There are many foods out there that have been regularly touted as being a miracle ‘cure all’ or modern day ‘panacea’. These simple everyday food items, found in most household pantries, are often claimed to have a plethora of benefits such as helping stave off different diseases, keeping you looking youthful and or even being effective cleaning agents!
Even though you may have tried and tested many of these miracle ‘super foods’, and found some of these claims to hold true, not all of them have the research and evidence to support the claims.
Which brings me to today’s blog. I was watching a vlog from Paul Chek the other day, about the amazing benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), and the many medicinal benefits it can have when incorporated into the diet in moderation.
So I decided to take a further look into it….
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there are actually numerous studies that have been done to back some of these incredible claims. The three that I found the most interesting, and that have the most evidence to back them up, are as follows:
Apple cider vinegar aids digestive health
In Paul Chek’s Vlog, he looks at the numerous ways in which ACV helps aid the digestive system. From its ability as a natural solvent to remove waste that has accumulated in the liver and digestive tract (due largely to eating rich high fat, highly processed diets), to its ability to remove worms, parasites and some of the bad bacteria in the gut, simply through changing the PH levels in your body.
Researchers have found that that when acetic acid, the key component to ACV, is consumed in conjunction with water, it actually increases the levels of good bacteria in the gut, including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
These ‘good’ bacteria are essential to digestive health and have a kind of symbiotic relationship with the human body. They help provide a stable environment, stimulate the immune system and protect against infection by any pathogenic microbes that may be ingested. So the we really need these guys to stick around.
Apple cider vinegar helps regulate blood sugar levels
Studies indicate that ACV can actually help regulate blood sugar levels in people living with type 2 diabetes. One study, conducted by Carol Johnston, PhD at the Arizona State University, utilized 11 volunteers, two of which had type 2 diabetes. They were given 2 tablespoons of ACV (in water), as well as an ounce of cheese, before bedtime. When tested the next morning and compared to the results after an evening when no ACV was consumed, the results indicated that each participant had lower blood sugar readings. Johnson had stated that “Apple cider vinegar’s anti-glycaemic effect is very well documented” and explains that it works by inhibiting some of the digestion of starch, preventing it from being converted into glycogen and raising your blood sugar levels.
According the Centre Of Disease Control And Prevention; over 9% of Americans have type 2 diabetes. This disease affects the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin. This in turn results in an increase in the body’s glucose levels, or ‘blood sugar levels’.
So the very idea that a simple everyday pantry item could go a long way towards helping regulate blood sugar levels is actually very exciting news!
Apple cider vinegar lowers triglyceride levels, helping reduce body fat
A study that was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry shows that by ingesting ACV on a regular basis, you may be able to reduce your BMI. This study is based on the fact that a key component of ACV is acetic acid. The study incorporated a high fat diet being consumed in unison with acetic acid. Even though this initial study was done on mice, the results indicated that those consuming the acetic acid gained as much as 10% less weight than those that were not.
Further studies were then made in 2009, by the Mizkan Group Corporation at the Central Research Institute in Japan. They did a study using 175 obese, yet healthy people, over the course of 12 weeks. These test subjects consumed either vinegar or water daily, and ate a similar diet. On average those that took the vinegar lost slightly more weight than those on water (about 2 more pounds), and then gained it back soon after the study was complete.
The researchers suggested that the acetic acid in ACV may stimulate certain genes involved in breaking down fats in the body.
How should you take it?
Even though ACV has the evidence needed to support some of the amazing health benefits it can provide, it is important to note that it is inadvisable to drink straight as it has been shown to wear away at tooth enamel, damage the oesophagus and even lower potassium levels when consumed in high quantities.
So if you are interested in trying ACV for yourself, I suggest that you first do a little research of your own, decide if it appropriate for you. Aim for an organic ACV and portion how much you have each day. 2-4 tsp. in water per day should do the trick. If you find the flavour unbearable you can try dissolving a little honey in it to make a more palatable drink.
– Or simply add it to your salad dressing!