried foods often can worsen symptoms of acid reflux disease.
Spaghetti typically has a pH level ranging from 5.10 to 6.50. However, it is acid-forming, which means that it causes your stomach to produce more acid.
Spaghetti is also prepared with tomato sauce, which makes it an acidic food.
As we noted above, while acidic foods may not impact the body’s pH balance, people with gastrointestinal issues like ulcers and reflux should do well to limit or avoid the consumption of these acidic foods in Nigeria.
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