Cider Vinegar and Health:
Cider vinegar is amazing stuff!
People have been recommending vinegar, organic apple cider vinegar particularly, for health for many years.
In my family there are one or two fairly venerable books on the subject that have been a source of inspiration and useful knowledge for decades.
In my own life, I find it an invaluable health tonic and would recommend it to anyone. I can’t say I’ve used it consistently – not at all, except that it very often gets used in salad dressings.
But when my health is compromised in any way, I use it as a first resort and it always seems to make a difference.
Cider vinegar is just vinegar made from apples and is therefore composed mainly of acetic acid.
What makes it different from other vinegars is the trace elements it contains and the high level of potash (potassium) in it.
Cider vinegar and health:
Cider vinegar has a normalising effect upon our body chemistry. It is very easy living a modern lifestyle to eat far too many foods which are high in sodium and phosphorous.
The modern western diet tends to be rich in meats and other proteins and sugars, which have an acidic effect upon the system.
Cider vinegar helps redress the balance and works as a tonic, helping the body to detoxify itself. There is some complex biochemistry going on there because, although cider vinegar is mildly acidic, it has an alkalising effect within the body. This is due to the high levels of potash or potassium.
Cider vinegar has relatively high levels of potassium which is the balancing agent for sodium in cellular metabolism. Potassium is found widely in vegetables but, as we all know, many people still find it a struggle to get enough of them.
It also contains many other minerals such as calcium.
Of course, not everyone likes cider vinegar and some people will find it easier to balance their body's alkaline salts by taking a supplement.
Cider vinegar and health:
Cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties and it also can relieve muscle cramps and aching. It also disperses excess cholesterol in blood vessels. It may be useful in heart disease and to maintain a healthy heart.
As always, an organic apple cider vinegar is generally going to be better for you and better for the environment. Organic products are generally more sustainably produced and there will be less likelihood of chemical residues.
Cider vinegar can easily be integrated into your diet. Use it to make salad dressings, or just sprinkle it on green salad. You can also add it to roast lamb, much as you would add mint sauce. In fact, you can also make mint sauce with it and you can use it to make pickles and preserves such as chutney. It takes very little time to steep cooked beetroot in cider vinegar for an almost instant pickled beetroot.
Cider vinegar can also be used in marinades and to tenderize tough meat.
Cider vinegar and health:
Many people drink vinegar in water several times a day. This sounds a bit masochistic, but it’s actually very nice. The key is not to make it too strong.
Put one to two teaspoons of cider vinegar in a large glass of water and drink when you are thirsty. It’s particularly refreshing when you are hot, so it’s good after exercise. If it makes you screw your face up, add more water!
Alternatively, put a couple of teaspoonfuls into a glass with a spoon (to stop the glass cracking with the heat) and add boiling water. Add honey to taste and drink it as a refreshing and heartening drink.
It is particularly good in winter and is also a good alternative to hot lemon when you have a cold or other infection.
You can also gargle with apple vinegar as a remedy for sore throats. Dilute it with water so that it does not make you sneeze or gag - it should not be an unpleasant experience. I find a cider vinegar gargle is quite an effective way of banishing a sore throat quickly.
I have read that you can use it to help deter mosquitoes. You drink a glass of water with a couple of teaspoonfuls of cider vinegar. Do this 20 minutes before you need to go where the mozzies are. I haven't tried this - we don't (yet) have a bad mosquito problem, so I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has found it effective. Insects can be quite selective as to who they bite and anecdotal evidence suggests that this is to do with blood chemistry.
Cider vinegar also has a reputation for dispelling warts. I still haven't met anyone who has successfully tried this. You soak some cotton wool in cider vinegar and bind it to your finger - or wherever. Change the dressing every day or two. The warts should drop off.
If anyone would like to share cider vinegar and health stories or experiences please see Add Your Green Tips.
Whether or not you find these other uses for cider vinegar any good, there is little doubt that drunk in moderation, cider vinegar is one of the very best ways to promote good health.
As a general purpose health tonic, cider vinegar is definitely in my top ten!
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