Why is vinegar good for you and your gut?
Vinegar is a staple pantry item in many kitchens, because it is such a versatile ingredient. This fermented food is not only flavorful, but it’s also great for your gut! Vinegar promotes a healthy gut microbiome, full of beneficial bacteria.
One study looked at the effect that vinegar consumption has on the gut microbiome in rats with hyperlipidemia. Hyperlipidemia is associated with higher levels of pathogenic bacteria and lower levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut. In this study, the rats that were given the vinegar treatment experienced an increase in beneficial bacteria, and a decrease in pathogenic bacteria, revealing vinegar’s ability to combat gut dysbiosis. In correcting the microbiome composition, the vinegar-fed rats experienced improved blood lipids, decreased oxidative stress, and decreased inflammation.
The lining of the gut is important for intestinal, and overall immunity, as it serves as a barrier between the body and the outside environment and protects against pathogenic invasion. Vinegar contains polyphenols that alter gut microbiota, and support intestinal homeostasis, as well as the integrity of the intestinal lining.
Some of these polyphenols in vinegar are antioxidants as well as protective for the gut lining, and the antioxidant properties can reduce the production of free radicals created due to alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption leads to increased production of oxidative species and damages liver cells, increasing one’s risk of alcohol-induced liver disease. Alcohol also has been shown to cause gut dysbiosis, and damage the intestinal lining. Vinegar has a direct, positive impact on the gut microbiome, and is effective at lowering one’s risk of alcohol-induced liver damage by enhancing the production of essential gut microbes that protect the cells of the intestinal lining and reducing inflammation.
Ways to eat it
Use vinegar in homemade salad dressings!
Glaze vegetables with vinegar as a great way to add a sweet, caramelized flavor without any added sugar.
Pickle vegetables fast, using vinegar as the brine!
Recipe: Blueberry Ginger Dressing
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
1/8 cup water
1/8 cup raspberries
1 Tbsp vinegar (apple cider vinegar is preferred)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
Add to any salad as a dressing.
Heal with each meal!
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Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2021, August 12). Vinegar. https://www.britannica.com/topic/vinegar
Song, J., Zhang, J., Su, Y., Zhang, X., Li, J., Tu, L., Yu, J., Zheng, Y., & Wang, M. (2020).
Monascus vinegar-mediated alternation of gut microbiota and its correlation with lipid metabolism and inflammation in hyperlipidemic rats. Journal of Functional Foods, 74, 104152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2020.104152
Villageliú, D., & Lyte, M. (2018). Dopamine production in Enterococcus faecium: A microbial
endocrinology-based mechanism for the selection of probiotics based on neurochemical-producing potential. PLOS ONE, 13(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207038
Xia, T., Zhang, B., Li, S., Fang, B., Duan, W., Zhang, J., Song, J., & Wang, M. (2020, March 11).
Vinegar extract ameliorates alcohol-induced liver damage associated with the modulation of gut microbiota in mice. Food & Function, 11(4), 2898–2909. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9fo03015h