Coconut Vinegar: Legit Superfood, or Health Hype? Here’s What You Need to Know
By: Amanda Suazo
- Coconut vinegar, derived from fermented coconut sap, is rich in probiotics and acetic acid that can help support a healthy gut.
- This vinegar has a lighter, sweeter flavor than apple cider vinegar, and you can easily substitute it in recipes that call for ACV.
- For best results, get a high-quality variety and observe how you feel after consuming it.
Apple cider vinegar has long reigned as a go-to solution for fat-burning, nutrient absorption, and clearer skin. But you may want to make space on your counter for another vinegar that promises equally powerful nutrients and tangy flavor in every bottle: Coconut vinegar.
Coconut vinegar may be a new addition to your local grocery store, but it’s been a pantry staple in Asia for centuries. Similar to ACV, this vinegar is loaded with probiotics and vitamins that feed your gut without spiking your blood sugar.
Should you try coconut vinegar? Learn how this wonder food is made, its research-backed benefits, and how to incorporate it into your diet.
What is coconut vinegar?
Coconut vinegar is a cloudy white vinegar derived from the naturally fermented sap of coconut blossoms. The fermentation process, in which the sap’s natural sugars break down, provides the perfect environment for “good” bacteria to multiply — making this vinegar rich in probiotics that help support a healthier gut.
Since coconut trees often grow in nutrient-dense volcanic soil, their vinegar is chock-full of nutritious amino acids, B vitamins, and prebiotics (a food source for “good” gut bacteria). Plus, like apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar adds tart flavor with negligible fat, carbs, and sugars in a serving.
Health benefits of coconut vinegar
Early research on coconut vinegar shows promising benefits:
Supports fat burning: In one study on obese mice, coconut vinegar consumption led to weight loss, lower inflammation, and reduced blood lipids.
Improves liver health and recovery: Another study on mice found that consuming coconut vinegar improved overall liver health, including lowering inflammation and boosting antioxidant levels.
Strengthens your gut: Like many naturally fermented foods, coconut vinegar contains probiotics that can help create more good bacteria in your gut. Everyone tolerates fermented foods differently, though, so watch how you feel after enjoying it.
Coconut vinegar vs. apple cider vinegar
No need to play favorites: Coconut vinegar and apple cider vinegar tout many of the same benefits. Both get their cloudy appearance from a “mother” containing good bacteria and enzymes, and both contain antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Both vinegars also contain acetic acid, a compound that can help lower blood sugar.
The main difference? Coconut vinegar tastes sweeter and milder than apple cider vinegar, making it a solid alternative for anyone who finds ACV too acidic.
Should you try coconut vinegar?
Don’t toss your ACV just yet: While coconut vinegar looks promising, few studies directly support its benefits. And while coconuts are a perennial favorite food on the Bulletproof Diet, coconut products may still contain mold or mystery additives that can slow your performance to a standstill.
If you do choose to incorporate coconut vinegar into your diet, take a cautious approach:
- Get a high-quality variety. To collect more nutrients, choose unfiltered coconut vinegar “with the mother” made from coconut sap (not diluted coconut water). Try a brand like Dynamic Health.
- Observe how you feel. Fermented foods like coconut vinegar may not work for everyone. If you notice signs of a histamine reaction, such as brain fog or fatigue, stop using it.
How to cook with coconut vinegar
Use coconut vinegar wherever you would usually add apple cider vinegar. Add it to recipes like bone marrow broth or creamy vanilla sauce to deepen flavors, or add tart, tangy taste to quick pickled vegetables and salad dressings.
You can also blend coconut vinegar into a refreshing, detoxifying drink: Dilute 1 tablespoon with 8 ounces of water (plus turmeric, lemon, or cinnamon, if desired), and enjoy warm or cold. Rinse your mouth afterwards, since the acidity in vinegar can damage your tooth enamel.
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