For years, Jan Brehm didn't know what was wrong with her.
"I have been in emergency three times thinking I had a heart attack, and it was acid,” she said.
Jan thought her eating habits could be the culprit, so she decided to try the alkaline diet.
Celebrity nutritionist Dr. Lindsey Duncan is a proponent. He says our meals are becoming increasingly acidic, and our bodies are paying the price.
“Cardiovascular disease. Depression, forgetfulness, poor mood, mind, memory,” he said.
He recommends avoiding meals packed with acidic foods like wheat, dairy, meat, fish, sugar, and caffeine. Instead, he says, load your plate with ph balancers.
"Anything that's dark, leafy, and green. The general rule of thumb is the more bitter your foods, the more alkaline,” he said.
Jan felt a difference within days of making the switch.
"Not only does the fatigue lift, but the mood shift, energy," she said.
Dietitian Erin Palinski says while alkaline diet foods are healthy, the ph-theory lacks evidence.
“There's been no human medical research studies that have proven any of the claims of the alkaline diet. Our body really naturally, unless we have some kind of health problem, is going to keep our pH within the optimal level,” she said.
She says some take the diet to the extreme, consuming supplements that promise to boost your p-h, or even ingesting baking soda.
"This can make the body too alkaline and bring it outside of the optimal range, and that can actually have potentially deadly side effects,” she said.
Dr. Duncan says balance is the key.
"The proper ratio of food is 70-75 percent alkaline and 25-30 percent acid," he said.
While experts continue to debate the food and p-h level connection, Jan is a believer.
"All I have is what I've experienced, and the difference that I feel is night and day," she said.
According to the alkaline diet, the optimal p-h level is 7.4 percent. Some followers test their p-h daily with strips, which are available at the drugstore.