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You may have seen apple cider vinegar on the shelf at the grocery store or maybe you even have it in your cabinet because a recipe called for it, but did you know that it’s a nutritional powerhouse that’s packed with nutrients, is low in calories and is a superior source of antioxidants?
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW While vinegar can be gleaned from all sorts of items, apple cider vinegar is made by pulverizing apples into a slurry of juice and pulp that is then allowed to ferment converting fruit sugar into acetic acid. Lofty Internet claims aside, some purported health perks of this vinegary delight have real promise.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY IT Perhaps the most promising benefit of apple cider vinegar is its role in blood sugar control. Case in point: A study in the journal Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism found that adding about 2 teaspoons of the vinegar to a meal containing carbohydrates can reduce the post-meal blood glucose spike by about 20%. Apple cider vinegar appears to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream and improve insulin sensitivity. So some apple cider vinegar a day could keep the fat gain and diabetes at bay. A separate study found that adding a shot of vinegar to your meals can bolster satiety which can stymie overeating. By helping break down various components in food such as proteins, apple cider vinegar is also thought to also improve digestion.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR When purchasing cider vinegar, the gnarlier the better. You want to take a pass on the mass produced clear versions that have had their soul disposed of. Instead, you want to hunt down unpasteurized brands with a darker, cloudy appearance. The cobweb-like floating substance is referred to as the “mother of vinegar” and is an indication of higher quality.
HOW TO USE IT Cider vinegar’s bright, crisp flavor and sour background works well in a number of vegetable, legume and grain salads. For a tasty dressing, try whisking together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, chopped shallot, salt and black pepper. It’s also great in marinades as the acid helps tenderize meats.
A simple digestive tonic can also be made with 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon honey mixed into a cup of warm water. Due to its acidity, apple cider vinegar can burn your esophagus, so dilution is a must instead of taking it straight up.