Health benefits of baking soda include reduced risk and prevention of diarrhea, metabolic acidosis, acidity, peptic ulcer, and drug intoxification. It has anti-ich or antipruritic properties which helps in maintaining healthy skin. It is effective home remedy in cold and flu and plaque removal. It is a good source of sodium prevents hyperkalemia, bladder infection and kidney stones.
It has antimicrobial properties which may protect body and feet from infections. Usage of baking soda is not just limited to health, it is used in cooking and cleaning.
Baking soda also known as sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is commonly used and found in almost every household. It is odorless, salty in taste and available as a white powder. It has various uses such as cooking, medical uses etc.
Nutritional value of baking soda: As per USDA baking soda contains water and sodium. It has no calories, fat and carbohydrates.
Health benefits of baking soda
Baking soda has many health benefits which include:
Antacid: Baking soda has antacid properties and is beneficial to relieve acid indigestion, severe acidity and heartburn. It helps in relieving from symptoms of peptic ulcer disease. Due its alkaline properties it is also recommended for reducing acidity in urine and blood.
Metabolic acidosis: Sodium bicarbonate is beneficial in minimizing risk of metabolic acidosis in various health disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders etc. It also provides relief in case of renal tubular acidosis.
Diarrhea: Nutrition comprising of sodium bicarbonate is indicated in case of diarrhea wherein there is a significant loss of the bicarbonate from the body.
Drug intoxications: Sodium bicarbonate is also useful in treating various intoxications such as poisoning caused by methyl alcohol, salicylates etc.
Anti-ich properties: Sodium bicarbonate has anti-ich or antipruritic properties which also help in treating various skin conditions. A solution or paste made from baking soda can be applied on the skin.
Insect bites and swellings: Bees and wasp stings are usually painful and they are automatically followed with swellings on the affected parts. Use a solution that consists of baking soda and water to relieve the pain and reduce the swelling caused by insect stings. The solution should contain high ratio of baking soda as compared to water; preferably 3:1.
Improves sprint performance: Research study suggests that intake of sodium bicarbonate may be beneficial in improving the sprint performance during prolonged intermitted exercise such as cycling.
Cold and flu: Common cold and flu are very common across all age groups all over the world. Healthy diet and good health care prevents and protects the human body from these ailments. Baking soda is beneficial in providing relief from cold and flu. A nasal wash done with solution made by mixing lukewarm water, salt and baking soda helps to clean the mucus from the nose. This may be repeated two to three times in a day.
Plaque removal: The use of baking soda is not just limited to skin and infections, it is also beneficial for teeth. Study suggests that use of baking soda dentifrices (agents to clean and polish teeth) is very effective in removing plaque from the teeth.
Antibacterial activity: Bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans are associated with tooth decay and poor teeth health. Use of sodium bicarbonate based oral products may help in decreasing the levels of this bacterium and protect the teeth from decay.
Hyperkalemia: Hyperkalemia is ailment caused due to high levels of potassium in the blood. This may be caused due to surgery, injury, burns, acidosis etc. Sodium bicarbonate may be used for treating hyperkalemia that is caused primarily due to acidosis or increased levels of acidity.
Source of sodium: Sodium is one of the essential minerals required for good health. Sodium bicarbonate is a good source of sodium and thus may help in blood pressure management and proper functioning of muscles and nerves
Kidney stones: Health benefit of baking soda includes providing relief from kidney stones. Kidney stones are common amongst people and may run in families. There are different type of stones such as calcium stones, cysteine stones, uric acid stones etc. usually smaller stones pass but sometimes if the stones are big they may cause severe pain. Sodium bicarbonate helps in decreasing stone formation and removing of material that causes the kidney stones.
Breath freshener: There are different reasons why a person may not have a fresh breath. Among all the reasons the presence of bacteria in the mouth is the main reason behind having an unpleasant breath. Baking soda provides an instant solution to this kind of problem. Mixing a teaspoon of salt with sodium bicarbonate in water is a home remedy that has been proved to work effectively in restoration and maintenance of fresh breath. Gargle this solution every morning to ensure that the bacteria working on the food particles in the mouth are completely eliminated
Bladder infections: Baking soda may also help in reducing risk of bladder infections. Bladder infection cases are common and caused by bacteria that breed well in the bladder. This is because these micro organisms thrive in environments that are slightly dump and acidic. Prevent this kind of infection or treat it as it strikes by taking a solution that consists of baking soda and a cup of water.
Feet care: Use of baking soda along with essential oils may help in protecting feet from microbial infections and bad odor. Research study suggests that aromatic powder oil compound containing baking soda, arrowroot and essential oils inhibit the yeast, fungal and bacterial growth on the feet.
Keeping baking soda at home
Generally pure baking soda has a long shelf life this is advantageous since it can be bought in large quantities. You therefore need not to worry of the condition of the portion left after cooking. Adding baking soda while cooking food items such as lentils, beans speeds up the cooking. Adding baking soda to onion helps it to brown faster.
Accidents and injuries are common at home and this is why it advisable to stock a container of sodium bicarbonate which is used as a first aid.
Other uses of baking soda
Apart from various health benefits baking soda has other uses. It can be kept in refrigerator and closets as that absorbs the bad odor. It can also be kept in shoe-boxes as a freshener. Soda sachets can be kept in shoes as well.
Baking soda can be used for cleaning blenders, pans and removing burned food from a pan. Soak the utensils, pans etc. in baking soda solution and then clean it. Fish odor can also be removed from dishes and pans by soaking them in water mixed with baking soda. It cleans enamel and china cookware and also removes coffee stains.
Word of caution
Milk-alkali syndrome: Excess consumption of sodium bicarbonate may cause health ailments such as milk-alkali syndrome.
Side effects: Overdose of baking soda may also cause vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness and spasms. Care must be taken while consuming products that contain baking soda.
It is advisable to consult your health specialist if you have blood pressure related ailments, kidney diseases, if you are pregnant or breast feeding as they may have side effects on consumption.