Everything You Need To Know About Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a natural home remedy, not to mention as a tasty ingredient in salad dressings. The benefits of apple cider vinegar are far-reaching, as it contains acetic acid, which gives the vinegar its distinctive taste, and also its medicinal effect, which makes it such a super-food.
Acetic acid is produced by bacteria during the fermentation of the vinegar, and has strong mycobactericidal activity – which means it destroys certain bacteria that can cause infections. Acetic acid is found in all vinegars, but when apples are fermented, a bevy of vitamins and minerals become more concentrated. Here are some specific ways that ACV can positively impact health…
Kills Pathogenic Bacteria
As mentioned above, the acetic acid in ACV kills bad bacteria, like E. coli, that can cause infections. ACV is also a natural antimicrobial, protecting against yeasts and viruses as well.
Helps Digest Proteins
While it’s very rare to be protein deficient, studies show that the body may require less protein when taking ACV as a supplement because the ACV increases the body’s ability to absorb protein. To supplement, add two teaspoons of ACV to one cup of water about 20 minutes before eating a meal.
Alkalizes Body pH
The body’s optimal blood pH level is around seven, with higher numbers being more alkaline and lower numbers being more acidic. The more acidic the blood is, the more likely it is that illness and disease will take over. This is why it’s important to promote an alkaline state within the body. Raw, unpasteurized ACV has been shown to be a strong alkalization agent.
Research has found that ACV offers antiviral protection against certain viruses, such as polio. This same research also suggests that daily dosing with ACV can help boost immune function.
ACV has a pH similar to that of stomach acid. Taking ACV can mimic stomach acid and help stimulate digestion, which can help reduce acid reflux and heartburn symptoms. It may also help prevent gas and bloating as well.
Boosts Nutrient Absorption
Acetic acid improves the body’s absorption of nonheme iron. Heme iron comes from animal products and is relatively easy to digest, while nonheme iron comes from vegetables, such as dark leafy greens, pumpkins seeds, and spinach, and is more difficult to absorb. Adding a few teaspoons of ACV to vegetables (like in a salad dressing) can help increase the body’s absorption of nonheme iron. Also, ACV contains ascorbic acid, which has been shown to improve copper absorption. This copper also helps improve nonheme iron uptake within the body.
Assists With Weight Loss
ACV has been known for its ability to increase satiety for awhile now. This means that it keeps people feeling “full” longer, helping to reduce the amount of overall calories needed throughout the day. It may also help to curb cravings for processed foods and sweets. The theory is that acetic acid is responsible for this. To aid weight loss, drink two tablespoons of ACV mixed into one cup of water 20 minutes prior to eating.
Lowers High Blood Pressure
Because it helps to reduce sodium, ACV can help lower high blood pressure. ACV has high levels of potassium, which is responsible for helping to balance sodium levels in the blood.
Balances Blood Sugar
ACV slows the rate at which starches are digested in the body, thus lowering the body’s insulin response after eating, and helping to balance blood sugar. ACV has also been shown to delay the rate of gastric emptying, which further helps with balancing blood sugar.
As mentioned earlier, ACV aids in iron uptake by the body. This naturally helps to increase energy levels, since higher levels of iron in the blood lead to improved oxygenation of blood cells. Two teaspoons of ACV in a cup of water three times per day is recommended to help improve iron absorption.
Helps Prevent Candida
The acetic acid found in ACV is a natural antifungal, helping to fight candida overgrowth in the digestive system. Candida in the digestive tract is an overgrowth of yeast, which is associated with fungal infections, brain fog, fatigue, and food intolerances.
Can Help Eliminate Acne
ACV has been proven to aid in digestion, as mentioned earlier. This improved digestion helps to move acne-causing toxins out of the digestive tract so they’re less likely to be eliminated through the skin. It also helps improve nutrient absorption, which likewise aids in clearing up acne.
ACV has an acidic pH of 3.075. This becomes an alkaline pH only after the ACV is digested. Be sure to dilute the ACV with water prior to drinking it to prevent erosion of tooth enamel and causing canker sores in the mouth. Also be sure NOT to brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after drinking the ACV, because the tooth enamel can still be sensitive for that long.
ACV can also interact poorly with certain prescription medications, so consult with a pharmacist prior to beginning an ACV regimen, if you’re taking any meds.
When purchasing ACV, be sure to get the highest quality one available in order to glean the most health benefits. The best kind to get is unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. You’ll notice that this kind contains “the mother” floating around inside the bottle. It’s the bacterial culture “starter” the causes the fermentation process to occur. It’s fine to eat it if you want or throw it away, but keep in mind it’s packed with all kinds of awesome vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are very beneficial.