Healthy Living Today

Discussion of healthy habits, alternative therapies, foods, herbs and lifestyle that will help us live a happy, healthy life!

Apple Cider Vinegar – More than a Dressing

Posted by healthylivingtoday on December 28, 2007

Although other types of vinegar (such as white vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar and rice wine vinegar) are used mainly in cooking: apple cider vinegar is used primarily for health purposes. Hippocrates was said to have used it as a health tonic and American soldiers are said to have used it to combat indigestion, pneumonia and scurvy.

So what do people use Apple Cider Vinegar for today?

Diabetes
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of apple cider vinegar’s possible health benefits is its effect on blood glucose levels. Several studies have found that vinegar can lower the post-meal rise in glucose. The acetic acid in vinegar is thought to slow starch digestion and reduce the glycemic index of starchy foods. For example, a small study compared the effect of vinegar with white bread on blood glucose and insulin levels. Researchers found that those who took vinegar with white bread had lower post-meal blood glucose and insulin levels and it also appeared to increase satiety ratings.

Weight Loss
Apple cider vinegar has become popular as a “fat-burner” and as a natural appetite suppressant. In fact, there’s even an apple cider vinegar diet, which involves taking one to three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar or apple cider vinegar pills before each meal. It’s possible that vinegar may affect satiety by lowering the glycemic index of carbohydrates eaten at a meal. More research is needed.

Alkaline Acid Balance
Some alternative practitioners suggest apple cider vinegar as part of a diet to restore alkaline acid balance. The theory behind the alkaline diet is our blood is slightly alkaline, with a normal pH level of between 7.35 and 7.45. Our diet should reflect this pH level and be slightly alkaline. All foods we eat, after being digested and metabolized, release either an acid or alkaline base (bicarbonate) into blood. The foods that people tend to overeat –- grains, meat, dairy products — all produce acid.

Proponents of the alkaline-acid theory believe that a diet high in acid-producing foods leads to lack of energy, excessive mucous production, infections, anxiety, irritability, headache, sore throat, nasal and sinus congestion, allergic reactions and makes people prone to conditions such as arthritis and gout. Despite being an acidic solution, some proponents of apple cider vinegar believe it has an alkalinizing effect on the body, which is why one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in water is recommended as a daily health tonic. Although it’s a popular remedy, the effectiveness of the remedy and the theory haven’t been researched.

Dandruff

A home remedy for dandruff is to mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water. The vinegar solution is thought to restore the restore the pH balance of the scalp and discourage the overgrowth of malassezia furfur, the yeast-like fungus thought to trigger dandruff.
The vinegar mixture is usually poured into a spray bottle and spritzed on the hair and scalp, avoiding the eye and ear area. A towel is then wrapped around the head and left on 15 minutes to an hour. After that, the vinegar can be washed from the hair. Alternative practitioners often recommend it once to twice a week for dandruff.

High Cholesterol

A 2006 study found that rats fed acetic acid (the main ingredient in vinegar) had significantly lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Large, human trials are needed to see if the same results occur in humans.

Acne
Apple cider vinegar is a home remedy for acne. A typical application is one part apple cider vinegar to three parts water and the solution is dabbed onto the pimple. Although some people swear by it, caution should be used because there have been case reports of skin damage and burns from using full-strength vinegar on the face.

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