They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But the real “wonder food” may be apple cider vinegar. Made from fermented apple cider, this common salad ingredient (particularly amazing in coleslaw) actually bestows numerous health benefits. Homeopaths recommend taking one teaspoon a day to control everything from chronic fatigue syndrome to high cholesterol. It’s also been known to help with weightloss, acne and sore throat! Read on for other health benefits and natural health recipes.
One study of type 2 diabetes patients who took two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar just before they went to bed had improved sugar levels the next day. Another study, conducted on lab rats, found that it could also lower the fat levels in the blood (triglycerides) and boost good cholesterol levels. There are also some studies that show that apple cider vinegar can help control blood pressure.
What about weight loss? There’s still a lot of research to be done, but initial studies conducted on small groups of people showed promise. In one test done on obese people, those who took it for 12 weeks did experience an improvement in their abdominal fat levels and waist measurements. Scientists believe that it could be linked to how acetic acid prevents the body from accumulating some kinds of liver fats and body fats. In any case, apple cider vinegar makes a very healthy vinaigrette. Salad, anyone? (Read more on our tips on how to lose weight using apple cider vinegar.)
Apple cider vinegar is also used in many home remedies. Its high acidic content can make it a remedy for bad breath: just make your own “mouthwash” with half a tablespoon mixed in a cup of water. It can also be used to control foot odors (mix 1/3 cup with a pan of water and soak feet for 15 minutes) or as a natural deodorant (dab with a cotton ball on the armpits).
Some use it to soothe the colon during diarrhea: it has a lot of pectin, which forms a protective coating. Just mix 2 tablespoons into one glass of water and take thrice a day until the diarrhea goes away.
Photo from thehealthage.com