BEST IDEA THIS MONTH

This elixir for good health has stood the test of time. Let’s count the ways it works for us!

LOSE IT! - - Contents - BY: SALLY-ANN CREED

We fo­cus on ap­ple cider vine­gar

what’s ap­ple cider vine­gar good for? Well, just about every­thing, ac­tu­ally. Peo­ple swear by it for fix­ing any­thing from weak stom­ach acid to arthri­tis. You do need to make sure that you buy ap­ple cider vine­gar (ACV) that is or­ganic, in glass, and con­tains the ‘mother’ cul­ture, though. Some­times this cul­ture gives the vine­gar a cloudy look, and some­times the vine­gar is clear with a de­posit on the bot­tom of the bot­tle. The colour of the ACV de­pends on the kind of ap­ples used and the time of year they’re har­vested. The vine­gar should also be raw, should not be pas­turised (pas­tur­i­sa­tion is of­ten a re­quire­ment for im­port), and it should not be fil­tered. The ‘bits’ float­ing around in the vine­gar are highly nu­tri­tious, pro­vid­ing ben­e­fi­cial pro­bi­otics for the gut – as long as you’ve bought the right kind of vine­gar, as de­scribed. Here are many other ben­e­fits you might not know about.

ACV IM­PROVES THE AC­TION OF THE LYMPHATIC SYS­TEM

The lymph nodes act as fil­ters, and mu­cus builds up in the process. ACV breaks down mu­cus, in­creas­ing the elim­i­na­tion of harm­ful bac­te­ria and viruses.

RE­DUCES AL­LER­GIES AND BEATS SI­NUS PROB­LEMS

I bet you’ve never thought that the de­li­cious ad­di­tion to your salad could cut down on hay fever. Due to ACV’s abil­ity to break down and elim­i­nate mu­cus, it re­lieves a sore throat (you can gar­gle with it and/ or swal­low it in wa­ter), pre­vents si­nus con­ges­tion and re­lieves those headaches that are the re­sult of pres­sure in the si­nus cav­i­ties.

ACV breaks down mu­cus, in­creas­ing the elim­i­na­tion of harm­ful bac­te­ria and viruses.

HELPS TO LOWER BLOOD SUGAR

This will be mu­sic to many ears. Re­search by Pro­fes­sor Carol John­ston at Ari­zona State Univer­sity has shown that the acetic acid in all vine­gars helps to lower the blood-sugar level by block­ing the ab­sorp­tion of starch.

This doesn’t mean you can throw cau­tion to the wind and eat a loaf of bread with a bot­tle of ACV, though. Con­sum­ing two ta­ble­spoons of ACV af­ter a high­car­bo­hy­drate meal can pre­vent too great a rise in blood sugar, ac­cord­ing to one study, but other small stud­ies ad­vise that it should be con­sumed prior to a meal. Ex­per­i­ment to see what works for you. ACV be­fore bed may also lead to lower blood sugar lev­els in the morn­ing, which is very en­cour­ag­ing if you have type2 di­a­betes.

Type-1 di­a­betes suf­fer­ers should note, how­ever, that a study has shown that acetic acid slows the rate at which con­tents leave the stom­ach, which can make it harder for them to con­trol their blood sugar.

DI­GES­TIVE AID

If you are plagued by acid reflux, bloat­ing and in­di­ges­tion, this might just be the per­fect nat­u­ral rem­edy for you. Try tak­ing ACV just be­fore break­fast each day to al­low it to stim­u­late the gas­tric juices gen­tly to do what they do best: trig­ger the en­zymes that break down food.

BEAUTY AID FOR THE SKIN

Some peo­ple use di­luted ACV as a fa­cial toner as its high lev­els of acetic acid are be­lieved to be able to bal­ance the pH of the skin. It is also ef­fec­tive in com­bat­ting the bac­terium Pseu­domonas aerug­i­nosa, which is as­so­ciated with hospi­tal-ac­quired in­fec­tions. There are mixed re­ports as to whether ACV helps to clear acne – some swear by it; oth­ers cau­tion against it – but you can try soaking a clean cloth in it and rest­ing it on your face for a few min­utes. If you find it too dry­ing use a light nat­u­ral mois­turiser af­ter­wards. Warts can be treated with ACV too.

HOW TO TAKE IT

Don’t stop putting it in your bone broth or on your salad but, for these ther­a­peu­tic ben­e­fits, take it on its own as well. Be­cause it is very acidic, mix two ta­ble­spoons of or­ganic ACV with about 200ml warm wa­ter (and a tea­spoon of honey if you must) and drink this be­fore a meal. Use ACV in place of other vine­gars when mak­ing mari­nades, dress­ings, or may­on­naise as it’s the health­i­est one around.

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