We all remember the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, perhaps, “Three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar a day keeps the doctor away” is the better saying?
Over the last ten years or so, the popularity of apple cider vinegar (or ACV) fades in, then out, to pop up again into the mainstream spotlight. Various media outlets and social media channels will tout the benefits of ACV for a while, then it falls back into obscurity for many.
Apple cider vinegar is made by crushing apples into a vat or storage container for fermentation. The crushed apples then have bacteria and yeast added in the beginning in the fermentation process. This then turns the sugar from the apples into alcohol. The process continues with second fermentation where the juice and alcohol convert to vinegar by a bacteria called acetobacter. After the two-step fermentation processes are complete, it produces enzymes and other vital nutrients that gives ACV it’s healthy properties.
There is one crucial distinction regarding the term “organic raw apple cider vinegar.” For the best health benefits, raw unfiltered ACV has “the mother” which is a cloudy, stringy complex structure made up of beneficial acids and enzymes. When you buy raw, unrefined ACV, it will have a murky appearance with small chunks floating in the bottle.
The benefits of a daily dose of ACV should make you consider it an essential part of your diet. As mentioned, many people use ACV for only a short time, but few use it on a consistent daily basis. Since ACV is a fermented food, it has beneficial microorganism or “probiotic” properties. The bacteria and yeasts that are created during the chemical process, breaking down sugar and starch during fermentation, create these beneficial enzymes and good bacteria.
Since all fermented foods tend to be a fantastic source of essential nutrients, they are very supportive of your overall immune system. This reason alone makes ACV key to keeping your immunity up year around. I frequently point out to people that 70 percent of your immune response gets managed in your digestive tract. ACV is very supportive of gut biome or “good bacteria” in your digestive tract.
Now before we get into the list of benefits, there are a few of things to know about ingesting ACV every day. The acid in ACV can be damaging to your mouth, teeth, and esophagus. It is best to dilute ACV with natural juices or water before swallowing. Keep in mind, on an empty stomach ACV can cause nausea and other gastrointestinal discomforts, so take it after you have had your morning protein shake or breakfast. Also, excessive consumption of ACV can lower your potassium levels, so start slow with one tablespoon and see how that works for you. ACV can react with specific medications and specific chronic illnesses, so consult with your physician first.
Here are a few benefits of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar:
• ACV can help with appetite suppression.
• Some studies have shown ACV can help reduce and stabilize glucose levels. Since ACV has pectin, it can also help regulate blood pressure.
• ACV has also proved to help with fat metabolism and help support good cholesterol levels.
• ACV is an immunity booster and helps promote good bacteria and your gut health.
• ACV can help with constipation and regularity.
• ACV can also be a significant factor in fostering proper pH, so your body is in a more healthy alkaline state.
• ACV has malic acid which is resistant to harmful organisms and can help defend against fungal overgrowth such as candida.
• ACV has shown benefits with joint health in reducing some stiffness and swelling.
These are just a few of the more commonly found benefits of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. I would recommend that if you’re able to take a tablespoon of ACV every day, you will see within a few weeks notable positive changes in your health. Please check with your doctor before taking ACV if you’re taking prescription medications or have a chronic
health condition. Most grocery stores or health food stores carry ACV, just be sure it’s raw and unfiltered for the best results.
Judd Jones is a director for The Hagadone Corporation and Certified Health Coach.