What Is Baking Soda?
Baking soda has loads of uses and health benefits. It contains sodium bicarbonate and alkaline substances that enable the body to regain its natural balance, and it does much more. Are you interested in knowing what the inclusion of baking soda in your diet can do for you? Then read on!
13 Benefits of Baking Soda
Soothes Skin Conditions
Baking soda has a soothing effect on sunburnt parts of the skin. You could apply it in the form of a paste or put it in a warm bath and sit in it for some time. The even helps deal with flare-ups of psoriasis. You may not bother rinsing off baking soda from your skin, because it helps form a protective layer on the skin.
Heals Mouth Ulcer
Mouth ulcers can be so painful. You may apply baking soda as a paste to speed up the healing of mouth ulcers, and minimize their accompanying bacterial contaminations. Applying it several times during the day is effective be4cause saliva washes it off.
Baking soda is an alkaline compound, hence its ability to neutralize the acid in the stomach. It combats heartburn, indigestion, and peptic ulcers.
Some studies show that baking soda hinders the growth of cancer cells by killing such cells.
Reduces Kidney Stone Formation
Baking soda enhances the removal of kidney stone, depending on its cause. It also hinders the formation of kidney stones and reduces the risk of bladder infections which kidney stones may cause.
Baking soda is an effective teeth whitening agent. It eliminates surface stains and gives the teeth a sparkling white color. If you`re using baking soda for teeth whitening, you are advised to apply it only once a week, and do so gently with a finger, then wash it off after a few minutes. These precautions are vital because baking soda has a strong abrasive texture that can cause damage to the enamel.
Treats Insect Bites and Stings
You could apply baking soda to areas affected by mosquito bites, bee stings, breakouts of rashes, itches, and other skin issues. Just apply it and leave it overnight to get results. It reduces itch and redness.
Improves Athletic Performance
Muscle metabolism is a reason for the production of lactic acid, which is a factor responsible for limiting the intensity of athletes. Baking soda reduces the accumulation of lactic acid and enhances intense performance. So how can you use baking soda for this purpose? Simply add a teaspoon of it to your drinking water.
Sadly, many don`t know that a number of antiperspirant deodorants contain aluminum and paraben which are harmful compounds; aluminum, in particular, increases the risk of cancer. Baking soda is a healthier alternative to such deodorants because it reduces bacterial accumulation and masks odors, even though it may not be as scented as the commercial deodorants. Simply apply some of it under your armpits. You`re advised to test it on a day you`re not leaving the house, to be sure it won`t give you any form of discomfort.
There are some inflammations which occur with altered acidic states. Gout flare-ups, for instance, occur as a result of the accumulation of uric acid levels. Baking soda reduces the speed of such accumulation and gives some relief.
Possesses Antidote Properties
Baking soda is used as an antidote in cases of accidental consumption of methyl alcohol, or overdose of aspirin.
Reduces Diaper Rash
Diaper rash is common with babies, however, some adults experience something similar, and it causes discomfort for both. Baking soda paste soothes such rash. Some over-the-counter rash remedies actually contain baking soda. To use baking soda for this purpose, simply apply it overnight.
It`s an Emollient
Baking soda can smoothen and soothe your skin, even the soles of your feet, and your palms. Just mix it with a little water, so it`s thick and forms a paste. Rub it in a circular motion, and leave it for about 30 minutes before washing off.
Baking Soda and Baking Powder — Any Difference?
- They are both leaveners used in baking, however, they are chemically different. Baking soda is a base (it`s alkaline), and that`s why bubbles of carbon dioxide form when you mix baking soda with acidic elements such as buttermilk, vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, or molasses.
- Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda and a dry acid.
- Some baking powders are “double acting”, which means that some leavening occurs when the baking powder gets wet, and the rest of the leavening occurs when you heat it.
- To know if your baking soda is still good for leavening, put some in a small bowl and add a little vinegar to it. If it bubbles, then it is good, if not, dispose of it. However, to know if baking powder is still good, simply put some in a bowl, and add some water to it. If it foams, then it`s still good, if not, dispose of it.
How to Substitute Baking Powder for Baking Soda
There may be times that you have a recipe that requires baking soda, and you only have baking powder. Not to worry, as a substitution is possible. You may just need 2 or 3 times more baking powder for the required amount of baking soda, in order to get the same leavening effect. Depending on the recipe, the substitute may be a little bitter tasting.
So for a recipe that requires 2 teaspoons of baking soda, simply use 4 to 6 teaspoons of baking powder.
How to Substitute Baking Soda for Baking Powder
So there are other times when the recipe requires baking powder, and you only have baking soda. You would need to increase the amounts of acidic ingredients in the recipe to offset the baking soda. So a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar for every 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda would suffice.
If a recipe requires a tablespoon of baking powder, you may need to substitute with a teaspoon of baking soda. You may also need to add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar.
Some Baking Soda Facts
- Baking soda is used for lightening the texture of baking goods.
- The acid in a baking powder can be either fast-acting or slow-acting. A fast-acting acid reacts in a wet mixture with baking soda at room temperature, and a slow-acting acid will not react until heated in an oven.
- National Bicarbonate of Soda Day is celebrated on December 30th.
Side Effects of Baking Soda
- increased level of body pH
- muscle spasms and contractions
- swelling in ankles and feet
- high levels of sodium in the blood
- congestive heart failure
Baking Soda Interactions
It is not safe to take baking soda while taking any of these medications:
- Iron sulfate
- Calcium acetate
- Calcium carbonate
- Calcium chloride
- Calcium gluconate
- Ceftin Sporanox
Other Baking Soda Precautions
- You should not drink alcohol while taking sodium bicarbonate.
- Don`t drink alcohol when you take baking soda.
- Grapefruit juice is acidic, while baking soda neutralizes acid, so it is unsafe to take both at about the same time, as they could reduce the effects of each other.
- Acidic foods and baking soda don`t go together.