Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, alkaline minerals, fiber that are key to good health. Now, a newly released study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS: ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific research agency) -funded scientists suggests alkaline plant foods also may help preserve muscle mass and bone density in older men and women.
The study was led by physician and nutrition specialist Bess Dawson-Hughes at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, Mass.
The typical American diet is rich highly acidic in protein, cereal grains and other acid-producing foods. In general, such acidic diets generate dietary amounts of acid each day. With aging, a mild but slowly increasing metabolic “acidosis” develops, according to the researchers.
Acidosis appears to trigger a muscle-wasting response. So the researchers looked at links between measures of lean body mass and diets relatively high in alkaline potassium-rich, alkaline-residue producing fruits and vegetables. Such diets could help neutralize acidosis. Foods can be considered alkaline or acidic based on the residues they produce in the body, rather than whether they are alkaline or acidic themselves. For example, acidic grapefruits, lemons and limes are metabolized to alkaline residues because of their high alkaline potassium bicarbonate content. Continue reading