Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Switching gears with salad dressing

I love salads. I love them all year long.  I do really enjoy eating seasonal foods though, so this always prompts a change in salad dressings with the change in weather.  In spring, I loved anything covered with my dressing made with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, salt + pepper.  I just eyeball and mix, its good on everything but is divine with feta or goat cheese, grapes, and walnuts.  In summer, as my basil comes in, I add a pinch of that and its heavenly on tomatoes and avocado.  My official dressing of summer however involves cilantro.  I take cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, jalapeno, salt, and pepper.  There is nothing better on a salad filled with grilled shrimp, grilled corn, and avocado.  Now that its fall I've made a new dressing.  I love apples on my salad in fall, especially paired with walnuts.  This combination screams for tangy goodness.  Tonight I made a dressing with olive oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper.  It was simple, easy to make and delicious.  I tossed in a handful of dried cherries too and everyone enjoyed a simple, quick, and healthy dinner.

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar:

Scientific Evidence of Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

But there are some medical uses of vinegar that do have promise, at least according to a few studies.  Here's a rundown of some more recent ones.

  • Diabetes.  The effect of vinegar on blood glucose levels is perhaps the best-researched and the most promising of apple cider vinegar's possible health benefits.  Several studies have found that vinegar may help lower glucose levels. For instance, one 2007 study of 11 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose levels in the morning by 4%-6%.
  • High cholesterol.  A 2006 study showed evidence that vinegar could lower cholesterol. However, the study was done in rats, so it's too early to know how it might work in people.
  • Blood pressure and heart health.  Another study in rats found that vinegar could lower high blood pressure.  A large epidemiological study also found that people who ate oil and vinegar dressing on salads five to six times a week had lower rates of heart disease than people who didn't.  However, it's far from clear that the vinegar was the reason.
  • Cancer.  A few laboratory studies have found that vinegar may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.  Epidemiological studies of people have been confusing. One found that eating vinegar was associated with a decreased risk of esophageal cancer.  Another associated it with an increased risk of bladder cancer.
  • Weight Loss.  For thousands of years, vinegar has been used for weight loss.  White vinegar (and perhaps other types) might help people feel full.  A 2005 study of 12 people found that those who ate a piece of bread along with small amounts of white vinegar felt fuller and more satisfied than those who just ate the bread.  
  • Read the benefits here

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Chronicling my adventures in proving that less is more. I'll learn to refashion/recycle clothes, prepare gourmet meals using as many natural/basic/raw ingredients as possible. I'll learn to spend less, live more, and reclaim those things that are truly valuable in my life.

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