Did you know that more than 67% of all American households eat pickles regularly? And that those same households purchase pickles every 53 days, on average? That means that every other month or so, the average household has to decide what to do with the pickle juice in the bottom of their empty pickle jar. Today I’m here to tell you to hang on to that juice! Because it turns out that there are actually a surprising amount of things you can do with your leftover pickle juice!
- 7 Surprising Uses For Pickle Juice
- 5 All-Natural Weed Killers, Straight From Your Kitchen (No. 2 Will Kill ANYTHING)
- 9 Surprising Ways To Use Leftover Pickle Juice
- Homemade Weed Killer Recipes
- 1. Hangover Cure:
- 2. Post-Workout Cure:
- 3. PMS Remedy:
- 4. Heartburn Relief:
- Acid- vs. alkaline-forming foods
- What determines whether a food is acid-forming or alkaline-forming inside our body?
- How does diet affect our acid-alkaline balance?
- Alkaline-acid food charts
- Alkaline Food Chart
- Acidic Food Chart
- Everything you need to know about pickle juice
- Claim: Pickle juice is beneficial for sports performance
- Claim: pickle juice cures muscle cramps
- Claim: pickle juice lessens stomach pain
- Claim: pickle juice cures hangovers
- Claim: Pickle juice soothes sunburns
- Claim: Pickle juice relieves period cramps
- Claim: Pickle juice fights disease
- Claim: Pickle Juice Helps Control Blood Sugar
- Related posts:
7 Surprising Uses For Pickle Juice
1. Vinegar Replacement
You can use pickle juice in almost any recipe that calls for vinegar. Try using it in salad dressings, soups, coleslaws, and more. Pickle juice adds an extra boost of flavor to anything you put it in!
2. Make More Pickled Food
Toss a handful of baby carrots or shredded carrots in there and let it sit in your fridge for a few days. The pickled carrots make a deliciously tangy snack!
Another option delicious option would be using thinly sliced red onions, plus a few sprigs of cilantro for an extra pop of flavor. These quick pickled onions would be perfect as a topping for salads, sandwiches, or tacos!
You can also put a few peeled hard-boiled eggs in pickle juice to make pickled eggs! (Again, just leave them in the fridge for a few days to let the pickle juice work its magic.)
3. Marinade & Meat Tenderizer
Salty, tangy pickle juice makes a great marinade for meat. You can also use it to tenderize tougher cuts! For a marinade that’s perfect for pork or steak, whisk together some pickle juice, minced garlic, pepper, and mustard. Brush the mixture on the pork or steak, then let it marinate for an hour or up to overnight. Grill or roast the meat for a tender and flavorful meal!
You can also use pickle juice to marinate chicken. Place your chicken in a ziplock bag and pour in some pickle juice. (Add a splash of milk too for a more toned-down pickle flavor.) Let the chicken marinate overnight, then grill to your liking.
You can also use pickle juice as a basting mixture while you grill. Just add some minced garlic and your favorite spices to some pickle juice, then spoon it over your meat as it cooks. Yum!
4. Health Drink
As strange as it sounds, there are plenty of good reasons to drink your leftover pickle juice! Here are just a few of the situations where drinking pickle juice could be helpful:
- Post-Workout Drink – Drinking pickle juice after an intense workout can help prevent muscle cramps. It also contains electrolytes (even more than most sports drinks!) that can help you stay hydrated.
- PMS Remedy – The sodium content of pickle juice can help prevent muscle cramps, and not just the kind you get after working out. You can drink pickle juice to help reduce PMS-related cramping too!
- Heartburn Remedy – Take a few sips of pickle juice to help reduce heartburn.
- Laxative – Drink a small glass of pickle juice to help gently ease constipation.
- Upset Stomach – Drink a small glass of pickle juice to help with general “upset tummy” symptoms. It can help with digestion, which usually clears up low-grade stomach discomfort.
- Hiccup Stopper – Some people swear by drinking pickle juice as a cure for hiccups. Give it a try the next time you have hiccups you can’t seem to shake!
5. Food Enhancer
Adding a splash of pickle juice is an easy way to enhance the flavor of many foods! Here are a few ways to use it:
- Make your own Utah-style “fry sauce,” our favorite dipping sauce for french fries! (Get the recipe here.)
- Liven up store-bought barbecue sauce by adding a tablespoon of pickle juice.
- Add a splash to your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe.
- Marinate soft white cheese in pickle juice for a tangy twist.
- Mix pickle juice with a little beef broth, and use the mixture as a broth for Korean-style cold noodles.
- Add a splash of pickle juice to your fresh vegetable juice.
- Elevate hummus with a few dashes of pickle juice.
- Use pickle juice to perk up poached fish.
- Add a splash to your meatloaf mixture when you add the other condiments.
6. Cleaning Agent
Make your tarnished copper pans sparkle by cleaning them with pickle juice! You can also use it to clean off your grill grates. Those charred, crusty bits are much easier to scrape off after you soaked them with a bit of pickle juice.
7. Garden Helper
Some plants like hydrangeas and rhododendrons thrive in acidic soil. You can add pickle juice to the soil around these plants to help increase its acidity. Avoid pouring it directly on your plants, which could cause damage. (Speaking of which, you can also use pickle juice as a weed killer! Just pour a bit on dandelions, thistles, and other weeds as a pet-friendly herbicide.)
Hi, I’m Jillee!
I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!
Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!
By Mike Malloy
Along with the yellow Tabebuia trees that are blooming all around town in early spring, the gardenias begin blooming. My gardenia facing east started blooming two months ago, and is still going strong. Remember when people ask when gardenias are supposed to bloom to tell them spring to early summer is usually the time, but I always say, plants bloom whenever they feel like it. That is probably the best answer because you can only give an estimate of when things bloom because so much can change with the weather here in South Florida. But when they bloom, they really can put on a show in any garden.
Gardenias are best known for their very fragrant white to ivory flowers, that can be quite large on some varieties, and their broad dark green and glossy green leaves that have a leathery texture. Not all gardenia flowers are white, there is a yellow variety as well. With well over a hundred species there are a lot to choose from. Gardenias can be used in the garden as a mass planting, and like all other flowers massed, it creates a very impressive site, never mind the fragrance. It can also be a single free standing specimen. I have seen them used as hedges, usually growing seven to eight feet tall, trimming
after blooming, usually mid-summer- pruning after that might decrease flower production. You can keep them at any height you wish, but why trim your gardenias- let it go, the more the merrier! Trimming makes them bushier and never use gas trimmers on them!
Gardenias love acid well drained soil, which most of us in Florida have. Gardenias are a beautiful plant, but some can be tricky. Although yellowing leaves in gardenias seem to be a natural occurrence, sometimes over watering can cause yellow leaves. Gardenias like moist soil, but not wet soil. If your leaves turn yellow but the veins in the leaves are still green, iron of chelate may be added and should help the problem. Or try a couple of tablespoons of Epsom salts. Fertilize in spring and summer when most growth occurs. In Florida, gardenias are grown on their own root stocks and also grafted plants, which seem to produce larger flowers. An old remedy that works is to give gardenias the left over pickle juice from your jar of dill pickles.
Gardenias and Pests
In the past and present, I have seen gardenias with a black mold like substance on the leaves (sooty mold), which usually means the presence of insects (such as mealy bugs, aphids, scale and/or white fly). Insects love gardenias as
much as we do, but I have found that Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub insecticide with a fertilizer takes care of this problem. Enjoy your gardenias for its fragrance and don’t forget to put them near entrances and exits so you can smile every time you leave or enter your home. They also make a great container plant. And by the way, I have seen butterflies on the flowers – I am not sure whether they are nectaring or just enjoying the fragrance. Keep butterflying!
Mike Malloy, local author and artist known as “The Butterfly Man” has been a Naples resident since 1991. A Collier County Master Gardener, he has written two books entitled “Butterfly Gardening Made Easy for Southwest Florida,” and “Tropical Color – A Guide to Colorful Plants for the Southwest Florida Garden”, and currently writes articles on various gardening topics for several local publications. Mike has planted and designed numerous butterfly gardens around Naples including many schools, the City of Naples, Rookery Bay, the Conservancy and Big Cypress. Bring your gardening questions to the Third Street Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings or on Thursdays at the Naples Botanical Garden where he does a Plant Clinic or visit his website, www.naplesbutterfly.com. He also can be heard every Saturday at 4 PM on his call-in garden radio show, “Plant Talk with Mike Malloy,” on 98.9-WGUF.
5 All-Natural Weed Killers, Straight From Your Kitchen (No. 2 Will Kill ANYTHING)
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Weeds — they creep up in your garden, sneak through the cracks in the sidewalk, and make it a point to grow everywhere that’s inconvenient to reach.
The easy-out, of course, is to reach for a bottle of store-bought herbicide. Readily available and modestly priced, it’s no wonder that many home gardeners choose it.
Unfortunately, many of these herbicides can be detrimental not only to weeds, but to humans as well. Studies suggest that the chemicals in these products can have a wide range of impacts. Some are relatively minor, such as the potential to cause skin irritations or allergic reactions, while others are more serious, such as nervous system problems and even cancer. In all cases, children and pets are especially vulnerable. Many of these products also have a long-term negative impact on the environment.
Seamazing: The Low-Cost Way To Re-mineralize Your Soil
Homemade weed killers offer the best possible alternative to manufactured herbicides. Inexpensive and made from common household materials, these natural weed killers can help keep unwanted plants at bay without unnecessary exposure to harmful chemicals.
Let’s look at several:
1. Boiling water
One of the simplest solution to weeds involves nothing more than water. To use this technique, boil water in a kettle, then, before it has a chance to cool, pour the water on the crown and roots of the offending plant. The hot temperature will scald virtually any plant it comes in contact with, generally dealing a mortal blow. Although plants with long taproots may require more than one treatment, this is an easy and completely natural way to combat pesky plants.
There’s a reason armies used to salt the fields of their enemies — salt has a powerful ability to render soil barren. Because it affects the ability of roots to take up water from the soil, salt effectively dries out existing plants and makes it difficult for new ones to take hold. While not an ideal solution for gardens and lawns since it can cause permanent damage to the soil, salt can be useful for treating pathways, sidewalks and other areas that are meant to be plant-free. For easy application, dissolve one part salt in eight parts water and apply to the desired locations.
3. Vinegar and lemon juice
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Plants are picky when it comes to soil pH, and lowering the pH immediately around a weed will almost always cause it to wither. For this reason, it’s not unusual to find acidic ingredients in many commercial herbicides. Before resorting to an unknown chemical concoction, though, it’s worth trying a version made from common pantry items.
Need Non-GMO Seeds For Your Organic Garden? The Best Deals Are Right Here!
Vinegar and lemon juice both contain strong acids and can be combined for a pH-targeting weed treatment. Simply combine four ounces of lemon juice with one quart of vinegar and apply directly on the offending plants. This solution will kill most plants, but without causing residual damage to the surrounding soil.
4. Pickle juice
Finish off a jar of pickles recently? Don’t throw away the bottle without putting the leftover liquid to good use first! Pickle brine is full of vinegar and salt, making it a natural combination of these two weed-tackling substances. Apply directly to problem plants and pat yourself on the back for finding such a creative way to handle uninvited garden guests.
One of the most popular homemade herbicides involves combining two of the treatments mentioned above (vinegar and salt) with a third household product — dish soap. While not necessarily damaging to weeds in and of itself, soap contains surfactants which help the other ingredients “stick” to the plant, enhancing the weed-killing properties of the solution. To create this triple-whammy weed control, combine one gallon of vinegar (to lower the pH) with one cup of salt (to dry out the roots) and one tablespoon of dish soap (to help it adhere to the plants).
Controlling weeds doesn’t necessarily need to involve harsh chemicals and impossible-to-pronounce ingredients. Take advantage of these homemade alternatives to safely keep unwanted plants in check.
What all-natural methods would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the section below:
Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.
9 Surprising Ways To Use Leftover Pickle Juice
Pickles are an American staple. Whether as a topping for burgers or eaten straight out of the jar, people love them—so much so that more than nine pounds of pickles are consumed per person annually. That’s a lot of pickles … and a lot of leftover pickle juice! So what do you do with all that leftover goodness? While many might pour it straight down the drain once all the pickles are gone, there are several ways you can use it. Here are 9 ways you should be recycling your pickle juice:
- Re-Pickle With It
Seems pretty straight forward, and why not? If you have vegetables that need to be used, empty them into a jar of leftover pickle juice. Let them sit for a few days, and voila! You’ll enjoy all sorts of tangy snacks. Shredded baby carrots, thinly sliced red onions, hard-boiled eggs and more all pickled to perfection will allow you to liven up your sandwiches, tacos and side dishes.
- Liven-Up Other Foods
There are oh so many ways you can enhance your foods with pickle juice. Add a tablespoon of pickle juice to your store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce, a little to your macaroni and cheese recipe, or even marinate soft white cheese in it. Like to juice? Add some of it to your vegetable juice for a tangy twist. Need a new take on your poached fish recipe? Use a little pickle juice to perk it up.
- Add A Kick To Your Drink
Pickle juice is a great additive to a variety of cocktails. You can add a tablespoon of pickle juice to your Bloody Mary, a side to your glass of whiskey (also known as a pickleback), or make a “red beer” using tomato juice and pickle juice. Not feeling so hot after enjoying one too many libations the night before? Pickle juice replenishes depleted sodium levels and works to rehydrate you back to health.
- Use It As A Cleaning Agent
Many commercial cleaning products are filled with toxic chemicals, making a homemade version much more appealing. Pickle juice works wonders as a grill cleaner, making the charred bits scrape off hassle-free. You can also use it to make blackened copper pans shine.
Related: 56 Household Uses For Baking Soda
- Get In The Garden With It
Sick of trying to keep weeds from wreaking havoc on your hard work in the garden? The high vinegar and salt content of pickle juice makes it a perfect weed killer, so dump it on dandelions, thistle and almost any other weed that makes its way around your home. Bonus: You can kill weeds while making other plants, like hydrangeas and rhododendrons, thrive since they need an acidic soil in order to be at their best.
- Pickle Up Your Post-Workout Drink
Recovering after a workout is just as important as fueling up beforehand. You need to ensure you replace lost electrolytes and sodium—both of which can cause uncomfortable cramping and dehydration. One study even found that pickle juice stopped post-workout muscle cramps in a mere 85 seconds.
- Cure Your Heartburn
It’s an uncomfortable feeling that often has us reaching for drugstore remedies to alleviate the symptoms, but what if heartburn could be cured by opening up the fridge? That’s right. When heartburn strikes, simply take a few sips of pickle juice, which helps balance the pH in the stomach to calm acid reflux.
- Halt Your Hiccups
There’s plenty of methods people tout as being the go-to for stopping pesky hiccups from continuing. A common claim for curing them is drinking a small glass of pickle juice. Try for yourself and see if it’s the number one method for you!
Homemade Weed Killer Recipes
April 1, 20101 found this helpful
Dandelion foliage withering, just 24 hours after a vinegar application.
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For organic gardening, vinegar can function as a handy natural weed killer. It’s the acetic acid in vinegar that gives it the power to kill weeds. The higher the percentage of acetic acid in the vinegar, the better it will operate as a natural weed killer, technically speaking. Vinegar used for culinary purposes is relatively low (5%) in acetic acid, so repeated applications will be necessary when using it as a natural weed killer.
Vinegar As Natural Weed Killer: Limitations
If you’re battling lawn weeds, take care to apply the vinegar directly onto the weeds themselves, not letting it come into contact with your grass. Why? Because the fact that vinegar is a natural weed killer doesn’t mean it can’t be harmful if misused. Vinegar is non-selective, and this natural weed killer can harm your grass!
To avoid damage to grass, consider “painting” the vinegar directly onto weeds with a brush. If you do spray with vinegar, don’t pull the trigger until you’re right up close to the targeted weed. Don’t spray on a windy day, as the wind could carry your vinegar spray where you don’t want it to go — on your grass.
Because of this limitation, I don’t think of vinegar as being an especially effective natural weed killer for lawn areas. It makes more sense to use vinegar in areas where lawn grass and other landscaping plants won’t be in the way, such as on patios or walkways (where you have weeds pushing up through cracks).
But if you’re already in the process of digging a dandelion out of the lawn, it wouldn’t hurt to supplement your efforts with vinegar. After you’ve removed as much of the taproot as possible, carefully pour some vinegar into the hole. The vinegar will seep down into the soil, killing any portions of taproot you may have missed. Afterwards, shovel soil into the hole and sow grass seed on top, lest any opportunistic weed seeds should fill the vacuum.
There’s another limitation in using vinegar as a natural weed killer, but this limitation extends to chemical weed killers, as well: namely, that you’ll probably have to re-apply the vinegar to get the job done, as weeds often refuse to go quietly. This is especially true of established perennial weeds, toughened by years of coping with environmental challenges; vinegar will be more effective on younger weeds.
But considering that vinegar is safe and relatively inexpensive, this objection is hardly a telling argument against the use of vinegar as a natural weed killer. If your goal is to use a natural weed killer, one assumes that you’ll be motivated to make repeated applications, as necessary.
Vinegar As Natural Weed Killer: When to Apply
When practicing natural weed control, take to heart the dictum, Know thine enemy! Study up on the weeds you’re battling before you use the vinegar on them. Target annual weeds with your vinegar natural weed killer before they set seed, to prevent them from spawning a new generation to give you headaches next year.
By contrast, early fall is the best time to use this natural weed killer on perennial weeds. Early fall is when you’ll want to apply vinegar to dandelions (but snap off the flowers whenever they appear, to prevent them from going to seed in the meantime). Dandelions, although their leaves die back in winter, do live on through their roots. So preventing them from going to seed isn’t enough.
Fortunately, knowing a little botany can help you considerably in your battle with perennial weeds like dandelions. You see, in early fall, nutrients are transferred from the dandelion leaves down to the roots. This transfer, which continues until the first killing frost, presents you with an opportunity to hit dandelions where it really hurts! Vinegar natural weed killer applied during this time is absorbed by the leaves and passed on to the roots, following the same path down as the nutrients. The plants are killed — naturally. Repeated applications may be necessary.
Vinegar As Natural Weed Killer: How to Apply
Listen to your local forecast, and find out when your region will be experiencing a few continuous days of sunshine. At the beginning of this period, spray or paint the vinegar onto the weeds you wish to kill.
Why is a sunny period required? Two reasons:
1.You need to saturate the weeds’ leaves with the vinegar, and rain would wash too much of the vinegar off the foliage.
2.The real damage to the sprayed weeds begins the next couple of days after the application, when the sun hits the leaves.
Some people who use vinegar as a natural weed killer like to boil the vinegar, prior to application. Through such boiling, you may actually be able to gain a concentrate higher in acetic acid, although I haven’t yet experimented with this option in any scientific way. But it certainly can’t hurt to boil the vinegar; in fact, many folks report success killing weeds by simply pouring scalding water on weeds! So I suppose the use of boiled vinegar allows you to attack weeds on an additional front.
Vinegar As Natural Weed Killer: The Stronger Stuff
It is possible to buy products with a higher acetic acid content than that found in ordinary vinegar. Such products can be purchased at farmer’s stores or from restaurant supply businesses. But the potency of these acetic acid products can render them less safe to use than household vinegar. To me, that puts them at odds with the whole concept of using “natural weed killers.” Besides, you have to go out of your way to find these products, and the idea behind the present article was to introduce a handy natural weed killer, something you can just pull off a kitchen shelf and experiment with.
Other Uses for Vinegar
Those of you who have held an ongoing grudge against vinegar for its ability to make your mouth pucker may finally be able to grant vinegar forgiveness. For that same sourness makes vinegar the natural weed killer of choice for organic gardening. Vinegar can also be used for cleaning purposes around the home, as an alternative to chemical cleaners.
So if you rarely open that vinegar jug for purposes of seasoning your food, don’t despair: The uses for vinegar extend well beyond the culinary.
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Q: Can drinking pickle juice help your acid reflux symptoms?
A. There are people who swear that drinking pickle juice is a good home remedy for acid reflux. Their thought process? It’s an easy way to get abundant amounts of gut-healthy Lactobacillus bacteria, which naturally occurs on the skin of a growing cucumber.
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What people may not realize is that these beneficial probiotic bacteria are usually removed during processing and fermentation so that the true benefit may be negligible. Despite all this, power of suggestion and of the mind can never be underestimated.
Other people swear by taking vinegar (which is also a common ingredient in pickle juice). However, the benefits of doing this are extremely subjective. Some people report it to be somewhat helpful. Perhaps, the overpowering pungent smell and taste of vinegar wipes out their ability to notice their own heartburn. Others note that taking vinegar seems to make their heartburn worse — so it’s very patient-dependent.
If you’re looking for a natural remedy for chronic acid reflux (also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD), I recommend the following:
- Eat smaller portions during meals.
- Go for a low-fat heart healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly. Move regularly throughout the day, and avoid sedentary states (sitting, reclining).
- Lose weight if you are overweight; gain weight if you are underweight (ideal BMI is best).
- Avoid constipation or incomplete evacuated states.
- Avoid known triggers (smoking, alcohol, heavy or fatty meals, excessive caffeine or raw onions). Also, don’t exercise immediately after eating (make sure you wait a few hours before exercising).
These are all natural, proven ways to help lessen acid reflux symptoms.
— Gastroenterologist Christine Lee, MD
Pickle juice — it’s often the forgotten counterpart when enjoying delicious pickles, and fortunately it actually does more than just add flavor to your favorite side dish. There are also many health benefits associated with the leftover juice.
According to the New York Food Museum, the history of cucumbers dates back to 2030 B.C. when cucumbers were first brought over from India to the Tigris Valley, and people needed a way to preserve them. Cleopatra even claimed that her diet of pickles helped maintain her beauty. In modern times, pickles are used in many ways: drinks, foods, and beauty remedies, to name a few. However, pickle juice also has amazing health benefits like curing a hangover and soothing heartburn. We’ve listed some helpful ways you can incorporate pickle juice into your life:
1. Hangover Cure:
One of the main reasons people feel so terrible when they’ve spent a night drinking is because alcohol is a diuretic, leaving you feeling dehydrated. Drinking pickle juice helps to replenish your depleted sodium levels.
2. Post-Workout Cure:
Many athletes swear by it because it helps to rebuild electrolytes post-workout. Pickle juice contains sodium and vinegar — both necessary in aiding athletes and those who sweat heavily. Some researchers also credit vinegar to help relieve the cramps; others say it’s the magnesium. This might also be useful pre-workout, too. The National Institutes of Health found that ingesting high-sodium drinks pre-exercise can improve thermoregulation and performance.
3. PMS Remedy:
It works the same way as it would for a post-workout cure because it helps to hydrate the body and alleviate cramping. It also will help to curb the salt cravings that many women have when they are menstruating.
4. Heartburn Relief:
This might sound like it would cause the exact opposite effect, since vinegar triggers heartburn for some, but the vinegar in pickle juice actually helps some people soothe heartburn, according to Yahoo Shine.
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Our bodies work hard to keep us healthy… and we don’t even have to pay attention.
For example, our white blood cells are constantly on the lookout for infections, allergens, and other invaders that need to be fought. Our liver is continuously in detox mode to process and eliminate whatever contaminants we encounter in our everyday environment, body care products, and food. And our metabolism is on a constant quest to keep our blood’s pH level slightly alkaline.
In case it’s been a while since your last chemistry class, pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline something is. The scale runs from 0 (highly acidic) to 14 (highly) alkaline.
So for context:
- Lemon juice and vinegar are highly acidic with a pH around 2 (acidic outside the body, anyway — more on that in a moment)
- Bleach and ammonia are highly alkaline with a pH around 13 and 11, respectively (not that we would drink them, but just for context)
- Water is neutral at 7
- And our optimal blood pH sits between 7.35 and 7.45
Why is this important to know? I mean, we did just say that this (like other key tasks) happens automatically, right? Right! But these functions do take work and the thing is, our diet can affect how easily (or not) our body performs its tasks.
In this article
- Acid- vs. alkaline-forming foods
- What determines whether a food is acid-vs.-alkaline-forming inside our body?
- How does diet affect our acid-alkaline balance?
- Alkaline-acid food charts (fridge ready!) 🍏🥕🍋
Acid- vs. alkaline-forming foods
The reason behind this mini science lesson is that the foods we eat can affect the acid-alkaline balance of our blood. That means, the foods we eat can either help our body’s efforts to keep our blood’s pH at the optimal level… or they can hinder those efforts.
But this can get confusing, because foods that we normally think of as acidic or alkaline, can sometimes have the opposite effect on our blood after we’ve digested it. For example, lemons, which are acidic in nature, can actually have an alkalizing effect on our blood. In other words, consuming a lemon can raise our blood pH, making it more alkaline… not more acidic.
Is your head spinning a little? Don’t worry, I’ll unpack this pretty easily for you. Ready?
What determines whether a food is acid-forming or alkaline-forming inside our body?
Digestion begins with our saliva, the moment food enters our mouth. Once food makes its way through our digestive tract, the enzymes and acids in our stomach further break it down and the effect is not dissimilar to “burning” it. The punchline is that the food’s pH can change once it’s been ‘burned’. So again, something that is acidic in nature (like lemons) can produce an alkalizing effect on our blood upon digestion.
This is how scientists determine a food’s pH effect on the body: They incinerate the food, mix the ash with water, and then analyze the mineral content of the ash. If the mineral content is highly alkaline, then the food will likely have an alkalizing effect on the body (even if it was acidic outside of the body), and vice versa. Pretty cool, right?
How does diet affect our acid-alkaline balance?
Let’s say we eat a meal that has an acid-forming effect on our blood — as is all too common in the typical western diet. Our body will work to bring the pH back into balance by releasing alkaline-rich minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium into our blood. If we haven’t been eating a healthy, balanced diet, our bodies may need to pull these important minerals from our bones, teeth, and organs. Yikes.
No matter what we eat, our body will continually strive to keep the alkalinity of our blood in check. It’s just a matter of: are we making this easy or difficult for our body to do?
- A healthy, well-balanced diet** helps to supply our body with the minerals it needs, while simultaneously preventing overly acidic blood pH, to begin with.
- By contrast, a predominantly acid-forming (western) diet forces our body to work harder to keep our pH balanced. As a result, we may have to sacrifice minerals from one area of our body (bones, teeth, organs) in order to keep our blood pH in check.
** A balanced diet equates to roughly 60-80% alkaline-forming foods and 20-40% acid-forming foods.
A balanced (more alkaline) diet can help our body to stay healthier with less effort.
Alkaline-acid food charts
Scroll down for the charts to see which foods have a (very low to highly) alkalizing vs. acidic effect on your body. Also, download this printable Alkaline-Acid Food Chart to stick on your fridge.
Using these charts
Note that the type of soil used to grow fruits and vegetables can influence their mineral content and test results can vary. As a result, different charts can report slightly different pH levels of the same foods.
That in mind, use these alkaline-acid food charts as a general guide and don’t worry if the chart you see here is slightly different from another you’ve found in a different corner of the internet. The small differences in degree ultimately won’t make a huge difference. What will make the biggest difference is replacing processed foods with fresh foods and adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
Alkaline Food Chart
- alfalfa sprouts
- avocado oil
- brussels sprouts
- coconut oil
- duck eggs
- fermented veggies
- flax oil
- ginger tea
- grain coffee
- hemp seed oil
- japonica rice
- olive oil
- sprouted seeds
- sunflower seeds
- turnip greens
- umeboshi vinegar
- wild rice
- apple cider vinegar
- apples (sour)
- artichokes (jerusalem)
- bell pepper
- brown rice vinegar
- cod liver oil
- collard green
- egg yolks
- green tea
- honey (raw)
- nutritional yeast
- pickles (homemade)
- primrose oil
- quail eggs
- rice syrup
- sesame seed
- banchi tea
- beans (fresh green)
- dandelion tea
- edible flowers
- ginger (fresh)
- ginseng tea
- herbal tea
- herbs (leafy green)
- mustard green
- passion fruit
- soy sauce
- sweet corn (fresh)
- baking soda
- lotus root
- mineral water
- pumpkin seed
- sea salt
- sea vegetables
- sweet potato
- taro root
- umeboshi plums
- vegetable juices
Acidic Food Chart
- black-eyed peas
- brown rice
- canola oil
- dry fruit
- fava beans
- goat cheese
- grape seed oil
- maple syrup
- pine nuts
- pumpkin seed oil
- sheep cheese
- string beans
- sunflower oil
- venison (deer)
- wax beans
- wild duck
- adzuki beans
- aged cheese
- almond oil
- balsamic vinegar
- black tea
- cow milk
- game meat
- goat milk
- kidney beans
- lima beans
- navy beans
- pinto beans
- red beans
- safflower oil
- sesame oil
- shell fish
- soy cheese
- white beans
- white rice
- barley groats
- basmati rice
- chestnut oil
- cottage cheese
- egg whites
- garbanzo beans
- green peas
- honey (pasteurized)
- oat bran
- olives (pickled)
- other legumes
- palm kernel oil
- pasta (whole grain)
- pistachio seeds
- snow peas
- soy milk
- artificial sweeteners
- brazil nuts
- brown sugar
- cottonseed oil
- flour (white)
- fried foods
- fruit juices with sugar
- ice cream
- jam / jelly
- pasta (white)
- pickles (commercial)
- processed cheese
- soft drinks
- table salt
- white bread
- white vinegar
- whole wheat foods
- yogurt (sweetened)
Pickling dates back to 2000 BC to Mesopotamia, where cucumbers from India were pickled in the Tigris Valley. Pickling is a means of preserving food in a brine solution, typically comprised of vinegar, salt, seasonings. These acidic, salty liquids are resistant to microbial growth, which preserves the flavour and quality of fresh foods immersed in brine. Many foods are pickled: from vegetables, such as cucumbers, peppers, and radishes; to animal products like eggs and even pig’s feet.
The lacto-fermentation method is a common type of pickling. In this method, vegetables are placed in saltwater brine. Then, lactic acid fermentation microorganisms are introduced or develop naturally. These organisms convert some of the sugars in the vegetables into lactic acid. The lactic acid production increases the acidity of the brine solution and lowers the pH. Once complete, the pH of the brine will be less than 4.6. It is important for the pH to be below 4.6 because microbial growth is greatly inhibited below a pH of 4.6, which ensures that the pickled product is shelf stable and not prone to microbial spoilage. Alternatively, an acidified brine of vinegar and salt can achieve similar results to lacto-fermented pickles.
When producing pickles on a large scale, the pickling brine solution must be prepared consistently in order to ensure a quality product. Salinity, acidity, and pH of the brine will affect the taste and consistency of the final products. For lacto-fermented pickles, if the salinity of the brine is too low, other non-desirable microorganisms may colonise the brine and cause the pickles to spoil. If the salinity is too high, lactic acid bacteria will not be able to thrive.
A pickling company contacted Hanna Instruments about automating their titrations for salt and acidity for their pickled food products. The customer asked about a means of increasing sample throughput, improving accuracy and repeatability, and improving measurement reporting and traceability. The customer is a large-scale food processor whose product offerings vary based on their contracts. The company prepares brines ranging in salinity from 3.5% to 10% NaCl and acidity from 0.8 to 6.0% acetic acid. Based on their quality control testing guidelines, each batch of brine has to be tested in triplicate for both salt and acidity to ensure that the product meets internal quality standards. This meant that on busy days, the quality lab was processing as many as 10 batches per hour, requiring 60 manual titrations per hour to meet QC guidelines.
Hanna Instruments offered the HI902C Automatic Potentiometric Titration System and HI921 Autosampler. The customer appreciated that the HI902C supported two analogue boards, allowing them connect both a pH electrode for acidity titrations and silver sulphide ISE for salt titrations. The HI902C also supports two dosing pumps and burettes, which the customer utilised for their sodium hydroxide titrant for acidity and silver nitrate titrant for salt determination. The HI902C in conjunction with the HI921 offers automated linked methods, which allowed the customer to measure acidity and salt sequentially in one sample. The customer appreciated the 18-beaker tray capacity of the autosampler, allowing them to designate three beakers for electrode rinsing and still run 15 samples per tray.
The customer took advantage of two of the three optional peristaltic pump inputs on the autosampler. These pumps can be used for reagent addition, deionized water addition for sample levelling, and sample aspiration into a waste container. The customer appreciated that they could measure a sample, enter the sample ID and sample size into the sample table, and simply place the sample into the autosampler tray and press “Start”. The titrator with autosampler then brings the sample to volume with deionized water, titrates for salt, titrates for acidity, and then aspirates the sample into a waste container. As each sample was titrated, the customer could view the results for both salt and acidity in the sample table. The customer appreciated that when exporting the results onto a USB flash drive, the sample table was included in an autosampler tray report as well as a report for each individual sample, for both salt and acidity. The improved accuracy and traceability of the HI902 and HI921 from their manual titrations also impressed the customer ’s existing and potential contracts, making them more competitive in the food processing market.
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Everything you need to know about pickle juice
Pickle juice is rumored to have many different uses and health benefits. Here are a few of the most common claims:
Claim: Pickle juice is beneficial for sports performance
Many people think the high sodium content of pickle juice can increase hydration before workouts and improve performance.
However, studies on this are mixed. In one study, participants consumed 3 oz of pickle juice per 100 lbs of body weight (2 ml/kg) before exercise. This had no effect on running performance, sweat rate or body temperature (3).
Additionally, drinking pickle juice after exercise is also supposed to be be beneficial.
Yet while some studies showed that pickle juice helped increase water intake and blood levels of sodium after exercise, other studies showed no effects (4, 5, 6).
Bottom line: Small amounts of pickle juice are unlikely to have significant effects on exercise performance.
Claim: pickle juice cures muscle cramps
Whether they bother you during exercise or as soon as you lie down in bed at night, muscle cramps are never pleasant.
Interestingly, recent research showed they could be resolved in a minute and a half by drinking 1.5 oz of pickle juice for every 100 lb (1 ml/kg) of body weight (7).
Recovery was 36% faster than after drinking plain water, and 45% faster than after consuming no liquid at all (7).
The researchers suggested that something in the pickle juice might trigger a reflex in the mouth, sending a signal to the nerves to stop cramping.
However, more research is needed to confirm this finding.
Bottom line: The next time you feel a muscle cramp coming along, try downing a couple ounces of pickle juice. Research shows it’s likely to help.
Claim: pickle juice lessens stomach pain
Vinegar is a popular home remedy for soothing an upset stomach. It also happens to be a prime ingredient in many commercially produced pickles.
According to anecdotal evidence, a glass of pickle juice may help relieve you of your stomach problems.
This may be because some cases of stomach pain are caused by abnormally low gastric acid production (8, 9).
In these cases, the acidity of pickle juice may help restore stomach acidity to a healthy level.
Nevertheless, there are currently no scientific studies that confirm this.
Bottom line: This one might just be a myth, but could be worth trying. However, people with a stomach ulcer should not try this.
Claim: pickle juice cures hangovers
Hangovers are partially caused by dehydration, and the salt in pickle juice can push you to drink more water (5).
If you have a hangover and like pickles, you don’t have much to lose by giving pickle juice a try.
Yet there’s no scientific evidence that pickle juice is more effective against hangovers than any other salty drink.
Bottom line: Pickle juice may be effective against hangovers by pushing you to drink more water. However, there are no studies to support this.
Claim: Pickle juice soothes sunburns
Pickle juice is also a popular remedy for sunburns.
It’s said you can blot the juice directly onto sunburned skin, or soak a paper bag in pickle juice and then apply it to the burned area.
Yet as is the case with many folk remedies, no scientific studies have investigated the effectiveness of these treatments.
Nonetheless, when there’s no aloe vera on hand, you have little to lose by giving this alternative method a try.
Bottom line: Despite the lack of scientific research on the subject, pickle juice remains a popular home remedy for sunburns.
Claim: Pickle juice relieves period cramps
There’s no scientific research on whether pickle juice reduces menstrual cramps, but a simple Google search reveals that many people believe this.
It’s not a far stretch to say that pickle juice may soothe menstrual cramps in the same way it is thought to soothe other types of cramps (7).
The high levels of sodium in pickle juice may also help curb the cravings for salty food often reported during PMS.
Bottom line: Pickle juice may help relieve menstrual cramps in the same way it soothes exercise-related cramps.
Claim: Pickle juice fights disease
Pickle juice is also thought to boost digestion and immune function, while also reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Such health benefits are often linked to the antioxidants and probiotics thought to be found in pickle juice.
Although it’s possible that pickle juice might have an antioxidant effect, no research exists on the antioxidant content of pickle juice.
When it comes to probiotics, pickled vegetables that are cured in vinegar are delicious, but likely sterile with no beneficial bacteria.
Only fermented pickles contain beneficial bacteria. You would normally find fermented pickles in the refrigerated food section of the grocery store, while the unrefrigerated shelf is more likely to have vinegar-preserved pickles.
However, even fermented pickles don’t pack the probiotic punch that yogurt and other probiotic foods do.
Even if you can get your hands on a jar of fermented pickles, you’d have to drink many glasses of pickle juice per day to reach a therapeutic dose (2).
Bottom line: Pickle juice may be low in antioxidants and probiotics. Take all claims about benefits against diseases with a big grain of salt.
Claim: Pickle Juice Helps Control Blood Sugar
Chronically elevated blood sugar can lead to type 2 diabetes and a wide array of other chronic diseases.
Interestingly, the vinegar found in commercially prepared pickle juice may help lower blood sugar levels.
Vinegar has been shown to improve the body’s response to insulin and significantly reduce blood sugar after meals (10, 11, 12, 13, 14).
However, only one study to date has shown that pickle juice can reduce blood sugar spikes after meals (15).
Pickle juice may also lower blood sugar levels by slowing digestion after a meal (16).
If you’re currently taking medication that lowers your blood sugar, make sure to check with your doctor before giving pickle juice a try.
Bottom line: Like vinegar, pickle juice may reduce how much your blood sugar levels increase after meals.