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Research on the long term effect of apple vinegar claimed that consuming it, even in small amounts, can help you lose weight. (Shutterstock/File)
Known since the ancient Greek era, vinegar is one of the ingredients used by medical practitioners in the old days. Vinegar is obtained through a long fermentation process that eventually leaves a residual components such as acetic acid, gallic acid and catechin, making it one of the best sources for antioxidants and antimicrobials. Vinegar nowadays, especially apple vinegar, has been claimed by the people who consume it to keep a healthy body and even to cure diseases.
What are some of the benefits of apple cider vinegar? Have all its health benefits been proven scientifically?
Helps to lose weight
Apple cider vinegar is said to help you lose weight. As reported by WebMD, dietitian Debbie Davis says apple vinegar may contribute to losing weight. Research on the long-term effects of apple vinegar found that consuming it, even in small amounts, can help you lose weight. Research participants who consumed two tablespoons of apple vinegar with a big meal every day for four weeks are said to have each lost from one to two kilograms, but according to some experts the best way to lose weight is by keeping track of your diet and exercising regularly, meaning you shouldn't use apple vinegar as the only way to lose weight.
(Read also: Diet rules made to be broken)
Regulates blood sugar levels
This is the most recognized apple vinegar benefits, primarily for diabetes sufferers, since blood sugar levels are something that should be taken seriously. Research published in the Journal of Diabetes Care states that vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity significantly, primarily when you consume high carbohydrate foods. When you consume apple vinegar before a meal, the apple vinegar works to hamper and slows the process of sugar release from the food to the body. This prevents you from having a sugar rush, a condition during which blood sugar levels rise abruptly.
Other research says that vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity up to 19 percent for those who suffer from type 2 diabetes and 34 percent for those suffer from pre-diabetes. Consuming two tablespoons of apple vinegar before bed is said to lower blood sugar levels up to 6 percent in the morning for those suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Carol Johnston of the Arizona State University has studied apple vinegar for more than 10 years. As reported by WebMD, Johnston claimed that apple vinegar has an anti-glycemic effect. She said apple vinegar can hinder the absorption of carbohydrates, preventing blood sugar levels from drastically increasing after a meal.
Nonetheless, focusing on a diet as a whole is still required for those suffer from diabetes. Refraining from using drugs and replacing them with apple vinegar is not recommended by experts. You’ll still need to consult your doctor beforehand.
Overcoming constipation, gastric ulcer, gastric acid and other digestive issues
According to Johnston, because the vinegar limits carbohydate absorbtion, some of the residual carbohydrate and starch that are undigested will turn into “food” for the good bacteria in your digestive system. You are advised to consume apple vinegar that has not been filtered. This kind usually has a turbid brown color and forms dregs in the base of the bottle if let disturbed. These dregs are called “the mother”; they are rich in probiotics and other good bacteria that are beneficial for your digestive system. This kind of apple vinegar can help the work of your immune system. It can even help prevent constipation from worsening.
Apple vinegar consumption can also help overcome gastric acid disorders and gastric ulcers, although this depends on each individual and on the cause of the gastric ulcer.
How to consume apple vinegar
If you intend to consume apple vinegar, the important thing is to pay attention to how you consume it. It is not recommended to drink apple vinegar before dissolving it first in water. Because of its acidic nature, if not dissolved in water apple vinegar may harm your throat. Moreover it can damage the enamel of your teeth.
The ratio of water to apple vinegar should be at least 10 to one. If you use one tablespoon of apple vinegar, mix it with 10 tablespoons of water. There’s no specific rule for the best time to consume it, but most people take it in the morning or before and after a meal. Don't forget to gargle after drinking apple vinegar to get rid of the tooth-damaging acid residue.
Make sure you consult your doctor before adding apple vinegar to your daily diet and do not make apple vinegar a substitute for any medicines. Remember that a healthy lifestyle serves as the best way to maintain your health. (kes)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.