My father, God bless his soul, was an advocate of Apple Cider Vinegar and would have a spoonful blended in his first glass of water every morning he woke. Many may detest the taste, but I have a love for sourness, and happily inherited this healthful habit.
Are you swigging Apple Cider Vinegar? If not, you might be missing out. Read on for more.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
The word vinegar comes from the latin words vinum (wine) and acer (sour) and in essence vinegar is just that: sour wine.
Apple Cider Vinegar is made by crushing apples and squeezing out the liquid. Bacteria and yeast are added to the liquid to start the alcoholic fermentation process, and the sugars are turned into alcohol. In a second fermentation process, the alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria (acetobacter).
Look for the Mother!
The organic, unrefined version of Apple Cider Vinegar contains the “mother”, usually identified as a blurry, web-like cloud in the bottle.
The “mother” is a colony of beneficial bacteria, similar to a Kombucha SCOBY, that helps create vinegar through a secondary fermentation process. Apple cider vinegar with “mother” is high in acetic acid and other beneficial compounds.
But Firstly… A Word of Caution
Do not drink Apple Cider Vinegar on its own! Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, and while this can help to balance your body’s pH level, it can also damage the tooth enamel and esophagus.
The advised portion mix is one to two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with eight ounces of water.
10 Reasons You Need Apple Cider Vinegar in Your Life
- Great for the Digestive System: Sip on the ACV and water mix to aid an upset stomach. Apple cider vinegar has antibiotic properties that can help rid the system of unwanted bacteria and persistent symptoms of diarrhea. Some experts even go on to say that apple cider vinegar contains pectin, which can help soothe intestinal spasms.
- Prevents Heartburn: Sip before eating, especially if you know you’re going to indulge in foods that will make you sorry later. Try this folk remedy: add 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and drink it 30 minutes before you dine.
- Helps a Sore Throat: Germ-busting ACV can kill off the infection as soon as you feel the itch of a sore throat. Simply mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup warm water and gargle every hour or so.
- Great for the Common Cold: Runny nose and other pesky cold symptoms? A teaspoon of ACV in a glass of water can help clear out the sinus drainage. ACV contains potassium, which thins mucus; and the acetic acid in it prevents germ growth, which could contribute to nasal congestion.
- Weight Loss: Apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight, and there’s scientific evidence backing this claim: ACV contains acetic acid which suppresses appetite, increases metabolism, and reduces water retention. Scientists also theorize that ACV interferes with the body’s digestion of starch, which means fewer calories enter the bloodstream.
- Anti-Dandruff Wash: Mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water in a spray bottle, and spritz on your scalp. Wrap your head in a towel and let sit for 15 minutes to an hour, then wash your hair as usual. Do this twice a week for best results. The acidity of ACV changes the pH of the scalp, making it harder for yeast to grow.
- Fatigue Buster: Exercise and sometimes extreme stress cause lactic acid to build up in the body, causing fatigue. Interestingly, the amino acids contained in ACV act as an antidote. What’s more, ACV contains potassium and enzymes that may relieve that tired feeling.
- Banish Bad Breath: Gargling with an ACV and water mix cleanses the mouth of bad breath causing bacteria.
- Fades Bruises: Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties; dabbing or laying an apple cider vinegar compress on a bruise can help fade the discoloration.
- Reduce Blood Sugar Levels & Bad Cholesterol: Several scientific studies back the claims that a daily intake of diluted ACV can keep both of these health risks at check.