Apple cider vinegar offers variety of health benefits

Published 10:44 pm Thursday, October 1, 2015

By David Crocker

For centuries, folks have used apple cider vinegar as part of their daily health regimen. In fact, the “father of medicine,” Hippocrates, used cider vinegar around 400 B.C. for its health giving qualities.

Vinegar was actually discovered more than 10,000 years ago. The word vinegar comes from the French, who named it “vin aigre,” which literally means sour wine.

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The healthful vinegar I’m referring to is not white or distilled vinegar and not cider flavored vinegar. I’m also not talking about filtered cider vinegar. The type of cider vinegar I recommend has sort of a brown tinge to it. It also has a web like substance floating in it. This floating material is called “mother of vinegar,” and is made up of cellulose and acetic acid. Cider vinegar like this has not been striped of its nutrients. It may not look as appealing as clear filtered vinegar, but is much better for you. To get this type of vinegar, you probably have to visit your local health food store, or order it. Nature’s Storehouse in Tryon carries an ample supply of unfiltered, unpasteurized, organic apple cider vinegars.

So just what does organic, unfiltered vinegar have in it that makes it so special, and why is it so good for us? Well, for starters, it contains a host of vitamins, pectin, beta-carotene and minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, sodium, iron and fluorine.

The pectin in apple cider vinegar can help reduce blood cholesterol levels, and help reduce blood pressure. This type of vinegar is also loaded with potassium, which plays a vital role in the regulation of body acid-base levels and blood pressure. Potassium is also essential for the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates.

The malic acid in cider vinegar is helpful in fighting bacterial and fungal infections. The type of acid can even dissolve uric acid that collects around joints, thereby making them feel better.

Beta-carotene found in apple cider vinegar protects our tissues from “free radical” damage, which can help us look and feel younger. Researchers at the University of Arizona found that those with type 2 diabetes who consumed cider vinegar, had more favorable blood sugar levels than those who did not.

Cider vinegar also helps alkalize our bodies, which helps us look and feel younger, reduces inflammation, helps prevent osteoporosis, ease arthritis, increase mental acuity and help heal. It may seem strange that vinegar be recommended to alkalize the body since we all know it’s acidic. Here’s the thing: although acidic when eaten, cider (not distilled) vinegar turns alkaline when digested. In fact it’s second only to lemon (acidic when eaten, alkaline when digested) in its ability to alkalize the body.

So how much vinegar should we take a day? I recommend taking two tablespoons daily. You can mix it in a glass of cold water. For even more healthful benefits, and to improve taste, mix in a little honey.

Is apple cider the next cure-all, wonder drug? Who knows, but you’ll be healthier for taking it.

Fitness or nutrition question? Email me at or visit David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 29 years. He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the USC Spartanburg baseball team, The S.C. state champion girl’s gymnastic team, and the Converse College equestrian team. He served as lead trainer to L.H. Field’s modeling agency, and taught for four semesters at USC Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.