Dr. Fuhrman Dr. Fuhrman

PRAL: calculate the acid/alkaline balance of your diet

The PRAL formula

pral =
0.49 * protein (g) +
0.037 * phosphorus (mg) -
0.021 * potassium (mg) -
0.026 * magnesium (mg) -
0.013 * calcium (mg)

I recently wrote about The acid/alkaline connection to health. My conclusion was that the theory is valid, but that you should not have to worry to much about it if you eat lots of vegetables. If you are a numbers-geek like me, or just interested in the subject, you may want to get a little more specific. This is where PRAL comes in.

What is PRAL?

Lists of acid/alkaline examples on internet sites that cover the subject often differ and it is often unclear how the authors come to their conclusions. PRAL is different: it is a scientific approach, based on a simple formula, as calculated by Dr. Thomas Remer. The formula calculates the acid or alkaline load of a specific food. If you add the PRAL values for all the foods you eat, you get the net acid or alkaline load for the day.

Of course, acid/alkaline balance is only one small way to look at health. I do not think it is useful to micromanage your diet to get the lowest PRAL values. I do think it may be interesting to calculate the PRAL values of your normal diet. If you want to eat more alkaline, increase the amount of fruits and (especially) vegetables in your diet. If you do want to eat more alkaline and do not want to wait until my acid/alkaline calculator is available: grab a calculator and start with the table below.

Pral values of selected grains, beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables

A negative value means the food has an alkaline (base forming) load, a positive value means the food has an acid load. All values are per 100 grams (about 3.5 oz) of food. If you eat for example 200 grams of amaranth, the pral value for the amaranth for your meal is 14.6 (7.3*2).

Buckwheat flour, whole-groatGrains-0.5
Bulgur, dryGrains3.8
Millet, rawGrains8.8
Oat bran, rawGrains16.9
Rice, brown, long-grain, rawGrains7.5
Wheat, hard red springGrains9.1
Wheat, hard red winterGrains5.6
Wheat, sproutedGrains5.0
Apricots, rawFruit-4.3
Bananas, rawFruit-6.9
Apples, raw, with skinFruit-1.9
Avocados, raw, all commercial varietiesFruit-8.2
Blackberries, rawFruit-2.8
Blueberries, rawFruit-1.0
Cherries, sweet, rawFruit-3.8
Figs, rawFruit-4.9
Figs, dried, uncookedFruit-14.1
Grapefruit, raw, pink and red, FloridaFruit-2.5
Kiwi fruit, (chinese gooseberries), fresh, rawFruit-5.6
Lemons, raw, without peelFruit-2.3
Mangos, rawFruit-3.0
Melons, cantaloupe, rawFruit-5.1
Oranges, raw, all commercial varietiesFruit-3.6
Tangerines, (mandarin oranges), rawFruit-3.1
Pears, rawFruit-2.2
Pineapple, canned, juice pack, solids and liquidsFruit-2.7
Pomegranates, rawFruit-4.8
Plums, dried (prunes), uncookedFruit-13.4
Raisins, seedlessFruit-12.0
Raspberries, rawFruit-2.4
Strawberries, rawFruit-2.5
Watermelon, rawFruit-2.0
Dates, medjoolFruit-13.7
Beans, navy, mature seeds, rawLegumes-5.3
Soybeans, mature seeds, rawLegumes-4.7
Lentils, pink, rawLegumes8.6
Tofu, raw, regular, prepared with calcium sulfateLegumes-0.3
Beans, adzuki, mature seeds, rawLegumes-6.7
Beans, great northern, mature seeds, rawLegumes-9.1
Beans, kidney, all types, mature seeds, rawLegumes-8.4
Beans, pinto, mature seeds, rawLegumes-9.6
Beans, white, mature seeds, rawLegumes-23.2
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), mature seeds, rawLegumes0.3
Lentils, rawLegumes5.4
Lima beans, large, mature seeds, rawLegumes-18.3
Mung beans, mature seeds, rawLegumes-7.5
Peanuts, all types, rawLegumes6.2
Seeds, sunflower seed kernels, driedNuts and Seeds12.1
Nuts, almondsNuts and Seeds2.3
Nuts, brazilnuts, dried, unblanchedNuts and Seeds8.1
Nuts, cashew nuts, rawNuts and Seeds8.9
Nuts, hazelnuts or filbertsNuts and Seeds-1.9
Nuts, macadamia nuts, rawNuts and Seeds-1.4
Nuts, pecansNuts and Seeds2.1
Nuts, pistachio nuts, rawNuts and Seeds2.2
Nuts, walnuts, englishNuts and Seeds5.6
Seeds, flaxseedNuts and Seeds2.1
Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, rawVegetables-4.1
Sweet potato, raw, unpreparedVegetables-5.6
Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round averageVegetables-4.1
Turnips, rawVegetables-3.2
Turnip greens, rawVegetables-7.2
Alfalfa seeds, sprouted, rawVegetables1.8
Asparagus, rawVegetables-1.9
Mung beans, mature seeds, sprouted, rawVegetables-0.4
Beets, rawVegetables-5.4
Beet greens, rawVegetables-16.7
Broccoli, rawVegetables-4.0
Broccoli raab, rawVegetables-1.8
Cabbage, chinese (pak-choi), rawVegetables-5.0
Carrots, rawVegetables-5.7
Cauliflower, rawVegetables-4.4
Chard, swiss, rawVegetables-8.1
Collards, rawVegetables-4.1
Cucumber, with peel, rawVegetables-2.4
Dandelion greens, rawVegetables-7.9
Eggplant, rawVegetables-3.9
Kale, rawVegetables-8.3
Leeks, (bulb and lower leaf-portion), rawVegetables-3.2
Lettuce, green leaf, rawVegetables-3.1
Onions, rawVegetables-2.1
Peppers, sweet, red, rawVegetables-3.4
Purslane, rawVegetables-10.7
Radishes, rawVegetables-4.4
Spinach, rawVegetables-11.8

The data in this table is based upon the USDA database (rev. 18).

May 23, 2006