The issue of alkaline vs acidic diets has become a hot topic of conversation, especially when it comes to cancer prevention. According to German physiologist Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg (who has been awarded the Nobel Prize for his breakthrough research concerning the investigation of tumor metabolism and cancer cell respiration), cancer cells and other diseases are incapable of existing in an alkaline environment. What does it take to have a healthier and more alkaline-based diet? Let's begin by discussing the difference between alkaline vs acidic in terms of the body's chemistry.

Alkaline VS Acidic: What Is The Difference?

The human body's alkaline and acidic balances are determined by what is known as body pH.

What Is pH?

It is a means to measure a liquid's acidity or basicity based on a neutral pH of 7.0 (the pH of water). Any pH reading below 7.0 is considered acidic, with 1.0 being the highest acidity level. Conversely, any pH reading above 7.0 is considered basic or alkaline, with 14.0 as the highest level of alkalinity or basicity.

The pH balances of all our bodily fluids (especially blood) are all measurable. Organs, cells, and bodily fluids require a specific pH in order to function properly and optimally. Our blood is especially sensitive as any variation in its pH can affect the ability of hemoglobin to bind with oxygen.

The optimal pH for blood ranges from 7.3 to 7.35, saliva requires a range from 6.5 and 7.5, gastric juice content has to have a pH range of 1.5 to 3.5, small intestines need a pH range of 7.0 to 8.5, urine needs a pH range between 6.5 and 7.0, and the colon requires a pH range from 4.5 to 5.0.

Factors such as dietary imbalance, intestinal pH imbalance, stress (which elevates acidic toxin production), inadequate oxygenation, and a deficient elimination of toxins by vital organs (such as the kidneys, colon, liver, lungs, and skin) can radically change pH.

Effects Of Alkaline VS Acidic pH To The Body

So what is our body's reaction to a high level of acidity? The accumulation of acid causes our body to neutralize it through the use of buffer systems. However, when our systems get overloaded with acid, our body resorts to borrowing alkaline materials from our bones and vital organs in order to dissolve and eliminate acidic compounds.

This compensation weakens organs and bones and may lead to osteoporosis over time. Other effects of high acidity include fatigue, poor digestion, muscle and joint pain, eczema, psoriasis, bad breath, excessive perspiration, fungal infections, migraine, cramps, and dark and odorous urine.

When it comes to matters concerning cancer, Dr. Warburg discovered that cancer cells are anaerobic — this means they thrive in an environment without oxygen. When the body is in an acidic state, there is less oxygen to be had, while in an alkaline state, oxygen levels are relatively high.

This means that a high level of acidity makes the body more prone to cancer cell growth. According to Dr. Warburg, depriving a cell of 35 percent of oxygen for 48 hours can cause it to become cancerous.

Conversely (and although uncommon), high alkalinity in bodily fluids can result in metabolic alkalosis which can cause nausea, vomiting, twitching of the muscles, hand tremors, and confusion. In the scheme of things, alkaline vs acidic needs to strike a balance — the ideal ratio of alkaline vs acidic in the body should be 80/20 (with alkaline at 80 percent and acidic at 20 percent).

What Foods Are Alkaline?

When it comes to food, in order to maintain a good balance between alkaline vs acidic, your diet needs to consist of 75 percent alkaline foods and 25 percent acidic foods. Foods that are alkalizing include:


  • Apricots
  • Apples (yellow delicious)
  • Avocadoes
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Dates/Figs
  • Grapes/Raisins
  • Kiwi
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Watermelon
  • Lemons
  • Limes


  • Alfalfa
  • Asparagus
  • Beet
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprout
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Endive
  • Green and leafy vegetables
  • Kale
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Squash

Bread, Cereals, And Desserts

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  • Quinoa
  • Millet

Legumes, Seeds, And Nuts

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Sesame
  • Sunflower
  • Linseed


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  • Coconut
  • Olive
  • Avocado
  • Cod liver


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  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic


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  • Beet juice
  • Carrot juice
  • Celery juice
  • Mango juice
  • Papaya juice
  • Pear juice
  • Ginger tea
  • Green tea
  • Water

What Foods Are Acidic?

Because our bodily fluids are more prone to having high acidity levels, acidic foods should be consumed in moderation. To give you a better idea of which foods are acidic, we've broken them down into food groups just like we did with our list of alkalizing food. Foods that are acidic include:


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  • Cranberry
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Rhubarb


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  • Corn
  • Eggplant

Bread, Cereals, And Desserts

  • Bagel
  • Salted crackers
  • Whole rye bread
  • Cornmeal
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Corn tortillas

Noodles And Pasta

  • Corn pasta
  • Egg noodles
  • Rice noodles
  • White pasta
  • Whole wheat pasta

Legumes, Seeds, And Nuts

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  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Green peas
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Red beans
  • Kidney beans
  • White beans


  • Avocado oil
  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Shortening
  • Flax oil
  • Margarine
  • Olive oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Sesame oil


  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Apple juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Milkshakes
  • Soy
  • Soft drinks

Meat, Poultry, And Fish

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  • Lamb
  • Liver
  • Rabbit
  • Bacon
  • Shrimp
  • Chicken
  • Hamburger
  • Steak
  • Sausage
  • Lobster
  • Salmon

Eggs And Milk Products

  • Eggs
  • Camembert cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream cheese

What Are The Symptoms Of An Alkaline Imbalance?

As we've previously discussed, there is an ideal ratio between acidity and alkalinity when it comes to our bodily fluids. 80 percent should be alkaline and 20 percent should be acidic. This acid-base balance is maintained by your kidneys and lungs and is important in keeping your blood functioning properly.

When this balance is disrupted, there are two things that can happen. Acidosis can occur when your blood has a high level of acidity. On the other hand, alkalosis can occur when there's too much alkaline in the blood. Severe cases of alkalosis may lead to heart arrhythmia, even a coma.

When acidosis or alkalosis happens, it means that there is an imbalance in your blood's alkalinity (and acidity). Alkaline vs acidic is really not about overcoming one or the other but ensuring that the acid-base balance is maintained and kept stable.

Types Of Alkalosis

1. Respiratory Alkalosis

2. Compensated Alkalosis

3. Metabolic Alkalosis

4. Hypochloremic Alkalosis

5. Hypokalemic Alkalosis

Diagnosis And Treatment For Alkalosis

Types Of Acidosis

1. Respiratory Acidosis

2. Metabolic Acidosis

Why Is It Important To Strike A Balance Between Alkaline VS Acidic?

At this point, you may be asking yourself, why does this whole discussion of alkaline vs acidic food matter so much? Our simplest answer would be for overall good health.​

Both alkaline foods and acidic foods should be consumed in a less processed and well-balanced diet. If you're concerned about the acidity level of food, your best bet would be to ensure that the food is fresh and is rich in minerals and water content.

Alkaline minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, and sodium bicarbonate are needed by the body and can be found in most green vegetables and food with high water content.

For Acid-Base Balance

For Bodily Functions And Health Conditions


Maintaining good health is not just about food — it also involves having a healthier lifestyle. Daily exercise and a means to relieve yourself of stress are some lifestyle changes you need to make in order to achieve optimum health. Most illnesses and diseases are caused by stress because you're making your body work harder at keeping your pH levels balanced. A sedentary lifestyle, excess hormones and chemicals found in food, and animal fat consumption are all culprits when it comes to having levels of high acidity in your system.

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