The low down: Apple cider vinegar

If you are interested in health and wellness just as I am you have probably come across Apple Cider Vinegar before. But do you really know what it is and why it is so great?

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is made in a two-step process. First, crushed apples are exposed to yeast, which ferment the sugars in the apple and turn them into alcohol. Bacteria is then added to the alcohol product, which further ferment it and turns it into acetic acid which is the main active ingredient in vinegar.

Acetic acid is anti-bacterial and can help kill pathogens, including bacteria. Which is why it is commonly used as a DIY household cleaning product. The benefits of ACV don’t stop there. It is touted as the best daily health drink that promises amazing detox benefits.

Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s) contains the “mother,” strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria. It looks murky at the bottom of the bottle. Similar to miso soup, when you swirl it, it should keep moving and not settle, meaning the good bacteria in the fermented product is alive.

People believe that the “mother” is responsible for most of the health benefits.

Bragg’s is also certified organic. By choosing organic you are getting the highest possible quality product. The more processing the vinegar goes through, the less effective it will be.

Fun fact: In French, the word “vinegar” means “sour wine.”

How Do You Use It?

The best way to incorporate it into your diet is to use it in your cooking for salad dressings, mayonnaise etc.

Others like to drink it before meals diluted in water. The ratio is up to you but common ratios range from 1-2 teaspoons to 1-2 tablespoons per day. Personally, I drink 1 Tbsp mix with 2 Tbsp water in a shot glass every morning, half an hour before breakfast. This way I get it down quickly. I follow up with a tall glass of water. Other people mix 1 Tbsp in a full glass of water. I find this takes way too long to drink but I encourage you to experiment and find the way that best works for you. You can up your intake to 2 Tbsp per day, one with breakfast and one with lunch.

If you want to have it before all of your meals, reduce the amount of ACV per intake throughout the day to not exceed 2 Tbsp per day.

ACV also has other non-health related uses like hair conditioning, skin care, dental care and as a cleaning agent (see below). These can be highly useful for people who like to keep things as natural and chemical-free as possible.

Benefits of ACV

  1. May lower blood sugar levels.

Elevated blood sugar is believed to be a major cause of ageing and prolonged diseases. For this reason, everyone can benefit from keeping their blood sugar levels stable. The most effective and healthiest way to do this is to avoid refined carbs and sugar, but ACV  may also have a powerful effect.  ACV has shown potential in improving insulin sensitivity and helping to lower blood sugar responses after meals.

  1. Improved digestion

Drinking ACV in water can help to naturally improve your digestion. Taking the shot of ACV in the morning stimulates your digestive juices for better breakdown of your food. It’s especially helpful when you’re experiencing a bacterial tummy bug. Because ACV contains high levels of acetic acid, you can expect your body’s absorption of important minerals from your food to be far more effective.

  1. Balances gut bacteria and can help your body get rid of candida

ACV is full of powerful acids that are known to improve your intestinal flora.  ACV is rich in natural enzymes that can help rid your body of candida—yeasts that are attributed to thrush in humans. Candida also is blamed for creating symptoms of fatigue, poor memory, sugar cravings, and yeast infections.

  1. Natural ACV regulates the pH of your skin

Dilute ACV with two parts water, and spread the concoction over your face with a cotton ball to replace your current toner. You can do this at night after washing, and in the morning before you apply your moisturizer. A dab of ACV can also be left on the skin overnight to fade age spots or acne scars. I use this instead of buying expensive organic skin toners.

It’s also a recommended agent for warts. For warts, soak a cotton ball in ACV, then fasten the cotton ball over the wart with a plaster overnight. Repeat every night until the wart falls off. Once it falls off, repeat for a few more days, to make sure the wart doesn’t return. I can vouch that this does indeed work, my wart has completely disappeared.

5. It can remove stains from teeth

Rub teeth directly with ACV, and rinse with water

6. It can soothe sun burnt skin

Add a cup of ACV to your bath, and soak for 10 minutes to eliminate discomfort from sunburn

7. It can help you detox

As part of balancing the body’s pH, ACV creates an overall detoxification of the body. Research shows that it can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help detoxify the liver

8. ACV is great for your lymphatic system

ACV helps to break up mucus throughout the body and cleanse the lymph nodes. Research suggests that ACV can help with allergies because of its ability to reduce mucus and sinus congestion. When reducing the effects of allergies, it can also help stave off sinus infections and their related symptoms, such as sore throats and headaches.

Apple Cider Vinegar is pretty fantastic, and incorporating it into your diet and daily routine is going to bring about many benefits. Give it a try and let me know how you go with it.

Emma x

Nutrition References:
6 Proven Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://authoritynutrition.com/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/
15 Reasons to Use Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5875/15-Reasons-to-Use-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Every-Day.html
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