Baking soda is scientifically known as sodium bicarbonate. Therefore, one also calls it the bicarbonate of soda. It is primarily a baking ingredient and provides its fluffiness to bread, cakes, muffins and cookies.
The scientific logic behind effortless baking is an interesting one. Dough added with baking soda rises by producing carbon dioxide. Combining it with an acid like vinegar or lemon juice improves the efficacy of baking soda by leaving a better aftertaste.
There are numerous benefits with innumerable facts that you need to know about baking soda.
Top 20 Benefits of Baking Soda
Baking soda is an excellent exfoliator. However, it has antiseptic properties too. Enough with the description of properties; let us run back straight to your point.
1. Baking Soda Helps Treat Heartburn
Baking soda has very high amounts of antacids and is an excellent alkaliser. Heartburn is having constant pain in your chest. If you try to locate the affected area, you will find it just behind your breastbone. The pain usually worsens after eating, when you lie down or bend over during the evenings. There is no need to worry in case of occasional heartburn.
Baking soda provides temporary and occasional relief from acid reflux. It has an alkaline pH that helps neutralise the acidity in your stomach. It works similarly to many over-the-counter antacids.
Have one 1/2 tsp baking soda and dissolve it in a 4-ounce glass of water for instant relief. Make sure to drink this slowly.
2. Improves Oral Health
Healthy gums, strong teeth, neutral breath and a clean tongue, determine your health and hygiene. In addition, it is essential for preventing diseases and disorders related to the mouth. For example, do you know that one can find initial symptoms of diabetes in the mouth? Diabetes results in high blood sugar which weakens oral health.
According to a study, baking soda has natural whitening properties. Baking soda is a known ingredient in the production of commercial toothpaste. It is a mild abrasive that scrapes off surface stains on the teeth. In addition, it provides an alkaline environment in your mouth. This quality further prevents the growth of bacteria from avoiding tooth decay and retaining your gums in shape. Some say that having baking soda water every morning can freshen your breath.
3. Baking Soda Treats Kidney Disease
Kidney disease occurs when your kidneys are damaged and cannot perform blood filtration.
As per research findings baking soda is helpful for people with kidney disease. In addition, you may use baking soda as a supplement for some chronic kidney conditions and metabolic acidosis. This condition creates a disbalance between alkali and acid balance. Oral supplementation of sodium bicarbonate may make the blood less acidic. Therefore, it may be right to conclude that baking soda slows down the progression of kidney disease under the supervision of a health professional. However, one cannot use baking soda as a preventive measure to combat kidney ailments.
4. Baking Soda Improves Exercise Performance
Improvement in exercise performance strengthens the heart, improves blood circulation, tones muscles and enhances flexibility.
A study finds a correlation between baking soda and sports performance. Its effectiveness can be related to high-intensity sports and activities. It makes endurance higher by decreasing the acidity in working muscles. Soda can help achieve optimal PH balance by reducing excess acid during exercising. Sodium bicarbonate contains an alkaline pH of 8.4. Therefore it is safe to consume 15 -20 grams of baking soda diluted in water about an hour before you start exercising.
5. Controls Odours
Often there is a foul smell near garbage bins, socks, carpets or even in the fridge. This smell resembles a residue of a robust acidic odour, like sour milk or fish. Research has concluded that baking soda deodorises by bringing acidic and basic odour molecules into a neutral form.
Not only that, it can be used as a personal deodorant for underarms and feet and as a household deodorant in carpets. It also removes odour in the fridge and freezer. It can work when dissolved in water too.
6. Antitumor Effects
A tumour occurs when uncontrolled growth occurs in a solid tissue such as an organ, muscle, or bone. Tumours may thrive in an acidic body environment. Hence, reducing acidity in your body can prevent tumours from growing and spreading. Baking soda may help to reduce this acidity along with prescribed medication.
7. Improve Certain Cancers
It is important to note that cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment. In such a case, baking soda does not prevent cancer development. But according to a study, it serves as an effective complementary treatment for people who have cancer. In simple terms, it can be an able supplement product during the treatment procedure. However, do not use baking soda as a substitute for regular medication.
Drink a tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of water as a DIY method to improve pH balance in the body, which could prevent several illnesses. If the taste is unbearable, add half a teaspoon and drink it twice. Add some lemon or honey to enhance the flavour.
8. Baking Soda Works as a Whitening Agent
Healthy skin is the body’s first defence against disease and infection. In addition, the skin helps regulate body temperature.
Baking soda also has cosmetic properties, including mild exfoliation, cleansing and skin lightening.
As per research, Baking soda has immense bleaching properties. It helps in fading away marks and spots on the skin. Combine it with water, lemon juice and turmeric to remove acne scars and melasma.
As baking soda can be harsh to your skin, mix it with another natural ingredient to make it suitable for skin application.
9. Baking Soda Helps Keep the Kitchen Cleaner
A cheap box of baking soda can clean your entire home. It is highly versatile and is a mild abrasive. It dissolves dirt, tackles odours and cuts through grime found in the kitchen.
Make a paste by mixing baking soda with an equal amount of lemon juice and a bit of water to clean your kitchen. It is handy as a scouring agent and a deodoriser.
10. Baking Soda Removes Pesticides
Baking soda works wonders when soaked in water with fruits or vegetables. It removes a high amount of pesticides. In addition, sodium bicarbonate can remove other chemical residues and pesticides from the skin of fruits and vegetables. Therefore it makes the consumables safer for everyone.
11. Baking Soda Soothes Canker Sores
Canker sores are also called aphthous ulcers. They are small and shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums. They do not occur on the surface of your lips, and they aren’t contagious.
This is known to restore Ph balance and reduce inflammation. Therefore baking soda plays a role in resulting in soothing the canker sores.
For canker sore relief, dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 cup of water. Gargle this solution for 15 to 30 seconds, then spit it out.
12. Works as a Bathroom Cleaner
Since many of us opt for inexpensive but effective bathroom cleaners, baking soda is a blessing. It whitens and disinfects many bathroom surfaces like tiles, sinks, showers and bathtubs. Baking Soda is also a great cleaning agent because it easily dissolves dirt and grease in water. It also deodorises by changing acidic and basic odour molecules into a neutral, more odour-free state.
It is handy to use but remember it is less effective than commercial cleaners.
13. Provides Relief from Bug Bites
Most bug bites cause red bumps with pain, itching, or burning. Some bug bites also lead to blisters or welts.
Baking soda helps to neutralise the skin’s pH balance. It also fights infection caused due to bug bites.
Apply baking soda paste to the bitten area several times a day to find relief on big bug bites. To make the paste, mix baking soda with some water until you get the right consistency.
14. Treats Nail infections
Fungal nail infections are common infections of the fingernails or toenails. They can cause the nail to become discoloured, thick, and more likely to crack and break. Infections are more common in toenails than fingernails.
According to a study, baking soda has antifungal properties. It soaks up moisture that may cause toenail fungus.
To treat nail infections, apply a baking soda paste and water directly to the affected nail and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing. Repeat this several times a day until the fungus clears.
15. Works as a Magic Ingredient
Baking soda is a leavening agent and has immense use in baking. It works well with liquid and acidic ingredients and gives the body to baked and fried goodies. Because it reacts with the acid, it produces carbon dioxide that gives rise to bubbles. This chemical process helps make cakes, cookies, and other baked goods fluffy.
16. Helps Polish Silverware
According to research, baking soda to polish silverware uses electrolytic action instead of chemical-polish abrasion. As a result, baking soda effectively removes the tarnish from oxidised silver without damaging the metal.
To make your silverware shine just like the day you brought them, you can simply use baking soda. First, add baking soda to an aluminium baking pan and slowly pour vinegar. Next, add some boiling water and place the silver in the pan.
17. Baking Soda Extinguishes Fire Caused by Oil and Grease
Baking soda reacts with the heat in case of fires caused by oil, grease, and electricity. This action, in turn, produces carbon dioxide, which extinguishes the fire. There is also usage of baking soda as an ingredient in some fire extinguishers.
Thus, baking soda works on small oil grease and electric fires. But remember, its application does not extend in the case of large scale fire hazards.
18. Baking Soda Kills Weeds
Weeds usually have very long roots, making it impossible to eradicate them naturally. Baking soda is a cheaper and safer alternative. However, it is high in sodium which creates a hostile environment for the sustenance of the weeds. In addition, it draws water from the plant cells. This quality forces the foliage to dry off.
Hence, use baking soda to kill weeds in small areas. But refrain from using it in extensive gardens and lawns as it may negatively affect the growth of other plants.
19. Baking Soda Beats Sugar Craving
Sugar cravings occur due to an imbalance in blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels increase when you consume sugar. Then insulin lowers it to a safer level. When the insulin levels in your body are low, that’s when you feel sugar cravings.
Just add one teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of warm water and rinse it with your mouth whenever you crave sweets. They will disappear instantly.
20. Baking Soda Cleans Earwax
Use baking soda ear drops twice daily before five days for cleaning your ears better than any other treatment. However, there is no sufficient evidence to prove this. There are contradictory views. Some feel that it might make the process of removing earwax harder.
Baking Soda: Healthy Recipes
1. Spicy Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies
Number of servings: 12
Preparation time: 1 hour
- Hazelnut meal or flour: 2 cups
- Packed jaggery or muscovado sugar: 1 cup
- Baking powder: 1½ teaspoons
- Baking soda: ½ teaspoon
- Freshly ground black pepper: ½ teaspoon
- Fine sea salt: ¼ teaspoon
- Large egg, lightly beaten: 1
- Unsalted butter (melted): 2 tablespoons
- Hazelnut extract or vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
- Chopped bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa): ½ cup
- Chopped crystallised ginger: ⅓ cup
- Whip together the hazelnut meal, jaggery, baking powder, baking soda, black pepper, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the egg, melted butter, hazelnut extract (or vanilla extract), chocolate, and ginger.
- Stir with a large wooden spoon until the dough comes together.
- Grease your hands with a bit of oil to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Divide the dough into twelve equal parts and shape them into balls.
- Flatten them into 2-inch rounds.
- Place the rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Wrap the entire baking sheet tightly in plastic wrap.
- Place it in the freezer for at least 10 minutes, preferably 2 hours.
- To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and put half the dough rounds on the second sheet.
- Spread out the rounds on both baking sheets and refrigerate one of them.
- Bake one batch of cookies at a time until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Cool completely on wire racks.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Your spicy chocolate chip hazelnut cookies are ready!
2. Baking Soda Lemonade
Number of servings:1
Preparation time: 3 minutes
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- One or 1 tsp baking soda (no aluminium)
- 1 cup water
- Add baking soda and lemon juice into a cup or a glass.
- Then add 1 cup of water to calm down the reaction.
- Drink immediately.
Baking Soda: Precautions and Side Effects
You should know a few things before consuming baking soda: follows.
- Applying it to your teeth for the long term can erode tooth enamel.
- Few people shouldn’t consume baking soda, especially those with high blood pressure, as it has high sodium content.
- A sodium overload can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and more severe conditions like seizures and kidney failure.
- The possibility of gas and stomach rupture may increase after the high consumption of baking soda.
- Don’t use it if you have sensitive skin, as you can find alkaline substances irritating.
- Excessive soda is not good as it can cause soda loading.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Can baking soda be used for cooking?
A. Yes, baking soda is a great ingredient used for baking purposes as it makes the dough rise by producing carbon dioxide.
Q2. Is baking soda safe to drink?
A. Consuming a small amount is not dangerous as it works as a digester and is safe.
Q3. What is baking soda used for?
A. Baking soda can reduce symptoms of heartburn and acidity. Supplementation is usual in the case of kidney-related diseases and inflammations. It also improves oral health.
Q4. Is baking soda bad for health?
A. Baking soda is not bad for health if consumed in moderation.
Q5. Is baking soda the same as bicarbonate soda?
A. Yes, baking soda and bicarbonate are the same.
Q6. What are the benefits of drinking baking soda?
A. Drinking baking soda provides temporary relief from indigestion or heartburn. It also reduces muscle fatigue during athletic training.
Q7. What happens when you drink baking soda?
A. When you drink baking soda excessively, you might suffer from vomiting and diarrhoea. It can also cause seizures and dehydration.
Q8. What happens when you mix baking soda and lemon juice?
A. When citric acid in lemon is mixed with base in baking soda, it causes the liquid to fizz and bubble.
Q9. What are the benefits of drinking baking soda with lemon?
A. Drinking baking soda with the stomach can neutralise stomach acid, similar to antacids.
Q10. When should I drink baking soda water?
A. Whenever you have indigestion, you can have soda water. In addition, having soda water every morning can be beneficial in reducing the symptoms. However, prolonged consumption should be supervised by doctors.
Q11. What happens when you drink vinegar and baking soda?
A. It can produce carbon dioxide in your body resulting in gas and bloating.
Q12. Does apple cider vinegar react with baking soda?
A. Yes, Combining these two acids produce carbon dioxide, which can create gas and bloating.
Q13. Is baking soda harmful?
A. It is not harmful if consumed in small proportions.