Step Aside Apple Cider Vinegar – there’s a new vinegar in town
What is Coconut Vinegar?
Oh, how I love all things fermented (to keep on trend with gut health)! And coconut vinegar falls very nicely into this fermented category. It’s kind of the long last cousin to the other popular fermented vinegars – balsamic and apple cider vinegar.
It is made from the water or the sap of the coconut, but apparently, to get its full benefit – go for the vinegar made from the sap. The sap contains probiotics, enzymes and high amounts of amino acids, whereas the water is said to be more diluted.
Coconut vinegar is the predominant condiment in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines. It has a cloudy white appearance with a very pungent acidic taste.
Benefits of Coconut Vinegar
Coconut trees generally grow in supa dupa nutrient dense soil (often volcanic soil), so this means that the sap that is harvested, is crammed full of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), vitamins, fibre and prebiotics. It is particularly rich in potassium, which helps balance electrolytes, maintain a healthy blood pressure and metabolize sugar.
Here are 4 reasons why you should be consuming coconut vinegar:
It has a very low glycaemic index!!!! Why am I so happy about that? Well, because its sugars are released slowly into our blood stream (aka – a low glycaemic index), it can help with reducing appetite and cravings (the magical words most of us long to hear). “Coconut vinegar is food appropriate for diabetic patients, as it is very low on the glycaemic index, coming in at only 35 on the scale.” (1) It won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar and it helps to regulate your blood sugar.
Due to its high pre and probiotic content, it is said to be a fantastic digestive aid. Vinegars are said to increase our stomach acid, which is essential for proper protein digestion. It encourages the growth of our friendly bacteria and keeps our gut healthy.
It balances our pH and can reduce excess acidity, thereby potentially combatting acidic conditions, such as gout and heartburn. When the body has less acidity – it naturally reduces the amount of inflammation too.
The high level of amino acids found in the vinegar, are great for boosting our overall health as well. The sap contains all 9 of the essential amino acids and 8 of the non-essential amino acids. Amino acids are important because they make up our proteins. And there are proteins in every cell. Among a very long list of what amino acids do, they also help repair our muscle tissue, and help with muscle growth and weight loss.
It can boost your immune system. Coconut vinegar contains amazing anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties, which help fight off infection. Usually, most bugs love an acidic environment inside the body. But due to its alkalizing effect on the body – bugs don’t want to hang around in it!
It helps to improve the health of your skin. Taking it internally may improve your skin, due it all its health benefits. Applying it topically, may also boost the appearance of your skin. Apparently it can help reduce dark circles, help with acne scars and reduce fine lines!
How to use Coconut Vinegar
Coconut vinegar contains no calories or sugar, but it does contain acetic acid. According to studies, acetic acid has been shown to suppress the appetite, therefore, drinking some vinegar in water, not only stabilizes our blood sugar – lessening cravings – it may also reduce our appetite! Try whisking it into a dressing or adding it into sauces and marinades.
As a beauty treatment, you could use coconut vinegar as you would apple cider vinegar. For your face, you could use the diluted vinegar as a toner, applying it to the skin on a cotton wool ball. It has anti-bacterial properties which may help prevent acne.
For your hair – You could use it as a treatment on your scalp or as a rinse for shiny, healthy hair.
It’s a little too sharp to drink on the rocks, so here are some ideas of how to consume your coconut vinegar fix:
Mix it with a little mustard and olive oil and use it as a salad dressing.
Dilute it with water and some honey and have it first thing in the morning. This a wonderful way to alkalize the system, thin out mucous, wake the digestion up and detox the body before you’ve even left the house!
Mix a tablespoon of the vinegar in a glass of water and have it in between meals.
Just be careful when drinking coconut vinegar – it can burn the throat if it isn’t diluted and it may have an abrasive effect on the enamel of your teeth. It is also always a good idea to check with your health care practitioner if you are unsure about using a new product.
What could you use as a Coconut Vinegar Substitute?
Mix together the following:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.
1/4 cup sherry.
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar.
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