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Tags: vinegar | uses | health | benefits

Vinegar Uses: Health Benefits Include Weight Loss, Heart Health

Tuesday, 09 September 2014 02:05 PM EDT

Vinegar is probably a staple in your kitchen for homemade salad dressings, but it's been known for its healing properties since the ancient Babylonians and Greeks. Our more recent ancestors used vinegar to cope with everything from tummy troubles to acne, and modern research has shown that many folk remedies have solid scientific backing.

Vinegar is created when sugars in foods ferment and turn into alcohol. If the alcohol is allowed to continue fermenting, it turns into vinegar. The main ingredient in vinegar is acetic acid, but vinegar also contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Apple cider vinegar, made from fermented apples, is believed to offer the most health benefits.

Check out the following uses for vinegar:

Weight loss. Vinegar has been used to promote weight loss for thousands of years, and modern studies confirm its effectiveness. In a double-blind Japanese experiment, three groups of obese people drank a 500 ml drink (about a pint) containing either 30 ml (about 1 tablespoon) of vinegar, 15 ml, or no vinegar daily for 12 weeks. Those whose drinks contained vinegar had lower BMI, less visceral fat, and lost more weight than those whose drinks didn't contain vinegar. Vinegar also lowered triglycerides. Another Japanese study found that mice whose high-fat diets were supplemented with acetic acid (the main ingredient in vinegar) developed up to 10 percent less body fat than control mice. A third study found that people who were given small amounts of white vinegar along with a piece of bread felt fuller than those who just ate bread.

Diabetes. Numerous studies have found that vinegar lowers blood sugar levels. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2004 found that drinking apple cider vinegar after eating a high-carb breakfast lowered blood sugar levels by 34 percent in patients with prediabetes, and by 19 percent in those who had Type 2 diabetes. A 2007 study, also published in Diabetes Care, found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered morning glucose levels by up to 6 percent. And Italian researchers discovered that apple cider vinegar taken with meals slashed blood sugar levels by 30 percent. "Vinegar appears to have effects similar to some of the most popular medications for diabetes," said Arizona State University researcher Carol Johnson.

Arthritis. Apple cider vinegar has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and many people swear by its ability to relieve the pain of arthritis. Church organist Sarah Gall of Richdale, U.K., was so crippled by arthritis she was going to have to give up her music. Conventional medicines, which included anti-inflammatory drugs, did little to dull the pain and made her sick. "I was in agony," she told the Daily Mail. In desperation, she began mixing cider vinegar with honey and hot water. After only a week, she began feeling better and says her arthritis disappeared. "My doctor was flabbergasted," she said. Experts speculate that vinegar counters the acid that builds up in joints, and can also help prevent outbreaks of gout, a form of arthritis, by removing uric acid deposits from joints.

Heart health. A report in January, 2008 Journal of the American College of Cardiology advised an anti-inflammatory diet including vinegar "should be considered for the primary and secondary prevention of coronary artery disease and diabetes." A 10-year study found that women who used a vinegar-based salad oil five to six times each week lowered their risk of ischemic heart disease. Research published in June of 2011 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that apple cider vinegar significantly lowered triglycerides and cholesterol. Other research supports those findings: An animal study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry found that apple cider vinegar reduced blood pressure, and another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that apple cider vinegar lowered cholesterol. Researchers believe the decreases are due to the vinegar's acetic acid content.

Stomach problems. Cider vinegar has the ability to relieve numerous forms of stomach troubles. Its antibiotic properties can relieve diarrhea caused by bacteria, and its pectin can ease intestinal spasms. It can also help prevent dysbiosis, an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the gut, says Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report. If you are having problems with digestion and reflux, drink a teaspoon of organic vinegar mixed with 4 ounces of water with each meal, suggests Dr. Blaylock.

Apple cider vinegar is alleged to help dozens of ordinary problems including hiccups (swallow a teaspoon), a stuffy nose (a teaspoon in a glass of water), sore throat (gargle with cider vinegar and water in equal amounts), and bad breath (gargle half a teaspoon in water).

If you want to add vinegar to your health regimen, try mixing two teaspoons in a glass of water or take a 285 milligram tablet once a day. But check with your doctor before taking it long-term, especially if you have diabetes since the chromium in vinegar can affect insulin levels.

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Vinegar is probably a staple in your kitchen for homemade salad dressings, but it's been known for its healing properties since the ancient Babylonians and Greeks.
vinegar, uses, health, benefits
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 02:05 PM
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