Even if you have never used baking powder in your food, chances are that you are still aware of what it is. Baking powder, used mostly in food items such as cakes, is made of a compound called baking soda. Along with adding to the fluffiness of food, this soda also has a multitude of health benefits, that we will discuss further.
Baking Soda vs Baking Powder
What’s the difference between baking soda and baking powder? Short answer: acid. But it can make a big difference for baked goods, so let’s explain.
Baking soda has only one ingredient: sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is a base that reacts when it comes into contact with acids, like buttermilk, yogurt or vinegar. This reaction produces carbon dioxide (CO2) in the form of bubbles, like a liquid foam (think of the grade school experiments involving fake volcanoes, vinegar and baking soda). When making baked goods, the process is called “chemical leavening,” because the trapped CO2 gas makes the dough or batter rise.
But when baking soda comes into contact with an acid, it pretty much reacts immediately. And that’s a problem.
For many baking recipes, you want an extended reaction, so that the rising doesn’t take place all at once.
Baking powder addresses this problem because it is “double acting” – it has different ingredients that create CO2 gas at different stages of the baking process.
All baking powders contain sodium bicarbonate (just like baking soda). But baking powder also contains two acids. One of these acids is called monocalcium phosphate. Monocalcium phosphate doesn’t react with the sodium bicarbonate while it’s dry. But as soon as the baking powder is stirred into a wet dough or batter, the two ingredients begin to react, releasing bubbles of CO2 and causing chemical leavening.
But to extend the chemical leavening process, baking powder also contains a second acid, either sodium acid pyrophosphate or sodium aluminum sulfate. Neither of these acids react with sodium bicarbonate until they are both: A) wet (i.e., stirred into the batter) and B) hot.
In other words, sodium acid pyrophosphate and sodium aluminum sulfate won’t start reacting with the sodium bicarbonate until after you’ve put the dough or batter in the oven. This means that the batter rises for a longer period of time, making lots of bubbles (and a fluffier cake, muffin, or whatever).
At some point during the baking process, the liquid foam of rising batter becomes a solid foam, because the batter “sets.” This is one reason eggs are so common in baking recipes.
The proteins in eggs become irreversibly denatured when exposed to heat (i.e., the proteins unfold and cannot refold into their original shape). These altered egg proteins essentially give the liquid foam a solid structure, allowing it to hold its shape.
By comparison, in recipes that use yeast as a leavening agent, the gluten proteins in flour serve a role similar to that of egg proteins in most chemically-leavened baked goods in the sense that they help to trap air bubbles until the dough sets.
1. Helps with Digestive Issues
Baking soda is known to help to neutralize acid and improve pH balance in the body. Baking soda is often used internally to quell digestive dismay such as acid reflux or heartburn. When these complaints are due to overconsumption of acidic foods or a generally acidic state of the body, slowly drinking some baking soda in water can help to neutralize the acid and get your body’s pH back to a better place.
Don’t think more is better when it comes to taking baking soda. It’s important to note that consuming too much baking soda can cause an increase in acid production.
2. Anti-Fungal and Antibacterial
Baking soda has been shown to kill off bacteria including Streptococcus mutans, which is a type of bacteria associated with tooth decay. Baking soda is also effective against various fungal groups including yeasts, dermatophytes and molds that cause skin and nail infections in humans.
3. Boost Kidney Health
Research reveals that baking uses include the promotion of kidney health. A clinical study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology looked at the effects of sodium bicarbonate on 134 patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and low blood bicarbonate levels.
What did they find? The subjects who supplemented with bicarbonate tolerated it well and were significantly less likely to experience rapid progression of their kidney disease. Additionally, there were less patients that developed end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the bicarbonate group compared to the control group. Overall, the researchers conclude, “This study demonstrates that bicarbonate supplementation slows the rate of progression of renal failure to ESRD and improves nutritional status among patients with CKD.”
4. Alleviate Urinary Tract Infections
According to the CDC, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common infections and as Mayo Clinic points out, women have a higher risk of developing a UTI than men.
A scientific study published in 2017 looked at the effects of baking soda on female patients with lower urinary tract symptoms who also had acidic urine pH levels lower than six. After four weeks of taking baking soda orally, the researchers found the urine of the subjects was alkalinized and there was a “a significant level of positive effects on symptoms and symptom scores.”
Overall, baking soda appears to be an easy, inexpensive way to improve UTI symptoms accompanied by acidic urine with little to no unwanted side effects.
5. Reduce Muscle Pain and Fatigue
A scientific article published in 2013, titled “Practical considerations for bicarbonate loading and sports performance,” points out that studies to date have demonstrated that taking sodium bicarbonate before exercise (also known as bicarbonate loading) may have “a moderate positive effect” on athletic performance that includes one to seven minutes of sustained strenuous exercise. In addition, sodium bicarbonate may also be helpful for prolonged physical activity involving intermittent or sustained periods of high-intensity training.
So is there a benefit to using baking soda as a training aid? According to the author of the article, Dr. Louise Mary Burke, “It could be useful to try and support the training session to allow the athlete to train harder, but also to reduce some of the negative side effects of having a high acidity in the muscle so you may get less damage to the muscle and a better training outcome in the long-term.”
Another small clinical study of eight healthy male subjects found consuming baking soda before intermittent cycling improved their sprint performance.
6. Help Alleviate Chemotherapy Side Effects
Chemotherapy side effects as make the list of baking soda uses for health. If you or someone you know has gone through chemotherapy, then you probably already know how bad the side effects of this cancer treatment can be. For example, undesirable changes to the mouth and throat can occur in some patients.
Rinsing with a baking soda mixture daily can help to improve these unwanted side effects. Combine a fourth of a teaspoon of baking soda, an eighth of a teaspoon of sea salt with one cup of warm and rinse your mouth three times per day. Each time, follow the baking soda salt mixture with a rinse of just plain warm water.
These are just some of the many possible health benefits of baking soda! In the following section, you’ll learn about even more health uses and benefits of this amazing natural remedy.
Usage of Baking Soda
1. Heartburn and Indigestion Relief
Baking soda for heartburn is really a thing, so much so that conventional manufacturers of conventional heartburn medications include sodium bicarbonate in their formulates. Baking soda is a cost-effective way to reduce heartburn and indigestion, as opposed to other options like Tums and Rolaids, which also contain bicarbonate. Simply add half a teaspoon of baking soda to two cups of water. An hour after eating, drink this mixture to gain some relief.
2. Cancer Prevention
When you have a pH imbalance, unhealthy organisms are able to flourish, which damages tissues and organs, and compromises the immune system. Baking soda is known to increase the pH of acidic tumors without affecting the pH balance of healthy tissues and the blood. Scientific research has demonstrated that oral doses of sodium bicarbonate can raise tumor pH and inhibit spontaneous metastases in animal models of metastatic breast cancer.
3. Exercise Enhancer
Baking soda benefits can carry over to your exercise routine too. Soaking in a warm warm with a half cup of baking soda added is said to help neutralize lactic acid build up in the muscles after a workout. Some studies, as I mentioned earlier, also point towards its internal use to reduce fatigue post-workout. It also may enhance athletic performance when consumed prior to physical activity.
4. Improve Kidney Function
As an alkaline substance, baking soda buffers acids in the body and helps to keep pH levels balanced. Low-functioning kidneys have a hard time removing acid from the body, so consuming baking soda can help with just that and some research has shown it may slow the progress of chronic kidney disease.
5. Reduce Ulcer Pain
Because baking soda neutralizes stomach acid, it can helpful for ulcers. Speak with your doctor first, but taking baking soda in water internally may help relieve ulcer symptoms.
1. Treating Body Odor
Roosh had a severe body odor problem where even after showering, the body odor would return after 5-6 hours max. He tried a variety of ways to eliminate the odor, including trimming his armpit hair and using deodorant stones. Nothing worked for long. Then he came across an article suggesting baking soda for body odor. He decided to try it out.
“That night I showered, dipped two wet fingers in the baking soda, and rubbed it into my pits. I figured that it would take a few days to see a noticeable effect, like was the case with the deodorant stone.
The next afternoon I stuck my nose under each arm and couldn’t pick out a smell. Later that night, a full 24 hours after initial application (at a time when I would be a biohazard), there was absolutely no smell. For the two months I’ve been putting baking soda in my pits I’ve forgotten how it’s like to have odor. I repeat, I am no longer odorous.”
For full article check out – http://www.rooshv.com/how-baking-soda-changed-my-life
2. Responses to Dr. Sircus’s book on sodium bicarbonate
Dr. Sircus wrote a book on the medicinal uses of baking soda, and following that, many people tried to cure their diseases with baking soda. Some cured their headaches, while others fixed their colds and coughs.
Here are their responses – https://drsircus.com/sodium-bicarbonate-baking-soda/testimonies/
3. Gin’s Acne
YouTuber Gin Amber had a bad case of acne and she when she heard about baking soda curing acne, she decided to do a 10 day experiment with baking soda. By the end of the experiment she had no more pimples and very few red spots.
Her full experiment is in this video:
The father of the alkaline diet, Robert O Young, is hailed as an inspiration by one of the UK’s most popular food writers, Natasha Corrett, but he faces a jail sentence for practising medicine without a licence. One patient who believed he could cure her cancer, British army officer Naima Houder-Mohammed, paid thousands of dollars for his alkaline treatment, which consisted mainly of intravenous infusions of baking soda.
In May 2009 Naima Houder-Mohammed was commissioned as a captain in the British army. The following year, tragedy struck. Naima was diagnosed with breast cancer.
As her medical options were limited, Naima did what many of us would do – she turned to the internet for a solution.
She came across Dr Robert O Young, an American alternative health writer selling a message of hope for cancer patients online.
Naima began an email correspondence with him, which reveals how pseudo-science can be used to manipulate the vulnerable.
He extracted from her, thousands of dollars promising to cure her cancer. All in all, Naima and her family paid Young more than $77,000 (£62,700) for the treatment. And the results were unsatisfactory.
After about three months at Young’s facility, her condition worsened and she was taken to hospital. Naima was brought back to the UK and died with her family. She was 27.
Read the full account at – https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38650739
Are you ready for it?
You’ve seen where believing in pseudoscience can lead you, but you’ve also seen how some people succeeded in curing their ailments with Baking Soda. Your cure might just be a trip to the grocery store away. Will you give it a shot?