Apple Cider Vinegar: A Holistic Health Remedy

What’s so remarkable about Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)?  This special vinegar is made by the fermentation of apple cider and has long been touted as a health & beauty tonic.  Some of the most promising research has shown favorable results when it comes to blood sugar levels, cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Although there are no official recommendations to use ACV from the medical community (as the research is ongoing), it still remains wildly popular with users who swear by its medicinal properties, including a cure for indigestion and bad breath.
This tangy elixer is either loved or hated by those who try it. I always recommend diluting it in water or another solution like fruit juice if you are new to consuming ACV. After a while though, you may feel confident enough to take a straight shot of it. Here’s why I love incorporating ACV into my wellness routine:

The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Weight management – One of the main reasons why apple cider vinegar so is so widely loved in the wellness community is the fact that it is consistently discussed as a weight loss aid. There is one study that supports consuming ACV helped with curbing appetites, losing weight, and even lowering fats in the blood. Some also believe that it helps reduce sugar cravings which we all know can lead to straying away from a regular healthy diet. Other recent studies have shown that ACV also helps increase the amount of fat and energy burned after consumed, as well as decreasing fat storage.

Diabetes –  Medical research has shown that ACV can have favorable changes in blood sugar levels; link to research here.  Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which studies show helps reduce insulin and blood sugar levels after consuming a high-glycemic meal.
Anti-Fungal – The anti-fungal properties of ACV when taken internally can help with candida (or yeast buildup) in the gut. Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar also contains probiotics which help protect your gut and also improve digestion as well.
Cholesterol – Although promising research in rats has shown that ACV may increase the HDL “good” cholesterol and reduce triglyceride levels, research has not been proven with humans. This research showed high levels of pectin which seemed to be a contributing factor to lowering cholesterol.
High Blood Pressure –  Another study in rats found that ACV could lower high blood pressure.  It’s the potassium content that seems to make ACV work.  It is believed that potassium in the vinegar balances the sodium level; and the magnesium in the vinegar helps to relax blood vessel walls and thereby lowers blood pressure.
Indigestion –  I was curious how ACV could cure acid indigestion when it is “acidic”.   Well I found out that even though it is acidic, it is also “alkaline-forming”.   In  theory it weakens the hydrochloric acid in the stomach because it alkalizes and brings the body back to its acid/alkaline  balance.  The fact that ACV also contains probiotics helps with indigestion but when you get cloudy raw probiotic, there are also prebiotics found in these types of bottled vinegars as well.
Increases nutrient absorption: Because of the probiotic, prebiotic, and acetic acid content of ACV, the ability to absorb nutrients from food is increased. This is why I love adding an apple cider vinegar tonic to my morning routine to get my digestion ready for maximum absorption each day!
Bad Breath –  Used as an antiseptic, the theory is that  ACV can reduce bad breath by breaking down plaque and bacteria.  Always mix ACV with water when using as a mouthwash, then rinse again with water, as it is acidic and can cause tooth enamel deterioration with long term use.

What to look for when selecting apple cider vinegar

Adding raw, unfiltered ACV to your diet is best vs. consuming pills or supplements. When shopping for pure apple cider vinegar, look for brands that are labeled “unfiltered” as the cloudy consistency of the vinegar is what includes all the good ingredients: probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes and more!

How do I consume apple cider vinegar?

If you are just jumping on the ACV bandwagon, you can start off by diluting the vinegar in a tonic. A simple tonic I love to make mixes together 8oz of water, half a lemon, 2 tsp of ACV, monk fruit extract or stevia (or raw honey), and fresh ginger mulled at the bottom. You can sip on this in the morning before breakfast and after your coffee, if you drink coffee, to rev up your metabolism and reap the benefits of ACV!
Other easy ways to add ACV to your diet is by making an oil and vinegar dressing for your salads or coleslaw recipes, adding it to your soups; or taking 1 to 2 tsps. of ACV with a smoothie,  juice or water each day.
Warning: ACV is highly acidic and may interact with certain medications and supplements.  Consult with your physician as to the possibility of any side effects or safety concerns with prolonged use.

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