The Amazing Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and How to Add it To Your Diet
Apple cider vinegar is also known as cider vinegar and, as the name would rather imply, is a type of vinegar that is made from cider or apple must. This drink has a pale amber coloring and it also contains mother of vinegar (the organic kind does anyway), which gives it a slightly cloudy and congealed appearance.
The liquid is used in salad dressings, marinades and food preservatives but it can also be consumed as a drink. It has quite a sour taste though, so it’s not a drink you would probably gravitate toward naturally… until you learn of it’s incredible health benefits.
Drink apple cider vinegar daily and you will find it has some pretty amazing impacts on your health. In this post, we’ll look at some of the amazing things that apple cider vinegar can do for you.
Apple Cider Vinegar Dosage for Health Benefits
So how much apple cider vinegar should you take? You don't want to drink too much, but you also don't want to drink too little either. Below we go over the dosage of apple cider vinegar for various uses.
Encouraging Healthy Bacteria
Apple cider vinegar is made from fermenting the sugars in apples. This is good news because fermented foods provide a source of healthy bacteria cultures. These healthy bacteria cultures can then contribute to the amount of healthy gut flora in the stomach which in turn has countless health benefits.
Many of us think of bacteria as being bad and we associate it with infection or illness. However, not all bacteria is bad and a lot of very good bacteria lives inside our stomach. Not only does this bacteria kill off the bad kind of bacteria, but it can also help to break down our food and improve our absorption of key nutrients. At the same time, this gut flora is also instrumental in producing many of the hormones and neurotransmitters that affect appetite and our mood. This is one of the reasons that the gut is sometimes referred to as the ‘second brain’.
Consuming foods like apple cider vinegar is highly advisable after a course of antibiotics which will kill off the good and bad bacteria in the stomach. Oh and as an added bonus, apple cider vinegar can also help us to kill off bad bacteria and in that way it will work a little like a natural antibiotic in itself.
All these benefits are multiplied if you consume the ‘mother’, which is the fibrous tissue contained within the liquid and which contains even more healthy cultures.
Apple cider vinegar is great for digestion and for your gut flora. Consume a tablespoon of the drink in a large glass of water just 15 minutes before you eat. This will stimulate the production of your digestive enzymes, preparing them to go to town on what you eat. That doesn’t just prevent heartburn, it also helps to improve your absorption of essential nutrients, helping you to get more health benefit from everything that you eat subsequently.
In order to get these benefits, it’s important to make sure you consume the unrefined, organic form of ACV. That’s because you’re trying to make sure that you get the cloudy strings that we described earlier – the ‘mother’ that makes the vinegar look cloudy. This is where the important enzymes come from and it’s also where a lot of the other nutritional benefit is found. Don’t be squeamish – go for the real stuff!
Stamina and Energy
If you’re not excited by the digestive benefits, then perhaps you’ll be more interested in boosting your energy levels. Many of us find that we struggle to get out of bed in the mornings due to groggy heads and the same goes for around 4pm when many of us start to hit the wall and crash.
Imagine how much more you could get done if you had boundless energy to keep working and playing long into the evening without slowing down. That’s the dream of increased energy and stamina. Apple cider vinegar is thought to be particularly effective at raising energy levels, although researchers aren’t yet sure why. One theory is that it is linked with the powerful alkalizing effect that ACV has on the body. Another theory is that it might be the result of multiple other health benefits combined. It’s also thought that ACV can help to improve recovery from a wide range of conditions and diseases.
Again, to get these benefits, just drink one table spoon a day with some water. If you find this to be beneficial though, then you can try to slowly increase the dosage by a teaspoon at a time. The upper limit is around 2-3 tablespoons daily and it’s up to you to see how you feel and whether or not you’re getting benefits from it at different quantities.
Restless Leg Syndrome/Leg Cramp
Leg cramp and restless leg syndrome might both be related to low potassium levels in the body. Many people claim that apple cider vinegar has been very effective in helping them to feel more comfortable and less fidgety and especially at night when many people will wake up with considerable discomfort in the legs.
To get this benefit, have just a teaspoon or enjoy ACV on your food as needed.
Consuming apple cider vinegar may help you to lose weight by suppressing the accumulation of body fat and lipids, according to some studies. This is thought to be due to the content of ‘pectin’, which is able to prevent the body from storing or absorbing fat.
Another way in which apple cider vinegar can do this, is by reducing your appetite. When taken before a meal, ACV can help to reduce your hunger levels and this is further accomplished through the improved absorption of nutrients as you are eating.
So apple cider vinegar is both helps you from over eating and preventing fat from being stored as you eat. This one two punch can really help to shave off the pounds, making this a great addition to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight.
High Blood Pressure
For those with high blood pressure, ACV might also be useful. In some animal studies, the liquid has been shown to reduce blood pressure and it is thought that this might work through increasing vasodilation. This would also explain another way in which apple cider vinegar is able to improve energy levels – vasodilation is the widening of the blood vessels and this then allows for more blood, oxygen and crucial nutrients to make it to the brain and the muscles as fuel.
Because apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid, it might be able to slow down the digestion of simple carbohydrates and thereby keep blood sugar levels lower.
This is also another way in which it can act as an appetite suppressant. Again, using a tablespoon in a glass of water before meals could help with this and generally improve the way in which your body is able to utilize the food you are consuming.
Cleaning and Household Uses
There are a vast number of apple cider vinegar uses that go beyond nutritional benefits. For one, apple cider vinegar can be used to deter a range of unwanted pests that eat the leaves of plants and this is a good way to get rid of fleas and aphids. At the same time, apple cider vinegar can also be used for cleaning up along with bicarbonate of soda. Alternatively, with some hot water it can be useful for removing limescale from kettles.