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