Vinegar has recently become the poster child of the alternative health community, and for once its health claims are well founded. You’d be hard pressed to browse through the archives of a health-related website or magazine and not come across something touting the body-nurturing benefits of apple cider vinegar, the natural cleaning powers of white vinegar, or the cholesterol-stabilizing effects of balsamic vinegar.
The beauty of vinegar is that it’s just so darn versatile. Particularly in the case of apple cider vinegar, it can be used to help out with a huge range of ailments and minor health problems. When consumed raw, it can support a healthy gut biome, and its natural antifungal and antimicrobial powers make it the logical replacement for harsh chemical household cleaners.
Truly, vinegar is a wonder to behold. But on the off chance that you’re not convinced a spoonful of vinegar can help to support your health, here are seven reasons why you need to jump on the bandwagon.
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help with weight loss
Adding one to two teaspoons of ACV to your morning glass of (room temperature) water can promote healthy weight management. Studies have shown that the weight-regulating powers of ACV are most effective over extended periods of time, meaning you need to be doing this every day for at least a few weeks to start seeing real results.
- White wine vinegar regulates blood sugar and appetite
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that white wine vinegar, a vinegar used by certain cultures to add unique flavor to their recipes, helped to reduce the glycemic index of food when taken at the same time as meals. The study also found that white wine vinegar may help to regulate blood sugar, provide temporary appetite control, and reduce insulin sensitivity in diabetic people.
- Balsamic vinegar stabilizes cholesterol
Another study, this time published in a 2010 edition of the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, found that the polyphenols contained in balsamic vinegar limited the ability of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind of cholesterol) to oxidize. Oxidative damage to your cells is something you don’t want. It speeds up the process of aging and sets the scene for disease and illness. Reducing the oxidation rate of LDL cholesterol is definitely a good thing. All hail balsamic vinegar!
- Apple cider vinegar balances your internal pH
The health community is increasingly coming to realize the importance of the body’s pH, and how many of us are actually in a strongly acidic (low pH) state. This increases our risk of infection and drains our energy.
Luckily, our good friend ACV can help with that. While it seems counterintuitive, a teaspoon or two of ACV in your water each day can elevate your pH levels and restore a healthy pH in your body. This simple addition can help to support a robust system capable of fighting off ailments that come your way.
- White wine vinegar fights against the formation of tumors
A 2006 study, associated the prevention of tumor formation with white wine vinegar, meaning this pungent liquid may play an important role in fighting cancer. Lab tests showed that white wine vinegar slowed the progress of certain cancerous growths and prevented others from forming in the first place. It was thought that this was due to white wine vinegar’s high polyphenol content. Polyphenols are known to reduce or neutralize free radical damage to cells.
- Balsamic vinegar is low in calories
Calories may have been blown a little out of proportion up until recently, but they still matter, especially if you’re having trouble with your weight. Fortunately, not only is balsamic vinegar delicious and versatile, it’s also low in calories. One tablespoon, which will go a long way towards dressing a salad or enriching a soup, weighs in at only 14 calories. So, one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar gets you all the health benefits that come with vinegar, adds a delicious flavor to your meals, and doesn’t pack on the pounds. That gets two thumbs up from us.
- Apple cider vinegar supports healthy lymphatic function
Not only will your daily teaspoon of ACV promote weight loss, and balance your internal pH, it also does wonders for your lymphatic system. Research suggests that ACV can help to keep allergies at bay due to its ability to cleanse lymph nodes and reduce mucus and sinus congestion. The cherry on top is that its natural antibacterial and antifungal properties prevent sinus infections and the symptoms related to them, thereby making your body a stronghold against allergies.