0776f0dcc659fca5c2ffcf0f071ea57dWithout question, the foods and beverages you consume play a major role in your overall health and wellness. If you are on the path to a healthier body, adding apple cider vinegar to your daily consumption can contribute significantly to your overall success. There are four important reasons to add this versatile ingredient to your diet:

Reason 1: It Helps Regulate Your Body’s Blood Sugar Management

High levels of blood sugar over prolonged periods lead to diabetes. The most common form of diabetes is type 2, comprising about 90% of all cases. Unlike type 1, it is not inherited and is often a direct result of poor lifestyle choices. Complications of type 2 diabetes include damage to the limbs leading to amputation; kidney failure leading to dialysis; eye damage resulting in complete and irreversible blindness; and heart disease. In fact, the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles for diabetics. About 75% of deaths from diabetes result from coronary artery disease.

The good news is you can often fight back against type 2 diabetes before it progresses to the supplemental insulin injection level.

Adding apple cider vinegar to your diet can produce significant benefits when it comes to regulating blood sugar and treating some the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association® reports on an Arizona State University study that demonstrated how ingesting just two tablespoons of this vinegar at bedtime has a positive impact on blood glucose levels in the morning. Researchers believe that this is because apple cider vinegar alters the gluconeogenic cycle in the liver and promotes insulin production. While it is still necessary to take prescribed medications, apple cider vinegar ingested at night and mealtimes makes management of type 2 diabetes easier.

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Reason 2: It Can Reduce or Eliminate Problematic Water Retention

Edema, or fluid retention, occurs when your body fails to eliminate excess water. There are a number of different possible causes of edema, but two of the most common are excess sodium and low levels of potassium. Potassium is one of your body’s essential electrolytes. Without it, your body cannot maintain proper water balance. Potassium can combat high levels of sodium through osmosis. Sodium and potassium ions move in opposite directions through your cell membranes.

If your sodium intake is too high or your diet lacks a sufficient intake of potassium, you may find yourself in a state of hypokalemia (low potassium), which frequently causes edema. Edema can cause a number of unpleasant side effects, such as:

• Swollen hands, feet, and ankles
• Bloating
• Body aches
• Stiff joints
• Weight gain

If you are suffering from edema due to low levels of potassium, the age-old remedy of a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a glass of water can provide an inexpensive and safe solution to this problem. One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar contains 11 mg of edema-fighting potassium.

Reason 3: It Helps Your Body Maintain Proper pH Levels

It is important that your body maintain a proper pH level, which is, ideally, slightly alkaline. People with pH balance problems typically lean toward being too acidic. Anything from an imbalance of intestinal flora to a diet that is too heavy in acid forming foods may make it difficult to eliminate harmful acidic waste.

Some health problems you may experience if your body’s pH leans acidic are acid reflux disease (GERD), gout, inflammation, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Fortunately, it is not too difficult to change your diet to include foods that are more alkaline. These include leafy greens, along with fruits and other vegetables. Another way is by adding apple cider vinegar.

Although it sounds counterintuitive since vinegar is acidic by nature, this amazing and versatile ingredient produces an alkaline response in your body. Ingesting two or three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each day can help restore your natural pH balance and eliminate many of the unpleasant side effects of being overly acidic.

Reason 4: It Fortifies the Friendly Bacteria in Your Intestines

Your body needs to maintain a good balance of health-promoting bacteria in your gut. In addition to providing a host of health benefits, these bacteria combat the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and assist your body with the digestive process. Unfortunately, your body can sometimes have a deficiency of these important bacteria, particularly following an illness or a round of antibiotics. It is important that you have a way to replenish and fortify these necessary bacteria.

A diet that includes apple cider vinegar is an easy solution. Apple cider vinegar is made by crushing apples and then adding probiotic yeast and bacteria to the juices causing them to ferment. These yeasts and bacteria, as well as the malic acid and acetic acid in the vinegar, can actually improve the makeup of your intestinal flora and prevent the overgrowth of candida fungus.

Increase Your Apple Cider Vinegar Intake with This Tasty Recipe

I found this delicious vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free recipe at the Vegetarian Times. It includes a healthy dose of apple cider vinegar:

Tangy Carrot-Apple Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

Serves 4

Apple cider vinegar’s bright, crisp taste and more-than-a-hint of tart flavor work well in this salad:

• 1½ Tbs. apple cider vinegar
• 1 small clove garlic, minced (½ tsp.)
• 2 cups grated carrots
• ½ red apple, diced (½ cup)
• ¼ cup sliced green onions
• ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
• ¼ cup chopped dried cranberries
• 1 tsp. agave nectar or honey
• 1 Tbs. olive oil
• 2 cups baby spinach leaves

1. Combine cider vinegar and garlic in small bowl. Let stand 15 minutes.

2. Stir together carrots, apple, green onions, parsley, and cranberries in a large bowl.

3. Whisk agave nectar and oil into cider vinegar mixture. Add to the carrot mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and chill 2 hours, or overnight. Serve salad on a bed of spinach leaves.