By Megan Johnson McCullough
Special to the Village News 

Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks: Apple cider vinegar – a serving a day for many reasons


Last updated 3/10/2021 at 2:43pm

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Village News/Kathy Magerkurth photo

Apple cider vinegar might be bitter, but the benefits can be outstanding.

When yeast is added to traditional apple juice, the fruit sugar turns into alcohol. It is the premise of fermentation. The bacteria in this alcohol become acetic acid. This acid is the culprit for the sour taste and smell of vinegar. We use vinegar to bake and cook. It's in most salad dressings, and it is readily used as a preservative. It is not meant to be used in high amounts due to its acidity.

Over consumption can lead to stomach problems and damage to your teeth, and it is not good for the lining of your throat. So why are we hearing so many claims that apple cider vinegar is great for our health?

Research doesn't support many of the claims we hear about this vinegar. Mixing a couple of tablespoons with water has been used for several health tricks. Apple cider vinegar has been used as a home remedy dating back to the early Greeks. At that time, it was used topically to treat wounds.

Today, we hear about this product being used for weight loss, to make dandruff go away, clear acne and to improve heart health. The link to weight loss is based on the notion that vinegar improves blood sugar levels, which would help people with type 2 diabetes associated with obesity. Some health coaches said that it is an appetite suppressant. Others said it interferes with the body's ability to digest starch which means less enters the bloodstream.

Vinegar also has antioxidants which can help with cellular repair.

It has been said to cure the common cold because germs can't survive in the acidic environment that vinegar ingested creates. When it comes to your gut, apple cider vinegar has the good bacteria that can help with an upset stomach and help stop diarrhea. It has also been used to stop hiccups.

The potassium and enzymes in this vinegar have been said to increase energy. The potassium can also help with leg cramps. It has also been said to whiten teeth when used as a toothpaste. Some claim it helps the coloring of bruising go away. The key is that a little goes a long way. It is a weak acid, but it is still acid in your body.

Having too much can cause heartburn and bloating. Although it may claim to suppress your appetite, prolonged use will damage the stomach's lining. This is also true for teeth whitening use because eventually your enamel will deteriorate from the acidity.

Home remedies are effective in the eye of the beholder and can be the first responder application to a problem that could be treated without too much effort.

Do what is best for your body and what works for your body. It is the freedom of choice and the freedom to control your health's destiny.

Megan Johnson McCullough holds a master's degree in physical education and health science, is a candidate for her doctorate, is a professional natural bodybuilder and is a National Academy of Sports Medicine master trainer.


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