This simple ingredient we all have in our kitchen has multiple applications. Baking soda is an inexpensive, but potent ingredient. It is used for its health benefits, but also for cosmetic and hygienic purposes.
Bicarbonate of soda, as it is also known, is used to treat and prevent numerous digestive system problems like diarrhea, increased stomach and plasma acidity, as well as stomach ulcers. Baking soda also helps with bladder infections and kidney stones. It also maintains healthy levels of potassium in the organism. It is often used to eliminate plaque and to make the skin healthier.
Here is a list of the most important health benefits of baking soda.
#1 Neutralizes Stomach Acidity
Consuming bicarbonate of soda on a regular basis balances the pH value in the stomach. All you need to do is mix one cup of water with ½ teaspoon of baking soda. Imbalanced diet leads to increase pH levels in the organism, whereas this mixture neutralizes it.
Doctor Otto Warburg, a Nobel prize winner, has proven that alkaline environment prevents the growth of cancer cells. So, consuming baking soda regularly protects you from cancer.
#2 Relieves Acid Reflux
When too much acid builds up in the stomach, it causes acid reflux, also known as heartburn. When this acid moves up to the alimentary canal that connects the throat to the stomach (the gullet), one experiences a burning sensation in the chest and mouth, known as heartburn. Baking soda acts as an acid neutralizer and alleviates this discomfort.
#3 Helps With Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infection, or shortened UTI, also occurs due to high acidity in the body. That is why people suffering from UTI should take baking soda water every day until the problem is solved. Combine a glass of water with one teaspoon of baking soda. The infection should pass in about a week but if it doesn’t, it is wise to see your doctor.
#4 Alleviates Joint Inflammation
Joint inflammation caused by acid accumulation in the organism is also known as gout. Baking soda makes it impossible for acid to build up in the body, so consuming water mixed with baking soda will relieve joint inflammation.
#5 Helps with Cold and Flu
Baking soda has been used as a cold and flu medicine for years because it is known to have anti-viral properties. Here is how to prepare a cold and flu remedy at home: Combine ½ tsp. baking soda mixed with cool water and drink this mixture every two hours. Consume this mixture maximum six times in a day. It is most effective if you start taking it immediately after experiencing the first symptoms.
#6 Eliminates Kidney Stones
The same acid accumulation that causes gout is also the cause for kidney stones. Consuming the mixture of water with bicarbonate of soda on a regular basis will gradually dissolve the kidney stones and make sure new ones are not formed. Consult with your physician before you start taking this homemade remedy.
#7 Improves Strength and Endurance
How does baking soda improve endurance and strength? Its alkalinity lowers the levels of lactic acid. This acid is produced in the muscles and by reducing its levels, sodium bicarbonate enables you to train longer and be more efficient.
How to Test the Acidity Levels in Your Body
Before you do the test, there are a few things you should consider. Your stomach makes HCL, i.e. hydrochloric acid, which facilitates the digestion processes. How does HCL do that? It breaks the proteins into easily digestible amino acids, fights ‘bad’ bacteria, and boosts the pancreatic function. At the same time, this awesome acid prevents the development of health issues like acid reflux, bloating, and constipation.
There are a few home methods you can use to check your stomach acid levels. Of course, they are not as precise as those performed in a laboratory, but they provide general insight into your stomach condition.
Here is how to do the test at home: Add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of cold water. Drink this mixture on an empty stomach in the morning. Measure the time that passes before you burp. If you don’t burp in maximum 3 minutes after drinking the mixture, it means that your HCL level is not within the acceptable limits. In that case, it is recommended that you see your doctor.