By Miguel J. Ortiz

The food industry and our education around food hasn’t really evolved to truly heal us like it should. When all physicians embark on their journey through medicine they all learn a very simple quote. “Let thy medicine be thy food and let thy food be thy medicine,” Hippocrates. Yet, we don’t really use food for medicine.

This is something the population has started understanding more, especially since long-term pharmaceutical medication has been one of the top killers. A recent Johns Hopkins study claims more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die every year from medical errors. Other reports claim the numbers to be as high as 440,000. And some long-term medication kills more than cardiovascular disease.

We have less people going to the doctor and more people trying to take care of themselves. Whether it be through a good ole remedy our ancestors passed down or something as simple as fasting and getting plenty of rest. But, how do we do that with all the stress we have in our life?

“We heal ourselves by what we put in our body,” says Dr. Sebi.

I have studied many diets including the Keto, paleo diet and even juicing for short periods of time. The number one diet that very little people look into, yet it’s the most affective at fighting disease, is the Alkaline diet. It’s a proven fact that no disease, including cancer, can survive in an alkaline environment.

So why aren’t more people following it?

It’s because of what a person has to give up. This way of eating rejuvenates and cleanses cells, fuels the body and helps eliminate unnecessary waste. So even though it seems ideal our current society would need to consider giving up anything that can cause acidity.

The human body has an optimal pH level of about 7.365 anything less than that is considered more acidic anything higher is more alkaline. Food like raw broccoli, raw cabbage, organic cucumber are all about a 10.0 pH level and on the other side you have the more acidic foods like coffee, pasta, white bread, beef, pork and processed foods which are all under 4.0 pH. Sodas fall below 3.0 pH.

A very important thing to consider is the balance that is necessary to keep you healthier and don’t look so deep into exact pH levels. Counting calories has been a puzzle since its inception and has never considered what the calories are once food is cooked. So, let’s not worry about the exact numbers here either. I think we all can understand when we are full. Having that awareness in the body in also important, but will be discussed another time.

For now, worry about if your food is more acidic or more alkaline and eat accordingly. Start making smarter choices like using soft drinks and sodas as a treat and not a weekly or daily item to have. Add more fiber to your diet, most alkaline items tend to be greens and quality fiber. Do less cooking of food and eat more raw foods. Microwaves especially cause food to become more acidic by the way it works to heat the food. It is changing the food’s molecular compounds ultimately changing the pH level. Yes, it’s a different taste but it saves you time if you understand how to prep properly.

This journey into a healthier lifestyle isn’t for the fainthearted, but the moment you put good food in your mouth is the moment your body starts healing itself. Let your food be your medicine.

Miguel J. Ortiz is a personal trainer in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a member of the National Personal Trainer Institute and a Certified Nutritional Consultant with more than a decade of professional experience. He can be found on Instagram at @migueljortiz.