Apple cider vinegar has not only been prized as a culinary product but also for its therapeutic benefits. There has been much focus in recent years on the functional properties of fruit vinegars such as apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is made by a two-stage fermentation process: first the apple sugars are fermented by yeast to make cider and then by bacteria to make acetic acid (vinegar). The slow, traditional fermentation process used to make organic apple cider vinegar also produces a slimy substance known as the mother of the vinegar. The mother, floating in the apple cider vinegar and rich in a wide variety of amino acids, probiotics, yeasts and other phytonutrients, is what makes the apple cider vinegar so particularly special compared to industrially produced apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar offers a beneficial and easy addition to the diet. Many swear by its immune boosting properties,and it has long been used as a digestive aid, particularly for those who suffer from indigestion after meals. By taking the apple cider vinegar in water before a meal it boosts stomach acid and soothes digestive discomfort. The enzymes in the apple cider vinegar also help break down food and the friendly bacteria help promote a healthy ecology in the gut.
Vinegars such as apple cider vinegar have also been shown to help with those struggling with metabolic disorders and weight gain. Studies have demonstrated that it reduces feelings of hunger and quantity of food consumed. It may improve insulin response after carbohydrate-rich meals, leading to weight loss and improved blood sugar control.
Additionally, apple cider vinegar may support aspects of heart health. Research has shown that it improves fat metabolism in the liver, influencing cholesterol levels in the body. The polyphenols in apple cider vinegar may help prevent oxidation of cholesterol in the body, one of the contributory factors to cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis. Studies in animals have found that apple cider vinegar has also had a positive effect on blood pressure control.
To incorporate it in your diet, try using it instead of other vinegars for salad dressings and in cooking. A teaspoon mixed in a small glass of water can also be taken before meals, sweeten with honey if desired.
Try a gargle of apple cider vinegar or soothing apple cider vinegar and honey drink as a treatment for sore throats.