Did you know about health benefits of vinegar?
Vinegar has been considered a healing food for centuries, ever since Hippocrates used it as a remedy for coughs and viruses over 2000 years ago. Apple cider vinegar is considered the most healing of the different vinegar types and has been used as natural remedy for a variety of conditions in folk lore. Today, apple cider vinegar has become extremely popular and the claims that go with it have been as varied as they are fantastic. However there is little scientific evidence for many of the claims, but here we will cover the health benefits of vinegar that are tangible.
Several studies have shown that the acetic acid in vinegar (the chemical that gives vinegar its distinct sharp flavor) is extremely useful for diabetics. In fact all of the studies that have tested the health benefits of vinegar upon diabetes have been conclusive – vinegar helps!
One study that tested the health benefits of apple cider vinegar found that the acetic acid in this vinegar helped in two ways. It increased insulin sensitivity, which is how well insulin can remove sugar from the blood stream into the cells of the body were it is needed. It also slowed down the digestion of complex carbohydrates, decreasing the speed at which carbohydrates enter the blood stream.
The results of this study which was published in the American Diabetes Association’s publication Diabetes Care, found that taking vinegar with meals increased insulin sensitivity by 19% and decreased the overall amount of insulin actually released into the blood stream. This is of great benefit to the diabetic. Consistently elevated blood sugar levels leads to nerve damage that can cause blindness and the possible need of amputation of limbs in some cases. Constantly raised insulin levels are also linked to heart disease and believed to be the main reason that diabetics are of great risk for developing this condition. Two teaspoons taken with each meal has been found to deliver the best results so far.
Vinegar benefits us in another way too – increased calcium absorption. When taken with a meal vinegar can increase the amount of minerals digested, especially calcium, by up to 1/3. So pouring a a teaspoon or two of vinegar on salads containing calcium rich leafy greens like kale and spinach can be of great benefit for vegans, vegetarians and others who may have limited calcium in their diet.