A new health tonic craze? Drink vinegar!

Jennifer Bliss
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What’s one of the trendiest health tonics these days? Drinking vinegars! For many people, drinking vinegars such as apple cider vinegar isn’t a new trend, craze, or part of their lifestyle. What about the other kinds of vinegars? What’s the big deal? Why are people doing it? And what might you find interesting or beneficial?

Vinegar beverages throughout history

Consuming vinegars as a health tonic is becoming a popular topic, but it isn’t a new discovery by any means. Research has shown that the beverage’s benefits date back to ancient Egypt and that the practice was popular in cultures from American colonists to Japanese samurai. (1) The earliest known use of vinegar dates back over 10,000 years and has been used as both food and medicine. (2)

Potential benefits of vinegar drinks

Some naturopathic physicians and even some doctors say drinking vinegars may be a remedy for low stomach acid or digestive problems. Others recommend drinking vinegar before meals for glycemic control and weight loss. In fact, drinking vinegar before meals may improve insulin response, which results in more insulin sensitivity and less insulin resistance. (1)

Others have said that it improves satiety, decreases sugar cravings, and increases digestive capability by stimulating enzymes in the body. Research shows that vinegars contain antioxidants that slow premature aging and reduce the risk of cancer. (1,2)

Vinegar may also possess physiological effects similar to the anti-diabetes medications acarbose and metformin. Vinegars such as balsamic vinegar, has been known to be quite heart healthy, too! (2)

Vinegar beverage companies are appearing more than ever before

Some vinegar beverage companies are claiming that their vinegar drinks can decrease muscle soreness, increase energy, strengthen the immune system, and lower cholesterol and blood pressure, among many other benefits. Some vinegar-based beverages do not make any health claims at all and just state that they are delicious and satisfying. (1)

Are there added sugars or sweeteners?

Some companies on the market emphasizes that its products have no added sugars, while others may be sweetened with cane sugars or stevia. (1)

How to make vinegar drinks at home

If you are looking for a few suggestions and recipes for vinegar drinks to try at home, here’s how you can do it:

  1. Add 2 cups of fresh, whole berries to 2 cups vinegar and up to 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar or sweetener of your choice. You can use champagne, apple cider vinegar, or even white vinegar as a substitute.
  2. Combine the fruit and vinegar in a large jar, tightly screw on the lid, and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Let the flavors infuse for one week at room temperature remembering to shake at least once each day.
  3. Strain the juice through a double layer of cheesecloth and funnel into a clean glass bottle. Add sugar and shake to combine.
  4. Refrigerate for another week before consuming. Remember to shake daily until sugar has fully dissolved.
  5. To dilute in a drink, just add between one and five ounces of soda water and serve over ice. (3)

Flavoring combinations?

If you are looking for flavoring combinations for your homemade vinegar drinks, try blackberry with thyme, cucumber with mint and honey, even cherry with vanilla bean and maple syrup, apple and agave, strawberries and basil, or even ginger on its own. (3)

Do you need to add sugars and flavorings to your vinegar drinks if you are making them at home? No. In fact, many people consume them straight up. Or if you don’t want to make them yourself there seem to be more and more vinegar based beverages and beverage companies appearing these days, so you can look into which companies fits your preferences and lifestyle.

Sources for this article include:
(1) www.portlandmonthlymag.com
(2) www.doctoroz.com
(3) imbibemagazine.com

Image source: flic.kr

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