Food Focus: Apple Cider Vinegar
Believers in the axiom “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” won’t be surprised to learn that apple cider vinegar has vast health benefits and about 101 different uses, including some unrelated to food.
A vat of apple cider vinegar is made from fresh, ripe apples that have been fermented and rigorously processed to turn them into vinegar. A distinct identifying feature of quality is the “mother,” or strandlike sediment floating at the bottom of the bottle (contrary to its appearance, this doesn’t mean your vinegar has gone bad). Indeed, the mother is where the magic is! It contains raw enzymes and gut-friendly bacteria that promote healing. One manufacturer sells an apple cider vinegar drink brand advertised with the notion that as far back as “400 bc, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing natural cleansing, healing and energizing qualities.”
The vinegar has been tied in research to positive effects on detoxification, weight loss, cancer (helps balance alkalinity in the body), asthma, depression, diarrhea, diabetes, high cholesterol, bloating, heartburn and arthritis. A study in the journal Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism (2010; 56 , 74–79) found that adding 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a meal containing carbohydrates reduced postmeal blood glucose in healthy people by about 20%; the vinegar appears to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream.
Apple cider vinegar can also be part of your skincare regime. Some people reportedly take a teaspoon or two (diluted in water) a few times daily to promote healthy skin from the inside out, but (diluted) it can also be applied directly to skin, dabbed on blemishes or used for sunburn relief.
Not enough applications for you? This home remedy can serve as a hair conditioner, a nontoxic cleaning spray and a deodorant as well.
Do you use apple cider vinegar regularly? In what ways? Share your ideas with [email protected].