Food cravings can happen for a lot of reasons. Often it’s just nostalgia, looking to recreate a happy memory associated with food. Of course, we’ve all heard of pregnancy cravings and how the body can want some unusual items. And then sometimes food cravings are caused by a dietary requirement – it can be your body’s way of letting you know you need something.
You won’t be surprised to hear that, especially with the nostalgia/happiness factor, chocolate is the most common craving, along with baked sweets. Of course, we’ve all probably experienced a sugar craving. However, some other food cravings may surprise you more.
One of these is vinegar. It’s actually relatively common for someone to crave vinegar. So let’s look at the health benefits of vinegar and why your body might be telling you that it desperately wants you to eat some.
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Vinegar and Antioxidant Benefits
There are many different kinds of vinegar. It’s made by infusing grain alcohol with oxygen, which causes bacteria to grow and then form acetic acid. Two of the most common alcohols used are white wine and cider, although plain white vinegar is made using a standard grain. So, if you choose cider vinegar, you’re essentially enjoying vinegar made from apples (although it’s been refined through several processes).
Apple cider vinegar varies depending on how it’s made – it’s not a standard product. Unfortunately, this means that not every type will have the same health benefits, and they will likely lose some of the antioxidant benefits of natural fruit during manufacturing.
However, apple cider vinegar does have some antioxidant properties if you buy a good brand. These can help your body by tackling heart problems and improving your immune system.
Vinegar can also have other health benefits, such as killing pathogens like bacteria. It’s very effective at neutralizing harmful bacteria, which is why it’s used to preserve some foods. So you might be craving’ pickle juice’ instead of thinking you want vinegar despite them being the same thing.
Some vinegar has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, which makes it practical for anyone looking to manage their diabetes. It’s essential that it is not seen as a miracle treatment, though, and should only be taken as a standalone product in consultation with your doctor and alongside regular medication.
Other health benefits of vinegar include potentially aiding weight loss, as it leaves you feeling more full. Studies have shown it can be a remedy for specific skin conditions since the acids can help to re-balance the skin’s pH and create a natural barrier against harmful bacteria.
What Does It Mean When You Crave Vinegar?
Whether you’ve got a strong desire for some dill pickles or craving salt and vinegar chips, it can mean that your stomach acid is low. When you’re craving acidic foods, it can be your body’s way of letting you know that it’s struggling to produce enough acid and needs a helping hand.
Low stomach acid can be caused by several factors. One of the most common is stress. If you’re overworked or feeling anxious, your body will react, which can mean you don’t have enough acid to effectively break down the foods you’re eating.
Another noted reason for cravings for vinegar is that it can signify a nutritional deficiency. Suppose you aren’t eating a balanced diet and getting the right fruits and vegetables, and therefore the proper nutrients into your body. In that case, you can crave unusual items like vinegar.
What Do You Need if You Crave Vinegar?
If you’re craving vinegar, you likely need to eat some acidic foods or foods that are good for nutrients.
Many fruits can help with both of these. You can enjoy some delicious acidic fruits and add much-needed nutrients and antioxidants to your body.
Unsurprisingly, the most acidic fruits are some of the citrus options available, such as lemons and limes. While most don’t enjoy eating these fruits alone, their pure juices can help with a number of health benefits along with the acid. For example, some studies show that the flavonoids in these fruits can lower the risk of strokes and boost your immune system and blood pressure.
Grapes are actually one of the most acidic fruits you can enjoy. They’re very high in Vitamins C and K, and they are high in many antioxidant compounds. Eating red grapes will also give you anthocyanins, which can help fight some of the causes of cancer and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Blueberries are one of the best fruits for antioxidants, and they are more acidic than apples and oranges. Suppose you want to improve your digestion and boost your flavonoid levels to help your immune system and strengthen your heart health. Then blueberries could be an excellent addition to your diet.
Of course, you can’t discuss acidic fruits without mentioning apples, considering they are what ultimately make the delicious apple cider vinegar. Apples are incredibly nutritious, and they can be perfect for weight loss – they are filling thanks to them being high in fiber and water. But, of course, if you’re using acidic foods to fight bloating (more on that below), this makes apples a poor choice.
Many think that oranges are the most acidic fruit. However, their pH level is somewhere between 3 and 4, which is still pretty acidic but nowhere near the 2.0 that a lemon often is. Oranges are very high in Vitamin C and provide many valuable antioxidants, including carotenoids and flavonoids
If you have a persistent vinegar craving that could mean low stomach acid levels or a nutrient deficiency, increasing your consumption of these fruits alone is unlikely to resolve the issue.
If you have concerns about your health that could be causing a constant vinegar craving that feels abnormal, visit your doctor. You might also be pregnant if it’s a craving for specific food items – if other symptoms line up, it may be worth getting a pregnancy test. Most cravings start in later pregnancy, not the first few weeks.
Another thing to note is that overconsumption of acidic foods can harm your teeth. Foods with a high acid content will likely erode your dental enamel faster. So don’t eat too many of them, and brush your teeth immediately after eating something acidic.
What Does Vinegar Do to Your Digestive System?
Because vinegar is acidic, it can help to aid digestion as it works with your natural stomach acid to break down other foods quicker.
So, if you’re feeling bloated, you could try apple cider vinegar as one way of helping to reduce your symptoms. It would help if you didn’t consume it neat, though – it needs to be diluted. Otherwise, it can damage your teeth, tongue, or esophagus. Instead, mix a tablespoon of the vinegar with a small glass of water, and you should be safe.
It’s also recommended that you don’t ingest apple cider vinegar within 30 minutes of going to bed. If you have too much acid in your stomach, lying down too soon after eating acidic food can cause acid reflux.
Or, you can try fruit juices, or a light salad with an apple cider vinegar dressing, as another means to tackling your bloating issue.
Apple cider vinegar is also available in capsule form. These supplements advertise themselves as suitable for specific detox diets and help manage weight loss. However, you should always consult your doctor before taking acid-based supplements if you have any dietary conditions, as this can cause further problems.
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Vinegar, particularly apple cider vinegar, is a versatile product with several health benefits. It can preserve foods like pickles or make a salad even more refreshing and delicious as a dressing. In addition, you can try it diluted with water to help with bloating.
Suppose you’re craving vinegar but don’t actually want to eat it. Any acidic fruit will help manage that and tackle some of the causes of vinegar cravings, such as nutritional deficiencies.
With anything acidic, it’s important to only eat it in moderation. If you have a poor diet, acidic foods can cause acid reflux, a painful and damaging condition. It can also accelerate dental problems as the enamel is worn away.
Also, remember that if you buy too much vinegar and don’t want to eat it all, it’s excellent for toning skin or as an all-purpose cleaner. Also, use it to disinfect items, as vinegar can remove stubborn marks and kill bacteria.
Which is your favorite vinegar? Perhaps it’s white or red wine vinegar instead of apple cider? And have you ever craved vinegar yourself? Leave a comment with your story.