In all likelihood, you have a bottle of sparkling clear apple cider vinegar in your kitchen. Most probably you have also heard of all the health benefits of this wonder vinegar. You use it for marinating the meat, chicken and fish. Almost all the salads that you make contain apple cider vinegar. You make a conscious effort to put in a little extra every time, so as to gain from all its healing properties. If you have been using your sparkling clear apple cider vinegar for all the health benefits that are often associated with it, the news is not very good. Your ‘sparkling, crystal clear’ vinegar does not have all those health benefits that you have heard of.
The Real Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (abbr. ACV) is a type of vinegar, made from cider or apple must, which has a characteristic amber color to it. The organic and unfiltered vinegar that contains all the health benefits is not a clear vinegar, but is exactly opposite of that. It is not a clear liquid, but has got a brownish tinge to it. If you try looking through it, you will notice a cobweb-like substance floating in it. This is known as ‘mother of vinegar’, and means just one thing – this apple cider vinegar is of excellent quality with all the nutrients and health ameliorating properties intact.
Would you buy a vinegar from the supermarket that is not clear, has got a brown tinge to it, and most of all you find something floating in it. In all likelihood, you will never buy it and that is exactly the reason why manufacturers distill the vinegar. In the process of distillation, the pure vinegar is steamed to get the sparking clear vinegar that is eventually made available at the supermarket. This steaming process however, destroys almost all the important nutrients that it contains. What it does do is give the vinegar an excellent eye appeal which prompts you to pick that bottle of ‘crystal clear’ apple cider vinegar in your kitchen.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
There surely must be something really healthy in using apple cider vinegar, since historical records suggest that even The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, used it back in around 400 B.C. for its health giving qualities. It is said that he had only two remedies: honey and apple cider vinegar. So what are these apple cider vinegar benefits which have earned it the tag – ‘wonder drug’?
Apple cider vinegar is made from fresh ripe apples that are fermented and undergo a stringent process to create the final product. The vinegar contains a host of vitamins, beta-carotene, pectin and vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, sulfur, iron, and fluorine. All the much-talked about organic apple cider vinegar health benefits are attributed to the presence of these very nutrients that it is laden with.
- Apple cider vinegar contains a significant amount of pectin in it, and therefore this vinegar is known to help in regulating blood pressure and reducing bad cholesterol in the body.
- It extracts calcium from fruits, vegetables and meat, when used salad dressing or to marinate meat, and thus contributes in the development and strengthening of bones and teeth.
- Apple cider vinegar is loaded with potassium, and therefore it is used for the treatment of a variety of ailments including hair loss, weak finger nails, brittle teeth, sinusitis, and a permanently running nose.
- With its potassium content, apple cider vinegar is also known to tackle the problem of stunted growth which can be attributed to potassium deficiency. The potassium in this vinegar also helps in eliminating toxic waste from the body.
- The beta-carotene in apple cider vinegar helps in countering damage caused by free radicals, helping one maintain firmer skin and a youthful appearance.
- Apple cider vinegar is good for those who want to lose weight, as it helps in breaking down fat to facilitate natural weight reduction.
- Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid which is helpful in fighting fungal and bacterial infections. This acid dissolves uric acid deposits that form around joints, and help in relieving joint pains. (The dissolved uric acid is eventually eliminated from the body.)
It is claimed that apple cider vinegar is helpful in ailments such as constipation, headaches, arthritis, weak bones, indigestion, high cholesterol, diarrhea, eczema, sore eyes, chronic fatigue, mild food poisoning, hair loss, high blood pressure, obesity, along with a host of many other ailments. No wonder then many know apple cider vinegar as the ‘Wonder Drug’.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for its Health Benefits?
You need to make sure that you use only the natural, organic variety of apple cider vinegar; the sparkling clear variety will have practically no health benefits. Propagators of this wonder drug claim that the best way to have this vinegar is first thing in the morning. You can mix two tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of water, and drink it. This solution may taste slightly acidic, and may not seem to be the best way to start your morning, but once you know of the immense benefits that follow, it will not feel all that bad.
Many find that following this routine first thing in the morning helps in eliminating constipation, which is one of the prime causes of many diseases. Constipation is also the cause of headaches – leading to a bad mood, deprived sleep, and a lethargic feeling the whole day, at times. Once this problem is solved, all the other symptoms vanish immediately, making you fresher and extremely active whole day long. Following this morning regime helps minor skin rashes vanish and the skin texture also improves, leaving you radiant and glowing naturally. Having that chilled glass of lemon juice can be substituted with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and water. Some prefer the taste as is. If the taste is too acidic for you, you can add honey to give it the sweet tinge. Adding honey will only improve the health benefits of the solution.
You can also enjoy the benefits of this wonder vinegar in several other ways. You can use apple cider vinegar while preparing salads by substituting the oil that is poured over a salad with it. Not only will the salad have a tangier taste, it will be much healthier as well. You can also use this vinegar to pickle an assortment of fruits and vegetables. Marinating beef, pork, lamb, fish and a variety of meats is almost a daily process for meat eaters. If you make apple cider vinegar the prime ingredient in the marinade with an assortment of herbs and spices, it will not only help in flavoring and tenderizing the meat, will also add a whole lot of nutrients to your diet.
While there are no serious side effects of apple cider vinegar, it being a vinegar can deteriorate your dental enamel and cause yellowing of teeth. Similarly, lack of information about its ill effects on the health of pregnant women and children only means it is better kept away from them. Though there have been cases wherein people have complained of upset stomach and nausea, such cases are very rare. All in all, apple cider vinegar is considered to be the safest of all vinegars available, and diluting it with water only makes it safer for your use.
Natural or Processed? So, after reading this article, what will your next bottle of apple cider vinegar be? Will it be the sparkling clear, eye-pleasing, nutrition-less apple cider vinegar; or will it be the organic, unfiltered, “mother” laced, nutrition filled, healthful apple cider vinegar?