Health and Cooking

The Skinny on Vinegar

I am super excited this week! I’m off Thursday through Sunday to the Inner IDEA conference, which is being held right “down the hill” from me, as locals say, in Palm Springs, CA. Among other classes, I’m taking several on floor and mat Pilates, yoga adjustments and breathing, and even one on seasonal eating. I hope to be able to share some of what I learn with you next month, particularly the exercises! My teachers include Rael Isacowitz (along with Darya Bronston), Moira Merrithew (and Heather Lawson), Jill Miller, and Teri Mosey. Since learning that I had won one of IDEA’s scholarships, I’ve been counting down the weeks! Stay tuned for a post-conference gush (as I’m sure they’ll be one).


Bragg’s is said to be one of the best organically-certified apple cider vinegars on the market. (Linked to one claim; NOTE: I’m not recommending any brands and/or diets and/or lifestyles)

Onward to today’s topic…vinegar. Does it do what people claim it does? If so, how well? Some claim that vinegar is a heal-all. In fact, what got me looking into it is one of my students. She suffers from arthritis and has been seeking help that does not require taking pills that, while they help the pain, may actually kill her in some more serious way. However, she is very reluctant to get a hip replacement because they are expensive and invasive.


There is a part of me that thinks she’s seeking a cure-all, of which vinegar is not. No matter what proponents think, there is no scientific proof that vinegar has a cleansing and overall healing effect upon the body. If it did, everyone would be taking it and it would run the pharmaceutical companies into the ground.


That does not mean that vinegar is not beneficial. TLC’s article on vinegar and it’s potential health benefits states that a little vinegar each day may increase calcium absorption, regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics, and is a great substitute for unhealthy fats and sodium, making a healthier diet palatable. My student also informed me, as does the article, that vinegar in water makes a great, safe wash for produce. For me, that’s the best tip I’ve heard in ages; I’m no fan of using some sort of chemical spray on the fruits and veggies I’m supposed to be eating to heal my body from the inside.


There are many other uses for vinegar as well, as seen here. The biggest concern health professionals have is that people will think it’s as good of a substitute as medicines and/or other things that do the same jobs. Sometimes, it isn’t and it’s wise to be rational when using it. Remember, moderation is vital to a healthy lifestyle. There are those promoting an apple cider vinegar diet but it has risks.


Personally, a part of me feels that this diet takes advantage of the common day wisdom that health and fitness professionals tell their patients and clients if and when asked, and your pocketbook. There are vinegar supplements out there, which the WebMD article above states may not actually contain any sort of apple cider vinegar product whatsoever. Be mindful of supplements, as the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate them.


While I’m not sure that taking a couple teaspoons to a tablespoon of vinegar each day is harmful, it is always good to discuss the start of any regimen with your doctor prior to starting one. It is also key to remember that moderation in all things keeps a healthy, balanced body and mind. Be it inactivity or exercise, sweets or oils or another food, too much of anything is not good for us.


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