The versatility of baking soda is amazing. Though many use baking soda for the occasional cooking procedure, it has proven health benefits that should warrant it’s inclusion in your diet plan. One of the major selling points of baking soda-known as sodium bicarbonate, is its basic nature. Bases are alkaline substances, and can help the body to regain its natural balance. Coupled with the fact that sodium bicarbonate is extremely safe, and what you have is a perfect health boosting agent. Wondering what baking soda can do for you? Let’s check them out:
1. Baking Soda Is An Effective Antacid
Being an alkaline compound, baking soda is extremely effective at neutralizing acid in the stomach. This makes it an excellent go to option when suffering from heartburn, acid indigestion or other cases associated with acid over secretion. Baking soda can also aid in recovery from peptic ulcers, as it is necessary to reduce acid before healing occurs.
2. May Help Prevent Cancer
Many people do not know that cancer thrives in acidic conditions, which is observed commonly in persons who suffer from this disease. In preliminary studies carried out on animals, baking soda inhibits growth of cancer cells, prevents metastasis (or spread to other organs) and can program auto-suicide of these cells. This is major news, but is yet to be confirmed in humans as studies have not been carried out. Regardless, it shows extreme potential, and consuming a bit of baking soda will not do you any harm, so why not?
3. Baking Soda Can Whiten Teeth
Baking soda is one of the oldest teeth whitening agents around, since it removes surface stains and applies a whitening effect to teeth. Baking soda should not be brushed as-is to the teeth, as the strong abrasive texture can damage enamel on teeth and lead to sensitivity. One per week application is sufficient, just gently apply to your teeth with a finger, let stand a few minutes then wash off- no harsh brushing necessary.
4. Can Reduce Kidney Stone Formation
Kidney stones are painful, and often require surgical removal. However, not all kidney stones are the same. Depending on the exact cause of the stone, baking soda may promote removal of the material that caused its formation, or can assist with degradation of formed stones. Baking soda also reduces the likelihood of bladder infections occurring due to these kidney stones.
5. Baking Soda Improves Performance
Athletes that train at a high intensity know that one of the limiting factors determining how far they can go is lactic acid. Lactic acid is produced as a result of muscle metabolism, and accumulates the longer a work period. Thus, sprinting for 3 seconds will not fatigue you as much as a 20 second sprint. If lactic acid is not removed in a timely manner, the force with which muscles contract diminishes rapidly, and fatigue shuts down movement. Baking soda buffers accumulation of lactic acid, and allows you to perform at a higher intensity for longer periods of time. Just add a teaspoon to your drinking water while you work out and notice the difference.
6. Deodorant Alternative
Virtually all commercially available anti-perspirant deodorants contain aluminum and some sort of paraben as their active ingredient, even though these compounds are not ideal for use. Aluminum has been found to have a role in cancer development, but many people do not know this and blindly use their anti-perspirant daily. Baking soda may be of some assistance if looking for an alternative. Sure, it may not have the artificial scent of deodorants, but baking soda is effective in masking odors and reducing bacterial accumulation in sweat. Bacteria make perspiration foul smelling, so anything you can do to reduce their accumulation will help. Start out by testing it at home, dust some under your armpits over the weekend, and note your observations. Once you are pleased with your results, it may be time to make it a more permanent fixture.
7. Can Be Used As An Emollient
Those of you familiar with cosmetics may have heard the word emollient tossed around before but never fully understood its meaning. Simply put, an emollient has the property of smoothing or soothing skin, such as the soles of our feet or inside our hands. You can apply baking soda as a paste by mixing with a little water to form a thick consistency, rubbing in a circular motion. Leave on then wash off after 30 minutes or so.
8. Baking Soda Reduces Inflammation
Inclusion of baking soda as part of an anti-inflammatory diet is an excellent idea, as many inflammatory conditions occur with altered acidic states. Gout flare-ups, for example, is precipitated by an accumulation of uric acid levels. Baking soda can actively buffer this accumulation and bring about relief.
9. Can Help Soothe Skin Conditions
Sunburn can cause excruciating pain to those who experience it, taking days or weeks to heal completely. Though baking soda won’t speed up healing significantly, it does have a very soothing effect on the painful and tender sunburnt areas, and can be applied in the form of a paste. You can also add some to a warm bath soak and sit in it for a while, which also helps with flare ups of psoriasis. It is not necessary to rinse off the baking soda, as it helps form a protective layer on the skin.
10. Can Help Speed Up Mouth Ulcer Healing
Mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, are extremely painful little pests which occur along the tender gum line as raw openings in the mucus lining. They take days to heal, with nothing seemingly helping speed them along- almost. Applying baking soda as a paste can speed up healing dramatically, as one of the keys is minimizing bacterial contamination. Bacterial contamination makes the lesions wider, more painful and take longer to heal. Baking soda’s basic nature kills bacteria and protects the delicate membrane from unnecessary trauma. Apply multiple times during the day, as saliva gradually washes it away.
11. Baking Soda Paste Treats Insect Bites And Stings
Some people are extremely sensitive to the bites and stings of insects such as mosquitoes and bees, breaking out in large rashes at the area of contact. However, applying baking soda paste on the affected spot not only helps minimize redness, but also soothes itching on contact. Leave overnight for best results, and have a look in the morning- you are bound to be pleasantly surprised.
12. Has Antidote Properties
There are many substances we come into contact with on a daily basis that can harm us or even result in death, but luckily baking soda can help prevent some. For example, baking soda has been used in cases of salicylate over dosage (such as aspirin), or accidental consumption of methyl alcohol (or methanol). Methanol is poisonous when compared to its cousin, drinking alcohol or ethanol.
13. Can Be Used To Reduce Diaper Rash Or Chafing
Babies experience diaper rash frequently, and even adults sometimes suffer from chafing between the legs. They are both very painful, but can be soothed via application of baking soda paste. Many over the counter diaper rash remedies contain baking soda as an ingredient, as evidenced by the gritty texture of many of them. Apply overnight, and in the morning you will be as good as new.