An ancient folk remedy, apple cider vinegar has made its way into the list of modern health remedies. Not all claims can be substantiated by research, but many do have medical research backing them up.
What is vinegar? Apple cider vinegar is a product of fermentation ***…sugars in food are broken down by bacteria and yeast. In the first stage, the sugars are turned into alcohol. Then, if the alcohol ferments further, vinegar is the result. The word comes from the French and means ‘sour wine’. There are many types of vinegar, depending on the initial ingredient, but apple cider vinegar is made from pulverized apples.
The main ingredient of apple cider vinegar – any vinegar – is acetic acid. However, vinegars also have other acids, vitamins, mineral salts, and amino acids.
Here is a list of the benefits of apple cider vinegar that have been the subject of recent medical studies:
•Diabetes – perhaps the best researched and most promising findings is that vinegar may help lower glucose levels. A 2007 study of 11 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%.
•Hypo-chlorhydria (low stomach acid) – the stomach needs to be acidic in order to digest the food we eat. Acid reflux and indigestion, rather than being symptoms of too much stomach acid are actually caused by not enough stomach acid. When stomach acid is low, the stomach must churn violently in order to make use of the small amount of acid that does exist during times of deficiency. This causes pressure and a backing up of the existing acid. One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar followed by a glass of water can help create more acid while alleviating the symptoms of acid reflux.
•High Cholesterol – a 2006 study done on rats showed evidence that vinegar could lower cholesterol.
•Blood Pressure and Heart Health – another rat study found that vinegar could lower high blood pressure. A large observational study also found that people who ate oil and vinegar dressing on salads 5 to 6 times a week had lower rates of heart disease than people who didn’t. It is not clear if vinegar was the reason.
•Cancer – a few lab studies have found that vinegar may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. Observational studies of people have been less clear.
•Weight Loss – for 1000s of years, vinegar has been used for weight loss because it might help people feel full so they eat less.
Always buy apple cider vinegar in glass bottles. We recommend Braggs. It’s organic, raw, unfiltered, unheated, unpasteurized with 5% acidity, and has the Mother (strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules). Pick some up the next time you are at Legacy Center!
*** Why fermentation? The process produces food filled with active, live cultures. Fermented foods are nutritious, highly digestible and support digestive health, immune function and general well-being. If the gut is a second brain, the importance of healthy gut flora cannot be over-emphasized. If you have inflammation in the GI tract, you have inflammation in the brain.