We know many illnesses stem from how the digestive system is functioning and its impact on the immune system, and cancer is no exception. When it comes to nutrition, I like to think of the digestive system as a filter. That “filter” is designed to sift the micronutrients from the foods we eat — but when that filter isn’t working properly, due to additives, preservatives and other unnatural ingredients present in our food, the filter gets clogged. That’s why nutrition is such an important focus here at Hope4Cancer — and the alkaline diet is crucial to healing.
First, let’s define alkaline. Our bodies constantly work to maintain a delicate acid-alkaline balance, which directly affects both healthy and cancerous cells. Alkalinity and acidity are measured on a pH scale ranging from 0-14. You might recall from chemistry class that a pH less than 7 is acid, more than 7 is alkaline, and a pH of 7 is considered neutral. An alkaline diet, at its core, is based on food and beverage sources that create an alkaline pH balance in the body.
When food nutrients reach our kidneys, they produce more of either ammonium (acidic) or bicarbonate (alkaline) ions. For optimal cellular health, our blood must be slightly alkaline, with a pH of more than 7. The problem is that the diets in most developed countries are highly acid-forming. Studies suggest that when our bodies have to work to neutralize this acidic load, our health declines, leading to problems such as inflammation, allergies, arthritis, skin problems, chronic diseases and, yes, cancer.
An alkaline diet is based on nutrition that creates an alkaline pH balance in the body. The metabolism of cancer cells has a very narrow pH tolerance for cellular proliferation (mitosis), which is between 6.5 and 7.5. Therefore, when we interfere with cancer cell growth, we can halt the progression of cancer. This can be crucial in healing from cancer naturally and holistically.
So what does an alkaline diet look like? The alkaline diet is primarily plant-based, and emphasizes fresh vegetables and vegetable juices along with cruciferous vegetables and greens. The diet avoids sugar, dairy, wheat and other high-gluten grains and red meats — all of which can contribute to cancer’s growth.
An alkaline diet based on vegetables and fruits creates an environment in which cancer cannot thrive. At the same time, the alkaline diet strengthens the immune function and supports healthy cells in the body through improved nutrition. Plus, alkaline foods are generally much higher in nutrients and antioxidants than acidic ones.
If you’re considering adding more alkalinity to your diet, start in the produce section. Choose fruits like lemons, limes and apples. For vegetables, I recommend broccoli, asparagus, avocados, onions and other green leafy vegetables. Enjoy almonds, dates or coconut water for a high-alkalinity snack.
It is surprising that the digestive system is often a forgotten part of the healing equation in conventional cancer treatment protocols. In today’s society, nutrition has also been severely compromised by foods treated with pesticides, herbicides and genetic modification. We also know many foods, such as processed sugar, exacerbate cancer. It’s no wonder that many of the cancer patients who come to Hope4Cancer for alternative, holistic cancer treatments have compromised digestive and immune systems.
At the center of every patient’s healing plan at Hope4Cancer is a personalized diet plan. The ultimate goal of our full-spectrum nutrition program is to help our patients focus on healing and support their nutritional needs when back home. At Hope4Cancer, we know that nutrition, including an alkaline diet, can help your body heal itself naturally.