Vinegar is more than a condiment. It's low in calories and a rich source of antioxidants. It does not have the ability to cleanse, or detox, your body, however. Of course, including vinegar as part of an overall healthy and balanced diet can help promote the health of the organs that do help cleanse your body. Consult your doctor to discuss cleansing diets.
There are a number of different types of vinegars, including balsamic, distilled and sherry. One in particular, apple cider vinegar, is promoted as a cure-all and body cleanser. Makers of the fruit vinegar suggest that it has the ability to remove toxins from your body. But there is no evidence to support any claims that a food can help cleanse your body of harmful substances, according to a 2008 article in Today's Dietitian.
Benefits of Vinegar
While vinegar may not be able to cleanse your body, it does offer health benefits. Apple cider, sherry and balsamic vinegar are all rich sources of antioxidants, which may help improve your body's defense system against free radical damage. Vinegar may also help prevent spikes in blood sugar after a meal and may aid in appetite control, according to a 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. In addition, preliminary evidence seems to indicate that vinegar offers benefits to your heart by aiding in blood pressure control and lowering cholesterol.
Healthy Diet for Cleansing
If you're trying to cleanse your body, vinegar may not be the way to go. Your liver and kidneys naturally cleanse your body; toxic substances are removed through your sweat, urine and stool. Eating a diet that promotes the health of these two organs is how you can help your body cleanse itself. That's a diet filled with foods rich in health-promoting nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and low in fat, sugar and salt.
Tips and Uses
Vinegar is a healthy addition to your diet and acts as a flavor enhancer to the healthy foods that keep you well. For example, you can use red wine or apple cider vinegar to make a salad dressing to add flavor to your favorite mixed greens. Versatile balsamic vinegar not only adds flavor to your salads, but it also goes well with proteins such as chicken or fish, as well as fruits such as strawberries and watermelon. You can use any vinegar as the acidic base in your favorite marinade, too.
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- Today's Dietitian: Spring Cleansing: Assessing the Benefits and Risks of Detox Diets
- Bragg Live Foods: Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
- Journal of Food Science: Functional Properties of Vinegar
- Journal of the American Dietetic Association: Vinegar and Peanut Products as Complementary Foods to Reduce Postprandial Glycemia
- KidsHealth: Are Detox Diets Safe?
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and sharing her love of food, nutrition and health with anyone who'll listen for almost 20 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and Working Mother.