Vegan Health ArticlesGreens Make the Body More Alkaline
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From Raw Family Newsletter, July 2005
by Victoria Boutenko.

Sometimes I feel that in the search for health, we have been going over the same ground for many decades. In the meantime, the most prevalent illnesses, heart disease and cancer, are getting worse every year. Let us look at the statistics.
· Coronary heart disease is the single leading cause of death in America today (466,101 deaths in 1997)
· This year, 1,500 people will die from cancer every day, making it the second leading cause of death in the US.[1]

As I observed both in Russia and in United States the allopathic medicine seems to have been focusing on the secondary causes of disease. To me that's like pushing a car that ran out of gas with your bare hands instead of putting gas in, or comforting a hungry person instead of feeding them. So what is the main cause of disease? Today we have an ocean of confusing information, articles in which different experts state many different reasons for illness. However, I think that the main reason for illness was stated very clearly in 1931!

Over 75 years ago, Otto Warburg was awarded the Nobel prize for his discovery that cancer is caused by weakened cell respiration due to lack of oxygen at the cellular level. According to Warburg, damaged cell respiration causes fermentation, resulting in low pH (acidity) at the cellular level.

Dr. Warburg, in his Nobel Prize winning study, illustrated the environment of the cancer cell. A normal healthy cell undergoes an adverse change when it can no longer take in oxygen to convert glucose into energy. In the absence of oxygen, the cell reverts to a primal nutritional program to nourish itself by converting glucose through the process of fermentation. The lactic acid produced by fermentation lowers the cell pH (acid/alkaline balance) and destroys the ability of DNA and RNA to control cell division. The cancer cells then begin to multiply. The lactic acid simultaneously causes severe local pain as it destroys cell enzymes. Cancer appears as a rapidly growing external cell covering, with a core of dead cells. Dr. Otto Warburg finished one of his most famous speeches with the following statement: "…nobody today can say that one does not know what cancer and its prime cause is. On the contrary, there is no disease whose prime cause is better known, so that today ignorance is no longer an excuse that one cannot do more about prevention."[2]

Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for showing that cancer thrives in anaerobic (without oxygen), or acidic, conditions. In other words, the main cause for cancer is acidity of the human body. By the time I read his genius speech, he had been dead a long time. I wonder, if this discovery was so important that he received the Nobel Prize, why doesn't everyone know what pH is?

As soon as scientists discovered what healthy human blood pressure and temperature are supposed to be, devices were invented to measure them. Whenever I went to a doctor, my blood pressure and temperature were measured, but I don't ever remember a doctor measuring my pH. High blood pressure and fever, though not pleasant, do not cause cancer. The acidic condition of the blood does. It is not my opinion; it is what the internationally renowned scientist Dr. Warburg has proven. For this statement he won the Nobel Prize. As the outcome of the recognition of his discovery, I think it is vital to make pH information available at once to everyone.

It makes great sense to me that children should study the pH index of all foods at school and all foods that are sold to the public should have their pH index printed on the content label, together with calories and nutrients.

For example, parmesan cheese should have a red warning label with a pH sign saying it is extremely acid forming, -34! While spinach may have a golden medal sign with a pH index +14, as an excellent, alkalizing food. The indexes have been measured in biochemical research and cannot be guessed by just looking at foods. Some of the foods are surprisingly alkaline or acidic; for example, most people are amazed to learn that lemon is one of the most alkalizing fruits, while walnuts are acidifying. I think it's important for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food pyramid to reflect the pH of different foods as soon as possible. I imagine that many people's health could instantly be improved by their ability to consume alkalizing foods that are more beneficial for human health.

Considering fats to be the main contributor to weight gain is a popular delusion among dieters. This misconception leads to massive confusion and explains why so many overweight people are not succeeding in losing weight. I am sure that many people would be shocked to find out that we may gain weight from eating, say, cheese, not only because it is rich in fat, but mostly due to its high acidic level. In response to high pH acid, the body creates fat cells to store the acid. For example, almonds have 70% fat, and pork has only 58%. However, pork has one of the highest acid values, -38, while almonds are alkaline forming, +3.[3] This is why it is so crucial to know, in addition to nutritional value, the pH index—to have it available and handy at every store, printed on each food label, showing its ability to alkalize the body.

I remember how in 1965 my mother was in tears after reading an article in a Russian health magazine that stated that watermelons and cucumbers do not have any nutritional value. They were our family's most favorite foods. Forty years later, I am learning that cucumbers and watermelons are so alkalizing that they could neutralize the acidifying effect of eating beef. I am glad that my parents continued to buy watermelons, despite of "scientific" recommendations.

Many years ago, back in Russia, when I was studying to be a medical nurse, our professor told us, that the cholesterol in our food did not contribute anything to the blood cholesterol level, because our own liver makes it all. Therefore I was not surprised or disappointed by the diet that my father was receiving while staying at the cardio center. After my dad's massive heart attack, they served him beefsteak with gravy and milk. Later, after reading a lot of books and articles about the importance of the proper pH balance in the body, I understood, that the so-called "bad" cholesterol, lipoprotein (LDL) is made by our own liver in order to bind the toxins and deactivate the acidic waste that came from certain food, not to cause arteriosclerosis. Unfortunately, I bought my first book on this topic, "Alkalize or Die"[4] two months after my father died from his second heart attack.

Food is not the only cause to alter our pH balance. There are many other factors, such as stress, our mood or music. It is very possible to stay on the best alkalizing diet and still be overweight, tired and unhealthy. Anything that is stimulating could leave an acidic residue in our body; correspondingly any activities that are calming and relaxing could make us more alkaline.

Factors that potentially could make us more acid: hearing or saying harsh or bitter words; loud music and noise; being in a traffic jam; feeling jealousy or revenge; hearing baby crying; overworking and over-exercising; beginning or finishing school; going on vacation; watching scary or stressful movies; watching and listening to TV; talking on the phone for a long time; taking on mortgage; paying bills and credit cards, etc.

Factors that potentially could make us more alkaline: giving or receiving a smile or a hug; laughter and jokes, classical or quite music; seeing a puppy; hearing compliment or blessing; receiving a soft massage; staying in a cozy and clean environment, being in nature, watching children laugh and play; walking and sleeping under the stars and moonlight; working in the garden; observing flowers; singing or playing a musical instrument; sincere friendly conversation, and many others.

I find it helpful for myself to observe my inner body reaction to different events around me, and if I notice unwanted feeling of inner stress I try to make changes not only to my diet but to my whole way of living.

Being uneducated about pH balance breeds a lot of confusion among people who are looking for healthy diets, trying many different things, very often without positive results. For example, in my own experience I have been eating only raw food for many years, which while a vast improvement on my previous diet, did not reach optimal results until I began to eat a lot more greens. I read several books and articles on this subject and bought litmus paper with which to measure my pH. However, every time I measured my saliva or urine, it was almost always acid. So I got even more confused and stopped measuring. I was convinced that my diet was the best it could be, because what could be better than a raw food diet? I never understood the importance of keeping the alkaline balance of my body.

Since I started drinking green smoothies, I decided to check my pH balance once again. I tested both my saliva and urine and was surprised to see that my litmus paper had now the stable green color of alkalinity!

As soon as I clearly noticed the tight connection between the food that we intake and our pH balance, I purchased for my family plenty of pH measurement tape and placed it in the bathrooms and kitchens, available at any time, so we could check our pH balance every day and rest assured that our health is out of danger. After staying so many years on a 100% raw diet, I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to maintain a good alkaline pH balance without consuming large quantities of dark leafy greens, approximately two bunches or one to two pounds every day. Some people try to keep a normal pH balance by taking supplements containing dried greens. While this is certainly better than eating only French fries, I strongly believe that to consume fresh greens is thousands of times better, because supplements are processed food and their nutrition content is altered, as a result of which some of the nutrients disappear, so that the ratios of the nutrients change greatly.

Also, when consumed in forms of capsules and tablets, they enter our body in huge, concentrated doses, and any extra nutrients create extra work for the elimination system.

For this reason, out of all the choices that we have in consuming greens, the green smoothie is a winner, because it is a complete food, it is fresh, and it takes less than a minute to prepare.



2: The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer. Dr. Otto Warburg Lecture delivered to Nobel Laureates on June 30, 1966 at Lindau, Lake Constance, Germany

3: The pH Miracle. Robert O. Young, Ph.D., Shelley Redford Young. 2002, Warner Books, NY

4: Alkalize or Die. Dr. Theodore A. Baroody, Jr. 1991, Eclectic Press, NC

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.