I have had a few people recently asking me about the health benefits as well as uses of apple cider vinegar so I thought I would cover that topic in today’s newsletter.
Apple cider vinegar is a ‘must’ in my kitchen and you can always find a bottle or two in my fridge. I use the raw, unfiltered, unpasteurised and with ‘the mother’ variety.
Originally vinegar was used as a food preservative, but since its discovery around 5000 BC, other uses have been practised. Since vinegar is made through a long fermentation process, it is rich in many health benefiting bioactive components, giving it potent antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, amongst others. Unprocessed and unfiltered vinegar that contains a cobweb-like amino-acid-based substance known as ‘the mother’, is the best, especially for consumption.
What are health benefits of raw apple cider vinegar?
- It is thought to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels through slowing down the conversion of complex carbohydrate into sugar from a meal into your bloodstream, preventing your sugar levels from spiking. Research suggests that raw apple cider vinegar may improve insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. 1
- Heart health support – thanks to polyphenols it contains, it could inhibit oxidation of LDL cholesterol and potentially help prevent cardiovascular diseases. 2
- It may help you loose weight as it is thought to increase satiety and hence reduce the total amount of food consumed. 3
- It may improve your digestion by simply taking one tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water daily.
- Thanks to potassium and enzymes it contains, it may help boost your energy and prevent fatigue (more research needs to be done to support this claim though).
- Gargling the mixture of water and apple cider vinegar may help with sore throat.
- Thanks to its high level content of acetic acid, topical application may help remove warts and head lice. 4
Raw apple cider vinegar has many uses apart form cooking:
- It is an excellent natural cleaning agent thanks largely to its antimicrobial properties.
- It has also been found to be effective to control weeds.
- As an excellent washing aid for removing some pesticides and bacteria from fresh produce, like fruit and vegetables. Submerge your fruit and veggies in a solution of 10% vinegar to 90% water, swish them around and rinse thoroughly (be careful with berries though as they could be damaged in the process).
- Placing some apple cider vinegar in a bowl may help neutralize odours indoors.
- It can be used as hair rinse and to help with dandruff.
- Since it helps to kill odour-causing bacteria it may serve as a deodorant for your armpits or your feet.
- Diluted apple cider vinegar may be useful for oral health as well as a facial toner.
When it comes to using raw apple cider vinegar for consumption you can be really creative. Here are some of my uses and I hope they will inspire you:
- In making bone broth, which I wrote about in my last newsletter.
- In making marinades for meat and fish, as it helps to tenderise it.
- In salad dressings (please find the recipe idea below)
- As a drizzle over vegetables – I like to drizzle it over cooked beetroot.
- In pickling your own vegetables.
- In sauces and soups.
- In baking.
- In drinks, mixed with water or coconut water and some honey or molasses or maple syrup (as a sports drink).
AVOID – transparent, clear varieties that are commonly stocked in grocery stores. These distilled white vinegars may be useful for cleaning and laundry, but they lack the health properties I described above of the organic, raw, unfiltered, unprocessed with the ‘mother’ varieties.