You probably keep a box of baking soda in the back of your fridge and pull it out when you need to bake a batch of cookies for your family. You may have taken it when you had a stomach ache or cleaned your laundry with it. Baking soda is a staple in just about every household, but how much do you really know about this seemingly simple ingredient?
What is baking soda, and how did it become a household staple?
Baking soda is a white alkaline powder ubiquitous in modern kitchens. When used in baking, baking soda acts as a chemical leavening agent, producing carbon dioxide in reaction with an acid (such as vinegar), which produces bubbles which help the cake or cookie reach a tender, moist, fluffy perfection.
How exactly is baking soda made?
Baking soda is the common name for sodium bicarbonate, an ingredient that originated 4 million years ago when salt lakes around the world evaporated and formed trona deposits. Trona is the rock that is transformed into soda ash (sodium carbonate), a natural mineral. The sodium carbonate can then be transformed into baking soda. The largest trona deposit in the world is in Wyoming (USA).
What does baking soda contain?
The only ingredient in baking soda is sodium bicarbonate.
What baking soda can do for your health
Traditionally, baking soda is a popular antacid for heartburn and indigestion because it can neutralize stomach acid. You can add half a teaspoon to half a cup of water to help relieve heartburn. A word of warning, though: baking soda is high in sodium. A single half teaspoon contains 629 mg of sodium. Considering you shouldn’t consume more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, half a teaspoon of baking soda is about a quarter of that limit. It is recommended that you do not take baking soda or sodium for more than two weeks without your doctor’s approval.
According to some interesting research findings, it is possible that consuming baking soda can boost your workout. A small study, involving 13 young men, found that those who drank a baking soda solution before a high-intensity intermittent training session had improved performance, reduced fatigue and felt like they were doing less work. efforts than those who had not consumed baking soda. According to the authors, the effects are comparable to those of consuming caffeine before exercise. Other research indicates that baking soda can also strengthen strength exercises and help you get a few extra reps.
Can baking soda help you lose weight?
There are no research trials to claim that baking soda can help boost metabolism or cause the body to burn more fat. It can help you get more out of your workout. But there are so many factors that go into the relationship between exercise and weight loss that you can’t count on it making a big enough difference. Also, given the sodium content of baking soda, you may get bloated if you drink too much of it.
What are some surprising uses for baking soda?
Baking soda is considered an all-purpose product for good reason. Here are some of its many uses.
As a washing product
Forget the expensive and sophisticated washing products found on the market. A simple 12-15 minute soak in water and baking soda is enough to remove 80-96% of some pesticides from apples, better than tap water alone or bleach. Baking soda helps break down some pesticides so they can be washed away.
As a natural cleanser
A mixture of baking soda and water can be used as an effective, non-abrasive cleaner. One of the possible uses is the elimination of food residues inside a refrigerator. You can also sprinkle baking soda down the drain with hot water to freshen your pipes, clean your tubs, sinks, and shower curtains, and buff out scuff marks on floors. Oh, and don’t forget, this is a top-notch air freshener. Sprinkle baking soda on a rug, let it sit, then vacuum and stink the rug.
To safely clean pots and pans When cooked food sticks to the pot, add baking soda to the pot, fill it with hot water and let it soak for 15 to 30 minutes. Baking soda will help lift crusty food lumps.
To wash clothes
Adding half a cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle will freshen clothes, without all the chemicals of other products.
To relieve heartburn
For an occasional episode of heartburn, add half a teaspoon to half a cup of water and drink. The alkaline baking soda will neutralize the excess acid.
Treat insect bites
You know that annoying itch from insect bites? Rather than reaching for a hydrocortisone cream, you may find relief by applying a baking soda paste (mix baking soda with a little water until you get the right consistency) to the sting several times a day.
Taking care of your teeth during pregnancy
Morning sickness is coming. In addition to the discomfort of nausea, the stomach acid that accompanies vomiting can wear down your tooth enamel. If you suffer from occasional or regular vomiting, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water. You can also do this when an illness (such as food poisoning) causes vomiting.
Treat nail infections
If you have a mild nail infection, you may consider a water and baking soda soak, as baking soda has antifungal properties.
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