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Apple Cider Vinegar Organic: Melrose 500ml
Apple Cider Vinegar Organic: Melrose 500ml

Apple cider vinegar is made from the juice of whole apples in a fermentation process involving yeast and a bacteria called Acetobacter; both these micro organisms turn the natural sugars from apple juice into acetic acid. Since 5000 BC it has been a tonic and beverage, and was used as a wound disinfectant as recently as last century. The modern popularity of apple cider vinegar can be traced back to the 1958 book, 'Folk Medicine' by Dr D.C. Jarvis, a country doctor from Vermont, US. In his book, Dr Jarvis explained how he used apple cider vinegar to cure migraines, arthritis and many other common ailments. 
What's the new research? 

The first was a 2005 Swedish study that looked at how vinegar affected digestion. When taken with a meal, vinegar helped keep blood sugar and insulin levels lower after the meal. Lower blood sugar and insulin levels means that dangerous peaks and troughs don't form; these can lead to type II diabetes, and also are associated with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

This is great news for diabetics or people with hypoglycaemia. These peaks and troughs in blood sugar lead to cravings, so taking vinegar with a meal is ideal for slimmers. The study also found that vinegar increased satiety, or your level of fullness. So sipping some vinegar mixed with water will help to stop you having that second helping or piece of cake! 

The second was a study performed in Arizona, USA, where volunteers consumed high GI (Glycemic Index) meals of bagels and fruit juice, with a dose of vinegar. The glucose response to these meals was significantly reduced by taking vinegar. Your body will treat a high GI meal like a low GI meal if you take vinegar at the same time. 

Weight loss secrets of French women

The food eaten by French women has had a lot of publicity lately, but there is still one secret to be uncovered. The French eat a lot of fatty foods like duck, pastries and creamy sauces, but always on the side of their plate is a salad dressed with vinaigrette. This salad dressing, made from vinegar, is delicious with quite a sharp taste. As well as dropping the GI of the total meal, vinaigrette cuts through the fat and, by boosting the acid levels in the stomach, improves digestion. So that's why French women stay so thin! 

Feeling a bit green? Apple cider vinegar to the rescue 

Usually when that green, bilious feeling hits (after too much fat, meat or sweets), we reach for the bicarbonate of soda. This neutralizes the acid in the stomach, and does make us feel better by smothering the symptoms. But next time, reach for the apple cider vinegar. This works in the opposite way to bicarb; by actually increasing the stomach acid. By giving your stomach more fire-power, it can digest better and faster, and fix your upset tummy by improving your digestion instead of just masking the problem. Try two teaspoons in water after a particularly fatty meal, or when you wake up in the middle of the night feeling nauseas. 

What's the slimy thing in my vinegar bottle? Should I throw it out? 

No! That is the 'mother', and it's actually cellulose, a natural fibre produced by the vinegar bacteria. This vinegar will also be coloured like tea and contain sediment, and may even be made the traditional way, by ageing the vinegar in oak like wine. These days, vinegar like this is becoming harder to find, but always choose this natural, traditional variety if you can. Some people eat the 'mother', but if you like you can filter it out before you use the vinegar. 

How can I include apple cider vinegar in my diet?

Easily! You can mix one or two teaspoons with a little honey and some water, and sip during a meal. Some people prefer to take it before bed; if you're an insomniac, traditionally this mixture is used to help bring about sleep. Apple cider vinegar makes great chutneys, relishes or pickles. Remember apple cider vinegar is a weak acid, so always dilute before swallowing. 

Toni Jordan B.Sc. Dip. A. AACNEM is a Melbourne-based freelance and corporate writer, trainer and consultant to the health food industry. 



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