“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” is a favorite maxim of modern, healthy living advocates. But did you know that this statement is over two thousand years old? In ancient Greece, Hippocrates, The Father of Medicine backed up his admonition by prescribing apple cider vinegar mixed with honey for its healing and cleansing qualities. In biblical times, after laboring in the barley fields, Boaz encouraged Ruth to dip bread in vinegar during their meal. (Ruth 2:14). It was used at this time not only to flavor food but as an energizing drink. Soldiers through the ages consumed diluted vinegar as an energizing and strengthening tonic.
Home remedies and folk medicine have long relied on apple cider vinegar to aide digestion and prevent or relieve heartburn. Today, apple cider vinegar is revered for all these qualities and more. It is used in detox beverages and in weight loss regimens.
Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider is made by crushing apples and squeezing out the liquid. To ferment the liquid, bacteria and yeast are added. The sugars are converted into alcohol. The alcohol is then converted into vinegar by acetic acid, which not only gives vinegar its sour flavor, but has health benefits. The process yields a product that is rich in protein enzymes and probiotics (friendly bacteria). It is reported to lower blood sugar levels, improve metabolism, curb appetites, increase satiety and thus assist in weight loss.
Acetic acid (AcOH), a major component of vinegar, has been found to suppress body fat accumulation. In a double-blind trial of obese individuals, participants were divided into three groups of similar: body weight, body mass index, and waist circumference. During the 12-week treatment, the subjects in each group ingested 500 ml daily of a beverage containing either 15 ml of vinegar, 30 ml of vinegar, or 0 ml of vinegar in the placebo group. Both groups ingesting vinegar daily showed significantly reduced body weight, BMI, waist circumference, and serum triglyceride levels. Thus concluding that daily vinegar intake appears to reduce obesity and is useful in reducing the risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, high blood sugar levels, and type 2 Diabetes. However, this relatively short study does not prove nor suggest that apple cider vinegar alone will reduce obesity. Rather, it can be part of a healthy lifestyle which includes: eating nutritious foods, exercise, and adequate sleep.
Drinking water with apple cider vinegar between meals, preferably 20 minutes before eating, may help curb cravings, avoid overeating at mealtime, keep you feeling full longer, and boost your metabolism, increase energy, and burn more fat. It is interesting, yet doubtful that Boaz understood when Ruth dipped bread in vinegar that it would help prevent a spike in her blood sugar levels.
Natural health and nutrition professionals recommend consuming only unpasteurized, organic apple cider vinegar with the mother of vinegar, as it contains the beneficial acetic acid bacteria. Another way to incorporate it into your diet is to use it in salad dressing recipes.
Dr. Axe’s Secret Detox Drink Recipe
If you want to cleanse, lose body fat, boost energy and reverse disease, then adding natural detox drinks to your diet can help you improve your quality of life fast. The ingredients in this beverage work together to balance blood sugar, lower blood pressure and increase metabolism. Dr. Josh Axe recommends consuming this drink 3x daily, 20 minutes before meals for 2 weeks, and then consuming it 1x daily before lunch or breakfast.
12-16 ounces of water
2 Tablespoons organic, apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure ground cinnamon
1 dash cayenne pepper
Stevia, to taste (I use ¼ teaspoon stevia powder)
Add all ingredients to a glass and stir vigorously to blend.
Note: You can substitute 2-4 drops of lemon and cinnamon essential oils, if you prefer, but make sure to use quality oils only. I actually like the taste of this drink, especially when adding essential oils.