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Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
NUTRITION WELLNESS

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Using Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) for its health benefits isn’t a new concept, it’s actually an ancient remedy that’s been around for thousands of years. Long ago, some clever people discovered that if you fermented apples using a little yeast, then added a touch of good bacteria, eventually the end result would be a liquid, rich in acetic acid. Acetic acid is not only responsible for the distinct sour smell and taste that we associate with ACV, but it also provides the many health benefits that it is known for. 



How to use Apple Cider Vinegar (AVC)

 

To fully benefit from ACV, look out for the organic and unfiltered kind, the bottle will often have ‘with the Mother’ or similar on the label. The ‘Mother’ will look like little threads or sediment that sinks to the bottom of the bottle, so best to give it a good shake before you use it. 

Gut power – Fermented products can boost your gut health. By providing nutrients to your gut microbiome, it may help manufacture vitamins and minerals in the gut. ACV is a fermented product; it can help boost your gut microbiome,  by adding it to your daily diet. It can go a long way. Place a few drops into a glass of water and sip before you eat any foods.

Bloating and wind - Low stomach acid can often result in bloating or wind. This often occurs because the food is unable to move through the digestive tract in a timely manner, the longer it remains in the system, the more gas it will produce. Taking ACV before a meal may help to improve stomach acid levels which in turn helps the food to breakdown easier and be digested effectively, providing your body with vital nutrients from the food.

Banish fungus – ACV may have the power to get rid of fungal & bacterial infections. Bacterial and fungus are unable to thrive and grow in an acetic environment. You can place toes and/or finger nails into a solution of water and ACV to stop the spread and growth of fungal infections.

Skin boost- ACV may act as a skin cleanser or toner and act as a barrier to unwanted microbes. Using a few drops into water as a skin wash, may help to cleanse the skin and create the right levels of acid or pH on the skin. It also has healthy bacterial properties to help with any nasty spots.  Just a word of warning, it is an acid, so be gentle on your skin as too much may sting broken or damaged skin.

House cleaning – Vinegar has been used as an easy chemical free house cleaner.  Wiping surfaces or cleaning your fridge with vinegar gives household surfaces a clean and fresh smell. Using ACV as your household cleaner has added antibacterial benefits. Best to use ACV in a spray bottle with a dilution of water and fresh lemon juice or some lemon rind for that clean spring smell.

Weight loss –There have been a number of scientific studies to show that ACV may in fact aid weight loss in a number of ways.

Appetite suppressor -ACV may have the ability to suppress the appetite by working on the satiety centre of the brain, keeping you fuller for longer. If you are fuller for longer then you may be inclined to eat less.

Balance blood sugar levels – Research studies have revealed drinking ACV before meals results in lower blood sugar surges. It helps to stabilise blood sugar levels in the blood and helps to prevent sugar drop after eating. Researchers believed that ACV may prevent or reduce the absorptions of some carbohydrates and starches when eaten.

Cholesterol health – It is important to keep your cardiovascular system healthy and keep your cholesterol levels in check. ACV may just help you to do that!  A special antioxidant compound found in ACV, polyphenols called chlorogenic acid may inhibit oxidating LDL cholesterol.

Boost your salad – ACV is a great addition as a salad dressing. Add flavour to any salad, mixing it with a little olive oil and dried herbs.

So, what is the Mother and why would you want it in your vinegar?

The Mother is a complex colony of helpful bacteria and acids which are similar to the SCOBY found in the fermented drink Kombucha. The Mother is said to be beneficial for health, however, these benefits are soon lost when the vinegar is filtered or heated, so stick to the unfiltered, organic kind. Leave the filtered vinegar for cleaning or preserving food.



How can you use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to boost your health?



Good gut health is vital for a strong and healthy body and mind. If our gut health is poor, how can the rest of our body be functioning at its best? You could have the cleanest organic diet possible, but if you have poor gut health, that all means nothing. Your gut is where the nutrients from your food are digested and absorbed, giving your body the nutrition that you need. Not only this, but a large part of your immune system actually resides in your gut.

Good and bad bacteria inhabit the gut in a harmonious balance, however, when the gut function is impaired, this balance may become disturbed and an overgrowth of the bad bacteria may occur. This imbalance may result in the immune system becoming less than effective. ACV may also help to lower the levels of bacteria associated with a number of bowel problems, thereby helping to support the body’s natural immune balance.

Low stomach acid can often result in bloating or wind. This often occurs because the food is unable to move through the digestive tract in a timely manner, the longer it remains in the system, the more gas it will produce. ACV before a meal may help to improve stomach acid levels which in turn helps the food to breakdown easier and be digested effectively, providing your body with vital nutrients. So, it makes sense that a healthy gut is conducive to a healthy immune system.

Is there anything that Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can’t do?

 

Don’t forget it is an acid, so teeth beware! Numerous dentists have reported a surge in interest in ACV that people are visiting their dentist more often with enamel erosion.

  • Acid will make teeth enamel porous and can erode tooth enamel. So, try drinking it through a straw or mix into food and on salads.
  • Ouch, stingy! If you are using it on skin, make sure it is in dilution of water. Do not apply ACV  to broken or raw skin. Again, it is an acid and will sting.
  • More is not better. ACV is taken in only small amounts. Excessive consumption for longer periods of time of ACV can lower potassium levels and may increase bone loss.
  • Irritated throat. Consumption of ACV may irritate your throat lining, so make sure you have it with water or something else to disperse the acid content. 
  • Whether, you may wish to take ACV for your gut health, skin or use it for cleaning it is certainly versatile!
Felicity Downes-Casipit
Author

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