PRAL Nutrients are those substances in food and drink that are used in the Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL) calculation.
The PRAL score is the best indicator for how we can improve an alkaline diet. Though PRAL scores are calculated as absolute numbers, in practice, they should only be used as a general guide. Seasonal variations, different varieties, and cooking methods will all affect the PRAL score. Despite this variation, the numbers are useful in making better food choices. Ultimately, the proof of your alkaline diet comes when you test the pH of urine. The alkaline food lists will help point you in the direction of foods with lower PRAL scores if you need to raise the pH of your urine. There is more information in PRAL pH Balance Calculation.
The key to alkaline diets is that 20-30% of foods should be acidic, with the rest being alkaline or neutral. Overall, your total pH balance diet score should be alkaline. There is no target for PRAL. The target pH for urine in healthy individuals is 6.5 to 7 in the morning, rising to 7.5 through the day. The target should be higher if you are fighting ill health, though there are complications to this that I will consider when I explain various diseases in future articles.
In general terms, therefore, if we need to increase urine pH, we should exchange some foods for ones with a lower PRAL score. In a varied diet, this should ensure an adequate range of all the nutrients that we need.
Ultimately, the role of Foodary food lists is to prepare the way for a comprehensive database that provides all the nutritional data you need for a healthy diet. It helps to understand the role of different nutrients. This is even more important where illness occurs because different nutrients have different effects in fighting ill health.
PRAL is fundamental to Foodary healthy eating advice. Therefore, I am going to start detailed nutrient lists with those nutrients that form the PRAL calculation. I will give a very brief overview of the nutrient here. I will introduce more information when I publish each nutrient list. Later, I will add more detail as I investigate specific illnesses related to excesses or shortages of that nutrient.
For all these nutrients, the Daily Values are the recommended total daily intake for a 2500 calorie diet. If you have different energy requirements, you should adjust the values accordingly. Similarly, if your medical advisers have suggested a different intake, then you should use that number, instead of the averages used in current Foodary lists.
Acidic PRAL Nutrients
The acidic nutrients in the PRAL calculation are:
Phosphorus is required for bones and teeth, and it also works with proteins for cell regrowth. It is necessary for many functions within the body. Phosphorus food sources include meat and milk. Though whole grains contain phosphorus, it is in a form not usable by humans. The Daily Value for phosphorus is 1,000 mg.
Alkaline PRAL Nutrients
The alkaline nutrients in the PRAL calculation are:
- Calcium is essential for bones and teeth, and it is also vital for many body functions. Calcium food sources are mainly dairy products, but many other foods can provide it. The Daily Value for calcium is 1,000 mg.
Potassium is essential for helping proteins and carbohydrates maintain normal growth and build muscle. It is also essential for controlling vital heart and blood functions. It is available from most foods. Potassium food sources include meat, fish, milk, nuts, and many fruits and vegetables. The Daily Value for potassium is 3,500 mg.
Magnesium is essential for many vital processes throughout the body. Magnesium food sources include dark green, leafy vegetables, and many other foods. The Daily Value for magnesium is 400 mg.
PRAL Nutrients Lists
The PRAL nutrients lists show the top foods for each of the above nutrients. Each food or drink uses the description from the USDA nutrition database. To allow comparison between different foods, they are listed for a serving that provides 100 calories. The weight of food that provides 100 calories is shown in grams. For some zero or low calorie items (marked at the end of the description *), I calculate the values for 100 grams. The PRAL score is included, as described in PRAL pH Balance Calculation.
If you have any questions, opinions, or experiences to share about PRAL nutrients, please join the healthy eating group for the pH Balance Calculation discussion.