The Power of ACV
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
If you follow health trends on the internet, you’re probably wary of the next-best-thing—that magical pixie dust that will be the antidote to all your woes.
While some of the things being written about apple cider vinegar might be slightly exaggerated, it does have a lot of very real health benefits and can be highly effective.
Using apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has been traced as far back as ancient Egypt, and it doesn’t look like its popularity will be waning any time soon.
It’s one of the most versatile products you could add to your home’s arsenal.
How is Apple Cider Vinegar Made?
Apple cider vinegar is a liquid produced during the fermentation of apple cider.
During this process, the sugar in the apples is fermented by yeast and/or bacteria and added to the cider, which then turns it into alcohol and, finally, into vinegar.
Like other types of vinegar, the key component in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid.
Apple cider vinegar also contains other substances such as lactic, citric, and malic acids, and beneficial bacteria.
ACV that is unfiltered and unpasteurized also contains a variety of beneficial minerals and trace nutrients.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an example of a product that has humble roots as a trend in natural health circles, but has quickly gone mainstream.
For those who are interested, there is no shortage of ways you can use ACV, from making a health tonic by diluting the vinegar with water, to brightening up a salad dressing, to integrated it into your skincare routine.
For centuries, apple cider vinegar has been used as a home remedy to treat many health ailments and as a disinfectant and natural preservative.
Source: Wong C., Fogoros R, MD. (2019) The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
The Key Benefits of ACV
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar appears to block enzymes that help you digest starch, resulting in a lower blood sugar response after starchy meals such as pasta, pizza, or bread.
ACV has been shown to have numerous benefits for blood sugar and insulin levels.
- It helps improve insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19–34%, and significantly lowers blood sugar and insulin responses.
- It can reduce blood sugar by 34% after eating 50 grams of white bread.
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime can also reduce fasting blood sugar in the morning.
For these reasons, vinegar can be useful for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or those who want to keep their blood sugar levels low for other reasons.
If you’re currently taking blood-sugar-lowering medications, check with your doctor before increasing your intake of any type of vinegar.
Research suggests that drinking apple cider vinegar can also help you lose weight, which is why people are adding it to tea, smoothies, or even just drinking it solo.
It’s also popular in marinades and salad dressings.
When you consume small amounts of acetic acid through apple cider vinegar, it helps activate your metabolism to help your body use fat as a form of energy rather than storing it.
The acetic acid in vinegar can also be beneficial as it has also been shown to help suppress appetite.
This could potentially assist dieters, because slower digestion keeps you feeling fuller, longer.
If you eat whole foods with a high starch content, like potatoes or rice, you can try making apple cider vinegar a daily precursor to your meals.
There is no official recommended dosage, since the research on apple cider vinegar use is limited, but it’s recommended that you mix one to two tablespoons with eight ounces of water to drink before (or just after) meal time.
Apple cider vinegar can help to dry out acne pimples when a solution is dabbed onto pimples.
It should be diluted before applying it to the face as it can cause irritation if it’s not diluted enough.
Different studies have also shown that apple cider vinegar as one of the best natural remedies to get rid of facial wrinkles.
- ACV is a good source of Vitamin E that helps transports nutrients into the skin cell.
- ACV also helps keep the skin hydrated.
- ACV can also help reduces fine lines and supports the production of collagen and elastin which can help reduce the wrinkles.
Some simple recipes for ACV and Skin Care:
A time-honored throat elixir, apple cider vinegar drinks, and gargles are said to quickly help alleviate the pain of a sore throat.
Although there are many different recipes and protocols, a popular drink recipe calls for a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of honey, and a small pinch of cayenne pepper and cinnamon stirred in a cup of warm water.
Apple cider vinegar is also said to help ease some types of heartburn, acid reflux, and digestive conditions like constipation or diarrhea.
For heartburn, apple cider vinegar is thought to work because it is acidic, and ironically a lack of stomach acid is believed to trigger heartburn symptoms in some people.
Many people actually suffer from low stomach acid which can cause pain after eating, similar to heartburn, and by taking acid reducers people impacted by low stomach acid can make the issue much worse.
Low stomach acid may impact a lot more people than we are lead to believe, but more on that massive topic for another article….
Apple cider vinegar also has anti-inflammatory properties, and some sources say that it can help relieve some of the symptoms of arthritis.
In studies ACV has been shown to help mildly reduce levels of the inflammatory chemical C-reactive protein, but the studies on this are limited.
Regulates Body PH
The term pH is short for “potential of hydrogen.” Simply put, pH is a scale that measures how acidic or alkaline something is.
If your body’s pH falls out of the recommended range, it can have serious or even fatal consequences, as internal processes can malfunction or stop completely.
Vinegar is mildly acidic with a pH of 2–3. Apple cider vinegar is slightly more alkaline than pure vinegar because it contains more alkaline nutrients.
However, it’s still overall acidic. This does not mean is cannot be helpful for pH balance, as both acid and alkalinity are important to help balance the body.
Using apple cider vinegar regularly can help balance your pH levels leading to a better mix of gut flora, which can help people with overall health and wellness.
Today, it is estimated by some studies that we come into contact with over 700,000 man made and natural chemicals each day! Some estimate it’s closer to 2.2 million!
Regardless, we cannot STRESS how important it is to your health, wellness and appearance to detoxify daily.
Being rich in natural minerals like sulfur, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, and vitamins / enzymes, makes apple cider vinegar a great addition to any detox.
The unique minerals and acids in apple cider vinegar can bind to toxins and help the body eliminate them more effectively.
Apple cider vinegar can also help to stimulate circulation and aid detoxification in the liver.
In ancient cultures ACV was often used to help purify the blood.
Another way apple cider vinegar aids detoxification is by breaking up mucus throughout the body and cleansing the lymph nodes to allow for better lymph circulation.
A healthy lymphatic system can remove toxins from the cells in the body while improving immune system response.
ACV Detox Drink Recipe
- 1 to 2 tbsp. of ACV
- 8 oz. of water
- Optional: add 1 to 2 tbsp. of a sweetener of choice (usually honey, maple syrup, or Stevia)
Other optional ingredients that can be added to this drink include:
- lemon juice
- apple juice
- cayenne pepper
If you really want a potent detoxification drink, mix 1 tbsp of ACV with 1 tsp of Organic Sulfur in a small glass and drink.
Doing this daily, will help you clean out your cells, keeping the body working more optimally! Remember healthier cells = a healthier body – SIMPLE.
Helps Supercharge The Immune System
Apple cider vinegar devotees claim that this miracle elixir is one of the main reasons they are able to ward of common illnesses.
This can most likely be chalked up to ACV’s unique blend of vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
It also possesses antimicrobial and antiseptic properties.
Apple cider vinegar is also purported to boost the immune system by helping to break up mucus, and support lymphatic drainage.
Recipe for ACV Cough & Cold Fighter:
How Does ACV Work?
ACV contains vitamins like B1, B2, B6 and C and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and iron.
The high nutritional content paired with the main ingredient, acetic acid, and a low pH is an ideal combination for good health support.
As we age, our stomachs become less acidic.
Add that with the standard deficiencies in our typical diets, and our bodies have to work even harder to digest food.
This for many leads to gas, bloating, fatigue, anemia, constipation and a host of other ailments.
The acetic acid in ACV promotes better digestion and the elimination of toxins in the body.
By using ACV everyday you can also help ease constipation and decrease water retention while increasing the absorption of nutrients.
Other Ways To Use ACV in Everyday Life…
Use It in Salad Dressings
Adding ACV to salad dressings is a tasty way to inject better wellness and digestion into any meal.
A simple and amazing detox ACV dressing to try:
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons raw honey (or even better with pure maple syrup)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper , to taste
Add To Health Teas/Drinks
A detoxifying tea with ACV is a great alternative to other calorie-heavy, caffeinated drinks like lattes and sodas.
1 cup warm water + 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar + 2 tbsp lemon juice + 1 tbsp honey + 1 tsp cinnamon + 1 dash cayenne
Add It To Homemade Hair Conditioners
One of the most popular beauty trends right now is using ACV to increase hair shine and softness.
The acetic pH can close up the hair follicle which in turn prevents frizzing and promotes shiny, smoothness.
2-4 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar 16 oz cool water.
After shampooing and rinsing your hair, mix the apple cider vinegar and water in a plastic bottle.
Leaning your head back, pour the rinse over your entire scalp, allowing the mixture to run through your hair.
Be careful to avoid contact with your eyes. Let the mixture sit on your hair for 1-2 minutes.
Then, rinse thoroughly. (Do 1 – 2x a week).
What to Look For When Buying ACV
So what should you look for when searching for the perfect apple cider vinegar?
Unpasteurized: Your apple cider vinegar SHOULD be unpasteurized.
Pasteurization is a heating process that’s used to kill harmful bacteria.
Unfortunately, the heating process will kill good bacteria as well. That’s why we need unpasteurized: we want the good bacteria.
Unfiltered: Unfiltered ensures that it contains the “mother” of vinegar.
The mother is the grainy, muddy, strain-like substance you will see settled at the bottom of the bottle.
If you shake the bottle, it will float. The mother contains the enzymes that you want to reap the health benefits of.
Organic: While this is not a must, it is good to know that we are buying vinegar made from certified organic apples.
An “organic” label means that they are pesticide-free.
Organic ACV features a more diverse cast of microbes than non-organic, suggesting that the organic has more health benefits to offer than the conventional.
When picking a brand, remember that more expensive brands are not necessarily the best brands.
Our Picks: The Best Brands of ACV
While all apple cider vinegar’s are the same thing, they definitely don’t all taste the same. You’ll likely need to try a range and decide which one tastes the best to you.
As one of the oldest brands of apple cider vinegar in the market, Bragg is also one of the most trusted brands to buy.
The California-based company says that 100% of its apples are sourced from within the United States. Because of this, they have better control of their quality. They use organic apples only, and claim that they’re free from arsenic and pesticides. They also claim to use wooden barrels, which “boosts its natural fermentation qualities.”
While this one smells sour, the taste is quite mild and goes down quite well.
While Bragg is specifically known for its apple cider vinegar range, Vitacost is a widely known company for health products in general. Apple cider vinegar is just one of the products they sell.
Vitacost claims that their apple cider vinegar is the fermented juice of fresh-pressed 100% organic apples. It is unpasteurized, and contains the “mother,” the “nutrient-rich sediment responsible for the amber/brown color and cloudy, string-like appearance of natural apple cider vinegar.”
There’s no added sugar, artificial flavors and colors. Also, it is kosher and suitable for vegetarians.
If you are looking for cheaper but quality brand, then Vitacost is an option to consider. But beware, it is very acidic and is not known for it’s great taste.
California-based Fleischmann began making vinegar in the 1920s when they decided to use the alcohol produced by the bakers’ yeast growth.
With advances in technology, the production of bakers’ yeast reduced the production of alcohol. They then entered the specialty vinegar business.
Founded in 1994, Dynamic Health provides a range of health supplements and products which are kosher, halal-certified, organic, and are available in liquid as well as capsule form.
This apple cider vinegar is known for being one of the best tasting options out there and goes down quite smoothly.
Eden Organics started in the 1960s as a group of people coming together to get what they couldn’t find elsewhere: organic health food.
What started as a small group of like-minded people quickly blossomed into much more.
Eden’s products are now sold in many co-ops and health-food stores in the U.S. Eden is committed to sustainable practices, organic macrobiotics, and locally sourced food.
The Bottom Line
Pure, apple cider vinegar (unfiltered with the mother) is a key addition to your health arsenal.
It has such a vast array of uses, making it a versatile support for anyone looking for better balance, beauty, and digestive wellness.
When picking an ACV brand, make sure to select ones that are organic, non-GMO, unfiltered and unpasteurized for the most health benefits.
As always to your health and wellness!
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