Using whole food products as healing remedies provides the advantage of addressing a variety of needs in one simple swoop. One of these astounding whole food products is apple cider vinegar. An old Japanese longevity saying “less salt, more vinegar” (Khakpour, 2015) pays early tribute to longstanding health benefits offered by incorporating vinegar into one’s diet. Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries throughout the world to treat a multitude of symptoms and ailments from burns, to wounds, to heart conditions. This pungent, sour-tasting liquid amazingly acts as a flavor enhancer transforming ordinary dishes to extraordinary, working wonders for our skin, balancing blood sugar levels and aiding our digestion.
“Vinegar” is derived from the French word for “sour wine,” and is formed by a fermentation process in which bacteria and yeast break down sugars, fermenting and creating alcohol. The alcohol then further ferments creating vinegar. Apple cider vinegar, specifically, contains essential trace minerals, salts and nutrients useful to our body.
Studies from 2012 and 2015 revealed taking up to a cup of apple cider vinegar daily boosted weight loss in addition to balancing blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetes patients (Khakpour, 2015). However, countless benefits can be achieved by taking only one to two tablespoons per day. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, a 2004 study published by the American Diabetes Foundation found that consuming apple cider vinegar prior to main meals helped to minimize glucose “spikes” and thus the post-meal “crash” many diabetics experience after meals. Another study indicated moderate weight loss to be a side effect of four tablespoons per day of apple cider vinegar consumption (Mercola, 2009).
Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid, which helps the body to more easily absorb nutrients and minerals from food. Thus, drinking a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before meals and/or cooking with apple cider vinegar likely helps us get the most out of our food! Acetic acid, apple cider vinegar’s main ingredient, can help our skin maintain its proper pH balance. Dr. Frank Lipman describes how apple cider vinegar helps to restore the skin’s “acid mantle.” The acid mantle is basically our skin’s “protection barrier” keeping our skin safe from harmful pollutants in the air, wind damage and excessive sun damage. The skin’s acid mantle is a mixture of oils and perspiration, and maintains an acidic pH. Washing the skin with regular alkaline soap can break down this barrier and leave us more vulnerable to blemishes and bacterial infection (Burnes, 2014). However, cleansing our face with apple cider vinegar diluted in warm water helps our skin maintain its acidic “mantle,” keeping our skin youthful, vibrant and glowing.
According to Bragg’s company, a primary producer of organic apple cider vinegar, the product also boasts the benefits of: boosting immunity, promoting digestion, removing body toxins, soothing the skin and relieving sore muscles and muscle tension. Whether using in cooking or applying topically, the benefits are numerous! Here are a few ways you can get your daily dose of apple cider vinegar, along with some helpful hints to be aware of:
- Try apple cider vinegar in salad dressing mixed with sesame or olive oil and your favorite spices, to taste.
- For a delectable modern twist on coleslaw, try grating kohlrabi and carrots, tossing with finely chopped coriander, half a jalapeño and a generous drizzle of apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, a dab of honey and Himalayan salt.
- Want a cleansing morning energy and circulation boost? Try adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to water with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper!
- Apple cider vinegar is great with just about any sauté: try adding to simmering caramelized onions and brussels sprouts for a lovely mix of sweet, tart and savory.
- Remember, apple cider vinegar is very acidic, so be sure to dilute it with water rather than drinking it straight.
- In order to maintain proper potassium balance within your body, don’t take apple cider vinegar excessively; remember, everything in balance!
- When shopping for apple cider vinegar, look for organic options brands such as “Braggs” another great tip the “dirtier” looking the better; steer clear of white or completely clear solutions.
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