Apple Cider Vinegar (slim your waist!)
It has been used in cleaning, disinfecting, and as a food preservative for thousands of years. More recently, the most successful scientifically supported benefit is its ability to assist with type 2 diabetes; lowering blood sugar levels, improving insulin sensitivity and thus fighting off diabetes. It is popular in natural health circles, where it is claimed to have all sorts of additional benefits, such as weight loss, lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease, as well as protecting against cancer.
Vinegar is made in a two-step process, similar to how alcohol is made. Firstly crushed apples are exposed to yeast, fermenting the sugars and turning them into alcohol. Secondly, bacteria are added, further turning the alcohol into acetic acid. Organic, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar is reportedly the best. It contains strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky, cobweb-like appearance. Basically, the long and slow fermentation process means it is rich in bioactive components, making it potent antioxidant, antimicrobial, and giving it many other beneficial properties.
If you are looking for something to help shift the kilos then Apple Cider Vinegar reportedly does that; the acetic acid makes you feel fuller for longer (by slowing the rate at which sugars are released into the blood stream i.e. reducing the glycemic index of food). There have been studies in Japan that have shown weight loss results, particularly abdominal fat and waist circumference, in women who drank Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in water for two weeks.
It is also reportedly helpful for digestion issues; reflux, bloating and indigestion.
Some believe it provides an energy boost.
Others use it to whiten teeth, soothe a sore throat, clear a stuffy nose, make a great hair conditioner (for glossy, dandruff-free hair), ease leg cramps, aid bad breath and bruises…. there’s not much that hasn’t been tried.
One things for sure, if you like to stay chemical free, a jar or two of Apple Cider Vinegar in your home is going to pay for itself ten times over!
How to take it:
– go for the brown and murky variety, as it’s unfiltered (you can use the distilled or clear variety for cleaning but not for drinking). The Braggs raw, unfiltered, organic Apple Cider Vinegar is a trusted brand.
– try 1-2 teaspoons diluted in water (I prefer it diluted in warm water with a squeeze of lemon and a slice of ginger… anything to make it taste slightly nicer!)
– general advice seems to be not to drink more than 1-2 tablespoons per day…. but there don’t seem to be any reported side effects.
– don’t drink it straight, it burns, and your oesophagus won’t thank you for it!
– it may make you feel sick if taken on an empty stomach, so after a meal seems like a better idea.
– watch out for the gentle laxative effect!
Use it in your cooking; salad dressings, sauces, marinades and soups. Add a teaspoon of it to a smoothie.
Add it to your homemade bone broth, as it assists to leech out all the great minerals from the bone (see our post on Bone Broth and the benefits of Gelatin).
Use it externally; dab it diluted on a cotton wool ball for a facial toner.
Use it in the same way for an effective deodorant (it kills bacteria), and also on your feet to eliminate odour-causing bacteria.
Gargle it diluted to whiten teeth and eliminate bad breath.
As with many of the supplements I’ve talked about on my blog, Apple Cider Vinegar seems to once again fall into the category of internal cleanser, disease preventer, waste eliminator and digestion enabler (quite similar in properties to Diatomaceous Earth, for example). All of these benefits are an added bonus at mid-life, when your metabolism starts slowing down and weight starts to take hold. With no side effects in particular and nothing but good press, there seems absolutely no harm in giving it a go for a couple of weeks at least. Monitor the changes…. and let us all know how you get on 🙂
P.S. I tried the two week challenge and I’m going to take it ongoing, just a teaspoon in warm water each morning… I have certainly noticed better digestion and bowel behaviours (and I was having issues), less tummy bloating and just more comfortable and a little slimmer around the middle.