The Link Between Acidic Foods and Interstitial Cystitis

In her book, Solving the Interstitial Cystitis Puzzle: My Story of Discovery and Recovery”, Amrit Willis RN talks about the focus on an alkalizing diet. With chronic candida infections and food allergies constantly contributing to the problems that interstitial cystitis suffers face, she sums it up as:

“In my search for my recovery from interstitial cystitis, I discovered several books that address health issues with respect to the pH of the body. I was aware that in the IC community it is common knowledge that persons with IC are intolerant of acidic foods and beverages. It is also known in the IC community that alkalizing elements can reduce the symptoms of interstitial cystitis. In my research, I uncovered that an alkali-forming diet can neutralize the acid load in one’s body and thereby assist in restoring one’s health. I wrote this book as a resource for persons suffering from interstitial cystitis because it seems so many of us have been unable to see the forest from the trees. It has been suggested that IC is a syndrome with a variety of origins, and I found this to be true. When one consumes an acid-forming diet, as most Americans do, drink acidic beverages, inhale contaminated acidic air, and live fast-paced stressful lives, one is going to develop a severe acid load in the body that must be neutralized. In order to bring about a balance and neutralize and escort out the acids stored in cells of the body, I discovered this could be done simply and naturally with a change in diet and lifestyle. I wish you a speedy recovery and hope that this book will bring a fresh new vision to understanding interstitial cystitis. I hope this book will also invoke more studies with respect to the pH factor and IC.”

Dietary approaches to interstitial cystitis have mainly been to decrease coffee, spicy food, and chocolate from the diet. Many IC patients, however, report that restricting their diet to abolish acidic foods was a major help factor in their symptoms.

Acidic Foods:

” All meat and fish
” Rice
” Oats, Rye, Wheat, Wheat germ, Bran, Cornmeal
” Popcorn
” Pastas
” Breads and other grain products, crackers, pastries
” Pinto, Navy, Garbanzo, red, white, black beans
” Cheese
” Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds
” Walnuts, pecans, cashews, dried coconut, pistachios, filberts, brazil nuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts
” Colas, other carbonated beverages
” Alcoholic drinks
” Coffee and other caffeinated beverages
” Sweetened yogurt
” Sweeteners
” Table salt
” Soy sauce
” Mustard, Ketchup, Mayonnaise, White vinegar
” Nutmeg

Alkalizing Foods:

” Vegetables except peppers and beets
” Fruits except for blueberries, plums, prunes, and cranberries
” String, soy, lima, green, and snap beans
” Peas
” Potatoes
” Arrowroot Flour
” Flax, millet, quinoa, and amaranth
” Almonds, pignoli, fresh coconut, chestnuts
” Alfalfa sprouts, radish sprouts, chia sprouts
” Unsprouted sesame
” Unsalted butter
” Milk, cream, goat’s milk
” Eggs
” Whey
” Plain yogurt
” Raw unpasterized honey, dried sugar cane juice, brown rice syrup
” Fruit juices, vegetable juices
” Most herbal teas
” Garlic, cayenne, gelatin, most herbs, most spices, vanilla extract
” Miso
” Most vegetable and unprocessed sea salt
” Brewer’s yeast
” Unprocessed cold-pressed oils

pH Food List
The FDA has the pH and/or acidity of a food to generally determine processing requirements and the applicability of GMP regulations for regulatory purposes. This pH can also keep Interstitial Cystitis sufferers from eating foods very high in acid. Below are some foods and the approximate pH of the food.

Food and Approximate pH

Abalone 6.10 – 6.50
Abalone mushroom 5.00
Ackees 5.50
Aloe vera 6.10
Aloe Juice 6.00 – 6.80
Anchovies 6.50
Anchovies, stuffed w/capers, in olive oil 5.58
Antipesto 5.60
Apple, baked with sugar 3.20 – 3.55
Apple, eating 3.30 – 4.00
Apples Delicious 3.90
Apples Golden Delicious 3.60
Apples Jonathan 3.33
Apples McIntosh 3.34
Apples Juice 3.35 – 4.00
Apples Sauce 3.10 – 3.60
Apples Winesap 3.47
Apples Apricots 3.30 – 4.80
Apples Canned 3.40 – 3.78
Apples Dried, stewed 3.30 – 3.51
Apples Nectar 3.78
Apples Pureed, 3.42 – 3.83
Apples Strained 3.72 – 3.95
Arrowroot Crackers 6.63 – 6.80
Arrowroot Cruel 6.37 – 6.87
Artichokes 5.50 – 6.00
Artichokes, canned, acidified 4.30 – 4.60
Artichokes, French, cooked 5.60 – 6.00
Artichokes, Jerusalem, cooked 5.93 – 6.00
Asparagus 6.00 – 6.70
Asparagus Buds 6.70
Asparagus Stalks 6.10
Asparagus, cooked 6.03 – 6.16
Asparagus, canned 5.00 – 6.00
Asparagus, frozen, cooked 6.35 – 6.48
Asparagus, green, canned 5.20 – 5.32
Asparagus, strained 4.80 – 5.09
Avocados 6.27 – 6.58
Baby corn 5.20
Baby Food Soup, unstrained 5.95 – 6.05
Bamboo Shoots 5.10 – 6.20
Bamboo Shoots, preserved 3.50 – 4.60
Bananas 4.50 – 5.20
Bananas, red 4.58 – 4.75
Banana, yellow 5.00 – 5.29
Barley, cooked 5.19 – 5.32
Basil pesto 4.90
Bass, sea, broiled 6.58 – 6.78
Bass, striped, broiled 6.50 – 6.70
Beans 5.60 – 6.50
Black beans 5.78 – 6.02
Boston style beans 5.05 – 5.42
Kidney beans 5.40 – 6.00
Lima beans 6.50
Soy beans 6.00 – 6.60
String beans 5.60
Wax beans 5.30 – 5.70
Beans, pork & tomato sauce, canned 5.10 – 5.80
Beans, refried 5.90
Beans, vegetarian, tomato sauce, canned 5.32
Beets 5.30 – 6.60
Beets, cooked 5.23 – 6.50
Beets, canned, acidified 4.30 – 4.60
Beets, canned 4.90 – 5.80
Beets, chopped 5.32 – 5.56
Beets, strained 5.32 – 5.56
Bird’s nest soup 7.20 – 7.60
Blackberries, Washington 3.85 – 4.50
Blueberries, Maine 3.12 – 3.33
Blueberries, frozen 3.11 – 3.22
Bluefish, Boston, filet, broiled 6.09 – 6.50
Bran Flakes 5.45 – 5.67
Bran: All Bran 5.59 – 6.19
Bread, white 5.00 – 6.20
Bread, Boston, brown 6.53
Bread, Cracked wheat 5.43 – 5.50
Bread, pumpernickel 5.40
Bread, Rye 5.20 – 5.90
Bread, whole wheat 5.47 – 5.85
Breadfruit, cooked 5.33
Broccoli, cooked 6.30 – 6.52
Broccoli, frozen, cooked 6.30 – 6.85
Broccoli, canned 5.20 – 6.00
Brussels sprout 6.00 – 6.30
Buttermilk 4.41 – 4.83
Cabbage 5.20 – 6.80
Green cabbage 5.50 – 6.75
Red cabbage 5.60 – 6.00
Savoy cabbage 6.30
White cabbage 6.20
Cactus 4.70
Calamary (Squid) 5.80
Cantaloupe 6.13 – 6.58
Capers 6.00
Carp 6.00
Carrots 5.88 – 6.40
Carrots, canned 5.18 – 5.22
Carrots, chopped 5.30 – 5.56
Carrots, cooked 5.58 – 6.03
Carrots, pureed 4.55 – 5.80
Carrots, strained 5.10 – 5.10
Cauliflower 5.60
Cauliflower, cooked 6.45 – 6.80
Caviar, American 5.70 – 6.00
Celery 5.70 – 6.00
Celery, cooked 5.37 – 5.92
Celery Knob, cooked 5.71 – 5.85
Cereal, strained 6.44 – 6.45
Chayote (mirliton), cooked 6.00 – 6.30
Cheese, American, mild 4.98
Cheese, Camembert 7.44
Cheese, Cheddar 5.90
Cheese, Cottage 4.75 – 5.02
Cheese, Cream, Philadelphia 4.10 – 4.79
Cheese Dip 5.80
Cheese, Edem 5.40
Cheese, Old English 6.15
Cheese, Roquefort 5.10 – 5.98
Cheese, Parmesan 5.20 – 5.30
Cheese, Snippy 5.18 – 5.2l
Cheese, Stilton 5.70
Cheese, Swiss Gruyere 5.68 – 6.62
Cherries, California 4.01 – 4.54
Cherries, frozen 3.32 – 3.37
Cherries, black, canned 3.82 – 3.93
Cherries, Maraschino 3.47 – 3.52
Cherries, red, Water pack 3.25 – 3.82
Cherries, Royal Ann 3.80 – 3.83
Chicory 5.90 – 6.05
Chili Sauce, acidified 2.77 – 3.70
Chives 5.20 – 6.31
Clams 6.00 – 7.10
Clam Chowder, New England 6.40
Coconut, fresh 5.50 – 7.80
Coconut milk 6.10 – 7.00
Coconut preserves 3.80 – 7.00
Codfish, boiled 5.30 – 6.10
Cod liver 6.20
Conch 7.52 – 8.40
Congee 6.40
Corn 5.90 – 7.30
Corn, canned 5.90 – 6.50
Corn Flakes 4.90 – 5.38
Corn, frozen, cooked 7.33 – 7.68
Corn, Golden Bantam, cooked on cob 6.22 – 7.04
Crab meat 6.50 – 7.00
Crabapple Jelly, corn 2.93 – 3.02
Cranberry Juice, canned 2.30 – 2.52
Crabmeat, cooked 6.62 – 6.98
Cream, 20 per cent 6.50 – 6.68
Cream, 40 per cent 6.44 – 6.80
Cream of Asparagus 6.10
Cream of Coconut, canned 5.51 – 5.87
Cream of Potato soup 6.00
Cream of Wheat, cooked 6.06 – 6.16
Chrysanthemum drink 6.50
Cucumbers 5.12 – 5.78
Cucumbers, Dill pickles 3.20 – 3.70
Cucumbers, pickled 4.20 – 4.60
Curry sauce 6.00
Curry Paste,acidified 4.60 – 4.80
Cuttlefish 6.30
Dates, canned 6.20 – 6.40
Dates, Dromedary 4.14 – 4.88
Eggplant 5.50 – 6.50
Eggs, new-laid, whole 6.58
Egg White 7.96
Egg Yolk 6.10
Eell 6.20
Escarolle 5.70 – 6.00
Enchalada sauce 4.40 – 4.70
Fennel (Anise) 5.48 – 5.88
Fennel, cooked 5.80 – 6.02
Figs, Calamyrna 5.05 – 5.98
Figs, canned 4.92 – 5.00
Flounder, boiled 6.10 – 6.90
Flounder, fi1et, broiled 6.39 – 6.89
Four bean salad 5.60
Fruit cocktail 3.60 – 4.00
Garlic 5.80
Gelatin Dessert 2.60
Gelatin, plain jell 6.08
Ginger 5.60 – 5.90
Ginseng , Korean drink 6.00 – 6.50
Gooseberries 2.80 – 3.10
Graham Crackers 7.10 – 7.92
Grapes, canned 3.50 – 4.50
Grapes, Concord 2.80 – 3.00
Grapes, Lady Finger 3.51 – 3.58
Grapes, Malaga 3.71 – 3.78
Grapes, Niagara 2.80 – 3.27
Grapes, Ribier 3.70 – 3.80
Grapes, Seedless 2.90 – 3.82
Grapes, Tokyo 3.50 – 3.84
Grapefruit 3.00 – 3.75
Grapefruit, canned 3.08 – 3.32
Grapefruit Juice, canned 2.90 – 3.25
Grass jelly 5.80 – 7.20
Greens, Mixed, chopped 5.05 – 5.22
Greens, Mixed, strained 5.22 – 5.30
Grenadine Syrup 2.31
Guava nectar 5.50
Guava, canned 3.37 – 4.10
Guava Jelly 3.73
Haddock, Filet, broiled 6.17 – 6.82
Hearts of Palm 5.70
Herring 6.10
Hominy, cooked 6.00 – 7.50
Honey 3.70 – 4.20
Honey Aloe 4.70
Horseradish, freshly ground 5.35
Huckleberries, cooked with sugar 3.38 – 3.43
Jackfruit 4.80 – 6.80
Jam, fruit 3.50 – 4.50
Jellies, fruit 3.00 – 3.50
Jujube 5.20
Junket type Dessert: Raspberry 6.27
Junket type Dessert: Vanilla 6.49
Kale, cooked 6.36 – 6.80
Ketchup 3.89 – 3.92
Kippered, Herring, Marshall 5.75 – 6.20
Herring, Pickled 4.50 – 5.00
Kelp 6.30
Kumquat, Florida 3.64 – 4.25
Leeks 5.50 – 6.17
Leeks, cooked 5.49 – 6.10
Lemon Juice 2.00 – 2.60
Lentils, cooked 6.30 – 6.83
Lentil Soup 5.80
Lettuce 5.80 – 6.15
Lettuce, Boston 5.89 – 6.05
Lettuce, Iceberg 5.70 – 6.13
Lime Juice 2.00 – 2.35
Lime 2.00 – 2.80
Lobster bisque 6.90
Lobster soup 5.70
Lobster, cooked 7.10 – 7.43
Loganberries 2.70 – 3.50
Loquat (May be acidified to pH 3.8) 5.10
Lotus Root 6.90
Lychee 4.70 – 5.01
Macaroni, cooked 5.10 – 6.41
Mackerel, King, boiled 6.26 – 6.50
Mackerel, Spanish, broiled 6.07 – 6.36
Mackerel, canned 5.90 – 6.40
Mangoes, ripe 3.40 – 4.80
Mangoes, green 5.80 – 6.00
Mangostine 4.50 -5.00
Maple syrup 5.15
Maple syrup, light (Acidified) 4.60
Matzos 5.70
Mayhaw (a variety of strawberry) 3.27 – 3.86
Melba Toast 5.08 – 5.30
Melon, Casaba 5.78 – 6.00
Melons, Honey dew 6.00 – 6.67
Melons, Persian 5.90 – 6.38
Milk, cow 6.40 – 6.80
Milk, Acidophilus 4.09 – 4.25
Milk, condensed 6.33
Milk, evaporated 5.90 – 6.30
Milk, Goat’s 6.48
Milk, peptonized 7.10
Milk, Sour, fine curd 4.70 – 5.65
Milkfish 5.30
Mint Jelly 3.01
Molasses 4.90 – 5.40
Muscadine (A variety of grape) 3.20 – 3.40
Mushrooms 6.00 – 6.70
Mushrooms, cooked 6.00 – 6.22
Mushroom Soup, Cream of, canned 5.95 – 6.40
Mussels 6.00 – 6.85
Mustard 3.55 – 6.00
Nata De Coco 5.00
Nectarines 3.92 – 4.18
Noodles, boiled 6.08 – 6.50
Oatmeal, cooked 6.20 – 6.60
Octopus 6.00 – 6.50
Okra, cooked 5.50 – 6.60
Olives, black 6.00 – 7.00
Olives, green, fermented 3.60 – 4.60
Olives, ripe 6.00 -7.50
Onions, pickled 3.70 – 4.60
Onions, red 5.30 – 5.80
Onion white 5.37 – 5.85
Onions, yellow 5.32 – 5.60
Oranges, Florida 3.69 – 4.34
Oranges, Florida “color added” 3.60 – 3.90
Orange Juice, California 3.30 – 4.19
Orange, Juice Florida 3.30 – 4.15
Orange, Marmalade 3.00 – 3.33
Oysters 5.68 – 6.17
Oyster, smoked 6.00
Oyster mushrooms 5.00 – 6.00
Palm, heart of 6.70
Papaya 5.20 – 6.00
Papaya Marmalade 3.53 – 4.00
Parsley 5.70 – 6.00
Parsnip 5.30 – 5.70
Parsnips, cooked 5.45 – 5.65
Pate 5.90
Peaches 3.30 – 4.05
Peaches, canned 3.70 – 4.20
Peaches, cooked with sugar 3.55 – 3.72
Peaches, frozen 3.28 – 3.35
Peanut Butter 6.28
Peanut Soup 7.5
Pears, Bartlett 3.50 – 4.60
Pears, canned 4.00 – 4.07
Pears, Sickle cooked w/sugar 4.04 – 4.21
Pear Nectar 4.03
Peas, canned 5.70 – 6.00
Peas, Chick, Garbanzo 6.48 – 6.80
Peas, cooked 6.22 – 6.88
Peas, dried (split green), cooked 6.45 – 6.80
Peas, dried (split yellow), cooked 6.43 – 6.62
Peas, frozen, cooked 6.40 – 6.70
Peas, pureed 4.90 – 5.85
Pea Soup, Cream of, Canned 5.70
Peas, strained 5.91 – 6.12
Peppers 4.65 – 5.45
Peppers, green 5.20 – 5.93
Persimmons 4.42 – 4.70
Pickles, fresh pack 5.10 – 5.40
Pimiento 4.40 – 4.90
Pimento, canned, acidified 4.40 – 4.60
Pineapple 3.20 – 4.00
Pineapple, canned 3.35 – 4.10
Pineapple Juice, canned 3.30 – 3.60
Plum Nectar 3.45
Plums, Blue 2.80 – 3.40
Plums, Damson 2.90 – 3.10
Plums, Frozen 3.22 – 3.42
Plums, Green Gage 3.60 – 4.30
Plums, Green Gage, canned 3.22 – 3.32
Plums, Red 3.60 – 4.30
Plums, spiced 3.64
Plums, Yellow 3.90 – 4.45
Pollack, filet, broiled 6.72 – 6.82
Pomegranate 2.93 – 3.20
Porgy, broiled 6.40 – 6.49
Pork & Beans, rts. 5.70
Potatoes 5.40 – 5.90
Mashed potatoes 5.10
Sweet potatoes 5.30 – 5.60
Tubers potatoes 5.70
Potato Soup 5.90
Prunes, dried, stewed 3.63 – 3.92
Prune Juice 3.95 – 3.97
Prune, pureed 3.60 – 4.30
Prune, strained 3.58 – 3.83
Puffed Rice 6.27 – 6.40
Puffed Wheat 5.26 – 5.77
Pumpkin 4.90 – 5.50
Quince, fresh, stewed 3.12 – 3.40
Quince Jelly 3.70
Radishes, red 5.85 – 6.05
Radishes, white 5.52 – 5.69
Raisins, seedless 3.80 – 4.10
Rambutan (Thailand) 4.90
Raspberries 3.22 – 3.95
Raspberries, frozen 3.18 – 3.26
Raspberries, New Jersey 3.50 – 3.82
Raspberry Jam 2.87 – 3.17
Razor Clams 6.20
Razor shell (sea asparagus) 6.00
Rattan, Thailand 5.20
Red Ginseng 5.50
Red Pepper Relish 3.10 – 3.62
Rhubarb, California, stewed 3.20 – 3.34
Rhubarb 3.10 – 3.40
Canned Rhubarb 3.40
Rice (all cooked)
Brown Rice 6.20 – 6.80
Rice Krispies 5.40 – 5.73
White Rice 6.00 – 6.70
Wild Rice 6.00 – 6.50
Rolls, white 5.46 – 5.52
Romaine 5.78 – 6.06
Salmon, fresh, boiled 5.85 – 6.50
Salmon, fresh, broiled 5.36 – 6.40
Salmon, Red Alaska, canned 6.07 – 6.16
Sardines 5.70 – 6.60
Sardine, Portuguese, in olive oil 5.42 – 5.93
Satay sauce 5.00
Sauce, Enchilada 5.50
Sauce, Fish 4.93 – 5.02
Sauce, Shrimp 7.01 – 7.27
Sauerkraut 3.30 – 3.60
Scallion 6.20
Scallop 6.00
Scotch Broth 5.92
Sea Snail (Top shell) 6.00
Shad Roe, sauted 5.70 – 5.90
Shallots, cooked 5.30 – 5.70
Sherbet, raspberry 3.69
Sherry-wine 3.37
Shredded Ralston 5.32 – 5.60
Shredded Wheat 6.05 – 6.49
Shrimp 6.50 – 7.00
Shrimp Paste 5.00 – 6.77
Smelts, Sauted 6.67 – 6.90
Soda Crackers 5.65 – 7.32
Soups:
Broccoli Cheese Soup, condensed 5.60
Chicken Broth, rts. 5.80
Corn Soup, condensed 6.80
Cream of celery Soup, condensed 6.20
Cream of Mushroom, condensed 6.00 – 6.20
Cream style corn, condensed 5.70 – 5.80
Cream of Potato soup, condensed 5.80
Cream of shrimp soup, condensed 5.80
Minestrone condensed 5.40
New England Clam Chowder,condensed 6.00
Oyster Stew, condensed 6.30
Tomato Rice Soup, condensed 5.50
Soy infant formula 6.60 – 7.00
Soy Sauce 4.40 – 5.40
Soy bean curd (tofu) 7.20
Soybean milk 7.00
Spaghetti, cooked 5.97 – 6.40
Spinach 5.50 – 6.80
Spinach, chopped 5.38 – 5.52
Spinach, cooked 6.60 – 7.18
Spinach, frozen, cooked 6.30 – 6.52
Spinach, pureed 5.50 – 6.22
Spinach, strained 5.63 – 5.79
Squash, acorn, cooked 5.18 – 6.49
Squash, Kubbard, cooked 6.00 – 6.20
Squash, white, cooked 5.52 – 5.80
Squash, yellow, cooked 5.79 – 6.00
Squid 6.00 – 6.50
Sturgeon 6.20
Strawberries 3.00 – 3.90
Strawberries, California 3.32 – 3.50
Strawberries, frozen 3.21 – 3.32
Strawberry Jam 3.00 – 3.40
Straw mushroom 4.90
Sweet Potatoes 5.30 – 5.60
Swiss Chard, cooked 6.17 – 6.78
Tamarind 3.00
Tangerine 3.32 – 4.48
Taro syrup 4.50
Tea 7.20
Three-Bean Salad 5.40
Tofu (soybean Curd) 7.20
Tomatillo (resembling Cherry tomatoes) 3.83
Tomatoes 4.30 – 4.90
Tomatoes, canned 3.50 – 4.70
Tomatoes, Juice 4.10 – 4.60
Tomatoes, Paste 3.50 – 4.70
Tomatoes, Puree 4.30 – 4.47
Tomatoes, Strained 4.32 – 4.58
Tomatoes, Wine ripened 4.42 – 4.65
Tomato Soup, Cream of, canned 4.62
Trout, Sea, sauted 6.20 – 6.33
Truffle 5.30 – 6.50
Tuna Fish, canned 5.90 – 6.20
Turnips 5.29 – 5.90
Turnip, greens, cooked 5.40 – 6.20
Turnip, white, cooked 5.76 – 5.85
Turnip, yellow, cooked 5.57 – 5.82
Vegetable Juice 3.90 – 4.30
Vegetable soup, canned 5.16
Vegetable soup, chopped 4.98 – 5.02
Vegetable soup, strained 4.99 – 5.00
Vermicelli, cooked 5.80 – 6.50
Vinegar 2.40 – 3.40
Vinegar, cider 3.10
Walnuts, English 5.42
Wax gourd drink 7.20
Water Chestnut 6.00 – 6.20
Watercress 5.88 – 6.18
Watermelon 5.18 – 5.60
Wheat Krispice 4.99 – 5.62
Wheatnena 5.85 – 6.08
Wheaties 5.00 – 5.12
Worcestershire sauce 3.63 – 4.00
Yams, cooked 5.50 – 6.81
Yeast 5.65
Yangsberries, frozen 3.00 – 3.70
Zucchini, cooked 5.69 – 6.10
Zwiebach 4.84 – 4.94

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