You may have never finished a container of baking soda—like, ever. Sometime it’ll come out hiding when you need an emergency exfoliant, but you’ve next-to-never actually ingested it. So why does it need to take up sacred pantry #shelfie real estate?
According to Nutritious Life founder Keri Glassman, MS, CD, and RDN, natural mineral sodium bicarbonate—AKA baking soda—is an oft-overlooked but versatile ingredient that can be used for Pinterest-approved cleaning hacks, whiten teeth, and boost health via beverages concocted from the stuff. That’s right—baking soda might be the benefits-rich elixir of your dreams, and it’s been stowed away in your pantry for…maybe ever.
In fact, trainer and nutrition expert Britt Brandon’s new book, Baking Soda for Health, outlines 5 different baking soda drink benefits and how they can help out your bod.
1. To improve your digestive system
Trouble with digestion is the type of thing that can derail your day (especially if you, like Adam Rippon, are one to get nervous). If you’re prone to tummy woes or just want to boost your general health, Brandon advises dissolving a teaspoon of baking soda in an eight-ounce glass of water every morning “to help maintain a healthy pH balance throughout the digestive system for optimal digestion, minimized acid reflux, and healthy bowel functioning.”
2. To promote cardiovascular health
A compromised cardiovascular system can lead to things such as decreased energy, and negatively impacted mental functions, digestion, and immunity, Brandon notes, adding that “circulatory issues can lead to the possibility of serious health conditions such as heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, and the development of various blood issues.” A teaspoon of baking soda in an eight-ounce glass of water daily is said to detoxify blood and improve its flow by helping to break down blockages.
3. To reduce bloating
Once you know that you’re dealing with a bloat and not inflammation, try relieving the uncomfortable situation with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in four to six ounces of water, according to Brandon. She writes that by “returning the pH to neutral levels, the body’s gases can be calmed and the digestive processes, acids, and enzymes can return to their natural state and foods can be broken down normally without issues and disruptions,” which reputedly helps alleviate the issues causing your bloat.
4. To keep your kidneys healthy
The kidneys are obviously vital to your bodily functions (Brandon explains that they rid your body of toxins and promote healthy hormone production). And in a study conducted at the Royal London Hospital, 134 patients with advanced chronic kidney disease who had a daily dose of baking soda were able to, alongside regular treatment, slow the decline of their kidneys by two-thirds as compared to those who didn’t have baking soda.
With a daily cup of water with a teaspoon of baking soda, Brandon says you can regulate your body’s pH level and help improve your hormone balance, nutrient absorption, and blood quality—all of which can help your kidney stay healthy.
5. To combat acid reflux
If you chronically suffer from acid reflux, you might consider adopting certain diet shifts to help lower heartburn as a long-term solution. But when you’re dealing with a bout of it in real time, half a teaspoon of baking soda with half a cup of water can help you “find immediate relief against gastric acid symptoms,” Brandon writes.
She does, however, warn against overdoing it: “As with any antacid medication, if you take too much baking soda, you will neutralize the acid in your stomach. This can result in your stomach producing more acid to compensate, causing you to take more baking soda and thus forming a vicious cycle.”
Originally published on April 11, 2018. Updated on July 31, 2019.
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