Saturday, October 17, 2009
Have You Had Your Vinegar Today?
About 90% f the American household have vinegar in the house. After all, vinegar is very versatile. We all know that vinegar can soothe a bee sting or take the sting out of sunburn pain. It is supposed to make water-stained windows sparkling clean and remove odors in your kitchen. In fact, somebody listed 74 uses for vinegar--not bad for a bottle that costs a couple of dollars (or less).
If you enjoy vinegar in your food--pickles, hot and sour soup, sweet and sour pork, barbecue ribs, dressings on your salad--anyone? If you do, you have made some good food choices. Researchers in Japan revealed new evidence that vinegar can prevent accumulation of body fat and weight gain. They found that rats given a high-fat diet and vinegar have less body fats (up to 10% less) than other mice.
What is the magic, you ask? They explained that the main ingredient, acetic acid, in vinegar has fat-busting capabilities. Acetic acid is what makes vinegar sour and it turns on genes for fatty acid oxidation enzymes, thereby suppressing fat accumulation in the body. But that's not all vinegar can do. Other scientific researches can uncover other benefits of vinegar: it helps to control blood pressure, blood sugar levels and fights cancer.
So, have you had your vinegar today? That doesn't sound like such a weird question, if you consider the health benefits of this common household item.
Turns out it's easy to include vinegar into your diet. You can use it in your salad dressings, use it as a cooking ingredient, use it to pickle vegetables or make a healthy drink.
I've include a simple recipe for making cabbage pickle. Cabbage contains quercetin, a fat-whittling active ingredient and if you pickle it with vinegar, you get double the weight loss mileage. Here's how:
1 small head of cabbage, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon of organic sugar
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of roasted sesame seeds
1. Sprinkle salt on cut cabbage and let it sit for a couple of hours
2. Wring out water from cabbage and put it in a big bowl
3. Add vinegar, sugar and sesame seeds.
4. Toss well and enjoy.
To make a vinegar slimming drink:
Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and add 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey to make it taste less acidic.
D.C. Jarvis, M.D., author of the book, Folk Medicine, advocates drinking this vinegar concoction before every meal to induce weight loss. He believes that weight loss with this method is gradual but permanent.
Basic Vinegar dressings:
Mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts healthy oils (olive, canola or safflower oil), salt and pepper and herbs or spice.
If the basic vinegar bored you, try gourmet fruit vinegar. A study from the Memorial University of Newfoundland shows that fermenting fruits into vinegar produces more potent disease-fighting phytochemicals.
However, gourmet fruit vinegar can be expensive. Don't sweat it, though--you can make you very own fruit vinegar and it's a snap:
Bring store-bought white vinegar to just below boiling point, toss in your favorite fruit (raspberries, grapes, key limes, peach), refrigerate for a few weeks and strain.