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Test Your Acid-Alkaline Balance

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Does your digestive system sometimes feel like it's tied up in knots? Could be that the foods you are eating are upsetting your body's acid-alkaline balance, a key factor in your overall health

Does your digestive system sometimes feel like it's tied up in knots? Could be that the foods you are eating are upsetting your body's acid-alkaline balance, a key factor in your overall health. W. Lee Cowden, an MD in Fort Worth, Texas, suggests trying a litmus test (available at health food stores and pharmacies) as a simple way to measure your body's acid-alkaline balance.

Here's how it works: Your body's acid-alkaline balance is measured by numbers on a pH scale that ranges from zero (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline). The nitrazine paper used for litmus tests can test your saliva or urine, which should be just slightly acidic, with a pH of 6.6 to 6.8 (a pH of seven is neutral, like water). Do the test before eating or at least one hour after. If you score 6.6 or below, cut back on acid-forming foods and rebalance your body with alkaline-forming foods.

Note: Some fruits may be more acidic than others, but most turn alkaline in the body. Lemon is actually beneficial for balancing acid/alkaline levels. However, avoid eating citrus if it causes painful symptoms.

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