Alkaline Diet Q&A 10: Why Eat Alkaline When the Stomach Needs Acid?

The Alkaline Diet Q&A’s: Your Burning Questions Answered!

Every now and then I get a question by email that I think everyone would love to hear the answer to.

Today someone called Sam asked me a really great question, and it is one that I think a lot of people wonder.

SEE ALSO: Get Over 150+ Delicious, Easy Alkaline Recipes Here

I’m just about to jump on a plane back to Australia (actually three planes, long trip), but before I did I wanted to share this with you:

Why Eat Alkaline When the Stomach Needs to Make Acid?

Dear Ross,

Would you just explain how taking alkaline food and drink fits with the need to have strong hydrochloric acid for effect protein break down and digestion of amino acids.

Acid reflux is often caused by weak acid and medication used to treat this dilutes the acid further to make the situation worse. The body tends to buffer acid and alkaline foods to arrive at a desired level.

I do agree too much wheat, sugar and meat can bias things too far to the acid side, but if you eat well balanced organic foods including an array of minerals and essential fatty acids, then alkaline intake is probably not necessary and may cause harm or internal stress.

It is also very difficult to alter blood and cellular pH as the mechanisms at play are rigid in their control.

I have been a long term student of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, so my interest is open and genuine.
Regards, Sam


Ross’ Answer

Hey Sam

Appreciate the question, and it’s great that you’ve got such an open approach to health. I’ve just spent two days in a room with some of the best functional medicine Drs in the US and it’s been a lot of fun. I love the pragmatism that these guys bring to the world of nutrition.

The production of HCl in the stomach is a delicate balance, that is largely an on-demand service. The body will, in my understanding, product the amount of acid needed based upon the foods consumed. If you’re eating a plant-based, nutrient-dense diet then far less HCl will be needed by the body, which in turn will mean much less sodium bicarbonate needs to then be produced to neutralise this acidity, post-digestion.

The balance is absolutely key.

I think there is just a really, very slight distinction between your beliefs and mine and I think we’re actually on the same page.

Where you’ve said: If you eat well balanced organic foods including an array of minerals and essential fatty acids, then alkaline intake is probably not necessary and may cause harm or internal stress.

The foods you describe are all of the alkaline foods I’m recommending. IF someone eat that way, this would be the alkaline diet.

The common misconception is that the alkaline diet is about trying to make your body over-alkaline. It’s not, certainly how I teach it anyway. It is about supporting your body to maintain it’s very slight alkaline balance.

There is absolutely no desire to increase the pH of the blood. The desire and intent is to help support the body to maintain it’s very specifically alkaline pH of 7.365.

It is almost impossible to alter this pH as the body will do whatever it takes to keep it there – but when someone consumes a diet rich in acid-forming foods the stress the body goes through to maintain this pH is huge. This is what causes the damage.

I am certainly not advocating someone should try to up the pH of their cells, fluids or anything else, it’s all about supporting and nourishing the body.

A diet rich in vegetables, low sugar fruits, healthy oils, filtered water, salads, nuts, seeds, exercise and free from stress is the alkaline diet. If you keep the acid forming foods in moderation (nobody has to quit everything), then the body will thrive and in return will gift you with energy and vitality.

I hope that this all makes sense. This little distinction in the understanding of the alkaline approach is very important and I hope you see how close we are in our understanding and beliefs!

Keep in touch


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[Note: This blog is only my opinion. It is not medical advice or diagnosis. Only opinions based upon our own personal experiences or information detailed in medical/academic journals or other publications is cited. WE DO NOT OFFER MEDICAL ADVICE or prescribe any treatments. Please consult with a medical professional before making any diet or nutrition changes. Refer to our full disclaimer for more information.]

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  1. Mawufemor Reply

    Hi Ross,
    I have been diagnosed of gastritis n have been battling with it for some time now. I discovered your alkaline education and have gotten involved. Pls what must I do to help heal my stomach fast with this inflammation.

  2. Jessica Delgado Reply

    Would the alkalinr diet help someone with colorectal cancer?