The All-important Acid/Alkaline
Balance in the Diet
by T.R. Aletheia
Although there are hundreds of diets and countless books written about them, when it comes to good health, the Edgar Cayce readings talk a lot about alkalinity and your pH. So what exactly is pH, and how does it affect your health? pH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution as it relates to the concentration of hydrogen ions or, in this case, the tissues and fluids of a person’s body. The pH scale range is from 0-14. Neutral solutions, such as pure water, have a pH of about seven. Solutions lower than 7 are considered acidic: greater than 7 are alkaline.
The body functions optimally at an alkaline pH of approximately 7.35–7.45; any deviation just above or below this range can result in illness. Acid-base balance is maintained in the body by a number of intricate systems, of which the three primary ones are the blood, the respiratory system, and the kidneys. Illness or disease is a result of too much acid waste products in the tissues of the body. In fact, just as Edgar Cayce noted, an abnormal bacteria, fungus, or virus in the body can only survive in an acid environment. Unfortunately, acid waste that is not eliminated in a timely manner is reabsorbed from the colon into the liver and placed back into the general circulation.
It is thought that creating a more alkaline environment in the body can help prevent cancer. How then, does diet play a role in acid-base balance and cancer? All ingested substances, whether food, drink, medications, or supplements, and all circumstances, whether mental, physical, or emotional, that affect the body leave behind either an acid or alkaline (basic) ash residue in the body. Researchers have found that cold germs and flu viruses and other diseases, such as cancer, need an acid environment in order to grow and thrive. The goal, therefore, for health is to maintain a pH that is just slightly on the alkaline side. This is done by what many researchers refer to as the 80/20 rule in which 80 percent of the foods eaten are alkaline reacting, and 20 percent are acid reacting. This is the same recommendation given in the readings. In general, most fruits, vegetables, and herbs are alkaline-reacting while protein foods, starches, sugary foods (i.e., candy, cake), most dairy, and prescription drugs are acid-reacting.
Ironically, the Food Guide Pyramid recommended by the USDA, if followed as designed, actually promotes an acidic pH. The pyramid recommends two to three servings per day from the milk/dairy group, two to three servings from the meat group, three to five servings from the vegetable group, two to four servings from the fruit group, six to eleven servings from the bread/starch group, and to use fats, oils, and sweets sparingly. Thus, 65–67 percent of the pyramid is from foods that are acid-forming and 33–35 percent from alkaline-reacting foods. There has been much controversy surrounding the Food Guide Pyramid, with many opponents arguing that it should promote a healthier, plant-based diet. In addition, proponents argue that it was biased from the start, because it was developed by a group of people with strong ties to the dairy and beef industries whose goal was to promote their own products. In fact, in 2000, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) won a nine-month legal battle against the USDA for this very reason.
In the long run, the best diet to follow is one that promotes an alkaline pH using the 80/20 rule. The diet that best epitomizes this rule is the Edgar Cayce diet. This diet has been around for more than 60 years, and several books have been written about it (visit ARECatalog.com). Of course, it can be a challenge to practice this lifestyle, and even those of us who are educated on the effects of food and pH stray off course from time to time; however, just being aware of the effect of what you eat is half the battle.
Resources on the web:
- Cayce's Basic Diet Chart - Member only section > other media section
- Cayce Diet & Health Books
- Edgar Cayce Diet Wheel Magnet
- Acid-Alkaline Food List The Cayce Health Database
- Basic Cayce Diet The Cayce Health Database
T.R. Aletheia, MS, RD, CNSC is a registered dietitian with a passion for holistic healing. She earned a master's degree in holistic healing from the Clayton College of Natural Health. Having one foot in each camp, so-to-speak, she likes to combine her knowledge of conventional nutrition with her love for holistic methods. Her interest in alternative therapies was born after the death of her father from cancer. The information in this blog comes from a variety of sources including conventional medicine, holistic therapies, and the Edgar Cayce readings. Cayce was considered the father of American holistic medicine and a medical clairvoyant. T.R. Aletheia is author of Cancer An American Conspiracy which discusses successful alternative cancer therapies and why the medical establishment is hiding them from the public. Her website is HealthyNutritionOptions.com.