An alkaline diet reduces cancer risk. A healthy diet plays a key role in cancer prevention, according to the American Dietetic Association (ADA). To prevent cancer as well as other conditions, such as diabetes and heart diseases, the ADA recommends a diet based on fruits, vegetables and legumes because the consumption of these foods has been linked with a lower risk of certain cancers, especially lung, oral, esophageal, stomach and colon cancer. At the same time, it is recommended to severely reduce the consumption of meat, alcohol, and processed foods that contain high amounts of sugar and fat that are all calorie dense and lack nutrients. The alkaline diet reduces the risk of cancer significantly compared to an acidic diet.
The alkaline diet is based on all the above principles. This article will further explain how the pH of the foods may or may not make you prone to develop cancer.
- Around 75% of our body is made up of water, which constitutes a medically important medium that allows oxygen, essential nutrients and chemical substances to move from different organs and tissues to the bloodstream. This medium can be either alkaline if its pH is between 7.1 to 14.0, neutral if is 7.0, or acidic if it is between 1.0 to 6.9. Depending on the food item, after consumption, the food will lead to a substance called “ash” that can be acidic, alkaline or neutral, and the pH is dependent on the mineral content of the food.
- Excessive consumption of meat, dairy products as well as highly processed foods loaded with sugar and fats will lead to an acidic pH of the body and this is favorable terrain for the development of degenerative conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
- On the other hand, a plant based diet will create an alkaline environment in the body which promotes health and prevents diseases. Ideally, the ratio between the food groups is 80% alkaline to 20% acidic.
Throughout the years, humans have shifted their diet from alkaline to acid, creating a more acidic pH which has caused mineral deficiencies, particularly potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium. This acidic pH impairs the body’s cell function, creating imbalances at the level of molecular transport, reproduction, and energy conversion. As a result, cancer and other degenerative diseases develop. This theory is supported by the fact that nowadays cancer is more prevalent than decades or hundreds of years ago.
Research studies conducted in test tubes further showed that cancer cells grow better in a more acidic environment and when the pH is more alkaline, the growth of the tumors is slower. Thus, it is expected that by maintaining a more alkaline pH of the body, the cancer cells will not thrive. Also, studies have also shown that cancer cells do not grow well in the presence of oxygen. When the body has a more alkaline pH, it has an increased ability to hold more oxygen, while having an improved capacity to eliminate toxins and other waste products that promote cancer.
Beside consuming less acidic foods, other lifestyle changes such as exercise and stress reduction can also help you live a cancer free life.