Can The Alkaline Diet Help Prevent Cancer?

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has issued ten guidelines for cancer prevention, eating a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lean proteins is one of them. These edibles are also alkaline in nature.

The common perception is that cancer cells grow in an acidic environment or in low pH levels. If true, blood which is more alkaline than acidic (7.35 – 7.45), should fight diseases, including cancer. 

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There is some scientific evidence to suggest that cancer cells are more likely to grow in acidic environments; however, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that an alkaline diet can change blood pH. Simply put, it cannot be said with certainty that alkaline blood is less prone to the development of cancer cells.

Having said this, adopting a more alkaline diet should help you feel healthier as it helps counter risks of acidity.   

Alkaline Foods: pH Scale for the Beginners 

Without making it a hardcore chemistry lesson, foods can be divided into two based on their nature – acidic and alkaline. Acids have a pH level less than 7.0, while alkali pH level is more than 7.0. Water is neither alkaline nor acidic and has a pH of 7.0. 

When we eat, our stomach breaks down food items by secreting gastric acids. Stomach is highly acidic in nature having a pH balance between 2.0 and 3.5. Sometimes when we consume acidic foods in large quantities over a long period of time, the stomach becomes more acidic leading to gastric conditions including heartburn, acidity, and acid refluxes, etc. Eating an alkaline-based diet therefore becomes essential to bring back normalcy in the system. 

Common Acidic foods are meats, eggs, dairy products, processed foods and refined sugars. Kebabs, burgers, pizzas, samosas, colas, doughnuts, cakes, pastries, etc. are all acidic foods. 

So, what are alkaline foods?

Alkaline Food List  

The following are some of the best sources of alkaline foods: 

  • Nuts – You must have heard that nuts are good sources of good fats? They also produce an alkaline effect in your body. However, nuts like walnuts, cashews and almonds are high in calories so therefore they should be consumed in moderation.
  • Onion, Ginger and Garlic – These three make the most important cooking ingredient in Pakistani cuisine. 
  • Seasonal Fruits – Seasonal fruits are full of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. If you live in an area where the seasonal fruits are apples, apricots, grapefruit, watermelon, pineapple and kiwi, consider yourself lucky as these are good alkaline food sources. 
  • Root Vegetables – Carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes are also great sources of alkaline food, but in Pakistan they are often (especially sweet potato) overcooked, which means they are devoid of their nutritional value when eaten. 
  • Citrus Fruits – It’s a common myth that fruits like oranges and lemons are highly acidic. On the contrary, they are the best sources of alkaline foods. Loaded with Vitamin C, they help in relieving acidity and heartburn. 
  • Cauliflower and Broccoli – Cauliflower or gobhi is a popular food across households in Pakistan; broccoli, less so. Both are a great source of alkaline foods. 
  • Green Vegetables – Spinach, kale, lettuce, parsley and other leafy greens are full of minerals which help our body function properly. So, try including them in your daily diet. 

If you are interested in buying nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables online, do check out the variety of vendors on OLX Pakistan. 

Alkaline Foods vs Acidic Foods 

Alkaline and acidic foods have already been mentioned in detail above. The following image would help you identify them easily. 

To sum up, human blood is slightly alkaline rather than acidic. Consuming too much acidic foods can make it acidic but not for long. Human body has a mechanism of correcting this imbalance on its own with or without the consumption of alkaline foods. Therefore it cannot be said that making blood pH alkaline can help you prevent cancer. Blood pH cannot be changed. 

Having said this, there is plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that eating alkaline foods can help you digest food better, resulting in making you feel healthier.

We hope you found this information of value, something which would help you follow a more balanced and healthy diet. If you are a health conscious person, don’t forget to read these blogs:

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