What Vinegar Can Do for You
Can vinegar help your health? How did people treat illness prior to the advent of pharmaceutical drugs? The time that we have walked this planet with access to pharmaceutical drugs has been very short, yet we know that despite famines and infectious diseases some of our ancestors were still able to live long healthy productive lives. What were some of their remedies for illness? Well, one was vinegar. Vinegar has been used as a remedy for many illnesses and there is evidence that it works for some conditions. So you might want to look at the bottle of fermented sugar you have in your pantry a little differently.
What is Vinegar?
Vinegar results from the prolonged fermentation of sugars in foods. Acetic acid is its main ingredient. Vinegar can be made from any number of foods including apple, grapes, raspberry, tomato, sugarcane, coconut, dates, rice, wheat, millet, and many others.
Apple cider vinegar is thought to have the most health benefits.
Health Benefits of Vinegar
There is good medical evidence that vinegar can be helpful in the management of the following medical conditions:
- Weight loss
- Heart disease
- Poor skin complexion
- Gastrointestinal problems
How Vinegar Works
Vinegar lowers blood sugar mainly decreased absorption of sugar from the GI tract into the blood and by improving insulin sensitivity in muscle. Thus it mimics the diabetic drugs acrabose and metformin. Vinegar also induces a feeling of fullness or satiety; therefore it curbs the tendency to overeat.
This has a number of positive health benefits. By lowering blood sugar vinegar improves diabetes management. A study published in Diabetes Care found that vinegar with a meal lowered blood sugar 34% in pre-diabetics and 19% in those with type 2 diabetes. By improving blood sugar control, vinegar indirectly improves blood pressure.
Lower blood sugar means lower insulin levels. This leads to better weight management as insulin is the fattening hormone. Lower blood sugar and insulin levels improve cholesterol and triglycerides, too. Along the same lines, vinegar lower triglycerides a type of fat. Lower triglycerides lowers the risk of heart disease.
The antioxidants and acetic acid found in balsamic vinegar may improve skin complexion over time making skin look clearer and brighter.
Vinegar especially apple cider vinegar can help with constipation and relieve bloating. Apple cider vinegar was shown in one study of small number of patients to reduce symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux.
Apple cider vinegar in particular has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties making it a suitable home remedy for arthritis.
Consider adding a tablespoon of vinegar to each of your main meals.