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March Nutrition Tip: Good for Everything That Ails You!

By March 12, 2014December 9th, 2014Legacy Sport & Wellness Blog

It would seem that way when you read about Apple Cider Vinegar!  Maybe our great-grandmothers knew what they were talking about and it really is that simple.  There is a tremendous hype going on about apple cider vinegar and to read some of the claims it would be easy to think it is a cure for everything plus it helps you dye Easter eggs!

For all the claims made, there is not much research on using apple cider vinegar for therapeutic health purposes.  The most researched area with the greatest promise is in the area of type 2 diabetes:  several studies have found that vinegar may help lower blood glucose levels.  Diabetes Care cited a 2004 study that found taking vinegar before meals greatly increased insulin sensitivity and dramatically reduced the insulin and glucose spikes that can occur after meals.

Far less research is available with vinegar and heart health, though a 2006 study showed it could lower cholesterol in lab rats due to the acetic acid in the vinegar. Cancer studies are a bit more questionable though a few have shown vinegar can  kill cancer cells or slow their growth.

So with the lack of scientific evidence, why the claims of health cures?  Perhaps because apple cider vinegar is a diluted acid (acetic acid).  The pH changes it creates may contribute to some of the actions it can have.  Acetic acid can increase the body’s absorption of minerals from food.  It might activate some digestive enzymes that break down carbs into sugar and thereby slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

What to look for in apple cider vinegar:  don’t buy the clear variety.  You want organic, unfiltered, unprocessed apple cider vinegar which is not clear and a bit brownish in color.  There should be a kind of phlegmatic looking web in the vinegar.  Called the ‘mother’ this tells you the quality is high.  Because it is acidic, you can put in a small glass of water and drink rather than taking straight.

Mother (Or Mother of Vinegar)= The enzyme that settles at the bottom of the bottle, and part of the normal production process with natural apple cider vinegar. Supposedly, Hippocrates used cider vinegar with the mother to treat his patients, and it’s supposed to have internal clensing and healing properties.

The mother is made up of the yeasts and fermentation byproducts that are produced when the cider ferments to vinegar, and you should shake the bottle up to evenly distribute it before you use it. The big commercial companies filter it out, because it makes the vinegar look like it’s growing something–which indeed it is!

Apple cider vinegar is touted to be good for dandruff and scalp buildup…can relieve gout…regulates the pH balance in the body…prevents flubreak down fat…reduces inflammation…gets rid of nail fungus.  It is a great all-around cleaning agent for everything from windows to countertops.  You can used to clean your pets ears and combat fleas and ticks.  Some horse owners claim apple cider vinegar is an excellent natural horse fly spray and horse hoof care product.  It is touted to relieve heart burn or chronic acid reflux.  Why?  Because acid reflux is caused when stomach acid is too low, not too high.  Doctors prescribe an antacid for acid reflux which only makes the stomach acid lower.  Using vinegar brings acid into the stomach to relieve the low acid level causing the problem.

Legacy recommends the Bragg brand and we always have it at the Center.

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