I recently came across a series of articles that talk about how cancer is caused by body getting out of its pH balance, basically becoming an acidic environment.
It turns out that dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg discovered this in 1923, and won a Nobel prize in 1931 for this research. In his scientific work “The Metabolism of Tumours in the Body” he demonstrated that all forms of cancer are characterized by the two basic conditions: acidosis and lack of oxygen (which are related as whenever you have one, you have the other). He found out that “All normal cells have an absolute requirement for oxygen, but cancer cells can live without oxygen – a rule without exception”, going on to prove that cancer can not grow in pH neutral environment.
So how can we help our body in maintaining the pH balance? We first need to know what causes higher acidity and what causes higher alkalinity of the body.
There are a lot of websites where you can find information about which food is acidic or alkaline forming. I compiled a list of foods that impact my own lifestyle below.
Alkaline forming food
- Lemon (surprisingly, although acidic out of the body, digested becomes alkaline)
- Root vegetables (radish, carrot, turnip, celery)
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage)
- Speckled Bananas
Acidic forming food
- Sugar (chocolate, cakes…)
- Flour (bread, pasta…)
- Alcohol (including beer and wine)
- Meat (beef, pork, chicken, fish…)
- Black Tea
Water and physical activity play a major role in increasing the alkalinity of the body. Stress is acidic forming.
As you see, all the “good stuff” we take on daily basis are acidic forming. Sounds like a bummer. But here is the catch: body must only balance the pH levels (at a slightly alkaline level of 7.36 – pH neutral is at 7) in order to stay healthy. This means you don’t need to drop out all the acidic stuff, and take only the alkaline stuff. The key word is “balance”.
The problem is that most of the acidic forming stuff is very strongly acidic (for example beer is pH 2.5 and coffee is pH 4). So you would need to take a lot of very alkaline stuff (lemon and watermelon are among the strongest) to balance it out.
Since it is unlikely that for every beer you take you will also eat a lemon or watermelon, the more sensible way to deal with this is simply also what all the “health” diets are advising anyway – try to consciously reduce amount of food of one category and increase the intake of the food from the other.
At the end of the day, the average person is likely to continue consuming food that make them happy, like chocolate, coffee or beer. It’s very hard to resist that, but the trick is just to not go overboard with that.
And this is where many of us make the mistake. I can imagine a modern person easily going weeks just consuming acidic foods – chicken, cheese, milk, eggs, pasta, soda, coffee, pizza, fried foods, margarine, sugar, white flour… sounds familiar? Otto Warburg said “Deprive a cell 35% of its oxygen for 48 hours and it may become cancerous.”.
It is interesting to note that eating too many alkalizing foods can lead to its own fair share of complications over time, which is what perhaps the critiques of veggie diets are getting right.
So my conclusion is this: They are all right, but the name of the game is not who is right, but who stays healthy. And in order to stay healthy, one needs to simply find balance in life.
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