Vinegar Notes

Vinegar turns out to be pretty darn healthy! (Tip: Pickle juice is vinegar with flavor!)


  • The book Enzyme Nutrition points out that raw foods stay in the stomach longer and are digested by internal enzymes, sparing the body from having to produce the enzymes itself.
  • The same book points out that enzymes begin to denature at 145 degrees. (Vitamins are a kind of enzyme.) Since pasteurization takes place at 160 degrees for 20 minutes or more (Fit for Life, by Harvey & Marilyn Diamond), a pasteurized food has its vitamins & enzymes killed. Hence raw, unrefined vinegars & oils.
  • Cider Vinegar, pg. 16: “Cider Vinegar bears a closer resemblance to the digestive juices than does any other liquid.” In other words, the enzymes in raw vinegar improve digestion, so more nutrients are assimilated, and spare the body from making so many enzymes, conserving energy.
  • From The Miracle of Garlic and Vinegar (small booklet found in a supermarket): Cider vinegar is also a rich source of pectin, a water-soluble fiber that slows digestion and thereby reduces the glycemic response to food. It is rich in boron, required for calcium metabolism & the production of steroid hormones, caretenoids (potent antioxidants), and potassium.
  • It is likely that many of the same attributes of apple cider vinegar can be found in natural rice vinegar.
  • The vinegar must be organic, as well as unpasteurized, or else it is not nearly as beneficial. Reason: organic soils contain microbes which surround plant roots and bind minerals. That is how plants take them up. No microbes = no trace minerals (boron or potassium, for example). The plants don’t need them, which is why we got away with growing them on nitrogen, phosphorous, and potash for so long. But we need them—our bodies evolved on foods that contain them.

Finding Unrefined Vinegar

I get unrefined vinegars and oils from the local whole foods store. In the south bay area (around San Jose and the San Francisco peninsula) there are four or five I can go to. Sometimes I have to go to all of them, but I can usually find whatever I want. They carry organic produce and aisles full of healthier-than normal food, so I guess I’m pretty lucky.

There are several good brands of unrefined (unpasteurized) ACV. Sterling is one, Hain’s and Spectrum are also good. Bragg’s ACV is another. There is also an organic brown rice vinegar I’ve found that I love on salads.

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