Surprising Health Benefits of Drinking Vinegar
Let’s face it: nobody enjoys drinking vinegar. Think of a drink that is sour, tart and sharp; then multiply it by a hundred. It is no coincidence the French term vinegar as sour wine. The unfortunate thing is this fermented acidic liquid is a time-tested secret to good health, slender figure and glowing skin. Experts say that adding a little of this sour liquid to your diet can bring immense benefit to your life.
For hundreds of years around the world, vinegar has been treated as a tonic of sorts. Gone are the days when throat burning shots of pure vinegar are taken straight up. These days, there are so many variations of vinegar available that do not need dilution and can taste mildly palatable. From kuruzo – a Japanese black rice vinegar made from unpolished black rice or barley and brewed in a ceramic pot for months and years, to fruit vinegar made from fermented fruit like apples, blueberries and grapes. To cut the sharpness of vinegar, fruit vinegar can be further mixed with water, milk and fruit juices.
Now that you maybe starting to consider drinking vinegar, here is why you really should.
Kills bad bacteria & breaks down fat
While the weight loss effect of vinegar should not be considered a quick fix, vinegar has anti-glycemic effect that blocks some starch from being digested and have certain genes capable of breaking down fat. The undigested starch will move along the digestive tract and feed the good bacteria in your gut. If losing weight is your intention, it is recommended you drink unfiltered vinegar “the cloudy looking kind”. The murky appearance is actually full of probiotics and other beneficial bacteria. This consistency of vinegar drink supports immune function and can even help with constipation.
Levels out blood sugar
The ability of vinegar to moderate insulin and glucose levels seems to offer some benefit for diabetics. By preventing the conversion of all starches to be digested in the body, it stabilizes one’s blood sugar level. This is especially helpful for people suffering with Type 2 diabetes which is characterized by elevated blood sugars – either in the context of insulin resistance or the inability to produce insulin. Unfortunately, people who don’t have diabetes are not spared. Even without a diabetic diagnosis, having an elevated blood sugar level can be a major cause of aging and other chronic illness.
Keeps pain at bay
Sufferers of inflammatory chronic pain illnesses like gout, chronic fatigue, migraines and arthritis can benefit from drinking vinegar; particularly apple cider vinegar. It is full of nutrients like potassium that help break down and remove toxin buildup and excess water. For gout pain management, the main ingredient thought to be the most effective is acetic acid. Acetic acid turns alkaline inside in the body forming a balanced PH environment. This reduces the acidity level that activates a gout attack. The presence of malic acid in vinegar also breaks down uric acid crystals and prevents them from reforming in the joints. It increases circulation and purification while reduces inflammation and swelling allowing the joints to be more flexible.
Detoxifies & improves immunity
Internal bodily cleansing and a clean gut is imperative to prevent digestive distress and a slew of autoimmune disorders. Vinegar destroys harmful bacteria in the digestive tract aiding more efficient digestion and waste elimination. Vinegar’s ability to break down fat helps improve liver and kidney function whose primary role is to detoxify the body. Some say this detoxification process improves skin appearance and heals acne.
Protects heart health
In conducted rat studies, it has shown that cardiovascular risk factors have improved with vinegar consumption. It lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Apple cider vinegar, in particular, contains chlorogenic acid; an antioxidant shown to protect LDL cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized, a crucial step in the heart disease process. While this may just be an observatory study conducted on rats, it may or may not hold 100% true for humans. But what’s there to lose?
Lowers cancer risk
Vinegar is a rich source of polyphenols, compounds synthesized by plants to fight oxidative stress. The claim that vinegar helps cancer prevention has been backed by research over the years. For example, according to a 2006 study published by Medscape Medicine Group, consuming polyphenols enhances antioxidant protection and reduces cancer risk. A few laboratory studies have found vinegar to be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.
Bottom line is…
Vinegar is beneficial in many ways but it should not be taken as the magic be-all-and-end-all solution to any ailments. Vinegar on its own is highly acidic and can do a good job stripping off enamel from teeth and burn throat tissue.
There are lots of safe, healthy & delicious ways to incorporate a teaspoon or two of vinegar into your daily diet. Stay tuned for the next feature article on great and interesting ways to drink vinegar!