Vinegar is probably best known for its relationship with chips. It’s been used for centuries as a preservative, for hygiene and as a treatment for ailments since the time of Hippocrates, around 400BC. It’s full of minerals, vitamins, amino acids and other bioactive products.

It comes in many different varieties: red or white wine; cider; balsamic; and it’s cheap too. It’s lauded in medical circles as a functional food -not only nutritious, but with the power to prevent and protect against disease.

Apple Cider

Probably the most health-giving of all vinegars.

It contains the same nutrients as apples – including pectin, beta-carotene and potassium – and its high potassium content encourages cell, tissue and organism growth, the enzymes help boost chemical reactions in the body and its calcium maintains healthy bones, helps transmit nerve impulses and regulates muscle contraction, and iron, essential for healthy blood. Magnesium has many beneficial effects on the body, especially the heart. Potassium rich, it gives us energy and helps prevent age-related illness. It enables the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid, which aids digestion, and can help prevent common digestive disorders as we get older.

Red wine

A cure-all for centuries, red wine vinegar has even been credited with helping the Roman army survive alien climates and battles.

Red wine vinegar full of anti-ageing antioxidants, and is cholesterol, sodium and fat free.

Without doubt it can help stave off age-related ailments such as heart disease and cancer. Like its alcoholic name sake, red wine vinegar can help lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure.

Add red wine vinegar to heart-healthy foods such as beans, vegetables, fruit, pasta and whole grain cereals for added taste.


‘Balsamico’ means balm in Italian. Its history includes being used for gargling, as a tonic and an air purifier against the plague. It’s high in antioxidants and potassium, and makes a very tasty vinaigrette. Its sweet, full flavour means it can even be used over vanilla ice cream and strawberries. Serve with olive oil for a tasty dip.

Add vinegar to…

  • hot water: inhale the vapour to clear congestion and lose headaches. Gargle with
  • warm water: gargle equal parts vinegar and warm water for a sore throat or sip to get rid of hiccups
  • cold water: drink a glass of water with a teaspoon of vinegar to alleviate nausea

Have a look at a vinegar recipe: Olive oil and balsamic vinegar bread dip.

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