There is hardly a single day that goes by that I do not engage in a teaching session with someone who is confused about regulating their pH – of their body that is. What I am about to share with you will be in direction opposition and conflict with what some of you have been told and presumed is the truth. The only thing I want you to do is to open your mind and evaluate this for fact.
Let's first establish what pH is – an abbreviation for percentage hydrogen. Neutral pH is 7.0. Anything above that is alkaline and anything below is acid. Now I wish to introduce a fact that plays an important role in this whole debate: the pH of the blood is between 7.35 and 7.45 – mildly alkaline. Anything lower than 7.35 and you are extremely ill and dying, anything higher than 7.45 and you are extremely ill and dying.
The premise of the alkaline-lovers is that you must alkalize your body is you want to be well, and that cancer and arthritis, etc. are due to a body which is too acid. I often hear the words "Cancer is acid" - which is totally false. It is true that cancer produces copious amounts of a waste acid called lactic acid, but lactic acid is a waste product of its metabolism, not the cause of the cancer.
Native Eskimos who eat very little, if any vegetation or fruit, but only eat meat, fish and fat, all of which are acid, do not die of over-acidity. In fact they are among the healthiest people on the earth, suffering very little arthritis, heart disease or cancer – and never diabetes. How does that fit in the premise that you have to eat all these grasses to make you alkaline and presumably healthy?
Every bit of food that you eat goes into your stomach which secretes hydrochloric acid to bathe your food and sterilize it. If it is alkaline when you put it in your mouth, I guarantee you that it is not very alkaline after a short time in the stomach. Conversely, all food is then transported to the duodenum and small intestine where it is bathed in alkaline enzymes secreted by the pancreas. The food now moves toward the alkaline side even if it was acid when you put it in your mouth. Certain food contain certain minerals which are classified as acid, others alkaline. If you consume too much of one or the other, the kidney obliges by eliminating, via the urine, the one which is pushing the balance of the pH either up or down, because blood pH cannot vary.
Let me give you another example: If you have had any biological chemistry, you have heard of the "alkaline tide" of the urine. This refers to the shift of a normally acid urine pH toward the alkaline shortly after a meal. Why does this happen? Because the stomach must protect you from the hordes of bacteria normally associated with the food you eat by acidifying everything. It makes HCl on the signal that food is coming – where does it get HCl from? From acid ingredients in the blood stream which then tends to imbalance the pH of the blood toward the alkaline side.
The kidneys immediately step in and begin to eliminate some alkaline ingredients from the blood so the pH does not shift too high into alkalinity. I hope you are getting the message that it will be extremely difficult for you to choose food that will cause your body to become either acid or alkaline – and that your body has elaborate protective mechanisms to maintain its ideal environment!
The single most difficult thing to comprehend, if you have been eating "alkaline" is that if all that is true, why were you feeling better while were doing it? The answer is both simple and complex. Number one: most so-called alkaline foods are very nutritious and kept you from eating a lot of non-nutritive junk that you had been eating formerly. Number two: I dare say that those who do have a fixation on alkaline food are those who also have a fixation on good personal health – as I do. Thus you are going to do or not do as the case may be, those things which affect your health.
In summary, alkaline foods comprised mostly of vegetables and grasses are great foods, but the human organism is designed as an omnivore, meaning you should get a variety of nutrients including quality protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates with engaging in deleting any one - you will be healthier as a result.