5 Reasons You Should Try Apple Cider Vinegar For Your Health

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Vinegar (not just apple cider vinegar) has been used all over the world to help support health for thousands of years. There are records that show the use of flavoured vinegars (from adding fruit and honey) in what is now Iraq, from at least 5,000 years ago. Historically it has a wide range of uses from helping prevent infection (wound care and hand washing) in 10th century China to being used by early American doctors to help with fever, stomach-aches, swelling and croup.

There are different types of vinegar, often the process of making vinegar requires a fermentation of things like apples, grapes or fruit juices, but rice and malt are used too. Yeast digests the sugars in the fruit or rice and converts them into alcohol. A bacteria called acetobacter, then turns the alcohol into acetic acid - fermentation.

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How To Choose Your Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar for health is a popular topic but what sort of apple cider vinegar should you look for? Well as with most of our choices - we opt for the ones that have the least interventions, like raw and organic. In the supermarkets there are a variety of options like; Ceres, Chantal and Braggs. They also have the ‘mother’ within the vinegar which adds to the probiotic bacteria.

While we love apple cider vinegar as we use it in our functional vinegar range - we are well aware it is not a cure all (despite all the media, gummies and articles you may have seen). You should be wary of ingesting large amounts of vinegar or drinking it straight as it can effect the enamel on your teeth. If you do have it neat (like we do at times) always follow it with a bit of water.

In saying that though - here are a few reasons why you could benefit by using apple cider vinegar for your health.


1 Taste

Apple cider vinegar is the key ingredient in our Fire Cider and Switchel. Not only does it taste great but it is also incredibly versatile. You can use it in so many different ways. If you are considering using apple cider vinegar for health you can get some recipe ideas here. 

It adds flavour to a variety of things like salads, spreads, protein and meats. It is full of flavonoids, and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help with preserving food. In our modern diets we often forget to add in high antioxidant foods which can help with oxidative stress from processed foods, stress, lack of sleep and ill health. 

Switchel - Our Switchel doesn't just provide amazing digestive and immune support it's also a great way to help your energy levels! It supports hydration levels, which means your cells can function more efficiently. The antioxidants in the elderberries support you through an active and busy day. And the ginger supports circulation, boosting the movement of oxygen and nutrients around the body.

elderberry-swtichel

Fire CiderOur Fire Cider has a kick that's uniquely New Zealand. While we've used the traditional horseradish, cayenne, garlic and onion, we've also added some powerful New Zealand natives: kawakawa and horopitoYou can use Fire Cider to support digestion - taken before meals to help support digestive function. It is helpful if you suffer from bloating and indigestion. It supports circulation and can warm you up on a cold morning. Plus it's great at helping clear sinuses or clear a ‘stuffy’ head when you are feeling under the weather.

 

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2 Probiotics

If you are considering using apple cider vinegar for health we recommend getting one that still has the ‘mother’. This is because it contains a natural source of probiotics which is essentially the live bacteria within the vinegar aiding the fermentation process. These added probiotics can help to support your microbiome and digestion.  Although it does not hold enough probiotics to be a ‘therapeutic’ dose it can help support gut health as part of a healthy eating plan - making this a great probiotic food to add into your day.

3 Blood Sugar Balance

Using apple cider vinegar for health can help with blood sugar balancing which has been studied numerous times. One study looking at the insulin response after eating showed that it decreased 20% after eating of sugar with vinegar (Brighenti et al 1995). Many other placebo controlled experiments have shown that blood glucose is reduced by the consumption of vinegar (Johnston and others 2004; Leeman et al 2005) which has led to people adopting apple cider vinegar to help with blood sugar balancing. 

The thought behind this is that the acetic acid in vinegar may stop the body fully digesting carbohydrates and also increase gastric emptying. Another thought could be that the taste of the apple cider vinegar can help with stimulating digestive juices which in turn can help support more efficient digestion, satiety and also help with steady blood sugars. 


4 May Boost Skin Health

Using apple cider vinegar for health can benefit not just your digestion but also your skin. Vinegar has been used to help support skin health by providing antibacterial support, used as a cleansing agent as well as supporting the skin as a toner. Some people have advocated for apple cider vinegar to help with irritated and itchy skin. The thought behind this was that it might help with skin pH balancing. As with everything - use with caution and dilute the vinegar first - especially for irritated skin.

5 Can Help Kill Harmful Bacteria

Apple cider vinegar is acidic therefore it can help reduce pathogens and bacteria. It has been used for cleaning and disinfecting for centuries. Hippocrates used vinegar to clean wounds more than 2,000 years ago! This is why people also use vinegar as a food preservative as the acetic acid within the vinegar has been shown to inhibit bacteria like E. coli within food.

There are many ways of using apple cider vinegar to help clean your house and also freshen up laundry - using more natural products around the home and on things close to your skin (like clothes) can help reduce the use of synthetic or chemical cleaners.

cleaning-with-apple-cider-vinegar

References

Brighenti F, Castellani G, Benini L, Leopardi E, Crovetti R, Testolin G. 1995. Effect of neutralized and native vinegar on blood glucose and acetate responses to a mixed meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 49:242–7

Johnston CS, Kim CM, Buller AJ. 2004. Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 27:281–3.

Leeman M, Ostman E, Bjorck I. 2005. Vinegar dressing and cold storage of potatoes lowers postprandial glycaemic and insulinaemic responses in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 59:1266–71.

Ogawa N, Satsu H, Watanabe H, Fukaya M, Tsukamoto Y, Miyamoto Y, Shimizu M. 2000b. Acetic acid suppresses the increase in disaccharidase activity that occurs during culture of caco-2 cells. J Nutr 130:507–13

Liljeberg H, Fjorck I. 1998. Delayed gastric emptying rate may explain improved glycaemia in healthy subjects to a starchy meal with added vinegar. Eur J Clin Nutr 52:368–7

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