8 Ways that Apple Cider Vinegar is Beneficial to your Health!
I know for me vinegar used to make me gag. The smell of it was horrible, I would NEVER have thought about ingesting it unless it was hidden in a sugary salad dressing, and the floaty stuff in Apple Cider Vinegar grossed me out even more!
BUT then I threw out all of my chemical cleaning products and started cleaning with vinegar. I was pleasantly surprised! I even started to like the smell. I learned all the amazing things about vinegar and how good it is for our health. So I decided to try a drink of it; I’ll be honest, I still gagged a little. Then I mixed it in my morning drink, and it wasn’t so bad. Every morning before I eat or drink anything else, I warm up some water and put a Himalayan salt concentrate, lemon juice, and turmeric in. I now add a little bit of ACV. This drink helps me to detox, turmeric is an awesome anti-inflammatory, we need salt to keep us hydrated (more to come on that), and warm water gets my gut moving! Read on to learn why I’m determined to get some ACV into my belly too!
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is made from fermented apples. Fermentation happens when bacteria builds up and causes the apples to break down. Fermentation takes a couple of week to months to happen, and the result is vinegar which has beneficial acids and good bacteria that can be useful to us in so many ways. I know…we think of bacteria and get grossed out, but this is good bacteria.
Fermentation is the process of converting carbohydrates to alcohol (wine anyone?) or organic acids. Bacteria and yeasts are used to break down the carbohydrates. Once it turns into alcohol, “Mother of vinegar” (cellulose and acetic acid bacteria) is added to turn it into vinegar. You can see the “Mother of vinegar” if you buy raw organic vinegar. It’s the stuff that you can see floating in it. If you plan to consume ACV, the murky looking vinegar is best.
“Apple cider vinegar was used in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylonia, Greece and the Roman Empire. It was used for…simple digestive problems,…and for external wound care. In 400 B.C. in Greece, Hippocrates treated his patients with apple cider vinegar and honey for all sorts of ailments.” (1)
ACV is rich in good bacteria, enzymes, and trace minerals. Vinegar is slightly acidic which is part of the beneficial properties. It contains acetic acid, lactic acid and other useful acids. Acetic acid is an effective antiseptic. Vinegar contains 4-18% acetic acid.
Benefits of ACV
Helps to regulate our blood sugar
It is believed that ACV helps our body to take longer to break down complex carbohydrates. When we break down complex carbohydrates slowly, we don’t get the spike in our blood sugars. When our blood sugars remain fairly even throughout the day, we don’t feel as hungry. “The antiglycemic effect of acetic acid, the active ingredient in vinegar, has been attributed to reduced starch digestion and/or delayed gastric emptying.” (2) We should be eating complex carbohydrates with every meal because they help keep us filling full longer since they take longer to break down than simple carbs. If ACV makes that process take even longer plus we have the delayed gastric emptying, then we feel full even longer! That makes ACV a weight loss aid as well!
This article from diabetesjournals.org states that vinegar reduced the post-prandial (after eating) blood glucose level of Type I Diabetics by 20% compared to the placebo (plain water). That’s amazing! Why isn’t this given as a routine remedy?
Reduces chance for heart disease
Studies on this have only been done on rats, but when the rats consumed vinegar their triglycerides and cholesterol levels were lowered as well as blood pressure. The mechanism of that is unknown. I’m guessing that it has something to do with the fact that vinegar helps us take longer to break down complex carbs. Our bodies break carbs down into sugar. Simple carbs start turning into sugar as soon as we start to chew them. That then causes our blood sugar to spike rapidly and fall rapidly. The sugar roller coaster wreaks havoc on our bodies! Sugar that is left in the bloodstream is the cause of high cholesterol and sugar also causes systemic inflammation which is the leading cause of hypertension (high blood pressure).
Softens our hair and makes it shiny.
ACV can remove build up in our hair and scalp leaving our hair soft and shiny. I’ve used regular white vinegar and ACV on my hair just by pouring it on undiluted after I shampoo and leaving it on for a couple of minutes. I then rinse it out and don’t use conditioner. My hair is softer than when I use conditioner!
ACV can also reduce dandruff this way. Use one part ACV with 3 parts of water, keep it in a glass container in your bathroom and rinse your hair with it a couple of times a month. I also tell myself I’m disinfecting my shower at the same time. :)
Put one cup of ACV into a warm bath to relieve sunburns, poison ivy, or bug bites. Mix 1tbsp of ACV in a cup of water and use as a toner to reduce acne and lessen acne scars. Since vinegar does contain acid, don’t put it on your skin unless you dilute it. (Hmmm, that could explain why my skin got red and itchy when I’ve just poured it on my head undiluted).
ACV can break down mucus in our body. This aids in cleaning our lymphatic system, reducing allergies, preventing colds, and clearing sinuses. This is thought to happen due to ACV helping our bodies pH to return to homeostasis. Excess mucus can be a result of our bodies being too acidic.
Despite what we’ve been taught, heart burn or acid reflux is caused by too little stomach acid. Our body is over compensating by producing too much acid. When we replace it by ingesting ACV, our body returns to homeostasis.
Natural multi-purpose cleaner
The antiseptic properties of the acetic acid kills many harmful bacteria, possibly even some antibiotic resistant bacteria. ACV kills bad odor. It’s also comforting to know that when we rinse ACV down the drain, we’re not polluting our environment. I like to add ACV with water and essential oils to a spray bottle and use it for everything!
Have a lot of fruit flies or gnats? We fill a small mason jar with mostly ACV, then top it off with water. Put just a couple drops of dish soap in it. The fruit flies are attracted to the smell of the ACV, but once they land in this concoction, the dish soap kills them. We’re always amazed how many fruit flies end up in there! It’s become a ‘game’ with our daughter to count them every morning (is that morbid?). White vinegar is great to use if you have an ant problem. Find where the ants are coming in and just pour some vinegar in that spot. The ants will not come in through that spot again!
What do you think? Will vinegar be a part of your healthier lifestyle after reading this? I hope so!
Peace, love, and wellbeing!