The wellness industry is constantly brimming with food trends — celery juice, activated charcoal, and cauliflower rice. They provide great health benefits, and are super delicious as well! Today, we’re talking and breaking down all-things apple cider vinegar. You might be wondering, is that shot of ACV worth the hype? Many claim it can relieve a wide range of health issues. However, not all are backed by science. With research to prove it, we’ve distilled the true health benefits of apple cider vinegar and why it could be the immune-booster you need this winter.
What is apple cider vinegar?
You’ve probably heard of apple cider vinegar, but you aren’t entirely sure what it is. Apple cider vinegar is fermented apple juice, and it’s made by crushing apples, then squeezing out the juice. Although it’s mostly apple juice, adding yeast turns the natural sugars into alcohol. This process is called fermentation. Long story short, apple cider vinegar is basically fermented juice. It contains a variety of nutrients. Across global cultures and cuisines, ACV is a popular ingredient. It’s used in salad dressings, marinades, food preservatives, chutneys, and more.
It started with Hippocrates.
The history of vinegar began around 5,000 B.C. At the time, Babylonians used date palm fruit to make vinegar. Later, Hippocrates put apple cider vinegar on the map. The father of modern medicine, he prescribed apple cider vinegar for a variety of illnesses. Mixed with honey, he prescribed ACV for coughs and colds. Since then, it’s been used as an alternative medicine. ACV also has a strong history in Africa and China. More recently, it has become popular for cleansing, weight loss, controlling diabetes, lowering cholesterol, and more. The health benefits of apple cider vinegar make it a modern-day cure all.
How to consume apple cider vinegar?
If you’re a newbie to ACV, do these two things. First, dilute it — ingesting undiluted apple cider vinegar (or any kind of vinegar) can cause unwanted side effects. More on that, below. To protect your throat and esophagus, dilute 5-10 parts water to every 1 part vinegar (mixing 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water). Second, consume it with a meal. Ideally, breakfast. It’s recommended to have it with a meal, initially, to see how you feel. Rather than take it on an empty stomach, consume your diluted apple cider vinegar with food. In turn, you won’t experience that acidic effect of ACV sitting in your stomach. Eventually, you can toy with taking diluted ACV on an empty stomach.
Dangers of too much apple cider vinegar.
Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? In the case of apple cider vinegar, the answer is yes. Too much apple cider vinegar can cause a host of unwanted side effects. For example, weakened tooth enamel, increased acid reflux, and nausea. Because ACV is an acid, it can have a corrosive effect on teeth. Furthermore, it can exacerbate nausea and cause an acidic burning sensation. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?
According to research, too much ACV can also interfere with certain medications. If you currently take diabetes medications, blood potassium-lowering drugs, and some diuretic supplements, be sure to consult with your doctor. There is also some research that shows taking it every day, long-term, can have effects on potassium levels. It can also contribute to osteoporosis. At any rate, talk with your doctor before beginning consuming apple cider vinegar, routinely.
Can you take apple cider vinegar when pregnant?
Women may use pasteurized apple cider vinegar, safely, during pregnancy. However, women should only use unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with caution. Talk to your doctor before using unpasteurized vinegars while pregnant.
6 health benefits of apple cider vinegar:
There are a variety of health goals that apple cider vinegar might support. These are the top six health benefits of apple cider vinegar:
It can help regulate blood sugar.
Studies have proved that apple cider vinegar slows down the rate at which carbohydrates turn into sugar and also unveiled that ACV significantly lowered post-meal blood glucose levels. ACV won’t cure diabetes, but it may moderately lower blood glucose levels.
It may aid in weight loss.
More studies have shown that ACV might help with weight loss. Researchers have also found that ACV decreased cholesterol levels. Therefore, apple cider vinegar may have a modest effect on weight loss. However, exercise and eating healthy are equally important.
It can increase nutrient absorption.
Apple cider vinegar contains vitamins C and B, as well as acetic acid. Acetic acid, in particular, increases the body’s absorption of important minerals from food. In other words, ACV can aid in utilizing more nutrients from the food you eat.
Apple cider vinegar can have immune-boosting qualities.
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar often contains the ‘mother’ which is a mix of yeast and bacteria. Together, they work as probiotics. Researchers have found that probiotics have an immune-boosting quality that effectively fights influenza-like respiratory infections and the common cold.
Speaking of bacteria, ACV can help kill harmful bacteria.
The main substance in vinegar — acetic acid, it can kill harmful bacteria, and also prevent them from multiplying. ACV can also be used as a disinfectant and natural preservative. You can also create your own all-purpose cleaner with apple cider vinegar.
It might prevent an irritated scalp.
There are a variety of ways to boost hair health, and ACV could be one of them. By increasing acidity and lowering pH, apple cider vinegar may support smoothness, strength, and shine. Apple cider vinegar’s antimicrobial powers are also well-supported by research. It could keep scalp problems related to fungus or bacteria at bay, thereby preventing itchy scalp.
Trusted apple cider vinegar brands:
First and foremost, choose ACV that contains the ‘mother.’ The ‘mother’ has all the good stuff. It means your ACV’s been fermented, contains good-for-you bacteria (probiotics), protein, and enzymes to aid in digestion.
For everyday tonics, marinades, etc. Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the most popular brands of ACV on the market. Made from organic apple cider vinegar and water, Bragg’s vinegar is USDA-certified organic, non-GMO certified, and contains the ‘mother.’
Kevala is another trusted ACV brand. This vinegar is USDA-certified organic, non-GMO verified, and free of additives. It’s also a good bang for your buck. Given that it’s less expensive, this vinegar can be a great option for culinary use, cleaning, or beauty.
Last but not least, Goli Nutrition. If you’d rather take an ACV gummy than a shot, Goli Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies are one of the highest quality options.
6 delicious apple cider vinegar recipes:
Given the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, try incorporating this ingredient into teas, tonics, salad dressings, and pickled vegetables — the sky’s the limit.
Apple Cider Vinegar Shots
Right out the gate, these ACV shots are very simple to make. Plus, they taste delicious and aid in boosting immunity and supporting a healthy body. Part sweet, part tart, these shots contain a variety of health benefits. They’re also a popular home remedy whenever you’re feeling under the weather.
Reset Vegetable Soup
In need of a quick reset? This soup with apple cider vinegar is the answer. This soup is hearty and loaded with healthy vegetables. Light yet filling, it’s packed with nutrients and fiber. It’s also naturally vegan and gluten-free. Feeling nourished never tasted so good.
Immune-Boosting Fire Cider
More cider, less fire, this folk remedy concoction is full of antimicrobial vegetables, roots, spices, and herbs. It provides immune support all winter long. The beauty of this recipe is you can choose ingredients that call to you. Although it needs to sit for 4-6 weeks, the wait is worth it — one shot a day keeps the doctor away.
Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Tea
This apple cider vinegar detox tea is the perfect warm drink to start your morning. Boost your health before your cup of coffee, and you’ll be feeling energized all day. Best of all, it includes raw honey, which also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Kale Stir Fry With An Apple Cider Vinegar Sauce
Ever tried an apple cider vinegar reduction? It’s incredibly easy and bursting with flavor. This gluten-free and vegan stir-fry is nourishing, hearty, and a reminder to eat your vegetables. Plus, it’s a creative way to use ACV — packed with protein and fiber, it will keep you full from lunch until dinner.
Garlic & Dill Pickled Red Onions
Tart yet sweet, crunchy and delightful, you’ll always want a batch of these pickled red onions on hand. If you don’t have an onion on hand, you can pickle a variety of vegetables with this recipe: Carrot ribbons, thinly sliced radishes, chopped cucumbers, or green beans. Pickled veggies are one of the best things to have on hand. They’re super versatile and elevate any savory dish.
For a very long period of time, apple cider vinegar was used as a natural remedy for health problems. In fact, it’s an ancient remedy, and it seems that we’re becoming more aware of those benefits these days, but they were always there, like a re-discovery. More people are trying to improve their life by making healthier and more natural choices these days and that’s why you’ll see apple cider vinegar pretty much anywhere there’s a conversation about health, food, and natural remedies. Hopefully these recipes will inspire you to intake more apple cider vinegar into your diet.
Stay safe, healthy, and live life to the fullest.