Discovered by accident more than 10,000 years ago, vinegar has long been purported to aid the body and health in numerous ways. Malt vinegar, made from grain rather than apples or other fruits, adds a complexity and sweetness to foods that is pleasant to the palate. The addition of malt vinegar to the diet has a variety of benefits.
Soon after its discovery thousands of years ago, the Greeks and Babylonians used vinegar as an antibiotic. Vinegar mixed with honey was purported to be useful in healing wounds and to increase vitality. Today, this preparation is suggested as a tonic for individuals suffering with the pain and inflammation of arthritis. One tbsp. of malt vinegar plus 1 tbsp. of honey added to an 8 oz. glass of water ingested daily is believed to ease pain and swelling of joints. Malt vinegar in this tonic has a more palatable taste than cider vinegar tonic, with the same beneficial results.
Use malt vinegar to promote weight loss by using it to replace high-calorie spreads such as mayonnaise and salad dressings. Many believe the acidic properties of vinegar promote weight loss by aiding the breakdown of fats in the body. Add malt vinegar to salads, hot vegetable dishes and fried foods. In the United Kingdom, people add malt vinegar to fish and chips or french fries as a condiment.
Using malt vinegar daily reportedly aids the body in calcium absorption. This is especially important if you are unable to drink milk due to lactose intolerance or are a vegan who does not consume milk or dairy products in your diet. Drinking a tonic of 1 tbsp. of vinegar added to an 8 oz. glass of water daily or adding malt vinegar to your food will help the body properly utilize calcium ingested via non-dairy foods or as food supplements.
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Giving fresh fruits and vegetables a mild vinegar bath before consuming them removes the harmful residue of pesticides that may have been used during growing. To prepare a produce bath, add approximately two gallons of cool water to a clean sink. Add 1/2 cup of malt, apple cider or white vinegar and stir. Bathe the fruit and vegetables in the bath, drying each after washing.
Robin Devereaux has been writing professionally for more than 25 years. She has written for "The Sowell Review, "Health and Healing Magazine" and has been a contributor to several local Eastern Michigan publications. Robin is a graduate of the Central Michigan University Arts Program.