Creating more beneficial beverage options
With the outdoor temperature starting to climb, the need to hydrate becomes even more noticeable. However, we should be absolutely hydrating, mostly with water, all year long.
How can we drink more water and hydrating beverages, and not always the same boring water?
There are many ways to add interest to plain water. Some options are adding a few slices of cucumber or strawberry or watermelon to give a subtle hint of an added natural flavour.
While sitting out on the patio on Sunday afternoon, it was pretty warm, and after working in the garden, I was looking for both something refreshing but also that felt like a “treat”.
The answer was - an apple cider vinegar “cocktail”. This is one of those fermented foods that you may have heard of, so it is an additional way of getting good bacteria into your diet. I have to say, I actually crave it at times, as it does have a nice tang and the health benefits have been touted for many years, and has been noted to be consumed back before 55 BC.
First how to make it:
Take ice and 8 ounces of water in a glass
Add apple cider vinegar - starting with 1/2 tsp, and slowly work up to 1 Tbsp over a few weeks.
Now you can add other things if you don’t like the tartness, such as a flavoured stevia (I love pomegranate), honey, or other fresh real fruit juice, or even lemon.
Mix and enjoy!
A search on the internet can find many different and exciting recipes.
Now, the details and benefits:
Here are some of the health details on this concoction… A search on the internet of Apple Cider Vinegar will show many results, so be sure to focus on site that are credible such as educational and ones that refer to studies and research.
So, what is it? To make apple cider vinegar, apples are crushed and the juice extracted. Then the juice is fermented (by yeast) to turn the sugar to alcohol. A secondary bacterial fermentation by acetobacter then turns the alcohol into acetic acid. The acidity of the vinegar is a mixture of this acetic acid and the naturally occurring malic acid from the apple juice. Your want to find brands, like Bragg’s, that has the “mother” in it. Avoid distilled as those have all the goodness removed. Organic and not pasteurized are what you are looking for here.
Note - as it is a weak acid it is recommended to consume diluted in water or other liquid, or use in a dressing, along with other ingredients to dilute.
Short list of benefits - improves digestion, curb appetite, improve metabolism and possibly triglyceride and cholesterol levels, as well as balance blood sugar and improve insulin resistance. There are more benefits noticed, but those are the main ones.
Lastly, the rules and warnings:
Always dilute Apple Cider Vinegar! In any and all uses, regardless if consuming or putting on skin or hair, dilute!
Start with small amount, 1/2 tsp in a glass of water, to no more than 2 Tbsp a day, slowly increasing each week.
Some people it may not be recommended for - such as those who have low potassium, which can happen if you are taking diuretics for high blood pressure. The issue is that along with medications, if you are also consuming apple cider vinegar, regularly, and in high amounts (more than a few tablespoons a day), you should watch your potassium levels by checking with your doctor.
Also, those with type 1 diabetes also need to be watchful for any changes in blood sugar or digestive activity after consuming apple cider vinegar.
Be careful with some diet changes, especially for those on medications, however, here we always refer to normal food quantities of natural sources, not high doses. Just be mindful of any changes to your situation and alway check with your health care professional if you have any concerns.
Enjoy and have a great week!