You don’t need to be a master chef to know that vinegar can add a tangy kick to salads, slaws, and meats. But your favorite balsamic dressings and vinaigrettes might have a benefit that you’re not even aware of. As it turns out, vinegar is a powerful weapon in the fight against memory decline and dementia.
Vinegar works its magic as an “anti-glycemic” – a fancy term for an agent which can reduce glucose levels. It targets many of the factors that contribute to cognitive decline such as diabetes, insulin resistance, and high blood sugar. That’s not to mention the acidic dressing’s power to help us keep off the pounds.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Vinegar
Dr. S. Mitchell Harman, president of the Kronos Longevity Research Institute in Phoenix, has been researching ways to lower blood glucose levels. While his team has tested a number of methods, they have found that nothing works quite as well as vinegar. This finding is borne out in tests with both human and animal subjects, suggesting that vinegar has a mechanism that is universally effective. Some of Dr. Harman’s recent studies attempt to identify the exact link between vinegar and blood sugar.1
Another expert, Dr. Jennie Brand-Miller, professor of human nutrition at University of Sydney in Australia, has also been researching the health benefits of vinegar. Her studies show that vinegar is a powerful antidote to foods that typically skyrocket blood sugar levels.2
Dr. Brand-Miller’s research has concluded that as little as a teaspoon of vinegar – the amount that you might consume while eating a dressed salad – can lower post-meal blood sugar peaks by as much as 30 percent. Adding a teaspoon of vinegar to starchy, blood-sugar-spiking foods like potatoes is shown to reduce glucose by 25 percent after eating.
And though it might sound like an old wives’ tale, Dr. Brand-Miller’s studies have shown two tablespoons of vinegar before bed will ensure that you wake up with lower blood sugar. For people at risk for diabetes, this trick can be an absolutely critical preventative measure.
The Australian researchers have theorized that vinegar works by slowing the digestion process, allowing us to feel full for longer. This means less of the idle snacking and overeating that we typically associate with simple carbohydrates.
Further strengthening the Australian theory, a study at Arizona State University showed that after consuming just one and a half tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, subjects ate two-hundred fewer calories at their next meal.3 This highlights the role that vinegar can play in fighting the physical factors (i.e., obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure) that lead to dementia and memory loss.
The Surprising Link Between
Vinegar And Dementia
Anyone who wants to take steps to prevent dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other cognitive decline should start incorporating vinegar into their diet. That’s because the link between high blood sugar and dementia is well documented.
A study authored by Dr. Paul K. Crane, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed just how strong the connection is.4 “The most interesting finding was that even incrementally higher glucose level was associated with a higher risk of dementia,” said Dr. Crane.
The reasoning behind the findings is that high blood sugar damages blood vessels throughout the body. Naturally, this includes the blood vessels in the brain, which are especially sensitive to such changes. In turn, one of the biggest causes of dementia and memory problems is poor blood flow to the brain.
What does this all mean? It’s time to start adding more vinegar to your diet. Whatever type you prefer, the effects will be the same – it’s the high acidity that counts. So, start stirring up balsamic vinaigrettes and vinegar-heavy cold slaw. Or, if you’re brave enough, eat it straight by the spoonful. Bon appétit!