Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you are probably well-aware of the cultural health phenomenon that is apple cider vinegar. Everyone from celebrities to naturopaths has been touting its benefits as a household cleaner, healthy gut elixir, and natural beauty product. You may think there’s nothing left to say about this astonishing liquid. However, when you think about it…how much do you really know about ACV?
Not all ACV is created equal
If you’ve ever perused the vinegar section of your local grocery store, you’ve most likely seen two types of apple cider vinegar. There’s the clarified version that looks just like white vinegar with a slight brownish tint to it, and then there’s the other kind with strange-looking sediment resting on the bottom. So what exactly is this weird floating stuff and why would you want it in your vinegar?
The floating stuff is also known as “the mother” and is an essential component of ACV. ACV is created through a two-step fermentation process involving yeast which is added to apple juice to break down the natural sugars and turn them into alcohol. Next, bacteria turns the alcohol into acetic acid. This bacteria is what we call the mother and is where all of the beneficial enzymes and probiotics are contained.
Unfortunately, many people are turned off by the mother and assume that the clarified version is healthier. In reality, the distilled ACV should only be used for cleaning and other external uses. There is simply no health benefit in ingesting it.
ACV should always be diluted
Never drink ACV straight. Many health enthusiasts recommend starting your day off with a shot of pure, undiluted vinegar. Though this is a quick way to get it into your system and is helpful if you detest the rather potent smell, it can be extremely harmful in the long run. Like other kinds of vinegar, ACV is highly acidic and can erode your teeth enamel and damage your stomach lining if consumed in large quantities or taken as a shot. Always mix into dishes or enjoy as a warm tea along with 10 parts water to one part vinegar, a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey. Drink this tea through a straw to help bypass your teeth and always rinse your mouth out with water after drinking.
AVC could help with weight loss…but not on its own
Like most fads, the mythology surrounding apple cider vinegar has spiraled out of control. No, it is not a magic weight-loss substance that will instantly help you drop 20 pounds. However, studies have shown that it could help increase satiety and reduce cravings for unhealthy food. Along with a healthy, whole foods diet and regular exercise, ACV could be a beneficial weight loss tool. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It is important to do your own research and determine the truth behind the latest health craze.
It is good for your skin and hair
Not only is ACV beneficial for improving gut health and aiding in weight loss, but it is also wonderful for external application on the skin and hair. Use diluted ACV as a hair clarifier to help remove buildup and increase volume every few weeks. You can also swipe diluted ACV across your face with a cotton pad for a natural toner and cleanser. Don’t use this every day as it could dry out your skin.
May help control blood sugar
ACV could prove beneficial for people with diabetes who struggle to control fluctuating blood glucose levels. One study published in the Journal of the American Association of Diabetes found that ACV helped reduce post-meal blood glucose levels in diabetics. Consult with your doctor about ACV as a diabetes management aid.
Pay attention to how your body reacts when you begin taking ACV and avoid taking it if you are on prescription medication that could cause an adverse reaction. If you notice any nausea or stomach disturbances, you may be drinking too much. 2 tablespoons per day is a safe amount and will still allow you to reap all the fantastic health benefits.
Do you use ACV for health? Let us know in the comments below!
-The Alternative Daily