Nourish - What’s the Scoop On : Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has been a popular tonic in the health and nutrition community for years, however recently it has become increasingly popular. So what’s the big deal? Apple cider vinegar is by no means the new spirulina or acai. However, it definitly brings with it an abundance of goodies for whoever takes the plunge and manages to shoot it down every morning! (This supplement isn’t for the faint hearted)
Good for the inside and out (because we all know beauty isn’t just skin deep), here is our guide on apple cider vinegar, minus the myths (teeth whitening? With acid? Whaaaat?!). We also delve into the best ways to take apple cider vinegar. If you have given it a shot (literally!) and found it too intense to carry forward with, fear not! We have outlined slightly more subtle methods of consuming this digestive superhero…..
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar, also known as cider vinegar, or ACV, is exactly what is says on the tin – a vinegar made from apple cider. It is usually relatively pale to medium in colour and can also come in a cloudy form. ACV is made from fermenting the sugar in apples to create alcohol which is then becomes cider. The alcohol is then oxygenated to produce acetic acid, the vinegar that promotes our health and wellbeing. There are a number of different ACV’s out there so which one should you pick? Well generally speaking, the ugliest is usually the best.
If you are consuming ACV for it’s health benefits, make sure to go for the unfiltered, cloudy liquid. The unfiltered version contains the ‘mother’ of the vinegar which is the sludgy, cloudy substance that shrouds the bottom of the bottle. This is the good stuff. This is what contains all of the enzymes.
Another factor in your purchase is to pick unpasteurised vinegar. The pasteurisation process is used to kill bacteria in milk and other liquid products. Unfortunately in ACV this will also kill all the good bacteria that help your tummy.
What Are The Benefits?
Beat The Bloat!
Calm any bloating and heartburn/reflux. ACV is fantastic for digestion. The acid in the vinegar increases the acid levels in your stomach, aiding fast digestion and movement through the stomach to the intestine. Slow digestion can cause stomach acid to go back up the oesophagus in the form of reflux (like a nasty heartburn). Taking ACV can speed up the process and potentially reduce the effects of stomach reflux.
An Apple a Day
Slow digestion can cause some vitamins and minerals to remain undigested and pass through the digestive tract unabsorbed. By adding to the stomach’s acidity levels, ACV can ensure full breakdown and uptake of nutrients such as vitamin B6, calcium, iron, and more.
Blood Sugar Regulation
While taking ACV won’t make you a skinny mini, it will help to regulate your blood sugar, thus avoiding midmorning/afternoon slumps and crashes which we all know lead to bad food choices.
ACV’s effect on our blood glucose is very well documented and some researchers have compared it’s effectiveness to that of prescription drugs in the combat against diabetes.
ACV can also block some of your carbohydrates from being broken down, reducing the spike in glucose levels in your body.
That Breath.. So Fresh, So Clean!
Bacteria can only survive in certain pH levels. ACV lowers the pH of your mouth and throat. This in turn helps to kill off all of the nasty bacteria causing bad breath and halitosis, leaving you with lovely fresh breath!
Them Bones, Them Bones Need.. Apple Cider Vinegar?
ACV also lowers the pH of your body making it more alkaline. Research shows that those with more alkaline bodies generally have better bone density. Our bodies were born and developed in an alkaline environment so it.
Hair of the Gods
ACV can strengthen and give glorious shine to those gorgeous locks. Simply shampoo and condition as normal, then give a rinse with ACV. We recommend adding 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar to 250mls of water and poruing this through your hair post-shower bliss. Make sure to rinse with water after to avoid smelling like old cider….
A Few Added Bonuses
These bonuses are known mainly as home remedies or wives tales. I say this because there is no scientific research to back them up, but many will swear by them..
- Can cure the hiccups
- Can act as a toner to neutralise the pH on your face and potentially reduce acne.
- Can help to suppress your appetite leading to a potential reduction in weight
- Great for washing fruit and veg when diluted with water.
How to Take Apple Cider Vinegar
The best and most popular way to take Apple Cider Vinegar is to simply drink it. 1-2 Tablespoons in the morning should suffice, though if taking for digestive purposes, a tablespoon an hour before each meal can help speed up the digestion process. Some take ACV straight as a shot, though we recommend being wary of this, as the acid could be harmful to the teeth. A lot of people mix ACV in with a glass or half a glass of water. Some however, still find this taste difficult to handle, in which case why not mix it into a glass of fresh juice to overpower the vinegar taste?