Apple Cider Vinegar: A Flavorful Potential Superfood

Apple cider vinegar has recently become a trendy ingredient associated with weight loss and general good health. However, its use goes very far back in human history. Note that other kinds of vinegars have been around since the time of Ancient Babylon. Apple cider vinegar is made from apple cider and both the Greeks and Romans knew how to make it. Historians believe that the knowledge of making apple cider passed from the Babylonians to the Greeks and Romans who learned how to make apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar and some of its benefits were known to the Greeks by 400 BCE. Around this period, the physician Hippocrates believed that apple cider vinegar was an effective remedy for coughs and colds. He also recommended it for treating ulcers and digestive issues. Later on, Roman soldiers would drink diluted apple cider vinegar to quench thirst. They also believed that it increased strength and stamina for battle. 

By the time the Romans sailed to Britain around 55 BCE, they found that the residents of the British Isles already knew how to make the apple cider. 

DeForest Clinton Jarvis also known as DC Jarvis was a physician who lived around the start of the 20th century and who was an early proponent of apple cider vinegar as a tool for boosting health. He believed that consuming vinegar kept the body acidic rather than alkaline and that this treated various health problems. 

Apple Cider vinegar flavor profile

Apple cider vinegar combines a moderately acidic taste with a strong apple flavor. The taste is extremely fruity and immediately brings ripe green apples to mind. If you are familiar with the flavor of hard cider, you already know what to expect from a quality apple cider vinegar. Some varieties have malty notes while others have woody notes from being aged in barrels.  

Health Benefits of apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is not exactly a rich source of nutrients, but it does have small amounts of important compounds like:

  • Minerals: Apple cider vinegar contains trace amounts of minerals like iron, calcium and potassium.
  • Acetic acid: The sourness of apple cider vinegar comes from acetic acid, which has health benefits that include helping the body to process sugar. 

The benefits of apple cider vinegar include its ability to treat or prevent health issues like:

  • Infections: Apple cider vinegar may be effective for fighting different kinds of infections. The acidic environment it creates can kill some bacteria. You can use it to prevent respiratory infections and to fight foodborne illness caused by microbes like E. coli. 
  • Lower cholesterol: Animal studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can help to reduce cholesterol levels. 
  • Cramps: Leg cramps often result from being potassium deficient, which means that the potassium in apple cider vinegar can make it useful for preventing them. 
  • Diabetes: Limited studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can lower blood sugar levels, which means that it may be beneficial for people suffering from diabetes. 

Health concerns

If you suffer from acid reflux, apple cider vinegar may make it worse because of how acidic it is. You can lessen that acidity by diluting the vinegar before use if you plan to consume it as a drink. Otherwise, consume it in small quantities.

Common uses

Along with being great in vinaigrettes, apple cider vinegar is traditionally used in marinades. The flavor is considered an especially complementary addition to pork and can be used in the braising liquid for pork roasts and stews.