This article was kindly contributed by Nutritional Therapist and College of Naturopathic Medicine graduate Caroline Punch, who specialises in digestive health. Apple cider vinegar was first discovered in about 5000 BC and has been used medicinally for centuries, treating everything from poison ivy rash to stomach aches. The process of making vinegar is long and slow resulting in a fermented product which is a highly potent antioxidant and antimicrobial. As well as having amazing health benefits, apple cider vinegar may also be used for cleaning, gardening and hygiene. A daily tablespoon mixed into a glass of water or into salad dressings can have the following benefits:
- Diabetes- Reports show that apple cider vinegar has anti-glycaemic properties, resulting in a very positive effect on blood sugar levels. It reduces glucose and insulin responses. This is thanks to its acetic acid content which can help to prevent the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates by speeding up the rate at which food leaves the stomach.
- Heart health- There are many ways in which apple cider vinegar can support your heart health. It is high in polyphenols which help to prevent cardiovascular disease. Studies also note improvements in both cholesterol and blood pressure as a result of apple cider vinegar consumption.
- Weight loss- Research has observed that the acetic acid levels in apple cider vinegar also help to increase our feelings of fullness from the food we eat, thus reducing the amount of food and calories consumed.
- Digestion and acid reflux- Just one tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar can help to improve the acid content of your stomach, as acid reflux is usually a symptom of having too little stomach acid. Digestive issues, such as intestinal spasms may also be soothed thanks to the pectin content.
- Energy- Potassium and amino acids found in apple cider vinegar can help to improve energy levels.