The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar in a Nutshell - Article
by Eliza Ward
Katz Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people take Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar every day as a food supplement. Interestingly, although people know that Apple Cider Vinegar is good for them, they don’t actually know why. Here is a quick rundown:
1. Acidic acid aids our digestion
We naturally produce hydrochloric acid (HCl) in our stomachs when we eat. The key role of hydrochloric acid is to help break down long-chain fats and complex proteins in our stomachs, so that they don't pass into our small intestines, and so that our bodies can more effectively and efficiently absorb needed amino acids and short-chain triglycerides from our foods, and helps prevent them from passing through the cells walls of our intestines in their larger form, potentially kicking off what’s called “leaky gut syndrome”. Whole fats and proteins can also cause intestinal irritation and inflammation, believed to contribute to general metabolic diseases – like heart disease and diabetes.
Many of us, due to stress and old age, do not produce enough hydrochloric acid in our stomachs on our own. But, as it turns out, acidic acid is a great substitute. That’s why Bragg’s recommends that you drink their vinegar just before you eat. Lack of sufficient stomach acid results in slower digestion times, proteins and fats sitting in our stomachs too long creating excessive bloating – especially after large, rich meals – and incomplete digestion causing whole proteins and long-chain fats passing into our intestines causing excessive fermentation and gas.
2. REAL vinegar made from REAL wine or REAL fruit can be very nutritious
Acetoria Cherry Vinegar
All of us have heard the expression, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." The fruit from which the vinegar is made is generally packed with micronutrients (and macro nutrients – like vitamin C) called polyphenols that are very good for us. Apples in particular have many different beneficial polyphenols many of which “help keep the doctor away.” Other real foods, like olive oil and wine and chocolate, are also packed with the stuff. So vinegar is yet another “super food” – if made with quality, wine or vine/tree-ripened fruit.
3. Like all fermented foods, good artisan-produced wine and fruit vinegars are packed with healthy enzymes and beneficial bacteria
Along with all those life-giving antioxidants (polyphenols), artisan vinegars produced the old-fashioned way are not only alive, but are not pasteurized to kill benefitial enzymes and bacteria they contain. So, they not only taste better due to the natural fermentation and aging process, but those live enzymes and bacteria (‘mother’) act as anti-bacterial and anti-microbial killers, and help re-populate our over-taxed and stressed digestive tracks with good bacteria (pro-biotic). These bacteria help us breakdown and absorb nutrient in our digestive tracks – making us happier and healthier.
Note than many artisan vinegar producers filter out their ‘mothers’ for various reasons – which is too bad.
4. Apple vinegar has a unique soluble fiber called pectin.
Although many fruits have pectin, apples have them in abundance. This soluble fiber work as a pre-biotic by acting as a carrier or food sources for beneficial bacteria helping them get through our digestive system so that they actually make it to the large intestine alive where they can do our bodies the most good. Additionally, because pectin is a soluble fiber, it helps add indigestible bulk to our diets, and works to pick up toxins and other metabolic by-products in our large intestines, and helps transport them out of the bodies - doing double duty.
Now keep in mind, ALL vinegar has acidic acid – that’s what makes it vinegar. BUT, with commercially-produced vinegar, that’s all you get; the OTHER three benefits – and that all-important feature called ‘flavor’ - are not present in artificially fermented, un-aged, over-acidified, pasteurized, highly-filtered commercial vinegars – they just aren’t.
San Giacomo Red Seal DOP Balsamic
Also keep in mind, three of the four health benefits associated with consuming Apple Cider Vinegar are usually present in ALL artisan vinegars – just some vinegar are more effective and concentrated than others. In fact, I once sat down and tried to calculate out how much 12-year balsamic vinegar I would have to consume to get the same amount of Resveratrol – the main life-giving, youth-preserving polyphenol in red wine – as in one 5-oz glass of the red stuff. With much research and brain-bending my conclusion was: 1 tablespoon of 12-year balsamic = one 5-oz glass of red wine. So, chug-a-lug, people - resveritrol, acidic acid and a small dose of pro-biotics all in just one spoonful - just no alcahol! Just be careful doing so on an empty stomach. [Note: I know someone who uses La Vecchia 12-year Balsamic to make balsamic sodas using his Sodastream ... yum!]
So, if you're looking for health benefits along with that dash of acid, choose carefully - as not all Apple Cider Vinegars are created equal - especially when you are looking for good flavor. There is no substitute for #RealFood.
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