Why You Want to Be Alkaline & What That Even Means

by Dani Katz
It’s all the rage – the alkaline thing, that is.
“It’s alkaline,” purrs my acupuncturist, as she hands me a glass of water after our session, eyes wide, pausing to hold space for the requisite awe and praise this caveat is supposed to inspire.
“Um, cool,” I reply, reminding myself to Google this alkaline water and alkaline diet thing when I get home, if for no other reason than so that I can be appropriately impressed the next time someone offers me a glass of Kangen water. 
What’s a pH?
You’ve likely heard the term pH, but – much like the rest of us – have no idea what it means. Here’s the skinny: pH levels are a measure of the ratio of negative to positively charged hydrogen ions in the body. These ionic proportions determine whether a body is “alkaline” or “acidic”. (Illustration by Dani Katz)

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Alkaline vs. Acidic: Huh?

Think of the pH as a measurement of the body’s internal climate. An acidic body is like the tropics: it’s warm; it’s damp; it’s the pitch perfect atmosphere for fungus, parasites, pathogens and viruses, which can cause a wretched host of degenerative blood and body issues. On a pH scale of 0-14, an acidic body hovers below 7.
Conversely, alkaline bodies are drier, and more temperate, which – yay – makes for a terrible host climate. Physiological freeloaders can’t survive in an alkaline environment. And so it is that alkaline folks report better skin, hair, nails, mood, and immune function; as well as less snot, fungus, headaches, ulcers and leg cramps. Alkaline bodies pHs range between 7-14.

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Let Thy Food Determine Thy Internal Climate

What we feed our body determines its internal climate. Acidic foods lend themselves to a more acidic internal environment, just as alkaline foods render the body alkaline. The key is to limit or avoid acidic foods and beverages, while loading up on the alkalizing ones. Acidic foods include the usual suspects – meat, cheese, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, refined flour products – you know, all the stuff we like the most. On the super sexy converse flip side, alkalizing foods include millet, quinoa, plain yoghurt, most fruits and vegetables (especially the dark, leafy kind), and umeboshi plums. I know, I know…the alkaline diet seems infinitely less fun than the acidic one; and maybe it is, but here’s why I think it’s totally worth the sacrifice: Cancer can’t grow in an alkaline body. (Illustration by Dani Katz)

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How Not to Get Cancer

Cancer numbers are skyrocketing. No need to conflate the fear, but it certainly seems to be on the rise. Having said goodbye to two friends who were taken out by cancer last year, and having witnessed the daily dealings of the stage four colon cancer situation up close and colostomy bag personal, I’m pretty devoted to not getting cancer. My strategy is reliant on one simple fact: Cancer cannot survive in a body whose pH is higher than 8(ish). Cancer can only grow in an acidic environment, which kinda, sorta makes that cheeseburger a little less tasty, now doesn’t it?
Seems like a no-brainer to me: Stay alkaline; don’t get cancer.
Now, pass the umeboshi plums, pretty please.

WATCH on Z Living: Healthy Gourmet, where nutritionist Julie Daniluk and chef Ezra Title join forces and battle between taste and nutrition, helping home cooks create nutritious and tasty meals that can feed a crowd. See a sneak preview here.

Tell us in the comments: Would you try an alkaline diet?

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