Unexpectedly and shockingly, I received news on Friday that someone else I know has died of cancer. And they weren’t even 30.
So it seems appropriate today to tell you one of the most important things you can do to avoid the most prolific disease in western society.
And the good news? It’s pretty easy.
In spite of those who are vociferous in their disagreement with me on this point, I stubbornly maintain the conviction that a lack of enzymes in the body – particularly protease (which digests protein) – is one of the biggest causes of cancer.
But following closely behind this, is the level of acidity in the body.
Just so you know what’s coming up, I’m going to explain:
- Why acidity is a bad thing
- The foods to avoid
- Which foods to consume by the trough-load
- The optimal level of acidity you should be aiming for
- How to monitor your acidity levels in under a minute, all by yourself, at home
We owe the discovery of this fact to Otto Warberg, who won the Nobel Prize in 1936 for discovering what he described as “the ultimate cause of cancer”. Which, he declared, is:
A LACK OF OXYGEN AND THE RESULTANT ACIDITY THIS PRODUCES.
Many diseases thrive in such an environment, but none more so than cancer.
FACT #1: All animal-based foods are acidic. No exceptions.
FACT #2: As reported in The Lancet in 1972, 90% of leukaemia patients put on a low protein, alkaline diet in a study fully recovered. But the leukaemia returned in those who reverted to their original diet.
FACT #3: Cancer CANNOT survive in an oxygen-rich, alkaline environment.
Why is an acidic body a bad thing?
- Cancer (and other diseases) loves nothing more than an anaerobic (oxygen-poor), acidic environment. And the major cause of acidity is the foods you eat.
Hopefully, this is the only reason you need to listen up, but just in case…
- If the body is too acidic, it robs from the body’s store of alkaline minerals (from the bones, teeth, intercellular fluid and cytoplasma) to neutralise it. In other words, you’re making a beeline for osteoporosis and a tendency towards broken bones.
- Acidity is a major challenge to the immune system, making your more prone to ALL illness.
- Acidity compromises the effect of alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and reflexology.
- If you suffer from “aches and pains” which appear to have no obvious cause, it’s more than likely the level of acidity in your body.
- Digestive problems – most of which are caused by acidity – are the number one reason for visits to the GP in the west.
What should you be consuming to achieve alkalinity?
- The Hippocrates Diet: If you’re looking for the ultimate alkaline diet, the one offered at Hippocrates is second to none, being 99% alkaline.
But I’m going to try to be real here. I know that many of you will never consider a largely-raw, 100% vegan diet.
Bearing this in mind, I am simply going to make you aware of the foods which you should SEVERELY cut down on. The extent to which you do this is entirely up to you.
- Raw food: We are the only species dumb enough to cook our food (believe me, it’s NOT progress). Go for salads until they come out of your ears, and you will be well on your way to raising your pH level.
- Greens: This goes hand in hand with both points above. Boring, I know, and nothing that I’ve not said before, but it’s a fact: lettuce, watercress, rocket, spinach, broccoli, the list goes on. They are ALL alkalising.
- Green juices: What else can I say? Buy a juicer and get on with it. Daily.
- Wheatgrass: Get it delivered fresh and ready to go, or buy the seeds and grow your own. Whatever. But make sure you have a juicer that can handle it, as this is pretty tough stuff. I use the Omega juicer. 2 fluid ounces a day.
- Sprouts: Second only to wheatgrass, sprouts generally are the most nutritious foods on the planet. For each fully-grown vegetable they originate from, they contain up to 50 times more nutrients.
And with an Easy Sprout (pictured), a five-year-old could grow them within a couple of days on the tiniest of kitchen worktops.
Relax. You don’t have to forego all the meat stuff to benefit from them – just ADD them to your diet, put them in salads, sprinkle on soups and practically any savoury dish you’re about to tuck into.
- Sea greens and sea vegetables (pictured): Second only to wheatgrass for their alkalising properties, they’re one of the easiest and most nutritious ways to add an interesting dimension to any salad. Go for arame, dulse pieces, dulse flakes, kombu, or add kelp powder to salad dressings.
Nori sprinkles are perfect for adding over a salad, but nori sheets (pictured), available in most supermarkets, are what I use instead of bread to make a tasty wrap. Give it a go.
- Fermented foods: I can’t say they’re in my top ten, and I definitely don’t like sauerkraut, but Kim Chee is OK. And it’s full of good bacteria that will make your digestive system sing.
- Water: One of the reasons your body becomes even more acidic is because of dehydration. As well as drinking water from noon ‘til night, preferably with a dash or two of alkalising chlorophyll, start your day with hot water, lemon and cayenne, for a triple alkalising boost. (Yes, even though lemons are acidic, when they are digested, they form an alkaline ash).
Which acidic foods should I cut down on or cut out?
- Dairy is the major enemy here. No question. But if you really can’t resist cheese, at least go for goat’s or sheep’s cheese (feta is often made with sheep or goat’s cheese). But avoid the cow juice at all costs.
- Meat, fish and poultry: I know, I know. Nothing more than you expected from a vegan. But it’s true. If you can’t give it up, try to have it 3 times a week instead of 7. And stock up on the Systemic enzymes, which help to digest protein. Take one ca[sule with every meal containing protein. One jar should last a good while.
- Fizzy drinks: most of them contain phosphoric acid. Enough said.
- Pasta, rice and bread: All are acid-forming in the body, and this is of particular concern because we generally eat at least one of these daily. Why not replace your rice and pasta with quinoa, which is alkaline, followed closely by ancient grains like amaranth and millet, which are only slightly acidic. And as for the bread? Try oatcakes. I am particularly partial to Nairn’s gluten-free oatcakes with herbs and seeds.
- Potatoes: Now this is where I fail to follow my own advice. I am burning carbs at the moment like an industrial furnace, and potatoes are my go-to comfort carb. But I only ever buy organic. And I never said I was perfect!
- Fruit: Now you know my recent feelings about fruit anyway, but aside from papaya and coconut, EVERY fruit causes your body’s pH level to plummet (the lower the pH, the more acidic).
- Stop smoking. Obv.
- Cut down on the alcohol.
- Coffee? No!!!!
What else can you do to get into the alkaline zone?
- Sleep well. It’s the answer to everything.
- Meditation and deep breathing: shallow breathing is a major cause of acidity, as is stress.
- Exercise: to move oxygen around your body. A lack of oxygen = acidity.
- Bathe in Epsom salts: Try my detox bath soak. As well as relieving aching muscles and upping your body’s magnesium levels, a salt bath of any kind will help the body get rid of lactic acid which, if you’re an athletic type, you probably suffer with.
- Take systemic enzymes after exercise: A similar point to the one above, taking two of these organic, vegan, food-based supplements will help lower your lactic acid levels.
- Read: “Alkalise or Die”
- Read: “Wild Fermentation” for fermented food recipes.
Your pH level and how to test it
Ideally, your pH level should be between 7.1 and 7.5. But if you want to go for the Holy Grail, 7.4 is what you should be aiming for.
I probably don’t test my pH as often as I should; at Hippocrates it was something I did every other day, just out of curiosity more than anything else.
But I use this pH testing kit, (pictured below) which you can use with your saliva or urine. If using with urine, just hold in your stream for a few seconds, and in round 15 seconds, you’ll have a colour reading, which you can compare to the detailed colour chart provided with the kit. Simples!
I’m sure you’re dying to know what mine is. And it would seem churlish not to share.
I usually wait until about my third toilet visit of the day; after your body has been busy chucking out rubbish all night, it’s not going to be a true reading of the level your body is at most of the time.
As you see from my reading in the picture opposite, my results aren’t perfect, but I didn’t roll out of the casino until Sunday at 3am after a fair few vodkas (clear spirits are your best bet if you like a drink; I only drink red wine occasionally these days). Like I said, I’m no angel, and at least I’m aware through a simple self-test that I need to re-alkalise.
Remember: it’s the level of pH your body is at for the majority of the time that makes the difference. An occasional blip is OK, but just be aware.
So, there it is. More information to do with what you will. But that guy didn’t win the Nobel Prize for nothing.