Why Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has been touted for its supreme health qualities in recent years. We have all heard about it and how amazing it is, but just how exactly does it benefit us?
Let's find out...
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a vinegar that is made from the liquid of crushed apples. That liquid is then distilled and further, fermented - becoming the "Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with 'Mother'" we see all over the grocery store shelves. The 'raw' and 'with 'mother'' both basically mean that it has not been filtered or pasteurized and it still contains all of the healthy enzymes and good bacteria provided by the vinegar at this 'raw' and 'with mother' state.
WHAT MAKES APPLE CIDER VINEGAR SO BENEFICIAL FOR OUR HEALTH?
There are several components of ACV that contribute to its health benefits. For one, the high levels of acetic acid (acetic acid is found in all vinegars, but the levels will vary depending on the type) is known for many of the benefits we get from ACV - it blocks the absorption of starch, making it a wonderful tool for diabetics and others with insulin resistant syndromes to help maintain and lower blood sugar levels.
Apple cider vinegar is a popular vinegar choice for maintaining a healthy heart. It has rather high levels of antioxidants (polyphenols to be more precise) which can help regulate appropriate levels of good and bad cholesterol. The acetic acid present in ACV also has the potential to help lower blood pressure levels and reduce blood vessel constriction.
ACV has been used and has become very popular for weight loss in recent years. The studies out there show the weight loss is very modest and it is hard to say if the people kept the weight off for sure because of the very small amount of weight lost in the first place - between 2-4 pounds in 3 months. Nonetheless, it is supporting one's overall health when consumed on a daily basis.
Apple cider vinegar also contains pectin which is naturally occurring in apples. Pectin can support healthy digestion - it acts as a prebiotic in the gut, which basically means it feeds our good bacteria and the probiotics we consume (whether they be in the form of supplements or food). Some would even argue that probiotics are somewhat ineffective if they are not taken with with some form of prebiotic.
HOW DO WE USE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?
Apple Cider Vinegar is just like any other vinegar. It goes perfect in vinaigrettes for your salads (see recipe below), you can add it into a veggie dip, or as a glaze for roasted or sautéed veggies. A popular way to take ACV in recent years is to take about 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar diluted in 8 oz of water, dash with cinnamon and drink it, this isn't my favorite way of taking it because the taste is a bit much, but some people prefer this method.
NOTE: It is not recommended to just swig it from the bottle undiluted because of potential health risks (ie: burning the esophagus, wearing away of tooth enamel, etc.).
It can also be used topically. When used this way, it can be very soothing to itchy bug bites, shingles, sunburns, and it can even dry out pimples and help to rid different fungal infections, such as athletes foot.
NOTE: It is important to dilute the ACV in plenty of water before using it on the skin to avoid any acid burns.
Apple Cider VINAIGRETTE RECIPE
3/4 cup Balanced Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients together. Use as a salad dressing or drizzle onto grilled vegetables or chicken.
I hope all of this information on Apple Cider Vinegar is helpful for you and your health!