5 Reasons Why I Love Apple Cider Vinegar

apple-cider-vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), I’ve been drinking it since I was a small child and absolutely love it! It was the first thing my Mother gave me for a sore throat or an upset stomach. Nowadays I always try to incorporate it into my daily routine whether it’s in salad dressings,  diluted in my water bottle or straight off the spoon. It’s taste is not for everyone I suppose but I guarantee its benefits are worth it.

From looking and feeling younger to helping to fight cancer… here are 5 reasons to start using ACV more often:

1. Controls Blood Sugar
Studies have shown that consuming ACV with high GI foods such as breads and pastas showed significantly lower blood glucose responses by up 31%.  Incase you forgot – high GI foods usually cause blood glucose levels to spike. I guess this means that adding ACV to healthy foods could be even more effective! It is thought that the reason ACV does this is due its naturally occurring compound acetic acid increasing the amount of glucose absorbed by the muscle tissue. This means that less glucose enters your blood stream and it may even reduce your risk of diabetes.

2. Improve Digestion
Drinking ACV in water can naturally help improve digestion. Take a tablespoon of ACV in a glass of water approximately 15 minuets before a meal to help activate digestive juices and improve the breakdown of foods. Taking this concoction regularly prior to meals is believed to help balance stomach acid thus reducing heartburn, bloating, gas and soothing the entire gastrointestinal tract.

3. Boost the Immune System
Your intestinal flora also known as ‘the good/bad bugs in your gut’ combats for about 80% of your immune system. So it makes sense that improving the conditions in your intestinal tract with ACV improves your immunity by encouraging the growth of good bacteria. The naturally occurring compound in ACV malic acid is also known to be a strong antiviral.

4. Helps Fight Cancer Cells
There are limited studies in the area of ACV and cancer however there are some positive results suggesting that ACV can help prevent cancer and a few laboratory studies have shown that it may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. It has been found that by adding ACV to your drinking water it can decrease colon cancer and sarcoma (a cancer of the connective tissue). Other studies have also shown that vinegar inhibits the rapid reproduction of human cancer cells and shown significant benefits of reduced risk of oesophageal cancer. 

5. Treats Injury
ACV can be used for just about anything, you can even use it to help treat burns and other topical wounds due to its antimicrobial properties.  In studies it has even shown to speed up tissue repair and speed up muscle recovery after moderate exercise so you might want to take it to the gym! It has also shown to reduce joint pain and it is believed that using ACV on a regular basis may just keep you active.

The good news is that ACV is readily available at most supermarkets, grocers and health food stores. Just remember that they are not all equal so be sure to use a raw, organic, unfiltered (‘with the mother’) and unpasteurised variety.
References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785201/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15489210
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7796781

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Facts about Avocado

avocado pic
Avocados provide the healthy kind of fat that your body needs. Like olive oil, avocadoes boost levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol). HDL cholesterol can help protect against the damage caused by free radicals. This type of cholesterol also helps regulate triglyceride levels, preventing diabetes. A study published early this year in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that a vegetarian diet, which includes HDL fats, can reduce levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) as effectively as statin drugs.

Carotenoids
Avocados are an excellent source of carotenoids, an antioxidant usually known to be found in red/orange vegetables and shown to assist eye health. Avocados contain a diverse range of carotenoids including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein as well as the less common ones neoxanthin, zeaxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, neochrome, beta-cryptoxanthin and violaxanthin. When you consume foods rich in carotenoids you are delivering a quality Vitamin A to your body which is known to strongly protect eye health. Carotenoids have also been shown to enhance the immune system and promote healthy function of the reproductive system.

Anti-Inflammatory
The combined effect of the deluxe package of nutrients contained in avocadoes offers powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Avocadoes’ unique combination of Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phyto-sterols and omega-3 fatty acids helps guard against inflammation. This means avocadoes can help prevent against both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Heart health
The fat content, which causes some uninformed health “experts” to deem avocadoes as unhealthy, actually provides protection against heart diseases. Studies have shown that oleic acid improves cardiovascular health. Oleic acid is the primary fatty acid in avocadoes. Many people now take supplements in order to consume more omega-3 fatty acids to lower their risk of heart disease. Avocadoes are rich in omega-3, delivering 160 milligrams per cup of alpha-linolenic acid.

Choosing and eating
To get the most nutritional value from avocadoes, avoid those which have become over-ripe. You can identify these at the store because they will have dents and feel overly soft when you hold them. A ripe avocado should have no dents in its skin and will feel slightly soft when squeezed. You can also buy unripe avocadoes, which feel very hard when gripped, and allow them to ripen at home. To enhance the ripening process leave on the bench near some bananas as the gas released from the bananas promotes ripening. The greener portion of the avocado closest to the skin is the most dense in nutrients, so be sure to scrape the skin clean before discarding it.