Combining garlic and vinegar for dietary purposes certainly isn’t a new idea. Both ingredients have been in use for centuries, and they have both been used as food additives and for medicines. Both items have been scientifically researched to validate some of the folksy claims surrounding their medicinal use. Support for the garlic and vinegar diet grown since the turn of the century as researchers validate their healthy properties. Please consult your physician before making changes to your diet.
Garlic has been used as a medicine, according to Sumerian clay tablets, dating back 4,600 years. Since the 1970s, there have been more than 46 human studies regarding the effects of garlic on cardiovascular health, according to a 2002 “Nutrition Journal” article by Sanjay K Banerjee and Subir K Maulik. Raw garlic, used in 4- to 6-week studies, shows a significant decrease in cholesterol, triglycerides and hypertension, three known heart disease risk factors. All of the clinical trials administered 600 to 900 milligrams of garlic daily during the trials.
Vinegar has been throughout the ages as a food flavoring, preservative and medicine. It wasn’t until 1958, when the book “Folk Medicine” by Dr. DeForest Jarvis was published, that vinegar gained popularity as a weight-loss aid. According to a 2002 "Medscape General Medicine article" by Carol S. Johnston, PhD, RD and Cindy A. Gaas, BS, since the turn of the century, scientists have been evaluating vinegar’s ability to burn fat, reduce cholesterol and increase vitality, Thus far, they have only stated that vinegar shows promise when it comes to weight loss, but they do conclude that more research is needed.
According to traditional Chinese medicine expert Tom Fung, combining equal parts garlic and vinegar is good for health maintenance and medical use. Fung says to take 2 to 4 tablespoons of the mixture after each meal to fight against obesity, cold and cough, fatigue, stress, heart disease and arthritis. He also notes a host of other ailments and conditions that garlic and vinegar can help with, including hepatitis, tuberculosis and intestinal parasites. Fung recommends using garlic and vinegar for the preparation and cooking of foods and that the mixture can be part of a salad dressing, but he warns that cooking the mixture can remove some of the health benefits.
Adding Garlic and Vinegar to Your Diet
There are small changes you can make to add garlic and vinegar to your diet, yielding major health benefits. Add chopped garlic to salads, sauces and soups. Puree garlic and chick-peas to make a fresh garlic hummus. Vinegar can be used as a marinade, salad dressing or added to fresh ice water as a drink.
Lack of Evidence
Although there are studies supporting garlic’s ability to reduce cholesterol levels, there are very few scientific correlations between garlic and vinegar’s weight-loss capability. However, vinegar can be high in vitamins and known blood pressure reducing minerals such as potassium and magnesium.
- Nutritional Journal: Effect of Garlic on Cardiovascular Disorders: A Review
- Medscape General Medicine: Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect
- Folk Medicine; DeForest C. Jarvis, M.D.
- Vitality Magazine: Make Your Own Chinese Health Tonic with Garlic & Vinegar
- The History Of: The History of Dieting – Our Love of Food Will Be the Death of Us!
- MedlinePlus.com: Garlic
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Garlic, Raw
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Vinegar, Cider
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Vinegar, Distilled