Friday, April 27, 2012

Bitter But Healthy

Vinegar has been a part of our kitchens for a long time. Apart from enhancing the flavour of recipes, vinegar, containing acetic acid, has long been used as a food preservative. The usage of vinegar as a food preservative dates back to 5000 years ago when Romans and Greeks exploited its multiple uses and benefits. The word vinegar comes from the French word vinegar meaning sour wine.

Produced by fermentation, vinegar comes in many flavours, each with its unique health benefit. Apple cider vinegar; white vinegar; rice vinegar; malt vinegar; wine vinegar and coconut vinegar are just a few. Used as culinary preservatives, vinegars though infused with range of medicinal properties, are hardly known for the latter qualities. 

The one which stands tall among all is apple cider vinegar. It is made by the alcoholic fermentation with apple juice. Apple cider is used as a seasoning in all types of salads. Studies suggest that it helps in controlling sugar levels, blood pressure and reducing weight loss. It can also be used to control dandruff! In addition, ti acts as a hair conditioner. 

Since it contains a large amount of fibers, and helps in the absorption of cholesterol and fats and eliminates them as waste, it is also beneficial in weight loss. 

White vinegar, also known as distilled vinegar, virgin vinegar and clear vinegar is effective in killing warts due to the presence of acetic acid. Made through acid fermentation of distilled alcohol it is extremely sour. White vinegar helps the body in absorption of essential minerals, particularly calcium. According to a study, white vinegar can help people suffering from type-2 diabetes by bringing their blood pressure under control. White vinegar can also be used to treat insect bites, abrasions, cuts and rashes. Rubbing white vinegar on the affected area relieves pain. It is used more for disinfecting and cleaning than in cooking.

Nutritionist and dietician Mona Goel says the acetic properties of vinegars helps in digestion. “Vinegars fulfill the acetic requirement of the body and also improve the digestive system,” she says. 

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