Possible Health Benefits of Vinegar
Vinegar is one of those everyday condiments which we take for granted. It perks up a salad dressing and makes our fish and chips taste great! But it has also been credited with a whole host of health benefits and healing properties. Its uses down the centuries have been well documented – Since 5,000 BC when the Babylonians used it as a preservative and condiment; in Ancient Greece Hippocrates extolled it’s medicinal virtues and it is seen as being one of our earliest remedies.
Throughout the ages, vinegar has been made through the fermentation of a long list of materials, including dates, molasses, potatoes, beets, malt, grains, fruits and berries. But of all these, the vinegar made from apple cider is thought to have the most beneficial properties. It contains the same important nutrients as apples – including pectin, beta-carotene and potassium – plus enzymes and amino acids formed during the fermentation process.
Earlier we reported on a new study which showed the possible benefit of vinegar as a remedy for people suffering with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis.
If you would like to read the full article please click on the link below:
Now let’s look at some of the other possible health benefits:
- Lowering Cholesterol – Several studies, albeit with rats, have shown vinegar’s beneficial contribution to lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure. Work on humans in this area is continuing.
- Boosting Energy – Because apple cider vinegar has a high potassium and enzyme content, it can result in an awakening feeling that is similar to that of caffeine. Try adding a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey to some warm water as a pick me up. It is also pleasant in chilled vegetable juice.
- Reducing Night-time Cramps – Leg cramps can be a sign that you are low in potassium, so the high content in the condiment can help relieve the symptoms. Take in warm water with honey as before.
- Helping Bad Breath – Gargling with it can kill odour causing bacteria.
- Controlling Blood Sugar – Several studies of people with type 2 diabetes have shown that blood sugar levels are reduced by the anti-glycaemic effect of apple cider vinegar. Usually your doctor will recommend that you take one teaspoon of vinegar diluted with water three times a day.
- Helping Heart Health – Apple cider vinegar can reduce blood pressure as well as lower LDL levels and increase HDL levels.
- Whitening Teeth – Gargling with vinegar can help remove stains, whiten teeth and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums.
- Treating Indigestion – Pectin in the substance lines the colon preventing intestinal spasms. Try mixing two tablespoons of vinegar with apple juice.
- Curing Hiccups – Try taking a teaspoon of vinegar; it’s sour taste could stop a hiccup in it’s tracks!
- Soothing a Sore Throat – Most germs can’t survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates so try gargling with equal amounts of warm water and vinegar every hour or so.
- Fading bruises – Dabbing the liquid on a bruise can help fade the discolouration.
- Toning the skin – The antibacterial properties act as a great natural toner and can keep acne under control.
- Getting rid of dandruff – It is possible that the acidity of the condiment changes the pH of your scalp making it harder for yeast to grow. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spritz onto your scalp. Cover with a towel and leave for 15 minutes before washing as usual. Try this twice a week for the best results.
- Clearing a stuffy nose – The potassium content can thin mucus and the acetic acid prevents germ growth. Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink to help sinus drainage.
- Aiding weight loss – It is thought that acetic acid suppresses your appetite, increases your metabolism and reduces water retention. It is also possible that the apple cider variety of the condiment interferes with the body’s digestion of starch, which means fewer calories enter the bloodstream.
It is important to note that not all these benefits have been proven by science and some rely on studies with rats and mice. But many people derive benefit from natural remedies such as vinegar.
Taking small amounts of apple cider vinegar should not offer many risks, but taking larger amounts on a regular basis is not advisable. It is highly acidic and may cause problems ranging from harm to teeth to lower potassium levels, lower bone density and interaction with other medications. If in any doubt, as we always advise, talk to your GP.
For regular updates on health and wellbeing issues, why not sign up to our free newsletter, The Best of Friends via this link.
You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter where you will find additional content, inspirational thoughts, cartoons and videos.