Serving an alkaline diet to patients with cancer changes the body's intracellular pH levels, creating an unfavorable environment for cancer cells to thrive, claims Nancy Elizabeth Shaw for GreenMedInfo. This phenomenon creates a strengthened immune system, providing another layer of fortification against the spread of cancer cells.
Research shows there are links between cancer and the body's acidic pH levels. Cancer thrives in high levels of acidity, while alkaline environments do not allow for the survival of cancer cells, states Nancy Elizabeth Shaw for GreenMedInfo. High acid levels in the body can decrease oxygen levels and harm DNA. Combating this through a diet that is based on alkaline foods that do not create an acidic environment in the body has proven to be beneficial in cancer patients.
The diet, comprised of mostly cruciferous greens and vegetables, avoids wheat, dairy and sugars. The goal is not to steer away from acidic foods as much as it is to discourage an acidic environment within the body. For example, citrus fruits are a naturally acidic fruit, but when consumed, contribute to an alkaline atmosphere when digested. While medical studies have yet to prove any of these findings as of 2015, there is no harm in increasing intake of fruits and vegetables while under treatment for cancer, states Shaw. An alkaline diet that neutralizes the acidity in the body, and reduces pain and inflammation can be beneficial to those who have experienced a cancer diagnosis.