For centuries, vinegar has been used for all sorts of purposes, for preserving, cooking, cleaning and for all kinds of health problems. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a great little remedy that’s cheap and has so many health benefits, and as a nutritionist it is a major player in my tool kit for better health.
The fermentation process of turning the sugar in apples into acetic acid leaves it full of active bio-components, antioxidants and anti-microbial properties. When left unfiltered, and with the ‘mother’ (cobweb-like strands of protein, enzymes and friendly bacteria) this is considered the best quality.
Here are some of the many health benefits of ACV:
- It aids digestion and acid reflux. Acid reflux is often the result of too LITTLE stomach acid so taking 1-2 teaspoons of ACV in a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal will help rev up your stomach to produce enough acid ready for good digestion.
- It has anti-glycemic affects and is thought to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, so helpful for people with type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes or just anyone looking to balance their blood sugar.
- It has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, therefore supporting heart health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It is thought to aid weight loss by helping you feel full. When taken with a high carb meal it increases feelings of fullness and therefore leads to eating less calories throughout the rest of the day.
- When gargled, its anti-bacterial properties can help with a sore throat, eliminate bad breath and even whiten teeth.
- It’s helpful for skin irritations like insect bites, and can even help remove warts.
- With its anti-microbial properties, it can be used around the home as a natural cleaner.
- It makes a great hair rinse to remove product build up and improve the pH balance of the scalp.
Always make sure your ACV is unfiltered, raw, organic and with the mother for the best health benefits. The murkiness is an indicator of the quality of the vinegar. Add it to your salads in a snappy little dressing, and pop in a couple of tablespoons when making bone broth to help leech out all the mineral goodness from the bones into your broth.
Bragg’s and Raw Health apple cider vinegar are both excellent brands.
For more information on good gut health, don’t forget to check out my Restore Your Gut Programme.