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Nutritionists in Pakistan are recommending that people add apple cider vinegar to their diets in Ramazan, as recent research studies indicate that apple cider concoctions (see Nutrition Table) provide a host of health benefits.
Prevents cramps. Rich in enzymes and amino acids, apple cider vinegar prevents the buildup of lactic acid in the body, which cause muscle fatigue and cramps.
Reduces blood pressure. Apple cider vinegar contains potassium, which, due to its blood-thinning properties, regulates blood pressure and is also believed to prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases.
Promotes digestion. Apple cider vinegar contains tartaric acid and pectin (a water-soluble fibre), which have anti-bacterial properties that cure gastrointestinal infections, soothe intestinal spasms and alleviate symptoms of diarrhoea. Ingesting a mixture of apple cider with grape juice 30 minutes before consuming a high-carb meal increases metabolic rates and prevents indigestion and heartburn.
Regulates blood sugar. Acetic acid in apple cider vinegar regulates sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, reducing their dependency on insulin. Research at the Arizona State University has revealed that regular intake of apple cider solutions at sehri and iftar help ward off diabetes-related complications.
Aids weight loss. Due to its high acetic acid content, apple cider vinegar reduces weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference and triglyceride (harmful fats) deposition. Furthermore, apple cider vinegar is rich in fibre, and can keep hunger pangs at bay, reducing calorie intake.
N.B: Apple cider vinegar in large doses is highly caustic. Consult your physician prior to use.
– Saba Gul Hasan
The writer is a dietician.
First published in the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 22, 2014.